Monday, April 30, 2012

Last chance to get 2-for-1 APME memberships

Our special offer ends tomorrow, so sign up now!

Through May 1, two can join for the price of one. Simply email 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 $50 for students.

After you sign up, you can be in place for membership discounts through all of 2012.

Only a fully paid APME membership qualifies for discounts on webinars, our contests and the annual conference in Nashville.

Join us now.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Proud of your innovative work? Be sure to enter expanded APME Awards

The APME Awards this year will name an Innovator of the Year for newspapers, radio, TV and college journalism.

Four contests honoring innovation – and one deadline. That’s May 1 so be sure to enter to get your work noticed.

The Innovator of the Year is six years old and already one of the most prestigious journalism contests. APME judges choose three finalists and then the audience at the APME conference – this year Sept. 19-21 in Nashville – will select the winner.

The other innovation contests will be decided by our judges. This is the first year for all three.

What does it cost to enter the APME Awards? Just $50 per entry for members, down from $75 last year.  And you can join for $150 and bring someone along in our 2 for 1 membership deal that also expires May 1.

Good luck.

Bob Heisse

Monday, April 16, 2012

APME congratulates the Pulitzer winners

Congratulations to the Pulitzer Prize winners. Here’s the full list:

In particular congratulations to the Associated Press for investigative reporting, and to the Seattle Times (APME board member Jim Simon) for investigative reporting.

Congratulations to APME board member Michael Days, for The Philadelphia Inquirer’s  Pulitzer in public service.

And congratulations to APME board member Cate Barron, for The Patriot-News’ Pulitzer in local reporting, sparked by lead reporter Sara Ganim.

Now, for the Pulitizer winners and others, there’s one more major contest to enter. The APME Journalism Excellence Awards are open for entries until May 1. Good luck.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

APME 50 report: Key deadlines approaching

Many of the most active editors (serving on state boards) across the country will get this APME 50 update in their inbox over the next few days. Here it is earlier for blog readers. Don’t miss out on these APME programs.

APME 50 editor:

Deadlines are coming fast in APME, and we don’t want you to miss anything. Here’s a quick update for you:

Our 2 for 1 membership deal expires May 1. Join for $150 and bring along a colleague, in a deal that won’t be repeated soon.

What’s the benefit? Start with our prestigious APME Journalism Excellence Awards, also with a May 1 deadline. Get your entries in soon and save. Members pay a reduced rate of $50 per entry. We have new innovation categories this year covering college journalism, radio and television.

APME is proud to partner with the Local Media Foundation and offer 20 fully paid spots for reporters and editors to a symposium in Chicago on reporting the impact of the recession on mental health. These are provided through a McCormick Foundation grant. Deadline for applications is April 20.

Our next NewsTrain is in Miami, with a May 11 deadline. Our first NewsTrain of 2012 sold out in Phoenix. Don’t miss this one in south Florida.

Coming soon, our conference program for APME Nashville 2012 will be available. Save the dates: Sept. 17-19 and look for a great program. Membership benefit? You’ll pay only a $200 registration fee.

Thanks, and have a great spring.

Bob Heisse
APME president

Friday, April 6, 2012

Only three weeks remain in 2 for 1 membership offer

Our 2 for 1 membership offer expires at the end of April, so here’s a reminder to join now if you haven’t and bring along a friend.

Here are the details:

APME membership takes $50 off each of your contest entries, so it would pay for itself quickly.

Hope to see you among our ranks. And let your friends know about this.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wisconsin newspaper wins first APME community journalism grant

The Daily Citizen of Beaver Dam, WI, has been judged as the winner of APME's Community Journalism Public Service Initiative competition.
          The Daily Citizen won the initiative for its proposed project on the impact of mental health care in a rural community. The newspaper will do a three-part series with an online and social media interaction.
          In winning the first-ever competition, The Daily Citizen will receive a $1,000 grant to help it complete the project. A representative of the newspaper will also present its progress at the Associated Press Media Editors’ 2012 Conference Sept. 19-21 in Nashville.
          “Congratulations to The Daily Citizen, judged the best of several strong applicants in our first APME contest to help smaller news outlets complete a project or initiative that might be outside its budget,” said APME President Bob Heisse, executive editor of The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill.  “Our APME  Foundation made this possible, and we look forward to hearing about the findings.”
          APME’s Innovator/Great Ideas Committee served as judges for the grant. Newspapers and TV stations from 10 different states submitted applications in the competition. Joe Hight, who co-chairs the committee with David Arkin, said all of the projects were outstanding and worthy of consideration. The Daily Citizen’s choice of topic was among the reasons that it was chosen.
“The Daily Citizen is willing to tackle a difficult issue in mental illness that faces small and large cities and use multimedia and social media to do it in a meaningful way,” said Hight, director of information and development for The Oklahoman/ “This is the way issues should be approached by all media. The Daily Citizen's approach toward and willingness to handle this difficult topic separates it from the rest.”
Daily Citizen Editor Aaron Holbrook submitted the proposal that was written by Megan Sheridan, a staff writer and photographer for the newspaper.
In selecting the overall winner, the committee actually went through two rounds of judging. The first was to select the finalists and the second was to select the overall winner.
Besides The Daily Citizen, the three other finalists were: VictoriaTexas, Advocate, for its project on educating the economically disadvantagedThe Republic of ColumbusInd., for its project on low high-school graduation rates; and the Observer-Reporter of WashingtonPA, for a project on its homeless community.
KJCT-TV of Grand Junction/Montrose, CO, also received votes for its project on texting.
“The quality of these projects shows how smaller media care about their communities and have a true impact on the lives of the people who live there,” said Arkin, vice president of content & audience for GateHouse Media Inc. “We’re excited about this initiative and hope these examples spur community service among the media in this country.”
Besides Hight and Arkin, other APME Innovator/Great Ideas Committee members are Kathy Best, managing editor of the Seattle Times; Bill Church, executive editor of the Salem, Ore., Statesman Journal Media; Kurt Franck, executive editor of The Blade of Toledo, Ohio; and Gary Graham, editor of The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, WA.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Boomers focus of Ohio statewide "Aging America" series

By Alan D. Miller

Ohio news organizations took the challenge from APME and AP editors to get involved in the national Aging America reporting project, and they ended up with a three-day series on the topic that published last week.

