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APME Update: Oct. 28, 2011
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APME Update
APME Update for Friday, Oct. 28, 2011
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Nov. 2-3 - NewsTrain Workshop at Brigham Young University, Salt Lake City
• Nov. 10 – NewsTrain Webinar on Mobile Reporting
Sept. 19-21, 2012 - APME Conference, John Seigenthaler Center, Nashville, Tenn.


APME50: Reaching Out to All 50 States

APME50 is our new initiative, reaching out to active editors and broadcast news directors on state boards across the country.

APME 50We’ve just unveiled this new logo to highlight the effort, which will begin in November.

Our goal is to connect with more editors and let them know about APME training opportunities, the AP-APME national reporting initiatives, innovative work and more.

"We'll reach out in a personal way to the newspaper and broadcast editors' boards in each state and offer a helping hand,” said APME president Bob Heisse.

Nearly every state is covered in this effort that will start in November, but a few are missing in action. We're looking for lead editors in New York, Nevada, Minnesota, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts and Maine. If you can help please contact our co-chairs.

For more information or to get involved contact APME50 co-chairs Laura Kessel at or Jon Broadbooks at


NewsTrain next Wednesday and Thursday in Salt Lake City

Just around the corner is our next NewsTrain, in Salt Lake City.

The sessions will be held Nov. 2-3 at the Brigham Young University Salt Lake Center.

The program will cover investigative journalism, social media, managing change, and more.

The workshop, sponsored by APME, will be hosted by The Salt Lake City Tribune, the AP Bureau for Colorado/Montana/Utah/Wyoming, The Deseret News, The Standard-Examiner (Ogden), Brigham Young University, and the University of Utah.

Reserve your spot by visiting

Follow NewsTrain on Facebook for updates and news.

Questions? Contact Michael Roberts, NewsTrain project director,


NewsTrain Webinar on Mobile Reporting on Nov. 10

Mandy Jenkins, social news editor of The Huffington Post, will lead a webinar in November on mobile reporting and free desktop publishing tools.

The webinar is part of the NewsTrain webinar series, APME’s successful training program, which has offered training to more than 5,000 journalists over its 10-year history.

The webinar will be held on Nov. 10 at 1 p.m. Central Time/2 p.m. Eastern Time.

Register for the webinar here:

Call-in information and a link to the webinar will be sent a few days before the event.

Jenkins' session will delve into how journalists can use their phones to report news and what free web tools are out there for stories you're writing from your desktop.

Jenkins has a wealth of experience in mobile reporting. Prior to her role with The Huffington Post, she was the social media editor for Washington, D.C., local news startup TBD and the Cincinnati Enquirer. Mandy has also worked in online news at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and as a newsroom producer for WKSU, an NPR affiliate in Northeast Ohio.

The webinar costs $9.99 for APME members and $19.99 for non-APME members.


2012 NewsTrain workshops available

Would you like to have a NewsTrain workshop in your area next year?

Planning is under way for NewsTrain workshops around the country in 2012.

Check the APME web page ( on what it takes to have a NewsTrain in your area. Then contact NewsTrain project director Michael Roberts with your thoughts:

NewsTrain workshops are changing to better meet specific needs in each location.

Planning now includes a local needs assessment to identify where and how training can have a significant impact. Work with Michael Roberts on training for print, online, and broadcast journalists, from frontline staff to department heads and senior managers.

Locations for 2012 will be selected soon to begin the planning process. Please consider your needs and how a NewsTrain workshop might help.


Looking for Your Ideas: 2012 APME Annual Meeting

Planning is under way for next year's annual conference Sept. 19-21 at the John Seigenthaler Center on the campus of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.

Among the highlights of the program: a performance by Freedom Sings, the group that tells the story of the First Amendment through music that has been banned or censored or sounded a trumpet for social change.

Is there program content you'd like to see in Nashville? Send your ideas to us by Twitter @APMEsings2012.


Check It Out: APME’s Blog

• Have you heard about the upcoming APME online holiday auction -- a first?

• Have you heard about the big Illinois Broken Budgets project, online now?

• Or have you heard about recent state APME meetings in Illinois, Indiana and Pennsylvania?

• You would have read about these -- and more -- by checking out the new APME Update blog at or

• The blog offers daily updates on APME activities, industry news and more. It’s the latest way the Associated Press Media Editors are keeping in touch.

• Enjoy this email update weekly, and then visit the blog for even more.


