Friday, March 30, 2012

APME SPRING AUCTION CLOSES: Thank you for your support!

We are grateful to all our donors and bidders who made this second-annual March online auction a success!

The auction is now closed!

With your help, we have raised more than $1,100!

At 5 p.m. EST, Friday, March 30, the top bid wins. If you are a winner, we'll notify you to arrange for payment and get your prizes shipped anywhere you designate in the U.S. (or make arrangements for extra shipping).

You have helped fund APME events, such as NewsTrain, webinars, the annual conference and other practical tools for newspaper and broadcast leaders and journalism educators.

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.
APME and its foundation are nonprofit organizations and your donations are tax-deductible.

Meanwhile, make plans to check back over the summer or in November, when we plan future online auction installments. If you wish to make a donation to an upcoming auction, contact Laura Sellers.

If you have any questions, contact APME President Bob Heisse, Auction Co-Chairs Dennis Anderson and Laura Sellers or APME Executive Director Sally Jacobsen.

Thanks again to our auction donors and to all our bidders!

Miami NewsTrain, May 18-19, 2012

NewsTrain will be in Miami on May 18-19 for a two-day workshop. NewsTrain is sponsored by APME and this workshop is hosted by The Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, the Associated Press Florida and Caribbean, The Palm Beach Post, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, University of Miami School of Communication, CBS 4 News, WLRN-91.3 FM (South Florida NPR).

Location & times: University of Miami School of Communication, May 18-19.

Registration: Deadline is May 11. Cost is $50. Register here.

Accommodations: Miami NewsTrain will be held at the University of Miami School of Communication. A block of discounted rooms is available at the Coral Gables Holiday Inn, located next to the campus. Rates are $89 per night. To book contact the hotel by email at or by phone, 305-667-5611, ext. 7808, and ask for Miguel Hernandez. Request the APME NewsTrain or University rate.

Questions: Contact Michael Roberts, NewsTrain Project Director,

Storytelling 2012: Tom Brokaw once said, "It’s all storytelling, you know. That’s what journalism is all about.” It was true back then, and it’s true today. What’s different is that we have more ways than ever to tell our stories. But regardless of the form, we have to embrace our roles as storytellers. Here’s where you learn how – how to see the potential in everyday happenings; how to ask the right questions to hone your ideas; how to understand the basics of a great narrative; how to tell a wonderful story over five days or in five graphs; and how to find inspiration in the world around you.
Reporting for Narrative: You can’t write a great narrative without the right raw materials, without the details that are going to power that story. This kind of work requires a deeper level of reporting than other story forms. It all begins with understanding what you’re looking for. To succeed, you need to learn how to focus your idea as tightly as possible. You need to pay extra attention when you’re gathering information – to capture, for instance, not just what someone says but how they say it. You need to understand what "facts” are important. This session will teach you, whether you’re a reporter or editor, how to get what you need.
Narrative Writing: And now for the hard part – taking all those facts and creating a story. You won’t be writing with your hands; you’ll be writing with your head and your heart. And before you write, you’ll need to understand not just where the story begins but where it will end. You must know how to develop characters, how to weave in background, how to speed up and slow down the action, how to create compelling scenes, how to use dialogue and internal monologues, and how to leave the reader feeling satisfied. Come hear how to pull it all together.
Interactive Storytelling 2.0: As newsrooms get better at the variety of online tools available for storytelling, it’s time to reset the term "multimedia storytelling” and talk about what approaches and techniques really engage readers. Today the concept of interactive storytelling is much more than adding a video to a story. Telling a story online can and should involve interactive features, alternative story forms, data visualization, video and photos – all in pursuit of a strong narrative storyline. How the best storytellers approach multimedia storytelling today and the skills and tools you can use to do the same.
Building a Mobile Strategy: Many newsrooms are launching or expanding their efforts in mobile content. This session explores some of the different technical solutions such as responsive design, web APPs and native APPs (iPhone, droid, etc), and how each approach aligns with goals, content plans, and staffing.
Planning & Coaching Content Across Platforms: How to frame clear standards and workflows for new digital media in a rapidly changing media environment. The focus is on building a strong set of online tools for covering your community and how to enable everyone on staff – reporters, editors, online producers, visual journalists -- to use the tools effectively.
Beat Mapping: How to use a technique called "beat mapping” to improve coverage in daily and enterprise work. Beat mapping is used by reporters and editors to outline new areas of coverage, to merge two or more old beats, and to refocus existing beats on topics and issues that mean the most to readers. The process also helps communicate clear expectations between reporters and editors in managing work across print and digital platforms.
Social Media Reporting Tools: Social media offers reporters unprecedented tools for building better networks of sources, gaining access to a more diverse and varied set of sources, and spotting trends and issues before they become news. How to use the tools provided by LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media platforms to get ahead of the news and find the best sources.
The Data Mindset: How to see data and treat it as a source to be interviewed, like people. When to create data, to adapt someone else’s or to analyze existing public data. Tips to make data the inspiration and foundation of great news and enterprise stories.

