All the news from the conference in St. Louis

Some new additions in the presentation section

We now have the video and PowerPoints from the Heading in New Directions presentation. You can also check these out on the Presentations and Downloads page.

Alan English, executive editor of the Augusta Chronicle, moderated a discussion with Paul Anger, publisher of the Detroit Free Press, and Gerould Kern, editor of the Chicago Tribune.

Related blog posts: Coming back from the day that changed Chicago Tribune history
Paul Anger presents The Detroit Plan
Q&A with Gerry Kern and Paul Anger

The Detroit APME Presentation:

And here is the Chicago presentation:



Filed under: 1, , , ,

Photos up from last day

As everyone heads home check out photos from the Innovator of the Year Awards, a talk on Social Media by Kurt Greenbaum and Jack Lail, a presentation of photos by Robert Cohen and the APME Member awards lunch.  Enjoy!


Photos by Kyle Spradley

Filed under: Awards, Workshops, , ,

One final note

For all the APPM members reading from home, here’s a link to Val Hoeppner’s blog post with links to free and cheap (and fantastic) training and management materials. I sat in on her session earlier in the day and was blown away with the amount of quality tools available.

Free and Cheap: Online Training, Blogs and More

See you next year at the Poynter Institute!


Filed under: APPM, Photojournalism,

Goodbye from St. Louis. See you in St. Petersburg

By Andrew DeWitt

Good bye from the Hyatt Hotel under the arch in St. Louis. The final lunch has been served and the awards are announced. Congratulations to everyone who won awards and thanks to all for inspiring young journalists like ourselves.

On behalf of the entire Gazette Staff who brought you this Web site and coverage, thank you for reading and following our work. It’s been a great three days in St. Louis learning from some of the best in the business.


Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the 2010 APME Conference.

Oct. 20-22

The Poynter Institute, St. Petersburg, Fla.

Filed under: Misc., Workshops, , ,

APME member award winners named

FIRST AMENDMENT: For devotion to overcoming obstacles in the path of a free flow of information and thus contributing through extraordinary effort to the public’s right to know.

Under 40,000 — Iowa City Press Citizen for the University of Iowa sexual assault investigation.

Persistence in seeking through court orders relevant documents on the University of Iowa’s response to a sexual assault on campus unraveled the university’s clamp on informaiton that revealed many problems in the university’s response to the assault. E-mails among university staffers revealed inconsistencies in how the assault victim was treated, and indirectly led to an examination of how the university handles issues such as vacant dorm rooms and assault on campus. The newspaper showed strong commitment to use access law, even at great expense, to pry records and information loose.

40,000-149,000 — Rochester Democrat and Chronicle for “Court Records Not Made Public”

This entry is what the First Amendment category is about, reporting that paves the way to future access to public information by reporters and the general public. The Democrat and Chronicle exposed and helped correct a system of “that’s t he way we’ve always done it,” whereby officials were failing to file court documents in their proper place, effectively keeping the public in the dark on many legal cases, civil and criminal.

Over 150,000 — The Louisville Courier Journal for an examination of the University of Louisville Foundation.

The Courier Journal was persistent over several years and eventually successful in getting the Kentucky Supreme Court to rule that foundation donors should be public. The newspaper displayed exactly the kind of effort to defend and expand the reach of open records laws that this category is designed to recognize.

In defense of a free press, the APME presents the First Amendment Sweepstakes award to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

In addition, the judges awarded these APME First Amendment citations:

• The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch for an examination of how major colleges use a vague federal law to shield information about their big-time athletic departments.

• The Memphis (Tenn.) Commercial Appeal for stories and a searchable database of state handgun carry permit holders.

• The Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, S.D., for stories showing the consolidation of casino licenses into the hands of a few main players.

• The Victoria (Texas) Advocate for shedding light on a dysfunctional local judicial system.

• The Daily News Journal of Murfreesboro, Tenn., for stories, columns and editorials about a botched police investigation into a fatal traffic accident in which an on-duty officer struck and killed an 11-year-old girl, then allegedly tried to dispose of two bottles of liquor in his patrol cruiser.

INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE: For outstanding achievement in presenting international news to local readers.

Under40,000 — No winner

40,000-149,000 — Des Moines Register for “Hope at Any Cost..”

This ambitious series launched after a massive raid at a meatpacking factory, shed light on the conditions that prompted an influx of illegal immigration in an Iowa town. The reporter and photographer traveled to Guatemala to tell the stories of deported former residents who suffered through horrific conditions to pursue opportunity in the U.S.

Above 150,000 — The Boston Globe for “Worldly Boston”

Through his stories and blog, former Globe foreign editor James F. Smith demonstrated that newspapers can bring readers an international perspective without leaving honme. Whether it was showing local historic ties to Cape Verde or Bostonians’ assistance in the hunt for an AIDS vaccine, Smith provided his readers with an insightful connection to world events.

Honorable mentions in this category include:

• The Washington Post for gripping accounts showing the enormous burdens borne by women in West Africa and South Asia.

• The Boston Globe for four stories of Bostonians who shaped world events.

ONLINE CONVERGENCE: For excellence and innovation in presenting quality journalism both in print and online.

Under 40,000 — Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World for “Underground Kansas.”

This was an in-depth multimedia look at off-limits sites, valuable resources and fascinating features that exist beneath the surface of the Sunflower State. The project also is the result of several months of reporting, producing and organizing the information intended to be regarded as unusual, both in content and through its presentation. This is the newspaper’s third straight Online Convergence Award.

40,000-149,000— The News-Press, Fort Myers, Fla., for “Amazing Grace: A Dream Comes True”

The web site, news-press.com, and newspaper used the best of each medium to tell the story of a boy’s dying dream to build an orphanage for the childeren of Africa. This is excellent convergence with top-notch photograph, Flash multimedia and video combined with narrative storytelling. A young man’s dying wish is not a trip to Disney World or a visit from a popular athletic. This remarkable youth wants something completely unselfish — that an orphanage be built in Africa.

Over 150,000 — The Las Vegas Sun for “Quenching Las Vegas’ Thirst”

Las Vegas is undergoing a serious water shortage, which is only going to get worse with population growth and changes in global climate. The special feature uses a cutting-edge multimedia player and a Flash-driven special feature uses a cutting-edge multimedia player and a Flash-driven interactive databaswe to explain one of the most complex and politically charged issues in Nevada today, and certainly one of the most important.

Honorable mentions in this category include:

• The Seattle Times and seattletimes.com for a two-year investigation into the murky world of congressional earmarks.

• The Roanoke (Va.) Times and roanoke.com for an interactive tour of the new $66 million Taubman Museum of Art.
• Victoria (Texas) Advocate and victoriaadvocate.come for an interactive package complementing a 16-month investigation of illegal immigration.
PUBLIC SERVICE: For outstanding achievement in the field of public service.

Under 40,000 — The Virgin Islands Daily News for uncovering life-threatening corruption at the only cancer center in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. This is the third consecutive award and the sixth in 14 years for the Daily News.
At the same time the hospital awarded its CEO a record-setting $750,000 in salary and benefits, it wasn’t paying bills for drugs and equipment. Some patients couldn’t get chemotherapy treatments on time because drug companies had cut off supplies. The manufacturer of the radiation machine wouldn’t service it because the center was so far behind on payments.
The paper also revealed that the CEO had been court-martialed and given a bad conduct discharge by the U.S. Navy for stealing and hea had a criminal record for writing bad checks. The chief financial offricer had a criminal record of embezzlement and retail fraud. The center was unaware of this because it did not do background checks.
The three top hospital executives and the board chairman were arrested and charged with a combined 144 counts of fraud, conspiracy and theft. The CEO has been convicted.

