Thursday, December 29, 2011

Michigan newspaper wins APME monthly award

A Michigan newspaper's innovative method to track election results has won The Innovative Great Idea of the Month for November from the Associated Press Media Editors.

The Daily Telegram of Adrian, Mich., won the monthly national award for its usage of Google Docs as a spreadsheet to allow multiple users in its newsroom to input results.

Special Projects Editor Erik Gable wrote that the usage allowed The Daily Telegram staff members to feed “the data directly from the spreadsheet into a widget on our homepage.”

“The innovation contributed to a nice bump in election night traffic — especially with time on site, which increased roughly 25 percent per visit,” Gable wrote.

One of the judges, Laura Sellers-Earl, director of digital development for the East Oregonian Publishing Co., wrote the Daily Telegram provided “a great example of using technology to make our jobs easier while still providing quality coverage.”

APME combined its monthly Innovator of the Month and Great Idea of the Month for November because of the holiday season. Finalists for the monthly honor were the Centre Daily Times of State College, Penn., for its Twitter coverage in the case of former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky and the Register Mail of Galesburg, Ill., for its community outreach of capturing children's photos during Treat Street on Halloween.

Other judges for November's entries were Jon K. Broadbrooks, executive editor, The State Journal Register in Springfield, Ill; and Kathy Best, managing editor, The Seattle Times. David Arkin, vice president of content/audience, GateHouse Media Inc., and Joe Hight, director of information and development, The Oklahoman/, coordinate the contest.

If your newspaper or media company, small or large, has launched an outstanding innovation or produced a great idea, let APME know about it. You can submit your innovation at and your great idea at

Read more about The Daily Telegram's project, including a Q&A and a how-to guide at

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wishing Broadbooks well in his career change and welcoming Graham to the APME board

Jon Broadbooks

Jon Broadbooks, who has been a champion for APME and a super board member, is turning the page and leaving the newspaper business.

Broadbooks, executive editor of the State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill., is moving to a new office in town to work for the Illinois Association of Realtors as communications director.

We wish him well and thank him for his great work, which included serving as program chair for APME St. Louis, a great conference in 2009.
Gary Graham
Taking Broadbooks' seat on the board will be Gary Graham, editor of The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash.

As is our practice, we asked the next top vote-getter in the most recent election to fill a vacancy. Graham finished in that spot in the Denver voting.

Welcome Gary. His addition gives the Northwest even more clout. The contingent now includes Laura Sellers-Earl, Bill Church, Jim Simon and Graham — all from Oregon and Washington.

See everyone in New York.

-- Bob Heisse

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Our holiday membership offer: There's still time

Last-minute shopper?
Join the crowd. And maybe this year it can include an APME membership for yourself.
We have a December offer -- a payment plan. Here are the basic details:
If you pay $75 this month, you can pay $75 in the first quarter of 2012. We'll send you a reminder at the end of January.
Send your $75 by the end of December to Associated Press Media Editors Association, c/o Sally Jacobsen, The Associated Press, 450 West 33rd Street, New York, NY 10001. 
A great last-minute deal, maybe for your expenses. Hope you can join us. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

APME magazine coming your way

Our fall APME magazine is on its way to you.
For a sneak preview: 
Enjoy this issue, edited by Michael Days and his committee. Thanks to all who contributed to make it great.
-- Bob Heisse

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tweet for the First Amendment

A reminder to tweet for the First Amendment Thursday.
Here's the request and details. It's the thing to do, for all ages, because it matters so much. Let's make this a great national effort.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Free to Tweet - Bill of Rights Day 2011

This is important. We know you’ve been swamped with end-of-the-year planning and budgets, but there’s something we need to take care of.

Three years ago, America’s newspaper and online editors and broadcast news managers helped found the "1 for All” campaign to raise public awareness about freedom of the press and the importance of our role in a democracy.

Momentum has been building. We are on the brink of what will be the biggest public celebration of the First Amendment in history. But ultimate success depends on reaching the American people, particularly the young, in a 24-hour period this Thursday.

In recent weeks, we’ve reached out for news industry help to promote "Free to Tweet” on Dec. 15. Some have responded with free ads; others have published news of the promotion in their papers and websites. Thank you for that.

Candidly, though, there are hundreds more newsroom leaders who have not yet played a role and we need you to generate as much visibility as possible this week – especially on Thursday.