Watchdog Reporting

AP: Budget cutters eye health care for veterans to cut deficits

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgia considers controversial way to promote jobs

Austin American-Statesman: Perry’s loan plan for agri-business risky, produced no jobs

Plain Dealer: Cleveland Heights data masks reports of sex crimes

Dallas Morning News: Thousands under age six have lead in their blood

Denver Post: State ties to uranium mill draw fire

Miami Herald: Florida curtails effort to police assisted living facilities

Philadelphia Inquirer: Many mistakes in life and death cases in Pennsylvania

Columbus Dispatch: Ohio cuts state aid so towns asks voters for more money

Tulsa World: Okla. ambulance agency budget raises questions

• Read all watchdog reports at:


AP Beat of the Week: Stephen Ohlemacher

For two years now, the 55 million retirees and disabled people who live on Social Security checks have been getting by without a cost-of-living increase. And things looked like they weren't going to get much better: In May, trustees projected an increase of just 0.7 percent for 2012.

But when the inflation numbers for July and August started to roll in, Washington tax and Social Security specialist Stephen Ohlemacher knew something was shifting. Ohlemacher has always been good at math. Instead of waiting for the government computers to do the calculations, he decided to work the numbers himself.

Cost-of-living increases are based on a three-month average of consumer prices, and the numbers for September were not in. They would be closely guarded until their release Wednesday morning by the Labor Department.

So Ohlemacher calculated the numbers for July and August from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Then he ran his findings past several economists and Social Security experts. They agreed that even with the September numbers to come, Ohlemacher's projection would be accurate up to a tenth or two-tenths of a percentage point.

They were right.

Ohlemacher's projection: 3.5 percent. The increase announced by the government the next day: 3.6 percent.

There was more. Ohlemacher knew the increase on paper did not translate into the same increase in real life, because Medicare premiums were going up. With the help of health reporter Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Ohlemacher pointed out that higher Medicare premiums could wipe out as much as a fourth of the cost-of-living increase in Social Security.


AP Best of the States

After South Carolina enacted a law requiring voters to show ID at the polls, the U.S. Justice Department asked for data on the number of voters who would be affected – and so, of course, did reporters. The state handed out some top-line numbers and a number of South Carolina news outlets, including the AP, produced spot stories.

But Columbia’s Jim Davenport wasn’t satisfied: The numbers lacked the racial and geographic detail he was looking for. And his dissatisfaction only grew when he determined the state hadn’t even provided all the information the Justice Department wanted. The department had asked for registered voters affected by the law, but the state delivered data only on active voters, leaving out about 74,000 people.

When Davenport asked for additional information, all state officials provided was a link to each county’s data. Pressed for more, they delayed for a week. So Davenport got to work. Frustrated but determined, he began extracting the racial, age and gender details for voters without state-issued photo IDs himself from the Election Commission's website – cutting and pasting three files for each of 46 counties into an Excel spreadsheet.

Proponents of such ID laws argue the measures are needed to prevent fraudulent voting. But opponents say that, intentionally or not, they squelch voting among non-whites and the poor, who largely vote Democratic.

Davenport’s spreadsheet showed that latter was true in South Carolina. He determined that the law would disproportionately affect minority voters across the state – for example, nearly half the voters who cast ballots at a historically black college in Columbia lack state-issued photo identification as the measure requires.

The state Democratic Party chairman called it "electoral genocide,” and a spokesman for the Election Commission acknowledged the state has some serious work to do before the next election.

Members across South Carolina used the AP story. It also played nationally, causing ripples in the political world. Pundit Keith Olbermann put it in his "worsts,” tweeting, in part: "AP proves racism in So. Carolina Voter ID law.” A Republican strategist in South Carolina tweeted that Davenport’s story proved why the voter ID law was needed. And MSNBC’s morning show devoted an entire segment to the story, with quote boxes on the screen displaying AP’s text.


Editors in the News

After almost eight years as editor, Charlotte Atkins is leaving the Rome, Ga., News-Tribune in November. She has resigned to become executive director of Cancer Navigators. The nonprofit community organization helps cancer patients through treatment and other aspects of their recovery. Atkins has been active in the Georgia AP News Council, Georgia First Amendment Foundation and Georgia Press Association.

The former photo editor of the Anchorage Daily News has been named to the Robert B. Atwood Chair of Journalism at the University of Alaska Anchorage. The Anchorage Daily News says Richard Murphy will occupy the chair during the spring 2012 semester. Murphy retired from the paper earlier this year after being photo editor for 26 years. He was part of the staff that won a Pulitzer Prize for public service in 2009. He led the newspaper's photo staff to many national and regional awards. Murphy will teach two classes. The Atwood Chair was founded in 1979 by the late Robert Atwood, longtime publisher of The Anchorage Times. The Atwood foundation recently pledged $1.4 million to continue to endow the position.

Mark Mahoney, The Post-Star's editorial page editor and winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing, is leaving the newspaper in Glens Falls, N.Y. Mahoney has accepted a position with the New York State Bar Association in Albany, where he will serve as associate director of media services. He will work as part of the association's media team on press releases, articles for association publications, op-eds, reports and other projects.Mahoney has worked at The Post-Star for 23 years, serving as a reporter, regional editor, city editor and the editorial page editor. His list of journalism awards is long. Mahoney was named editorial page editor in 1999 and was regularly honored with state and national awards for his editorial writing. That culminated in his greatest honor when he was named the winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing.