40,000-149,000 — The Lexington Herald-Leader for a series of investigations — four and counting — into spending tax dollars by quasi-government groups. The first big story described the expense account of the executive director of the Blue Grass Airport. He charged more than $200,000 in two years on his airport credit card. The paper kept pushing and revealed that the director’s top four lieutenants had spent $332,000 over three years on electronic toys, tickets to sporting events, a visit to a strip club and more, including $2,2000 for six tickets to see Hannah Montana in concert. Other exposes examined the Lexington Public Library and the Kentucky League of Cities.
Above 150,000 — Seattle Times for “Culture of Resistance.”
This was an investigation into the MRSA epidemic at hospitals in Washington state. The Times uncovered 672 deaths from MRSA or methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus that had been undisclosed to relatives and the public. The paper also revealed that the number of patients treated each year for MRSA had increased from 141 to 4,732 in just 10 years.
The 8th Annual Robert C. McGruder Awards for Diversity and Leadership.
* Troy Turner from the Farmington (N.M.) Daily Times
• Karen Magnuson from the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle

Filed under: Awards, , ,

9 a.m.: Innovator of the Year Award

by Mary Poletti

The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City’s daily newspaper, won the third Innovator of the Year Award on the final day of this year’s APME conference for their integration of video into all aspects of their coverage and the duties of all of their reporters. Kelly Fry, the Oklahoman’s vice president of news and information, called the development a “culture change.”

“It’s been a lot of hard work to change the culture at the Oklahoman,” Fry said as she accepted the award. But, she said, “We owe it to the public.”

The APME Innovator of the Year Award goes out to the paper with the best print, digital, online, or other innovation of the year. Participants voted for the winner with paper ballots after watching a brief video about each paper’s innovation and taking part in a brief question-and-answer session with a representative from that paper.

This year, the Oklahoman won by instituting what they call a “total approach to video” into their Web site, NewsOK.com, that senior staff claim puts them on the same level as TV. All reporters are equipped with small video cameras and are trained to search for a possible video component in every story. The Oklahoman uses a tiered system of training for the creation of video; all reporters are trained to generate what’s called Tier 1 video. Autoplay videos are embedded in every story online where video has been shot, and many beats feature recurring video segments set up as talk shows with reporters.

“Any way we can tell stories effectively and immediately is what we’re doing now,” said sports reporter Darnell Mayberry, who covers the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, in the Oklahoman’s video. He cited not only video as part of this effort, but also blogs and social networking.

The Oklahoman also uses video and social networking to flesh out their breaking news coverage. For coverage of a crippling ice storm, NewsOK.com ran live streaming video of the highways throughout the day alongside a reader-staff chat forum through CoverItLive.

In conversation with moderator Bob Heisse after their video, Fry said the Oklahoman’s initial video investment had been about $1 million. In return, the paper is on track to best 10 million video views in 2009 – up from 1 million in 2008.

Fry said three key reasons the Oklahoman transitioned to video as such an integral part of their news operation were to extend their journalism (“If you have a tool, why not use it?”), to spend more time being intentional about their Web site, and to generate revenue. Among other revenue sources that have stemmed from their use of video, outside businesses use the Oklahoman’s studio for their own video needs.

Three newspapers competed for the Innovator of the Year Award. Heisse said the competition was the closest it had ever been.

“No seconds or thirds. These are all winners,” Heisse told the audience.

The News-Press of Fort Myers, Fla., was nominated for a focus on “journalism shaped by community.” The newspaper orchestrated several community information and improvement efforts, using its status as a community leader to go above and beyond simply presenting information to actively better the community.

The News-Press’s “Dear Mr. President” project collected the opinions of readers to present to President Obama in print and online multimedia form. “Summer of Hunger” brought together local services to feed area residents who would otherwise have gone hungry during the summer months and to connect them with social services for a lasting effect on their quality of life. More than 20,000 people were served, and 6,000 families were connected with social services. And a macroeconomic project brought together business and community leaders to distribute information on job-seeking, cost-cutting, and other means of coping with the economic crisis, which hit the construction- and real estate-based Fort Myers economy particularly hard.

Senior managing editor Cindy McCurry-Ross told Heisse the projects and similar work “let the readers really come in as the foundation of our journalism and help us forge solutions for our community.”

“Knowing from our journalism that there was going to be a problem…we needed to use our ability as community leaders to get [people] at the table and facilitate the conversation,” McCurry-Ross said. “We wanted to play a leadership role, but we also wanted to cede some of that leadership back to the community and say, ‘We’ve got to fix this together.’”