Maria Carrillo is managing editor at The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., where she remains committed to craft even in a Twitter world. Her exceptional writers have been nationally recognized, including being Pulitzer and ASNE finalists. Carrillo has worked at The Pilot for 14 years, directing many of the paper’s projects and previously overseeing its narrative team. That work has spawned five books so far. Carrillo has been a visiting faculty member for The Poynter Institute and the Nieman program, a lecturer for the National Writers Workshops and the American Press Institute, and twice been a Pulitzer juror.
Luis Clemens is National Public Radio's senior editor for diversity. Luis works across the newsroom to build a broad foundation of diverse experts and sources in order to enhance NPR's news coverage. In this position, Clemens is also part of NPR's Diversity team and is active partner in training initiatives at NPR and across public radio - helping to strengthen local coverage by expanding the range of content, sources, ideas and expertise. Before joining NPR in 2010, Clemens was a frequent guest on NPR's programs, often interviewed about Latino voters. Clemens began his career in journalism at the local Telemundo and NBC television stations in Miami. In 1993, he began working at CNN as an assignment editor. Three years later he was promoted to Buenos Aires bureau chief. Following CNN, he went on to be a spokesperson for the United Nations World Food Programme in Zimbabwe. Before re-starting a career in journalism and coming to NPR, Clemens owned and operated two laundromats in Xalapa, Mexico.
Miranda Mulligan is the digital design director for The Boston Globe / She is a designer and educator with over 10 years of experience in print and web design, photography and information graphics reporting. She has also worked for The Virginian-Pilot, interned with The Sun-Sentinel and The Philadelphia Inquirer and volunteers with Online News Association, Virginia Press Association, the National Press Photographers Association and the Society for News Design.
Paul Overberg is a database editor at USA TODAY and a member of its data team. He helps to shape its demographic trend coverage, but also analyzes data on subjects from war casualties to highway traffic. He also helps to produce data maps, graphics and interactive applications. He had earlier been a science and environmental reporter and editor at Gannett News Service in Washington and a reporter and editor at The Courier-News in Bridgewater, N.J.
Michael Roberts is a newsroom trainer and consultant and Project Director for NewsTrain. Previously, Michael 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. Email:

Social Media Credibility: Extending Your Reach

Wednesday, April 18 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time

Sign up today for the second of three webinars on social media credibility topics presented jointly by APME and Poynter’s NewsU.

This one-hour Webinar will help your news organization build credibility with your audience and become a leader in breaking news using social media.

Understand your audience's attitude toward credibility, social media and breaking news. Learn how to prepare your staff with breaking news strategies without sacrificing either speed or verification.

City editor of the Spokesman-Review, Addy Hatch discusses the results of the APME Social Media Credibility Project about the importance of online verification in social media.

You will learn:
• Details about public perceptions of breaking news credibility in traditional media versus social media outlets
• To fulfill the expectations of your readers by reporting both accurately and timely
• How to implement best practices for reporting breaking news into your newsroom

APME members may register for $9.95 by using a code. Watch for an email from Sally Jacobsen at AP, then go to this URL to sign up:

Monday, March 26, 2012

NewsTrain well attended in Phoenix

Participants from several states attended our first NewsTrain, held late last week in Phoenix.

Photos are on our NewsTrain Facebook. Join us for updates.

Next stop: Miami.

Thanks to all who attended, the presenters, the Arizona planning committee and Michael Roberts for organizing a great event at Arizona State.