There were many other honors during his tenure at The Post-Star.

Eight times Mahoney received top honors from the New York State News Publishers Association for editorial writing. He was annually among the top three in the New York State Associated Press Association contest for editorials. Twice he was a finalist in the American Society of Newspaper Editors national contest and in 2005 he won it all, beating out writers from large metropolitan newspapers. And four times he was honored with National Headliner Awards, including a first place this past year.

In Memoriam: Longtime Kentucky AP photographer Ed Reinke dies

Ed Reinke didn't think of his job so much as taking photos, but rather as creating them. When the award-winning Associated Press photographer grabbed his camera and headed out to an assignment, he would tell his colleagues, "I am going to make a picture."

Whether it was Kentucky Derby horses training on a chilly spring morning, a bumblebee hovering near a flower on his beloved farm or a quarterback celebrating a Super Bowl touchdown, the AP photojournalist viewed the world as a series of pictures. His profession was journalism; his gift was telling a story in one frame.

"I saw a picture and went and got my camera," Reinke would often say.

The Associated Press photographer for Kentucky, who traveled the world shooting news and sports images, died last week. He had been hospitalized since Oct. 2, when he fell and suffered a head injury while covering the IndyCar race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.

In the weeks that followed, dozens of Reinke's colleagues around the United States rallied around him via a Facebook page where they shared photos and stories of the man remembered universally for his warm smile and twinkling eyes. The page, "To Ed Reinke," had been started several years ago, an online place where far-flung photographers shared photos of themselves toasting a man who had been a colleague, friend and mentor to many since he started his photojournalism career in 1972.

"Those he could trust to shoot decent pictures for freelance assignments became known as 'Reinke's kids,' a close-knit group of local newspaper photographers bent on validating his trust," said John Flavell, photo editor at The Daily Independent in Ashland, Ky. "Actually, he built a network of trust among newspaper photographers and we help each other out within that network to this day. He was the hub of a very close-knit community."

At Kentucky Speedway on Oct. 2, Reinke was with freelance photographer James Crisp, who as a college student began working for Reinke in 1994. Crisp said as the two were headed out to shoot the race, Reinke glanced at his watch and said "I have time to smoke."

"I said, 'I thought you quit smoking.' And he kind of smiled and said, "I did.'"

Crisp went to one end of the track, and Reinke headed to the other. That was the last time Crisp saw him, he said.

During more than 25 years with Kentucky AP, Reinke often was selected for assignments across the world: Super Bowls, World Series championships, Final Fours, Summer and Winter Olympics, Masters and PGA championships, the Indy 500, President Bill Clinton's first inauguration and Hurricane Andrew. He had not missed a Kentucky Derby since 1988.

"Ed was a gifted photographer and a wonderful person, an incredible pro who was at his best at a major event like the Kentucky Derby or any big-game situation one could imagine," said longtime friend and colleague John Asher, vice president of communications at the legendary Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville. "More than that, Ed was a friend, and his regular presence at our track for any event was as welcome and reassuring as a glance at the venerable Twin Spires that have been a part of Kentucky Derby tradition for well over a century."

Reinke was AP's lead photographer for virtually every major news event in Kentucky's modern history, including the Aug. 27, 2006, crash of Comair Flight 5191 that killed 49 at Lexington's Blue Grass Airport and the 1988 Carrollton bus crash, which killed 24 children and three adults in the nation's deadliest drunken-driving collision.

"Ed was a wonderful representative for the AP and will be missed by staff and AP members across the state who knew they could depend on him to deliver. He built and nurtured one of the strongest AP photo reports in the country," said Adam Yeomans, AP bureau chief for Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi.

Reinke's career spanned revolutionary changes in the way photos were produced and transmitted to AP members worldwide, from the days of black-and-white pictures produced in a darkroom to today's digital color images sent by the Internet minutes after being taken.

Edward J. Reinke was born in Indiana, graduated from Northwestern High School in Howard County, Ind., and attended Indiana University.

He began his photojournalism career at the Cincinnati Enquirer, starting as an intern in 1972 and becoming a full-time staffer in 1973. In 1979, he went to work for AP in Cincinnati and three years later transferred to the Washington, D.C., bureau.

He rejoined the Enquirer in 1983 and was named director of photography in 1984.

He returned to The Associated Press in Louisville on Aug. 31, 1987, becoming AP's first staff photographer in Kentucky in 25 years.

