Monday, October 31, 2011

Want to host a NewsTrain in 2012?

NewsTrain Salt Lake City, coming this week, will be our final NewsTrain of 2011.
We'll have more on this in coming days. 
Meanwhile, 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.
If you're interested, please contact NewsTrain project director Michael Roberts with your thoughts: mroberts.newstrain@gmail.comNewsTrain
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  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 lead editors in a few states

A few states -- just a few -- are not yet covered in our APME50 effort that will start in November.
APME50 is our new state reachout designed to keep APME in touch with active editors on state boards across the country.
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, Laura Kessel at or Jon Broadbooks at
-- Bob Heisse

Monday, October 24, 2011

Send us your ideas for Nashville

Planning is in full swing for our next annual conference Sept. 19-21,
2012, at the beautiful John Seigenthaler Center on the Vanderbilt
Campus in Nashville.

Is there a program you'd like to see in Nashville? Send us your ideas
via Twitter @APMEsings2012

Thursday, October 20, 2011

New APME committee seeks more visibility to media innovations and ideas

The combination of APME's "Innovator" and "Great Ideas" projects
will allow a new committee to become more proactive in pushing the
concepts to its members and the industry.
APME President Bob Heisse recently announced the new committee and
appointed David Arkin and Joe Hight as its co-chairs.
The new committee will seek to:
-- Bring more visibility to the concept that media should be
consistently sharing ideas and innovations that will spur future growth
in the industry.
-- Highlight media that submit their great ideas, as well as
consider them for the Innovator of the Month award.
"Awarding not only a monthly innovator, but also recognizing great
ideas, will not be great news for the newsrooms that are recognized, but
it's an outstanding tool for newsrooms that are hungry to test out new
ideas," Arkin said. "Taking APME's popular Great Ideas program and
making it a monthly recognition program, in addition to the production
of the annual book, was a no brainer. In our constantly changing
industry, our colleagues are constantly searching for the brightest and
best ideas and innovations."
-- Use social media as well as the APME website to interact more
with the industry about its ideas and innovations. It will also promote
through state AP bureaus and other areas.
-- Ask monthly innovation winners to participate in a Q&A and
provide other interactive elements to help explain how they created and
introduced the concepts.
-- Simplify the process to submit innovations and ideas to the
-- Pursue quarterly chat sessions on innovations and great ideas.
Besides the monthly innovations and ideas, the committee will
continue to award and highlight the Innovator of the Year and the Great
Ideas book at the annual APME conference. Part of the book will devoted
to a new "hall of fame" for the past and monthly winners.
Arkin is executive director for Gatehouse Media's News & Interactive
Division and Hight is director of information and development for The
Oklahoman/ Committee members are Kathy Best, managing editor
of the Seattle Times; Bill Church, executive editor, the Statesman
Journal Media in Salem, Ore.; and Kurt Franck, executive editor, The
Blade in Toledo, Ohio.
Heisse, executive editor of The Centre Daily Times in State College,
Pa., had previously chaired the Innovations Committee. Franck and Terry
Orme, managing editor of The Salt Lake Tribune, had chaired "Great
"This has become such a great tradition for APME that I and others
look forward to each year at the annual conference," Hight said. "We
hope that this new approach will not only simplify the process and make
it more visible, but also build upon these valuable APME creations."

Partners host NewsTrain in Salt Lake City

We have great hosts for our next NewsTrain, Nov. 2 and 3 in Salt Lake City.
It will be held at Brigham Young University's Salt Lake City Center and will focus on investigative reporting, social media, digital media, managing change and more.
Our hosts are The Salt Lake City Tribune, The Deseret News, The Standard-Examiner (Ogden), Brigham Young University, the University of Utah and the Associated Press Bureau for the region.
The region covered by this AP bureau, based in Denver, includes Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Montana. We appreciated their help at the recent conference in Denver, and now at a great NewsTrain event.
NewsTrain Salt Lake City promises to be super. If you're in the region and can make time, you'll benefit big time.
Here's the link to register. Hope to see you in Utah.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Broadcast committee seeks members

Our APME committees are up and running except one. That's because it's still a committee of one.
Jim Farley, vice president of news and programming at WTOP all-news radio in Washington, D.C., is our new broadcast board member and he heads the new broadcast committee.
We're reaching out now for members to help us expand APME to include broadcast leaders in training, our contest, our webinars and more.
This committee will blaze a trail in making this happen, and Farley's eager to get started. If you're interested in working on this committee, send Farley a note a
If you know an AP broadcast news leader who might join this effort, forward this post.
Thanks for your help as we build a new and important committee in APME.
-- Bob Heisse

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A first stop in Nashville

The next APME conference will take place in Nashville on Sept. 19-21, 2012.
Sounds far off? It still is, but that doesn't mean it isn't taking shape.
It's looking good actually, when it comes to venues. They're all lined up and we'll introduce them in posts right here.
Our first stop is the site of the annual auction and opening night reception. In Nashville we'll gather at the beautiful Frist Center for the Visual Arts.
Here's a preview:
The Nashville Tennessean is just down the street from the center, and APME attendees might take tours of the paper's new design center before the auction and reception.
It promises to be a great first night at APME Nashille. We hope to see you there.
Our conference page is already started online. Check it for updates when you visit.
-- Bob Heisse

