Tuesday, February 28, 2012

APME sends letter about sports credentialing concerns to NCAA

APME has sent a letter to NCAA President Mark Emmert and Vice President of Communications Bob Evans registering its concerns over language and intent of the NCAA credential for the upcoming basketball tournament..

The letter, signed by the presidents of APME, APSE, APPM, SPJ, NPPA and the Kansas Press Association, expresses concerns about restrictions on how news organizations use and share their content with other news organizations.

Here is the letter in its entirety:

Mark Emmert, President
National Collegiate Athletic Association
Bob Evans, Vice President of Communications,
National Collegiate Athletic Association
700 West Washington St.
Indianapolis, ID 46206

February 27, 2012

Dear Sirs,
The Associated Press Media Editors, AP Sports Editors and AP Photo Managers, and The Society of Professional Journalists, have serious concerns with the language and intent of the NCAA credential being circulated for the upcoming basketball tournament.
We have forwarded the concerns of our organizations to your Public Relations Department. We want you to be aware of this situation.
Our most serious objections are in the language that attempts to restrict how we can use our content and how we share that content with other news organizations. Much of the language details how we may not sell photographs taken at events to third parties, including commercial entities or the general public. It goes on to state any secondary use is prohibited without prior written permission.
Our interpretation is that news organizations cannot share their content with the Associated Press or other organizations in their publication group. This defeats the purpose of the Associated Press cooperative, which represents the majority of American newspapers. It places restrictions on how we may use content our organizations and parent companies have spent considerable capital creating for our communities.
Tournament time is here and our members are waiting to hear how these issues will be resolved.
We look forward to talking with you.

Bob Heisse, President
Associated Press Media Editors

Mike Anastasi, President
Associated Press Sports Editors

John Rumbach, President
Associated Press Photo Managers

John Ensslin, President
Society of Professional Journalists

Sean D. Elliot, President
National Press Photographers Association

Kansas Press Association

Teri Hayt, APME
First Amendment Chairperson

Monday, February 27, 2012

APME News: "Coming Home" initiative examines challenges faced by returning vets

By Lisa Marie Pane
Iraq was one of America’s longest wars. Thousands were killed and more than 1.5 million served. With the war now over and veterans returning home, there are countless stories to be told of how they are getting back to civilian life.
Society has always had a challenge reintegrating soldiers. The challenges are never more present than with Iraq veterans. Many of them served numerous tours and those repeated returns to the battlefront are complicating their ability to integrate into society. Mix that with a bad economy and an American public not as engaged in this war as they were in Vietnam or certainly World War II.
We’ve all been certainly covering the war since it began. Now that it’s over, it’s time to sharpen our focus. We’re mindful that we remain at war in Afghanistan and there will certainly be some troops who serve in both theaters. But the end of the Iraq war means there are big stories to be told about veterans and their impact on the wider society. We need to look at their health care, the economic toll on their lives, education and more.
We’re calling it Coming Home. And it’s this year’s AP-APME initiative.
The aim is to produce essential stories across all formats to answering one central question: What happens now that so many of them are back home for good? And how does the veteran of the Iraq conflict foretell the future of those serving in Afghanistan? How does what happens to Iraq veterans compare with veterans of previous wars?
We have assembled a team of editors and reporters organized along specific beats: education, health and science, economy and employment/benefits, culture and entertainment, and families and communities.
These beats will involve multiple formats and bureaus across the United States.
We consider this an opportunity to bring the best of the AP cooperative to bear. Many AP members already are covering these stories and we need to tap into our collective resources to tell these stories at both the big picture, 30,000-foot view as well as the local level.
Are there investigative pieces to be told that have natural local angles? And is there state coverage that tells a bigger, national story of how these veterans are re-entering society?
This will be an opportunity, like the Broken Budgets project, to stamp the AP-APME brand on a topic that will help define a generation. More than 2 million troops have served in Iraq and Afghanistan so far. Add in their families, friends, employers, neighbors, and that’s a substantial part of the U.S. population now trying to fit in with those who did not serve.
We believe AP and its members can benefit by combining forces in developing story ideas and then producing them. For starters, we would like your ideas of stories to pursue. You may send story ideas for this initiative to cominghome@ap.org or reach out to your local news bureau.
Lisa Marie Pane is the Associated Press’ South Region Editor. She is overseeing the Coming Home initiative.