Bob Heisse

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

NCAA What's Next

As you know the NCAA did respond to a couple of our minor concerns. I
communicated what changes they were willing to entertain to the members of
the APME, APSE and APPM boards. SPJ and NPPA are also very involved in
these negotiations and I have kept them in the loop. Walter Hussman, owner
and publisher of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, contacted Caroline Little,
the president of NAA, after he saw the NCAA¹s response.

Last week Caroline let me know that she talked to Kurt Wimmer, the general
counsel for NAA, and Mark Hinueber, the general counsel for the Las Vegas
Review-Journal and Stephens Media. Caroline and her group are ³ready to
lead the charge² on this very important issue. The NCAA credential is on
their April agenda and I urge you to have your corporate counsel contact
Caroline and let her know you are ready to work with them.

NAA will be negotiating for all of us but they need a group of our corporate
attorneys to continue the talks with the NCAA. These continuing
conversations have to take place at a higher level if we hope to gain any
changes to the current NCAA policies.

I urge you to contact your corporate leadership teams today. We have the
NCAA¹s attention and our owners have to understand what we are being asked
to sign in order to cover NCAA sanctioned events. Please lend your support
to this effort.

I will keep you posted on the progress of conversations and negotiations.

Thank you for your continued support on this important issue.

Teri Hayt
Managing Editor
Arizona Daily Star

Monday, March 19, 2012

Do you want to go to the beach in September?

Now really, can you pass up an opportunity to go to the Jersey shore just after the high season?

In September, during arguably the best month at the shore after the heavy crowds have gone back to business.

You can do that by bidding on our Avalon condo, now in the APME online auction.

Don’t miss this chance, and take a look at other great bargains. Help APME help journalists with your winning bid.

March 30 is the final day for bids. Don’t miss out.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

School shooting prompts Sounding Board question about naming juveniles

By Alan Miller

Two teens in Utah plot to blow up a high school in January. An Ohio a teen opens fire on fellow students in a school cafeteria in late February, and three of them end up dying.

In those cases and virtually every other crime involving teenage suspects, reporters and editors ask one another: Should we name the accused?

And some Associated Press members with more liberal policies sometimes wonder whether they will be able to name the accused, because AP doesn’t always provide the name. In the Utah case, it named an 18-year-old charged in adult court but not his 16-year-old accomplice facing the same charge in juvenile court. In the Ohio case, the AP named the juvenile after his family’s attorney held a news conference and named him – about seven hours after Cleveland-area media named the suspect based on eyewitness accounts and confirmed by multiple sources.

AP style:

The Associated Press generally does not name juveniles charged with crimes. Here is the policy: "Do not identify juveniles (under 18) who are accused of crimes, even if other news media do so or police release names. Also, do not transmit images that would reveal their identity. Do not identify, in text or through images, juveniles (under 18) who are witnesses to crimes. … Exceptions may be made in extraordinary cases only with the approval (of editors in New York). Issues that may weigh in a decision include the severity of the alleged crime; whether police have formally released the juvenile's name; and whether the juvenile has been formally charged as an adult. Other considerations might include public safety, such as when the youth is the subject of a manhunt; or widespread publication of the juvenile suspect's name, making the identity de facto public knowledge. In some situations, state or national laws may determine whether the person can be named.”

In an attempt to determine how closely AP’s policy reflects the policies of its members, the APME Sounding Board conducted a survey in February – between the time of the Utah incident and the shootings in northeastern Ohio.

About 65 percent of the 49 respondents said the current AP privacy policy is acceptable, and about 35 percent said it is not. About half said they would like to see the AP provide the names of charged juveniles in some fashion, whether in the body of the story or an editor’s note, so that they have the choice of whether to name the juvenile.

"Dealing with identities of juveniles, sexual assault victims and other such sensitive matters are among the most difficult things we deal with,” said Tom Kent, standards editor for the AP. "We get calls almost daily from around the world on this topic. We have tried to expand our stylebook listing on this to cover as many circumstances as possible. But it’s often a judgment call, and we ask people to call us in New York to discuss it.”

He said the AP editors consider changes in policy as new issues arise.

"I don’t think we’ll ever have the policy completely nailed,” Kent said. It will continue to evolve, and we will continue to follow our own conscience and our members’ wishes.”