Monday, October 17, 2011

Follow us on Twitter

Are you following APME on Twitter yet?
Well what are you waiting for. We're there and have a modest 507 followers to date.
How about you. It's pretty simple -- we're @APME.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Holiday auction coming soon

We've held two online auctions this year, and we're planning another one just in time for the holiday shopping season.
These auctions benefit APME programs, and any donations are tax deductible. We've featured some neat things, including sports tickets, books and regional gifts in the two previous auctions.
Well, we know you need help finding the right items on your holiday shopping list, and we're hoping the online auction might give you some great ideas.
This holiday auction, our first, will debut in early November and run for about three weeks. There will be plenty of time to receive an item that you won to give it as a gift.
Do you have an item to donate? Just let Laura Sellers Earl or me know. Laura can be reached at or send me a note at Thanks in advance.
We'll alert you when the auction debuts. If you really really like something you can "buy it now."
-- Bob Heisse

Thursday, October 13, 2011

"Circulation is like the sun"

There are places in the world where newspaper circulation is increasing nicely. Many places.
In fact newspapers reach more people than the Internet, according to the annual update of world press trends by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers.
Of course the west is where circulation is declining, but there are great signs in other parts of the world.
Here's the full report: 

'Deadbeat Illinois' series to raise the bar

They call it "Deadbeat Illinois," and it's an impressive set of stories ready to run in Illinois newspapers starting Sunday as an offshoot of the AP-APME Broken Budgets initiative.
I'llinois simply hasn't been paying its bills, and the state's newspapers and AP have documented the delinquency.
The stories will raise eyebrows nationally, and should pound away at a pathetic situation in Illinois government. Here's the budget item for the lead story, which will be sent for use nationally:
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. _ Plagued by budget deficits, the state of Illinois has made it the norm to dump its problems on thousands of businesses, charities and local governments by refusing to pay its bills for weeks or even months at a time. An Associated Press analysis of state records shows Illinois had nearly $1.5 billion in bills that had been sitting around for at least two months as of Sept. 8 because state government lacked the money to pay for office supplies, temp services, drug abuse treatment and even funerals for the indigent. The practice is unusual even among states with equally dire budget situations, disguising the depth of Illinois' financial problems and turning groups into unwilling lenders, without any permanent solution in sight. By Associated Press reporter Christopher Wills.
We'll highlight this story on next week and link to packages from the papers. 
Congratuations to the Illinois AP and member papers for raising the bar in Broken Budgets reporting. .
-- Bob Heisse

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Webinar set on mobile reporting

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

The webinar is part of a new NewsTrain webinar series. NewsTrain, APME's successful training program, 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/2 p.m. Eastern. You can register 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. She 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.
Consider becoming an APME member now to save on these webinars, contest fees and conference registration. Here's the link:

Happenings in New Jersey

With its governor, Chris Christie, often in the headlines, New Jersey is in the spotlight a lot these days.
It's in the middle of APME activities, too, and we're all looking forward to NewsTrain Thursday and Friday at Rampano College.
Registration continues today. Can you send a journalist for the best low-cost training over two days? It's a great opportunity.
Join NewsTrain on Facebook for updates if you can't attend. You'll get a great sense of what takes place, and perhaps you can attend it in Salt Lake City or another location next year.
New Jersey also will be the site for an AP editors meeting Oct. 26 in Princeton. The state used to have an active APME group but that went by the wayside in favor of this annual meeting. It will be a great opportunity for editors to connect with the Associated Press and with APME.
If your state is having an APME or AP editors meeting, let us know. We'll let everyone know through APME Update.
Just contact me at
-- Bob Heisse

Monday, October 10, 2011

Remembering Linda Stowell

Monday has been an incredibly tough day for anyone who knew or worked with Linda Stowell, an Associated Press executive who was based in Philadelphia.
She fought long and hard against cancer and touched so many lives. As Philadelphia bureau chief she brought members together with the AP and built a relationship that stands today and is evident in joint Pennsylvania reporting projects that raise the bar.
In later years she became regional vice president in charge of AP's newspaper member relationships in the eastern half of the United States. 
She was remembered by AP CEO Tom Curley as "a tireless and powerful voice for newspapers and the U.S. news industry."
A celebration of Stowell's life will be held later. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to Lankenau Medical Center Foundation, Medical Office Building East, Suite 5050, 100 East Lancaster Ave., Wynnewood, PA 19096.