Reinke won numerous awards from the Associated Press Sports Editors, including the 1992 Thomas V. DiLustro award for excellence in sports photography. He received Best of Show in 2000 in the Baseball Hall of Fame photo contest for his picture of Hank Aaron and Willie Mays saluting Ted Williams at the All Century Team celebration during the World Series. AP named him Kentucky staffer of the year in 1996. In 1997, AP published a photo package and story by Reinke documenting the cycle of tobacco farming and its impact in Kentucky.


Industry News

• James Murdoch to testify again to UK committee

• Murdoch to pay $3.2 million to schoolgirl's family

• US protesters look beyond traditional media

• New publisher named at Laurel newspaper

• McClatchy says 3Q earnings lower, ad revenue down

• New York Times Co. has 3Q profit, reverses loss

• St. Petersburg Times cuts staff by 6 percent

• Ala. principal charged with newspaper theft

• Nevada newspaper to begin online subscriptions

Read more at:


And Finally …

Waco Tribune-Herald

When Pat Dougherty moved to Alaska in the fall of 1975, the recent Baylor University graduate saw it as a one-year adventure.

"I really had never had a conscious thought about Alaska, unless it was maybe reading Jack London in school," Dougherty said.

Thirty-six years later, he's the editor of the state's largest newspaper, the Anchorage Daily News, a publication that has stood out in recent years for its coverage of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, John McCain's surprise choice for running mate in the 2008 presidential election.

Dougherty, who spoke at Baylor last week, said he went to Alaska on the advice of a friend of his from Texas, who himself had moved there on a lark.

"I got up there and I just found it a fascinating place," he said. "The (Trans-Alaska) Pipeline construction was a huge boom that was changing the state."

"There was lots going on," he recalled. "The place was growing like crazy, so there was lots of opportunity for young people.
"It never seemed like the time to leave."

Dougherty spoke about Alaska, a Pulitzer Prize-winning series he worked on in 1988, the fate of newspaper journalism and, naturally, Palin during an afternoon event put on by Baylor's journalism department.

Dougherty worked at the Daily News through one of America's last newspaper wars; he helped direct coverage of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989; and a year earlier he worked on a series of stories highlighting the chronic problem of suicide among young Native Alaskans.

The series, Dougherty said, "began as an effort to do some stories about bootlegging in the really rural parts of Alaska."

"But our reporters came back and said that's not the real story of what's going on," he recalled. "Alcohol is an issue, but the most important happening is people are killing themselves at an unbelievable rate."

The staggering number of suicides in rural Native Alaskan villages was a symptom, Dougherty said, of native "culture being subsumed in another culture."

In Alakanuk, which then had a population of 550 and was one of the towns spotlighted by the paper, there had been eight suicides during a 14-month period, Dougherty said.

"It'd be the equivalent if half the kids in Waco's biggest high school killed themselves in 13 or 14 months," he said. "The place was absolutely devastated."

And while Alakanuk was a striking example, he said village after village had their own tragedies.

"We eventually ended up putting the majority of the staff to work on the series for several months," he said.

Public response to the articles was overwhelming, and he said the coverage ultimately led to a more open discussion in native communities of suicide.


The paper also won the most prestigious prize in American journalism, the Pulitzer.

As the leader of the Daily News newsroom, Dougherty can rattle off an impressive litany of Palin facts, as well as Palin fictions.

"In the old days, when you lived in Alaska and visited what we referred to as the Lower 48, people asked you about the cold and the dark, or bears, or fishing, and that was fine," Dougherty said.

"Now, they ask you about Sarah Palin," he said. "I kind of miss the old days."

Dougherty said he heard Palin was McCain's pick for running mate on the radio at his house one morning and was taken aback.

He might have known Palin was being considered for the high-profile position had a McCain campaign advance team come to Alaska to vet her beforehand.

The campaign instead quietly vetted her from afar, interviewing very few people in Alaskan politics or in the state before announcing their decision -- a significant story in and of itself during the 2008 campaign, and one which the Daily News broke, he said.

Dougherty said his paper had a cordial relationship with Palin when she was running for governor as a reformer.

"She used to love us, and she even brought our reporters cookies," he said.

"But she hasn't talked to us in 2 1/2 years," he added.

Journalism in peril

Dougherty said he's concerned about the future of newspapers and journalism.

The recession has hit the industry hard, and the Daily News' parent company, McClatchy, especially hard.

"It's been four years of hell and misery, and my company is struggling as much as any to stay out of bankruptcy," he said. "I used to have a staff of 104. My current staff is about 34, so things we could do before we aren't in any way capable of doing."

Dougherty said if the economy rebounds, newspapers -- with their overheads already cut dramatically -- stand to do very well.

But "some days I'm quite discouraged," he said.

"I've been laying off people for four years, and I'm not going to keep doing that indefinitely."


ABOUT US: APME Update is published regularly by the Associated Press Media Editors Association. APME Update is edited by Sally Jacobsen. Send submissions by e-mail or call Sally at (212) 621-7007.
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