In a nutshell, we want all Americans on Dec. 15 to tweet their support for First Amendment freedoms. To encourage younger citizens to join in, we’re giving away $110,000 in college scholarships ($5,000 each, funded by the Knight Foundation) to the students with the most creative tweets about why the First Amendment matters. You’ll find details at Our immediate challenge is to raise as much awareness about this online event as possible and drive as many tweets as we can on Dec. 15.

Here are three easy things you can do to make a difference:

1.Tweet something right now, and whenever you can between now and Dec. 15th. It can be something as simple as "Tweet for freedom. $110K in scholarships on Dec. 15 #FreeToTweet”… or "Easiest scholarship competition ever! $110K available for tweets about First Amendment on Dec. 15. #FreeToTweet.”

2.Share this message with your most creative social media staffers. Encourage them to spread the word through your social media network and their own personal tweets.

3.Consider writing about the 220thanniversary of the First Amendment (and the Bill of Rights) on Dec. 15, and include a link to We also have op-eds available at

Please take a few minutes to help us build momentum, and thanks for your ongoing support for a free press and the First Amendment.

— Ken Paulson, president of ASNE and one of the founders of the "1 for All” campaign.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Making it easy to become a member

Here's our APME membership letter, including our December payment plan deal. Hope you can join us as a member, and this month you pay only $75 to get started. 
Dear editor/news leader,

Last fall, I had the opportunity to work with a number of Associated Press bureau chiefs in planning the start of the AP-APME Broken Budgets reporting initiative.

Our goal in this first joint national reporting effort was to tell the stories of fiscal challenges in statehouses and local governments across the country, and to involve AP members in the coverage. Our hope was to spark major statewide projects involving members and the AP, while breaking news regularly on the budget woes that would impact taxpayers.

We soon generated consistent, strong stories from coast to coast, some of which perhaps ran on your front pages or were featured in your broadcast reports. And major projects in Pennsylvania, Illinois and other states shined as members worked with state bureaus, producing dramatic results.

Broken Budgets, which continues today, has raised the bar in APME's national reporting efforts and is just one example of how we're delivering for you and your newsrooms.

We're now the Associated Press Media Editors, expanding to welcome AP broadcast news leaders, college educators, and student media editors. Our new logo reflects our name change and bolstered mission.

I'm honored to serve as president of this organization as it moves into its 79th year. We're well positioned to lead in journalism for years to come, and I hope you decide to join us.

We're making it easier than ever to become a member. The cost is only $150, and during December you can pay $75 now and pay the other $75 in the first quarter of 2012. A few editors have asked us to set up a payment plan, reasoning that they could expense a smaller amount two times; we're pleased to offer this over the holiday season. Just visit to sign up.

A membership will lead to savings in many ways. For example:

• Our signature training program, NewsTrain, now led by Michael Roberts, is strong as it enters its ninth year with plans for four major on-site stops around the country. New are NewsTrain webinars, which began in November with a session on mobile reporting. We'll offer these throughout 2012, with major discounts for APME members.

• Our prestigious APME Journalism Excellence Awards will expand in 2012 to include broadcast and college categories. The contest committee is working on details, but the goal is to honor more work from across the U.S. and Canada. As in the past, APME members will receive a significant discount when submitting entries in the spring.

• We'll meet again at the beautiful John Seigenthaler Center on the campus of Vanderbilt University for APME Nashville 2012. Mark your calendar for Sept. 19-21, 2012, and remember that APME membership brings you a large registration discount.

These are just some of our initiatives; just visit our website and join us on Facebook to find out about more.

We've all been through some rocky years and many challenges remain for journalism. We'll stay strong together. Consider joining us now, and help us achieve our goals of expanding in 2012.

Bob Heisse, APME president

Click here to join APME or renew your membership.

Monday, December 5, 2011

We've raised more than $1,400 in our first-ever online holiday auction. Thanks to the donors and bidders. These were great items and surpassed our exceptions for an infusion of cash to the nonprofit APME organization. Great work, such as NewsTrain and other practical tools or newsroom editors can continue because of our generous donors and bidders. There are still two items in play: a pro-hockey ticket package and two tickets for the Professional Bull Riders Iron Cowboy event in Dallas. Bid now for a wonderful deal on these two events at