Thursday, September 15, 2011

AP Editors Outline Initiatives for Coming Year

By Christine Larsen

According to the 2011 Associated Press Stylebook: A group of octopus is
referred to as "octopuses;" the year 2010 is pronounced "twenty-ten;" a female
third baseman in softball is referred to as just that; and a message sent via
electronic mail is an "email."

So said David Minthorn, editor of the 470-page AP Stylebook, which sets the
precedent for standardized journalistic writing and approves guidelines for news

Minthorn was among the presenters of the Associated Press News Presentation
at the APME conference held in Denver today. Others included new AP chief
political writer, Liz Sidoti, who presented commentary on her critical views of the
current political and social conditions in the United States and personal forecast
for the upcoming presidential election.

Sidoti began her discussion by listing the reasons why "most believe the country
is going the wrong direction" and how the general population's view on
President Obama is that "nobody is happy with him." She added that if the
election were held today, he would lose his chance of winning the swing states
of moderate voters.

"People do not like his policies. Not at all," she said, who included that America
is still proud of electing a black president. "But people still have hope in him and
they want him to do well."

One of the ways the AP will capture future political news coverage is through a
nation-wide political team, including AP political contributors: Steve Peoples,
Beth Fouhy, Chuck Babbington, and Tom Beaumont.

Next, Kristen Gasley provided an overview of state reports. During her
presentation, she gave an update on the joint AP-APME broken budgets, which
she said focuses on how states and local governments are dealing with fiscal
fallouts brought on by broken budgets.

AP Director of Photography, Santiago Lyon, discussed state news photographs,
including the importance of feedback. He also said that during the 2nd quarter
of the year, member contributions are up 22 percent.

"We want to provide good news that directly involves you," he said. "Through
your robust feedback, we continue to make good progress on quality and

His presentation involved a slideshow of an array of startling and heart-
wrenching photos of live shots ranging from a U.S. Marine losing a game of tic-
tac-toe to a 4-year-old and a game of ear-tugging in Alaska to a naked child
being rescued from a burning building and chaos spurred from a stage collapse
that caused gasps and laughter from a ballroom of AP members.

For the first time, the AP board invited broadcasters to join the organization,
who showcased a haunting video on Hurricane Irene with a recollection of still
shots and real-time videos and interviews.

Director of broadcasting, Kevin Roach, said they are also taking on a big issue to
do more with less but are "delighted about the new prospect to be part of this
great organization." He said he is excited to share ideas, learn from each other,
and teach each other while maintaining a competitive spirit.

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