The national project is focused on baby boomers, who make up the largest demographic group in U.S. history, and how their move into retirement will affect society.

Mark Miller lost his job last year.    (Gus Chan | Plain Dealer)

The Ohio project focused on the tens of thousands of baby boomers whose lives were upended by the recent recession.

The series showed that the recession was worse for older workers than any in memory. While boomers make up less than half the people on unemployment in Ohio, they dominate the ranks of long-term unemployed. The reporting showed that those who are 50 and out of a job are struggling.

But reporters learned that many unemployed boomers are remaking themselves. They are going back to school, retraining, retooling and taking the challenge to build new lives rooted in new careers, even if it means settling for a smaller paycheck.

AP moved parts of the series on the national wire.

“The play has been terrific, with the national story appearing on 12,000-plus websites including ABC News, San Diego and Anchorage, Alaska,” Nancy Nussbaum, Ohio and Michigan assistant bureau chief for the AP, said in an email. “The other stories also appeared on dozens of websites across the country, including USA Today and”

The oldest among the boomers, ages 45-65, are at retirement age, and there are millions to follow. Through the national Aging America project, news organizations are examining the impact — costs, strains and positive influences — that this so-called “silver tsunami” is having.

Since the project began last July, the AP and members of the news cooperative have delivered about 30 stories on the topic, many of which have been picked up by AP members for print and online.

Representatives from the AP in Ohio and each of the state’s eight largest newspapers — The Akron Beacon Journal, The Repository of Canton, The Plain Dealer of Cleveland, The Cincinnati Enquirer, The Columbus Dispatch, Dayton Daily News, The Blade of Toledo and The Vindicator of Youngstown — met in Columbus in December to begin planning the project and spent weeks via conference calls honing it and making assignments.

Many people in each newsroom were involved in the project, including reporters, editors, photographers, data analysts, artists, page designers and online producers. Collectively, the news organizations leveraged their limited resources to cover a lot of ground in a short time, all to provide a statewide perspective on how thousands of baby boomers are facing an uncertain future as they enter retirement.

Nussbaum said her office has heard from editors in other states asking how they can do such a report.

The AP is looking for partners in this ongoing project. If you’d like to get involved, please contact your local AP bureau chief. Or contact Alan Miller (, the APME liaison to AP for the project. National AP contacts are Carole Feldman in Washington at or Terry Spencer in Florida at

Read more about the project, go to and click on “Reporting projects.”

Alan Miller is managing editor / news for The Columbus Dispatch and an APME board member.

We want your GREAT IDEAS!

    We are now accepting submissions for APME¹s 2012 "Great Ideas" book.
    What's a great idea? It can be a new concept for print or online, or a major improvement to something we do every day. This is a chance for your newspaper to show off great work and to help fellow editors by providing ideas that might work in their markets. APME is again focusing on watchdog stories -- big and small -- because of the difference they can make in the community.
    Our "Great Ideas" website at allows you to quickly submit entries and upload images that accompanies the Great Idea.
    If you have questions, contact David Arkin, GateHouse Media vice president of content & audience, at

Specialized Reporting Institute on the Recession and Mental Health: 20 Scholarships for Community Journalists to be Awarded

The Associated Press Media Editors and the Local Media Foundation have been awarded a McCormick Foundation grant to conduct a special two-day symposium to educate journalists on how to uncover local stories on the impacts of the current economic crisis on the mental health of North American families and their communities.

All costs will be covered to attend the specialized symposium in Chicago, for journalists selected.

The symposium will feature top speakers from the academic world, as well as journalists who cover highly-specialized aspects of this topic. The goal is to provide scholarship recipients with a host of tools and information to better cover the topic at a local level in their communities. Follow-up webinars with symposium attendees will also be part of this comprehensive learning experience.

Scholarship applications are due by April 20; click here to access the application form and information. The symposium takes place July 16 - 17 in Chicago (air, hotel and meals are included). Special thanks to the Sun-Times Media Group for hosting this event.

Editors and reporters are eligible to apply. Special consideration will be given to those who are in a position to drive the coverage of this topic at their newspaper. Depending on the size of the paper, this may be the editor, an assignment editor or a reporter.

These scholarships are only being awarded to community journalists who work at daily newspapers with a circulation of 100,000 or less or for weekly newspapers. A number of slots have been reserved for weekly newspaper journalists and for smaller dailies under 10,000 circulation. The goal is to have a diverse audience.

The symposium presents a one-of-a-kind learning experience at a very in-depth level. The cost to develop and implement this program is $40,000 (the amount of the McCormick grant). Attendees will be treated to an extremely special experience that will pay off for years to come.

"We are very grateful to the McCormick Foundation," said Nancy Lane, President of Local Media Association and the Local Media Association Foundation. "This provides a wonderful opportunity to educate community journalists on a very important topic during a time when training dollars are tight at most companies. We are also grateful to APME for co-sponsoring this grant with us and providing invaluable assistance with the program."

“We are thrilled the McCormick Foundation saw merit in this program and we are greatly appreciative of their funding,” said APME Vice President Brad Dennison. “It’s also an honor to have an opportunity to partner with a great organization like Local Media Association with a common mission of helping newspapers break new reporting ground on a topic that affects far too many.”