Friday, February 24, 2012

College journalism educators should consider APME

It's the right time for college journalism educators to join APME, and we're just really starting to get the word out.
Chris Cobler, our college journalism committee chairman, sent this letter to some journalism educators.
I'll offer my thoughts here:
Until May we have a 2 for 1 membership offer, meaning pay $150 and bring someone else in free.
The APME Awards contest is expanding this year to include a college journalism innovation award. There are so many great initiatives going on at colleges with existing media, or just on campus. APME members can enter our contest for a $50 fee. For non-members it's $100. Details are coming soon on this.
Our APME conference in Nashville on Sept. 19-21 promises to have great programming, including an industry-leading one-day focus on Social Media. This should not be missed, whether you're an educator or journalist. Details are coming very soon.
Conference registration is only $200 for APME members. It's much higher for non members.
We'll offer some social media credibility webinars in coming months, with cost reductions for APME members.
Now's a great time for college educators to join. Perhaps make it official during spring break.
-- Bob Heisse 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Introducing AP's new logo

Drumroll, please, for the new logo of the Associated Press. 
It's the ninth logo, and replaces the one on stylebooks for 30 years.
To our partners at AP, well done. To many, many more years. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

APME News: NewsTrain speeds along the training track

By J.B. Bittner
APME's NewsTrain is at full throttle in 2012. We asked Project Director Michael Roberts what NewsTrain is about this year, where it's heading and how he became involved.

Tell us a bit about your history with NewsTrain.

APME was considering the NewsTrain program back in 2002-2003. I was asked to design and present one of several test prototype programs. I presented that program in the spring of 2003 in Columbus, Ohio, and it became the basis for NewsTrain's workshop design. We presented the first NewsTrain workshop that fall in San Diego. I've been a speaker for NewsTrain ever since. I took on the role of project director in the middle of 2011.

What is the philosophy driving the NewsTrain program?

One goal is to bring high-quality training at an affordable price to journalists around the country. Another is to design programs – no matter the topic – that provide practical skills people can apply back on their jobs. To that end, the planning process begins with a needs assessment to determine what problems, new skills, or specific outcomes a NewsTrain workshop can help people address in each location we visit. 

Who does NewsTrain serve – your core audience?

Back in 2003, our target audience was frontline editors. In recent years, as jobs have changed and everyone has gone to multiple platforms, our audience spans the entire print-digital newsroom. Again, we try to tailor each workshop to the specific location. In general, our target skill level for any topic is mid- to high-level skill sets. We work in that zone where people have built a foundation and want to take a step or two up to the next level, no matter the topic or job category.

Four NewsTrains are already on the calendar for 2012. Tell us what you have planned for each and where and when they are scheduled.

In 2012, we will hold workshops in Phoenix (March 22-23), Miami (May 18-19), Toronto (Sept.13-14), and Chapel Hill, N.C. (October). Topics for Phoenix include watchdog journalism, multimedia storytelling, mobile journalism tools, how to shoot short video, how to develop community content, how to frame next-day stories for print that extend what appears online, and how to manage the constant change newsrooms face these days. Once we start the needs assessment discussion with the other sites, their workshop content will fall into place. I expect interest in social media, watchdog journalism, data visualization, and a range of management skills. I also hear more requests for writing and editing skills.

What should those who have never attended a NewsTrain expect to take away from the training?

NewsTrain workshops provide practical skills and tools people can take back and immediately apply on their jobs. I work closely with each NewsTrain speaker to build programs that help people do a better job. That may mean how to do something faster, easier, more effectively. Or it could mean how to do something new. There are so many pressing needs in newsrooms today. There are also many ambitious plans and initiatives people are trying to pull off. NewsTrain workshops are designed to help people solve problems, improve results, and achieve goals in the real work they do every day. 

What should those who have attended previous NewsTrains expect that is different this year?

There are many new topics. That is a function of the needs assessment process where we start the planning process by focusing on local needs. When we started this approach last fall, about three-quarters of the modules for our fall workshops were brand-new topics. Training programs and workshops, to be of value, have to change and adapt as quickly as the needs change in newsrooms.

How much does participants' feedback shape future NewsTrains?