He said the survey results show that "members use widely different policies on this. About two-thirds say the policy as we outline it in our stylebook is acceptable to them. When you have a third saying it’s too strict or too lose, you have to think about it.

In this Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012 photo, seventeen-year-old T.J. Lane is led from Juvenile Court by Sheriff's deputies in Chardon, Ohio, after his arraignment in the shooting of five high school students Monday. Three of the five students wounded in the attacks have since died. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

"If I had to predict where this will go in the next few years, I’d say it will likely go toward naming more people than less,” Kent said.

About 26 percent said that when AP does not provide the name of a charged juvenile, their news organization seeks the name by other means and inserts it into the AP story. "We pay significant money to the AP and it is very frustrating to have to go to the time and expense to re-report an AP story to get details like this,” one respondent said.

Kent said that those who currently are more liberal in their naming policies should be transparent in reporting them. If they add a name to an AP story that moved without the name, the member should say that the AP did not report the name, and why, and also say where the member obtained the name.

The survey respondents were primarily managing editors or editors, and they evenly represented all regions of the country. They also well represented the various sizes of news organizations, with about 59 percent from small markets, about 37 percent from mid-size markets and the rest from the largest markets.

The vast majority – almost 74 percent – said that they report names of only juveniles charged with felony-equivalent crimes, although some said they also use the names of juveniles charged in traffic offenses. And half of all respondents said such policies are consistent with the way they treat adults, who are named in stories about serious crimes (and traffic offenses).

One respondent said that violent criminals are increasingly young, "and the public deserves to know who they are.”

Another said that "the rights of the public to know about those who are perpetrating felonious crimes outweigh the juvenile's right to privacy. We are in the customer-service business. How are we serving our customers by withholding the identity of those who may potentially be a threat to them or their family as displayed through their actions?”

A distraught Ava Polaski, a sophomore, leaves Chardon High School grounds with her mother, Misty Polaski, following a shooting at the school in northeastern Ohio on Monday, Feb. 27, 2012. A teenager had opened fire in the cafeteria that morning, killing one student and wounding four others before being caught a short distance away. (Thomas Ondrey, The Plain Dealer, via AP)
Nearly half of those who do not routinely name juveniles charged with crimes said their policy is rooted in the belief that juveniles should not be tainted by youthful indiscretion, and nearly a third of all respondents said they are concerned about the lasting effects of publishing names online, where they are forever searchable.

AP editors said that they are cautious about including names in some cases because AP stories are posted automatically on many news websites. That leaves no opportunity for member editors to intervene before the story becomes public on the Web. And they argue that leaving out the name but listing it atop the story in an editor’s note would result in differing published versions, making it difficult to provide updates that would cover all needs.

Several survey respondents said they judge each case on its merits and that top editors review each story involving a juvenile charged with a crime. Three said state laws prohibit authorities from releasing names of charged juveniles. One respondent noted that North Carolina law prohibits release of names of defendants under age 16 unless they are charged as adults. And juvenile court records are sealed in Minnesota, another said, noting that if a defendant is 16 or older and charged with a felony-level offense, the name is public.

Some said that AP should stick with its current policy, but that the AP should do more to explain why it is not using a name. Simply saying that AP is not naming a juvenile because he or she is a juvenile is not enough information.

About half said they’d like the name delivered by the AP in some fashion, either within the body of the story or in an attached editor’s note, so that members have the opportunity to add the name if they choose to do so.

"Because all copy can be edited, I believe providing the name for publications or broadcasters to use at their discretion may be the most acceptable solution,” said one respondent.

Another said, "I am a strong proponent of those names being public record and of each media outlet determining whether to publish on a case-by-case basis.”

And another supports "putting the name on top of the story and allowing individual members to make the call based on their policies and local and state laws makes sense. That would allow for uniformity within one publication.”

Others were adamant that names of juveniles "should only be used if the youth is charged as an adult.”

And one said that "if members want the name, let them obtain it.”

Commenting on the survey topic, Jan Leach, a journalism professor at Kent State University, an ethics fellow for the Poynter Institute and former editor of the Akron Beacon Journal, said that news organizations sometimes go too far to protect teens.

"It’s complicated,” she said. "You’re doing a balancing act between those who needs to know the information and how important it is.”

