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APME Update • Celebrating Sunshine Week
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March 20, 2017: Deadline to apply for National Press Foundation free, four-day farm-to-table training program

April 15, 2017: Deadline to apply to host a NewsTrain workshop
Oct. 8-11, 2017: ASNE-APME News Leadership Conference, Washington, D.C.
Oct. 14, 2017: NewsTrain workshop in Beverly, Massachusetts

Oct. 21, 2017: NewsTrain workshop in Columbus, Ohio
Nov. 11, 2017: NewsTrain workshop in Seattle

News Organizations Celebrate Sunshine Week

The American Society of Newspaper Editors launched the first national Sunshine Week in 2005. The celebration of access to public information has been held every year since to coincide with the March 16 birthday of James Madison, father of the U.S. Constitution and a key advocate of the Bill of Rights.

This year, ASNE (now the American Society of News Editors), The Associated Press and the Associated Press Media Editors, a group representing AP-affiliated news organizations, teamed up to mark the importance of press freedoms for Sunshine Week and beyond.

The ongoing collaboration will help the public understand the necessity of a free press, the importance of a transparent government and the role that a free flow of news and information play in a well-informed citizenry.

It will involve explanatory and accountability-related news stories and related content, as well as opportunities for public engagement in local communities to promote media literacy.

The effort kicked off with the following stories. For questions or more information, contact Tom Verdin, the AP's national editor for state government coverage, at

Sunshine week – Advocates say First Amendment can withstand Trump  

Journalism marks its annual Sunshine Week at an extraordinary moment in the relationship between the presidency and the press. First Amendment advocates call the Trump administration the most hostile to the press and free expression in memory. In words and actions, they say, Trump and his administration have threatened democraticprinciples and the general spirit of a free society. Yet free speech advocates say the press, at least on legal issues, is well positioned to withstand Trump.

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Sunshine Week – Trump’s actions raise fears about access to government data

Wondering who is visiting the White House? The web-based search has gone dark. Curious about climate change? Some government sites have been softened or taken down. Worried about racial discrimination in housing? Laws have been introduced to bar federal mapping of such disparities. Federal rules protecting whistleblowers? At least one has been put on hold. Since taking office, the Trump administration has made a series of moves that have alarmed groups with a stake in public access to information. Some are so concerned they have thrown themselves into “data rescue” sessions nationwide, where they spend their weekends downloading and archiving federal databases they fear could soon be taken down or obscured.

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Sunshine Week – Texas wants to keep more records from public

When Texans ask state and local officials for records detailing their operations, more and more the answer is no. The reason why is in dispute. A quirk of the Texas public records law, adopted almost 45 years ago, says that when officials deny the public the right to see something, they usually have to run that decision by the state attorney general’s office. The number of those denials has been soaring. In the fiscal year that ended in August 2001, governments forwarded about 5,000 denied record requests to the attorney general’s office for review. That number had jumped to more than 27,000 by 2016.

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Sunshine Week -- The truth about the press, if Trump can handle it

As I've listened to President Donald Trump go on tirades against the "very dishonest" media, I've tried not to take his criticism personally. Lord knows, I've made my share of mistakes in my career. But they've never been on purpose, or out of malice. In fact, after more than 30 years, I can still remember the phone call from a grieving relative when I misspelled a name in an obituary (I wrote Ronald instead of Roland). This was before articles were published online, so print newspapers were the permanent record. The man's family had to live with my error. However Trump bashes journalists, he'll never make me feel as bad as I did back then. So here's the truth: The press is not the opposition party. The media is not the enemy of the American people. Negative stories are not fake news. And when Trump keeps making these claims, he isn't just attacking the press; he is chipping away at one of the pillars of our democracy.

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Sunshine Week – You have a right to know

Rita Ward had a question: Why did a weekly listing of causes of death suddenly stop appearing in the local newspaper? It turned out the health department in Vanderburgh County, Indiana., halted its practice of providing causes of death to the Evansville Courier & Press. When Ward and a reporter for the newspaper asked why those records were no longer available, the department cited an Indiana law intended to protect citizens against identity theft. Ward and the newspaper sued for access to the information under Indiana’s Access to Public Records Act. They lost two lower court rulings before the Indiana Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that the records, focused on the decedent’s name, age and cause of death, should continue to be made available to the public. In their ruling, the judges underscored “the importance of open and transparent government to the health of our body politic” and held that “the public interest outweighs the private.”

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April 15 is the deadline to bring APME’s NewsTrain to your newsroom in 2018

If you’re looking to bring affordable, digital training to your newsroom in 2018, consider hosting one of APME’s NewsTrain workshops.

To experience the learning, morale boost and fun of a NewsTrain workshop in your town, the first steps are to put together a tentative host committee of representatives from local journalism organizations, and apply by April 15 at

Successful host committees work hand-in-glove with the NewsTrain staff over six months to plan and promote the workshops. The skills taught are customized to the needs of journalists in your region and designed to be used immediately.