We take participants' feedback very seriously. Each workshop concludes with a feedback form on the content and quality of presentations for each speaker. We study the feedback, share it with speakers, and make adjustments to increase the value and satisfaction people feel for a NewsTrain workshop.

How do you measure NewsTrain's success?

We track attendance levels and collate the numerical ratings and comments people share in the feedback forms. So we have some data. Our numbers are trending up. We also spend time in each workshop asking what people have heard over the two days they want to take back and try on their jobs. Those discussions provide a visceral feel for how well a program has served the needs of people in the audience. 

Personally, after almost nine years with NewsTrain, I think comments in those discussions are some of the best measures of a program's success. It is always humbling to hear from people who have taken the time and effort to attend a workshop, people who face a variety of problems and challenges back on the job. They've extended themselves to come to NewsTrain. So when they find something we presented will make a difference in their work, that's success. Times are tough all over the industry. Training should be practical and strategic. That's what makes a program engaging. It's a privilege to offer programs that help people with tough jobs solve problems or achieve new things. 

What else do journalists need to know about the NewsTrain program?

A NewsTrain workshop is a lot of fun. Along with designing programs that provide practical skills, we also make sure there is time in each program for discussion, exercises, and interaction. NewsTrain is not about lectures. NewsTrain workshops draw bright, talented people. We would be foolish not to build in time and opportunities for people to relish each other's company. The energy between our speakers and the participants is very high. NewsTrain workshops are a wonderful chance to meet people, share ideas, and actively learn together.

Michael Roberts is a newsroom trainer and consultant and project director for NewsTrain. Previously, he was deputy managing editor staff development at The Arizona Republic (2003-2010), responsible for all newsroom training, served as writing coach, and edited major projects. Outside his own newsrooms, Roberts helped create and launch NewsTrain, designed and taught the American Press Institute's first online seminar for copy editors, and has presented programs for the Poynter Institute, American Press Institute, the Maynard Institute, Freedom Forum, and various National Writers Workshops. Before the Republic, Roberts was features editor, AME/features-business, and then for 10 years the training editor/writing coach at The Cincinnati Enquirer. He also worked as a writer and editor at the Midland (MI) Daily News, the Detroit Free Press, and as a senior editor at two magazines. He taught feature writing at the University of Cincinnati and regularly presented programs at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, Arizona State University. 

More about NewsTrain: www.apme.com/?page=AboutNewsTrain. Contact Roberts at mroberts.newstrain@gmail.com.

J.B. Bittner is the editor of the Stillwater (Okla.) NewsPress. She can be reached at jbbittner@cnhi.com

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

APME News goes year round online

APME News, our industry leading magazine for news leaders, is now a digital component year round.
We're moving to two major magazines a year mailed to members, but we'll start rolling out key stories on industry topics regularly on apme.com.
The printed schedule will change to an APME conference preview publication sent to members in June, and a post-conference, APME look ahead edition to be sent at the end of each year.
"This is the right change for us, so we can offer rich printed publications at key times but have the ability to post timely stories online for our members," said Bob Heisse, president of the Associated Press Media Editors. "APME News has been a great way to reach editors and now broadcast news leaders and educators, and with a digital focus its content will now reach more  newsrooms in the U.S. and Canada.
Look for the first magazine story posted this week on our full-throttle APME NewsTrain program now run by the very talented Michael Roberts. Links to every new story will be included in APME Update, emailed to members every week.
For previous issues of APME News, visit http://www.apme.com/?page=apmenews.
  The contact for APME News is Michael Days, managing Editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer. He can be reached at daysm@phillynews.com

Monday, February 13, 2012

Could you use $1,000 for your newsroom?

OK, now that we have your attention, we're not talking about a pizza party here. We're talking about giving you $1,000 to take on a project. Something that you'd thought about but couldn't get in the budget.
APME understands, and we've launched the first Community Public Service Initiative for smaller papers and media outlets.
Here are details:
The deadline to enter is Feb. 26. Just send us a proposal of 500 words or less on how you would approach a muliplatform  project. If you are selected your newsroom will receive the $1,000 and we'll ask you to present the results of your work at the APME conference in Nashville in September. 

Visit http://www.tfaforms.com/232227 to fill out the online form. Good luck.
-- Bob Heisse

Monday, February 6, 2012

Congratulations to APME President Bob Heisse on his new post

Centre Daily Times' executive editor, Bob Heisse, has accepted a new position as executive editor for the State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill. He leaves the paper in State College, Penn., after an award-winning decade, including the publication's coverage of the recent Sandusky scandal.