She said journalists must consider the seriousness of crime, validity of information and what it will do for the story. "Does it advance the story, or does it just satisfy curiosity? Is the person missing? Are you clarifying who the person is and helping the community? Age is also a factor.

In the case of the school-cafeteria shootings in Chardon, east of Cleveland, the teen charged in the shootings is 17, which Leach said is old enough to name. The severity of the crime is another factor. It wasn’t an accident, she said, and not only were many people shot, three teenagers are dead.

"That’s a very serious crime. The seriousness of the crime is always a key factor for me,” Leach said.

She said there are "really good and ethically justifiable reasons for naming juveniles. I really hate that some readers think we do this just because we can.

"There are times when we do it because we can, but this is an information-saturated society, and if you don’t provide it, someone else will.

Leach said that reporters and editors should give some consideration to the permanency and viral nature of the digital age. But, she said, that’s probably the least of the problems for the teen charged in the Chardon case.

Thom Fladung, managing editor of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, said the decision to use the name of T.J. Lane in early reports on even before he was charged was a pretty easy decision.

A reporter got the name from a fellow student who had grown up with the shooter and was so close to him in the cafeteria that he saw flames from the pistol barrel and was nicked in the ear from a bullet. And the reporter confirmed the name with "multiple people in a position to know” before using it.

Fladung said editors discussed the matter and asked the question: What is the compelling reason to keep this person’s name out of the paper or out of the online version?

Whether to name a juvenile should be done on a case-by-case basis, he said, but "my position is, tell me why we shouldn’t.”

There was no reason in this case, he said, and he has heard no complaints.

In lesser cases, he said, there is sometimes good reason to publish names to rule out others who could be seen as suspects in an information vacuum.

"We had a situation here in which a couple of members of a hockey team were suspended,” Fladung said. "We named them and took some flak for that, but if you don’t name them, you in effect have smeared everyone on the team.”

He said that the question that isn’t asked often enough in newsrooms is: If we’re not going to name the person, do we have a story? If you truly think you can’t name the person, a valid question to ask is whether it’s a worthy story.

"Clearly, I don’t like to not have names,” he said.

Alan D. Miller is managing editor / news for The Columbus Dispatch and chairman of the APME Sounding Board Committee.

Monday, March 12, 2012

APME News: Spelling, grammar and style: some surprises

By  Tom Kent                                
Text messages these days are rife with “cre8ive” spelling. Punctuation seems a lost art. Yet when people read AP copy, they seem to be getting more critical of spelling errors, typos and lapses of grammar.

Maybe it’s because with all that grammatical casualness out there, people who care about language look to people like us to defend the basics of style and clarity.

The number of emails criticizing us for spelling and style lapses is up sharply. Readers cite issues such as our spelling “Porsche” as “Porche”; a gratuitous reference to a 67-year-old man as “elderly”; and our rendering “volcanologist” as “vulcanologist” (the reader noted the story was about “volcanoes, not Star Trek conventions”).

We also see growing public interest in the Stylebook. The @AP_Stylebook Twitter account has reached more than 100,000 followers. “Ask the Editor,” Dave Minthorn’s Q&A column on the Stylebook site, answers 2,500 questions a year. Dave and fellow Stylebook editors Darrell Christian and Sally Jacobsen are now rock stars in the world of grammar and style, speaking to overflow crowds at journalism conventions and lighting up the blogosphere when they make such declarations as “‘website’ is one word.”

Spelling and grammar clearly go hand-in-hand with reader respect. Websites riddled with misspellings and grammar errors consistently rank lower on Google than well-edited sites. That’s not because Google uses spelling to rank sites. It’s because people who have something worth saying have long tended to say it well.

What does all this mean for AP’s journalists in a world of limited staffing and a high volume of news?

A survey last month by the Standards Center offers some surprises. When we’re working the fastest, we seem to make the fewest slips. There aren’t a lot of errors in APNewsAlerts or NewsNows (though lapses there hurt the most). More frequently, we see problems in longer writethrus of spot stories, and, surprisingly, in enterprise that wasn’t urgent at all.

We often find that if a story has one typo, it has another. Look for it in the lower half of the story, where editors’ attention can flag.