Aging America joins Broken Budgets

Baby Boomers are aging in a big way, and our AP-APME national repoting project is out to tell that story from coast to coast.
You've already read and published a few of these stories, but many more will come in the reporting initiative called Aging America. They promise to be timely and informative pieces, perfect for you to localize.
We've set up an Aging America page on the website and invite you to visit and certainly to look for advisories announcing stories in this initiative.
If you have an idea for an angle or project, contact your state bureau chief.
Broken Budgets is still going strong, and Aging America joins it as a themed reporting effort that will enrich papers and broadcast outlets in the coming months and well into 2012.
-- Bob Heisse

Friday, October 7, 2011

Previewing the next APME magazine

Stories are coming in for the next APME magazine, which we hope to have to you in November under the leadership of Michael Days of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
We'll wrap up the Denver conference in this issue, along with presenting stories on some APME initiatives such as APME50 and a revamping and merging of the monthly innovation contest with Great Ideas.
We'll feature updates from the May through September innovation winners, and stories from winners of the Gannett Foundation Award for Digital Innovation in Watchdog Journalism.
The magazine also will include a new feature -- an AP Stylebook quiz. A quiz segment was quite popular in Denver, and we'll now include one in magazines going forward.
We'll tell you more as the magzine is put together. 
-- Bob Heisse

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Northwest gets third member of board

The APME board had an opening when J. Todd Foster resigned, so we went back to the election results from Denver and found our new board member.
We're welcoming Jim Simon of The Seattle Times, giving us three Northwest members.
Here's our entire board, a hard working group from all over the country.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

AP to recognize 'Best of the States'

The Associated Press has begun a "Best of the States" contest to recognize top state news produced by staffers each week.
This expands the "Beat of the Week" contest, as explained by Kristin Gazlay, who oversees state news at AP.
With the AP-APME Broken Budgets initiative producing great stories around the country, including some massive projects, this appears to be a great move and will set up a healthy competition at the state level.
In another great move, AP also will recognize a breaking news staffer of the month, as the release notes. No doubt newspapers and broadcast outlets -- all depending on breaking news -- will join in applauding this staffer's work.   

Monday, October 3, 2011

Check off your gift list and help journalism leaders, too!

Staring Nov. 1, the first ever Associated Press Media Editors online holiday auction takes a bow. A great way to give gifts that help journalism, APME and even help you at tax time, since donations to APME are tax deductible. 

First step: Find groovy items to donate. They could be sporting tickets, vacation getaways, beverage packages, gift certificates, books, editorial cartoons, fan packages, jewelry, news-related items, framed news photos, music, movies, books, almost anything goes.

To donate, send a photo of your item(s), a brief description, value and contact information. We'll take it from there and let you know where to ship it Dec. 2.

And then, you should come and bid on the other items, too. It's fun, it's fast and can fill your wish list.

Your donation or your winning bid goes directly to help this volunteer organization advance the cause of professional journalism for AP-member publications and broadcasters in practical, meaningful ways. The three other 2011 online auctions produced almost $1,800 that went directly to supporting professional journalism leaders. APME and its foundation are nonprofit organizations and your donations are tax-deductible.

Online bidding ends 5 p.m. EST Thursday, Dec. 1.

Winners will be notified by after the auction has ended and will receive their certificates or items after payment is received.

Thank you to our auction donors and to all our bidders!

For more information, contact APME President Bob Heisse, Auction Co-Chairs Dennis Anderson and Laura Sellers or APME Executive Director Sally Jacobsen

Quad-City Times wins Innovator of the Month for Friday Night Tweets

The Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa, is the September winner of APME's Innovator of the Month contest. The paper is honored for its innovative digital work in covering high school football.

APME's Innovator of the Year, now in its fifth year, has expanded in 2011 by naming an innovation of the month.

Here's how the entry submitted by Jan Touney, executive editor, described the newspaper's work:

"Friday Night Tweets is a way for our sports staff to provide immediate information and to interact with high school football fans across a two-state area (Iowa and Illinois) every Friday. Reporters from our paper give frequent updates on the games they are covering via Twitter, reporting any scoring plays and also providing statistics and analysis through the evening.

"We also tap into Twitter updates given by reporters from other papers with all of it being funneled into a Coveritlive blog on our website. An editor in the office monitors the blog, approving comments from readers, updating a scoreboard and occasionally posing poll questions for readers.

"The blog generally begins around 7 p.m., right when most games are starting and extends late into the evening, usually linking to a video panel discussion called "Late Hits,’’ in which our reporters discuss the highlights of the evening.”

For more contact Touney at or sports editor Don Doxsie at

More on the entry can be found at

"Lots of newspapers are struggling with how to cover preps when their staff and newshole are shrinking. The Quad-City Times has found a way to provide coverage and reach the target audience through the mediums they are most likely to be reading: Twitter and live chats, said APME judge Kathy Best, managing editor of The Seattle Times.

Applications for the APME monthly innovation recognition are being accepted at

Don't miss NewsTrain New Jersey

Where can you get two days of cutting edge training for only $50?
There's only one place, and that's at APME's signature training program, NewsTrain. It's making a stop in northern New Jersey next week and journalists in the area shouldn't miss it.
Digital media training will be front and center at this NewsTrain.
Register this week and get the most training for your money.
Our next NewsTrain will be held in Salt Lake City in early November.