The Associated Press Media Editors has unveiled APME50, a plan to reach out to active editors and news directors in each state.
APME50, when in full operation in a few months, will enable the organization to alert print, online and broadcast editors to training opportunities, the AP-APME national reporting initiatives, innovative work and more.
"Too often we hear just the bad stuff, the cutbacks, and we've all been through our share," said Bob Heisse, incoming APME president and executive editor of the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa. "But as we end another rocky year and begin 2012, there are still thousands of us in newsrooms who could benefit from APME's programs.
"We'll reach out in a personal way to the newspaper and broadcast editors' boards in each state and offer a helping hand."
An example, Heisse said, will encourage editors to learn about and participate in national reporting initiatives that offer rich content. Two such projects -- Broken Budgets and Aging America -- are under way and AP-APME will begin another one in 2012.
"These offer great opportunities for any size newsroom to localize great stories all year long," Heisse said. "Broken Budgets stories ran on many front pages, and statewide projects in Pennsylvania and elsewhere raised the bar, but we need to get the word out on these opportunities to more editors, including our new broadcast members. APME50 will allow us to do this."
Co-chairing the project are APME board members Laura Kessel, managing editor of The News-Herald, Willoughby, Ohio, and Jon Broadbooks, executive editor of The State Journal-Register, Springfield, Ill.
"I feel this committee is a key to the future for APME," Kessel said. "When I first joined, I had no clue how far its reach is. I didn't know about training opportunities or how receptive the membership is to brainstorming or simply explaining things they've done at their own papers. After looking around and getting involved, I know about NewsTrain and its incredibly affordable sessions that travel around the country.
"I also know that there are tons of people out there just like me – people who are looking for the chance to meet with other journalists who share the same concerns, same dreams for the future and the same desire to make the most of their careers. That's APME. It's a very important message to share and this feels like the right way to step out and share it."