Actual misspellings are few, testimony to our use of spell check. Instead, we make mistakes spell check can’t catch. We confuse words like “overt” and “avert” (we usually know the difference; we’re just in a hurry); write “were” instead of “we’re” (again, just finger trouble); drop words (“since cold spell began”); and repeat words (“essential for other nourishing other fish”).

Style is another matter. This is less a question of writing too fast, and more a question of simply not knowing our style. When we write about “the 1st foreign deal” or refer to the “Sept. 11, 2001 attacks” (our style calls for a comma after the year) we give ammunition to those who delight in proclaiming that “AP doesn’t follow its own style.”

There aren’t many shortcuts to knowing AP style. Spell check catches many things; beyond that, there’s the Stylebook itself and the Stylebook lookup on the home page of Some of the most common errors these days involve “cyber” (almost always a compound, like “cybersecurity”); “health care” (two words as a generic); “hard line” (n.), “hard-liner” (n.) and “hard-line” (adj.); and “adviser.” (We write “adviser” with an “e,” not an “o,” except for some formal titles.)

Punctuation counts, too. We look illiterate when we write, even quoting someone, “The downside of that is that everyone's praying for a flood, well floods can be bad too." (We must quote people’s speech exactly, but we reserve the right to put the commas and periods where they ought to be.)

We’ve launched the slick new version of our mobile app. It’s a good time to rededicate ourselves to the importance of spelling and style in a world where they often seem to be in jeopardy. It will bring us rewards in clicks, credibility and respect.

Tom Kent is a deputy managing editor at the Associated Press, and its standards editor.

Friday, March 9, 2012

APME supports March 9, 2012, concerns over SEC video restrictions

APME has added its support to a letter sent by Knoxville News Sentinel Managing Editor Tom Chester to Charles Bloom of the SEC over video restrictions at coaches’ press conference.

APME President Bob Heisse signed for APME.

The SEC restrictions make no sense and are just another example of obstacles we face in covering college sports.

Here is the Knoxville letter:

March 9, 2012

Dear Mr. Bloom:

Sports Editor Phil Kaplan has advised you via email this afternoon that our sportswriter Mike Griffith has advised us that SEC officials are preventing the use of Flip Cameras or other video devices during press conferences with coaches at the SEC tournament in New Orleans.

Phil has notified News Sentinel Editor Jack McElroy and myself that there is nothing in the credential that he agreed upon that prevents news organizations from using Flip Cams or other similar recording devices during the SEC tournament press conferences. The credential, Phil says, is the same as the one he agreed to during the men's and women's basketball seasons, which did not restrict this type of video coverage.

University of Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin is a public employee of the state of Tennessee, the SEC tournament is being held in a public arena in the state of Louisiana and during the  press conferences coaches are discussing their job performance. They should not be restricted under any circumstances.

We are putting you on notice that we consider this video restriction  to be invalid and unenforceable and that we intend to shoot the UT press conference after tonight's game.

We are supported in this position by Bob Heisse, president of the Associated Press Media Editors.


Tom Chester
Managing Editor
The Knoxville News Sentinel

New APME / NewsU social media credibility webinar debuts next week

Sign up today for the first of three webinars on social media credibility topics presented jointly by APME and Poynter’s NewsU.

“Journalists and Social Media: Rights and Responsibilities”
Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 2:00 pm Eastern Time

This Webinar will help you build a credible social media platform that will strengthen the relationship with your audience. Equip your staff to employ high standards when posting breaking news in social media streams and better understand public’s expectations from journalists and social media.

Editor of the Statesman Journal, Bill Church discusses the results of the APME Social Media Credibility Project about rights and responsibilities of journalists using social media.
• Examine perceptions from the public and newsmakers on how journalists use social media
• Improve your civic engagement and community expertise through social media
• Discuss ways to restructure your news operation to include social media

APME members qualify for the discounted price of $9.95 by using a code at checkout. Contact Sally Jacobsen for the code.

To sign up, go to:

(Note: The APME discount cannot be combined with the package deal offered by NewsU for non-APME members.)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

APME opposes proposed move of Stars and Stripes staff

The Associated Press Media Editors organization sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta regarding the proposed move of the Stars and Stripes staff. APME stands in support of Stars and Stripes' efforts to remain an independent voice for our service men and women. We believe this move would irreparably harm Stars and Stripes' ability to remain relevant and independent.

Read the letter below.