Heisse is the president of the national APME organization. He is the former president of the Pennsylvania Society of Newspaper Editors and the Pennsylvania APME.

His last day at the Centre Daily Times is Feb. 24 and he starts in Springfield in early March.

Read more here.

Congratulations, Bob!

Join APME now with a 2-for-1 deal good until May 1

There's never been a better time to sign up for membership with the Associated Press Media Editors. 

Until May 1, two can join for the price of one. Simply email sjacobsen@ap.org with the name and contact information for your second membership, after you have completed the sign-up process

An APME membership only costs $150, and both of you will receive discounts on the annual Journalism Excellence Awards, including those for innovation and diversity. You also get a discount at the annual conference, coupled with the awards discount, your membership more than pays for itself. A longer list of some of the benefits is here.

Sign up today and bring a newsroom college, broadcast leader or college journalism educator along for free.

Friday, February 3, 2012

APME opens membership to university journalism educators, students

The Associated Press Media Editors invites college journalism educators and students to be part of our efforts to promote journalism excellence. For the first time, our 79-year-old organization of newspaper and website editors is offering associate memberships to journalism educators and students.

We've made this move because we think partnerships are critical to the future of journalism in the 21st century. We want to work with the best and the brightest who share our ideals. We also have opened membership to broadcasters, as we work to unite media efforts.

Here's some of what we offer for your membership:

-- A new annual contest to recognize the collegiate Innovator of the Year. This is a way to get recognized for your cutting-edge work and to learn from what others are doing.

-- Discounted training opportunities. We have three webinars on social media credibility scheduled in the next three months and the popular APME NewsTrain sessions scheduled in selected cities.

-- Discounted registration for our annual conference. Our convention Sept. 19-21 in Nashville offers first-rate training and networking with professional journalists. Your membership pays for itself, reducing conference registration fees from $350 to $200. Photo managers are part of our conference, so we offer both traditional and multimedia training.

-- Access to the top editors in the country. Our APME editors offer mentoring for aspiring journalists and collaboration opportunities for educators.

Membership costs only $150  for journalism educators and $50 for students. Until May 1, we also offer a 2-for-1 deal. If you join, a colleague or fellow student may sign up for free.

You may learn more about our organization at www.apme.com. Also, please feel free to contact our journalism committee chairman, Victoria (Texas) Advocate Editor Chris Cobler, directly at ccobler@vicad.com with any questions or suggestions for our organization.

We look forward to working with and learning from you. We appreciate your help in distributing this invitation to your colleagues and students.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Time to enter your Great Idea or Innovation from January for national contest

            Whether it’s an idea that is succeeding at your media company or a recently unveiled innovation, you should enter the Great Idea and Innovator of the Month contests.

            Submit your nominations from January now to be considered for the monthly contest. It’s easy to do, and you might even receive national recognition from the Associated Press Media Editors for your achievement. Your ideas also will be considered for our annual publication.

            Let APME know about what your newspaper or media company, small or large, is doing. You can submit your innovation at http://www.apme.com/?page=Innovator and your great idea at http://www.apme.com/?page=GreatIdeasform.

An early start for the APME Awards

You're probably close to completing most contest entries, but there's a big one left. The APME Awards will be posted and ready to enter on Feb. 27.
Our contest is expanding with new innovation categories and a reshaped online convergence award. Details are coming.
Our contest entry window will run until May 1, giving you plenty of time. Just watch for details here. 
Good luck, by the way, in all of your contest entries this year. Your staff works hard and will appreciate any recognition.
-- Bob Heisse

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

APME announces Photo of the Month for November 2011

The APME has honored this photograph by Randy L. Rusmussen of The Oregonian as the National Member Photo of the Month for November 2011.

Thanks to Ben Gray at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for judging this month.

What Ben had to say about the winning image:
"Peak action that really puts me in the moment and makes me wince with pain. Nicely composed with the diagonal line separating the riot police from the protestors."
Below is the link to all images entered for November and the winner is slide #11: 



A police officer uses pepper spray on an Occupy Portland protestor at Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland Ore., Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011. (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Randy L. Rasmussen)