Editors vote for Innovator of the Year
Ball State University
APME editors today voted on three finalists for Innovator of the Year and the winner will be announced at the awards luncheon on Wednesday.
Editors from The Arizona Republic, The Columbus Dispatch and WLRN-Miami Herald gave presentations about their latest efforts.
Meg Downey, managing editor of The Tennessean and moderator of the presentation, said this is her favorite session each year.
"The news organization has to be able to offer a new, creative and forward-thinking concept that has long lasting effects and attracts new audiences or dollars," she said.
"So it can be a product, it can be a new technique or a new structure. But it must be able to show a specific goal over a period of time, and it should have the potential to become a industry standard over a period of time."
Keira Nothaft, a deputy managing editor with The Arizona Republic in Phoenix, presented AZ, a semi-weekly newsmag for iPad.
The app focuses on presenting feature stories in a more in-depth and interactive way.
Nothaft said they found a way to do what monthly iPad magazine publications haven't done – be timely and get readers to come back multiple times a week.
Ben Marrison, editor of The Columbus Dispatch, showed how changing the newspaper's format was innovative.
The organization moved from a full broadsheet to a tabloid-style newspaper. Marrison said the newspaper is now easier and more convenient to read and carry.
The Dispatch also began placing ads in the middle of the spreads. That helps open up room for text while forcing the readers' eyes to go across ads between stories.
Kenny Malone, WLRN-Miami Herald reporter, discussed how staffers at his organization started doing something that may sound simple – just listening.
Reporters at the radio news and newspaper partnership have gone out to talk with the public about whatever is on their mind, getting the pulse of the community even when not working on a particular story.
The practice results in telling unexpected stories that truly show the voice of the Miami area, Malone said.