Create, Compose, Connect ... in Nashville

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

“Create, Compose, Connect … in Nashville” is our 2012 conference slogan. A great event awaits in Nashville on Sept. 19-21, 2012.

Look for many details coming very soon, as we unveil strong programming.

Here are some basics to start. Look for more and hope you can join us.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

APME Awards expands to include broadcast, colleges; enter your best work

Gather your best work and enter the APME Awards. We’re ready.

Our contest categories, rules and entry platform are up and running, so beat the crowd and complete yours soon.

The rate per entry has dropped for APME members to $50. It’s $100 for non members.

We have new innovation awards for radio, TV and college journalism. Spread the word to colleagues in broadcast or in the classroom.

Des Moines, New Haven win first APME honors of the year!

    The Des Moines (Iowa) Register and New Haven (Conn.) Register are the winners of The Associated Press Media Editors' first monthly Innovator and Great Ideas contest in 2012.

     Des Moines won for its digital coverage of the Iowa Caucas. The Register's multiplatform effort included launching a website, mobile app and mobile site and using social media strategy to deliver breaking news, videos, photos and data from Republican presidential candidates’ campaign stops across Iowa.

    One judge wrote that "Des Moines' online coverage was simply amazing: comprehensive, reader-friendly and innovative."

    As for the "Great Idea of the Month," New Haven is the first 2012 winner. The Register won for its "Digital Ninja School," a comprehensive, structured approach to digital skills training, using a martial arts-style belt system to get the entire newsroom immersed in five areas — digital publishing, social media, blogging, video and data journalism.  

    A judge wrote about the training approach: "This is a great idea, seemingly well-executed, and sure to engender excitement at all levels of the newsroom. It's one thing to say our journalists and co-workers have to learn digital tools: It's another entirely to enable, motivate and reward learning that's taken to heart and applied. Love the name, love the concept, plan to steal it all."

   Kathy Best, managing editor of the Seattle Times, Laura Sellers-Earl, digital development director of the East Oregonian Publishing Co., and Gary Graham, editor of The Spokesman-Review, served as judges for the monthly honors. Joe Hight, director of information and development for The Oklahoman/, and David Arkin, vice president of content & audience for GateHouse Media Inc., are the co-chairs of the Innovator/Great Ideas Committee.

    You can read a special Q&A with the two winners by going to:

      -- Des Moines Register:


   -- New Haven Register:


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Elbert Tucker joins APME board

Elbert Tucker, news director of WBNS-10TV in Columbus, Ohio, has joined the Associated Press Media Editors' board of directors.

He'll fill the broadcast seat vacated by Jim Farley.

Tucker has 27 years in television broadcasting and previously worked in Cincinnati, Birmingham, Ala., and Chattanooga, Tenn.

Tucker will head the APME Broadcast Committee and help judge the new innovation awards for radio and TV.

He'll serve a three-year term. Two more broadcast members will be elected over the next two years, as APME expands to include AP broadcast news leaders, college journalism educators and student editors.

Congratulations to Elbert.

-- Bob Heisse

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

March Madness online auction gets off to a good start

Bid today and help APME pave the way!

Louis Armstrong photo reprint
Welcome back! In this second-annual Associated Press Media Editors March online auction, find a bevy of great items on which to bid, including some wonderful photos from the Associated Press Photo Managers. A great way to find great buys and help journalism, APME can even help you at tax time, since donations to APME are tax-deductible.

Here's how it works. Bid now and bid often. You will receive a reply to your email bid letting you know it was received. But, you need to check back often, since other bidders may try to claim your prize. At 5 p.m. EST, Friday, March 30, the top bid wins. If you are a winner, we'll notify you to arrange for payment and get your prized shipped anywhere you designate in the U.S. (or make arrangements for extra shipping).
Pendleton Woolen Mills blanket

Bidding ends at 5 p.m. EST, Friday, March 30!

You will get a chance to feel good and help fund APME events, such as NewsTrain, webinars, the annual conference and other practical tools for newspaper and broadcast leaders and journalism educators.

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 four 2012 online auctions produced more than $3,000 that went directly to supporting professional journalism leaders.
Framed AP iconic image from 2011

APME and its foundation are nonprofit organizations and your donations are tax-deductible.

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

Click here to start bidding!