Thursday, November 21, 2013

APME-ASNE protest White House photo restrictions

The Associated Press Media Editors and American Society of News Editors, along with a coalition of other press organizations, today formally expressed concerns about the Obama administration's policies regarding photographic access to the president while he performs official duties.The letter to Press Secretary Jay Carney expressed the groups' concerns about the White House practice of instead issuing handout photographs of official activity.

Below is the letter that APME President Debra Adams Simmons and ASNE President David Boardman jointly issued to their members.

November 21, 2013

Dear Members of the American Society of News Editors and the Associated Press Media Editors:

For decades, American news photographers have captured iconic moments in and around the White House: President Kennedy, from behind in silhouette in the days before the Cuban Missile Crisis. President Carter, triumphantly joining hands with Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin at the signing of the Camp David Accords. President Reagan, walking out of the Oval Office for the final time. President George W. Bush, taking counsel from President George H.W. Bush along the White House Colonnade.

These presidents have recognized that photographic access by the public's press to their leader is essential to Americans' trust in the workings of government.

But not this president. The administration of President Obama is routinely denying the right of independent journalists to photograph or videotape the president while he is performing official duties. Instead, the White House is issuing visual press releases – handout pictures taken by official government photographers – and expecting news outlets to publish those.

These are not instances where national security is at stake, but rather, presidential activities of a fundamentally public nature. In recent months, these restricted events have included President Obama meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with African-American clergy, and with Pakistani human rights activist Malala Yousafzai.

In each case, the White House deemed the events "private,” but then sent its own photographs to the press and directly to the public over social media. This is, we are sure you will agree, unacceptable practice, raising both constitutional and ethical concerns. These photographs are, in essence, government propaganda tailored to serve the president's interests and not the public's.

Today, a coalition of press organizations, including ASNE, APME, the White House Correspondents Association and many others, delivered a letter to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney expressing our concerns about this practice and asking for an immediate meeting to discuss those concerns.

In the meantime, we must accept that we, the press, have been enablers. We urge those of you in news organizations to immediately refrain from publishing any of the photographs or videos released by the White House, just as you would refuse to run verbatim a press release from them. We urge those of you in journalism education to highlight this issue in your classrooms. And we urge those with editorial pages to educate and activate the public on this important issue.


David Boardman         Debra Adams Simmons
ASNE President         APME President

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

It's a holiday mugging

APME wants to mug you. 

Give $80 this holiday season to support APME in its 80th year, and we’ll send you one of these stylish mugs. 

Tax-deductible donations to the APME Foundation assist newsroom leaders by providing training and ideas, protecting First Amendment rights, safeguarding Freedom of Information and fostering innovation and watchdog journalism. 

Another way to help: Become a NewsTrain Ambassador with a donation of $100 or more. The low-cost, high-impact NewsTrain traveling short-course program is 10 years old and remains wildly popular. The ’Train will make four stops in 2014. 

And consider joining APME or renewing your membership heading into a momentous year that includes an unprecedented joint conference with the American Society of News Editors Sept. 15-17 in Chicago. Memberships are $150 a year, with $50 student memberships available. Also offered are $75 for associate members and retirees.
Or, for $800, you can become a lifetime member in recognition of the 80th anniversary.

Members receive discounts on APME Journalism Excellence Contest fees and annual conference registration, which more than pays for your membership.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Roberts Receives 2013 APME President's Award

Veteran journalist Michael Roberts was honored Wednesday by the Associated Press Media Editors for his leadership with APME’s signature program, NewsTrain.

Roberts, who received the APME President’s Award, has been involved with NewsTrain from its inception in 2003. After starting as a featured speaker for the low-cost, national traveling journalism workshop, he became a crowd favorite and remained a staple of the program. Roberts became the program’s director in 2011.

"We are indebted to Michael for his service and dedication to NewsTrain,” said APME President Brad Dennison. "He’s passionate about the program and protective of its quality, and we’re fortunate to have him. It’s time to say ‘thank you’ in a public way.”

The President’s Awards are given at the discretion of the organization’s president, and this recognition comes as NewsTrain celebrates its 10-year anniversary. Roberts received the award during the 80th APME conference, which was held in Indianapolis.

Roberts is overseeing four NewsTrain workshops in 2013 – Springfield, Ill.; New York; Colorado Springs and Seattle.

Sponsors of NewsTrain 2013 include The Associated Press, the APME Foundation, the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation, the Gannett Foundation, the Scripps Howard Foundation, GateHouse Media Inc., Medicare News Group, Athlon Sports, and The World Company.

Outside of his work with NewsTrain, Roberts is a newsroom trainer and consultant who works with news organizations in the United States and Canada. He was deputy managing editor of staff development at The Arizona Republic from 2003 to 2010, where he was responsible for all newsroom training, served as writing coach and edited major projects. Previously, Roberts 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 a senior editor, including 10 years as training editor/writing coach at The Cincinnati Enquirer. He has also held writing and editing positions at the Midland (Mich.) Daily News and the Detroit Free Press, and worked as an editor at two magazines. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and holds a master’s degree in training and human resource development from Xavier University in Cincinnati.

The Associated Press Media Editors is an association of top newspapers, digital and broadcast editors, as well as journalism educators and students in the United States and Canada. APME works closely with The Associated Press to foster journalism excellence and to support a national network for the training and development of editors who will run multimedia newsrooms in the 21st Century. APME is on the front line in setting ethical and journalistic standards for newspapers and in the battle for freedom of information and the First Amendment.