The host committee’s financial obligation includes supplying food for either a one-day or two-day workshop attracting 100. It should seek local sponsors to cover that cost, which can run $1,500 to $3,000. The host committee also markets the workshop regionally, makes copies and secures a venue, usually a university site.

The payback is smarter, more engaged and enthusiastic journalists, journalism students and journalism educators in your region.

“Hosting a NewsTrain gives you the opportunity to tailor high-quality training that will be accessible and affordable for your staff,” said Angie Muhs, executive editor of The State Journal-Register, and chair of the host committee for NewsTrain in DeKalb, Illinois, in 2015. “It’s worth the investment of your time and effort.”

Questions? Visit, or email NewsTrain Project Director Linda Austin at



Solutions Journalism • The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer

A couple of years ago, the Observer committed to taking a meaningful look at crime in the community. We settled — through a lot of discussion — on an approach known as solutions journalism. Solutions journalism looks at issues from the perspective of what is working or has the promise to work in addressing a significant community issue.

It is not necessary to do a major project to apply the principles. We’ve done one-shot stories using the principles of seeing what works and talking with officials about how and why — or why not — such answers could be applicable to problems in our community.

— Michael Adams

Link to the eBook and see all the 2016 Great ideas and Submit your own for inclusion in the 2017 edition!


AP: Ex-sect members tell AP prosecutors obstructed abuse cases
AP: Iowa agency that challenged farm runoff faces elimination
Columbus Dispatch: Ohio State shields access to records others deem public
Democrat and Chronicle: Many NY county web sites have big info gaps
Los Angeles Times: Upgrade your jail cell — for a price
Louisville Courier-Journal: Judge takes chains off kids in court
Times-Picayune: Governor reduces 22 prisoners’ terms; plans more
Sacramento Bee: Citrus Heights police: Too quick to shoot?
Des Moines Register: Is veteran hiring program more show than substance?
St. Louis Post Dispatch: Low-profile agency plays outsized economic role
Seattle Times: Sewage-eating microbes in peril at crippled West Point plant
Philadelphia Inquirer: Disgraced parking chief gets free health coverage
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Governing goes off record in Minnesota
Kansas City Star: Campaign flier for city project understates tax increase
San Francisco Chronicle: Charity told to pay back taxes
Portland Press Herald: Critics fear Trump’s EPA cuts would hurt Maine
Sunday Star-Ledger: Who spent the most to sway New Jersey lawmakers?




Obama's final year: US spent $36 million in records lawsuits
Arkansas open records advocates fear major change in FOI law
Early reviews positive for new records law in Massachusetts
Wisconsin superintendent candidate chastised over bleacher donation
Michigan panel votes to open governor, lawmakers to records requests
Lawyer: Pence's AOL account adds new wrinkle to civil case
Newspaper editor provides open records training to Georgia officials
North Carolina court rules for school board over Times-News



Trump chides media for being 'rude' after Conway interviews
Christie says media can be 'adversaries, but never enemies'
Vermont bill affords journalists newsgathering protections
Fueled by Trump opponents, Maddow's popularity rises
Trump spokesman wears upside-down flag pin
Charlie Rose returning to CBS after heart surgery
Fake news? Senate leader alters headlines about governor
Media groups push back after fake news defined U.S. election
Media the enemy? Trump is sure an insatiable consumer
AP FACT CHECK: Claims of president's defenders on wiretaps
Media, family oppose Georgia gag order in missing teacher's slaying
Fox News settles sexual assault complaint
Ex-Obama spokesman says Trump is cynically using the press
CBS' Pelley noted for blunt evaluations of Trump
CNN chief: Politicians should oppose Trump's attack on media
AP: Photographer Nick Ut of "Naplam Girl" fame to retire


EDITORS IN THE NEWS • March 15, 2017

AP names 5 to roles in Asia-Pacific cross-format leadership

The Associated Press has named five of its journalists to its cross-format leadership team in the Asia-Pacific region, where the news organization is merging its text, photo and video operations to maximize coordination and speed. At the AP's Asia-Pacific hub in Bangkok, Leon Drouin-Keith, the region's enterprise editor, becomes deputy director for newsgathering; Celine Rosario, who had been video editor, is now director of planning; and Charles Dharapak moves from regional photo editor to deputy director for production and presentation. Japan Chief of Bureau Ken Moritsugu is now news director for Japan and the Koreas. And Bernat Armangue, the New Delhi photo editor, has been named South Asia news director, a position he had held in an interim capacity.

Read more:


Longtime Oklahoma journalist, author McCarville dies

Longtime Oklahoma political journalist, broadcaster and author Mike McCarville has died. McCarville's daughter, Shelli Aliff, says McCarville died March 8 after suffering complications from emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 76. McCarville's career included work for various Oklahoma newspapers and broadcast stations, including serving as assistant news director of KWTV television and as program director, reporter and conservative talk show host on KTOK radio.
He created the online political blog "The McCarville Report," which first announced his death. Among those sending condolences are Gov. Mary Fallin and U.S. Sen. James Lankford. Carville's survivors also include his wife. No funeral services have been announced.

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