At the Wilmington (Del.) News Journal, the paper built on its strong tradition of environmental reporting to launch the Web site AllGreentoMe.com, a portal for information about the environment. Aggregating the best of environmental content on the Web through automated search functions, the site also includes community contributions from area environmental scientists and university professors. The site connected with citizens to advance the idea of “a green economy” while fulfilling a watchdog function to keep the agriculturally rich area aware of and safe from threats like rising rivers.

“We’re trying to use technology to tell stories in a really deep and sophisticated way,” said vice president of news and executive editor David Ledford.

The integration of science-oriented community content helped, too, Ledford said: “That gives it credibility. That kind of science really brings it a level up.”

Both the News-Press and the News Journal spoke to the need for solid management skills to launch new innovations in a changing newspaper environment.

McCurry-Ross said the paper’s four principles in looking at new endeavors could be summed up in the acronym POTS, which stands for planning, ownership, teamwork, sustainability.

The News Journal’s video said the paper, which has experienced downsizing, relied on multitasking to ensure the success of AllGreentoMe.com. Many newsroom staff members took on site-related responsibilities in addition to their full-time duties at the paper.

The APME began the Innovator of the Year competition in 2007. The News-Press won that year for their series of integrated efforts to solicit reader news tips.

Filed under: Awards, , , , , , , ,

10 a.m. Session: Social Media


By Andrew DeWitt

Here on the final day of the APME 2009 conference in St. Louis.

Kurt Greenbaum, director of social media at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Jack Lail, director of news innovation at the Knoxville News Sentinel are here to catch everyone up on Facebook, twitter and RSS Feeds.

I will attempt to not go on a Twitter rant, 160 characters at a time.

The future of the audience aka my generation uses Facebook non-stop. If you’re in any class, you can just see everyone jamming away on facebook while they should be learning about the principals of journalism. Facebook is a binkie for young adults.

10 Things every journalist should know in 2009

Link to all of the Nieman Foundation’s reports on Social Media

Another Web site to check out is www.commoncraft.com

The Knoxville News used links from all across the country to keep everyone up to date on the University of Tennessee head coaching search for a new head coach. This is known as aggregation or “link” journalism.

Jack says this is really effective for sports, politics and stories that continue to evolve.

Moving onto RSS feeds. We’re doing a social experiment where Jack Marsh of the Freedom Forum has to go collect news. While another member of his table had to sit there representing a “Reader” such as Google Reader.

My advice is that if you’re still jumping around bookmarks searching for new content, sign up for Google Reader. It’s really simple. Just Subscribe to your favorite Web sites in the top left corner and everything will pop in.

Basically, Google will now make a newspaper for you every few seconds. It’s really simple to read and it is even easy to read on a mobile device. Instead of being delivered a newspaper every morning, pop open Google Reader in the morning to get caught up on all my news.

Looking around the room, this is a BlackBerry room. Everyone has a smart phone to keep in touch with their newsrooms. In my experience, Google reader works great on my mobile device.

Another Web site recommended by the presenters is http://tinyurl.com/tonymess. Tony works for the STL Post-Dispatch in their Jefferson City office and he is a Twitter success story.

We’re now discussing different ways of following Twitter such as the TweetDeck.

Someone is asking about keeping personal and business things separate. Personally, I don’t facebook or tweet things that people don’t need to know but I’m a lot more private than a lot of my classmates.

Moving onto more complex things about Twitter. We’re now talking about hashtags. “#” is a hash.  It is a way to indicate that a specific tweet is about a topic and a way to get more followers.

My buddy David Ubben who covers Oklahoma basketball for the Oklahoman has shown me a cool new thing they are doing for certain big events. It’s called a Story Wall. This one is from the Red River Shootout earlier this month.

One thing that we don’t know of where it’s going is Google Wave. It will effect journalism in some way but we’re not sure how yet.

Should your newsroom have a social media policy?

“The Common theme that runs through these edicts is that they were written by top managers, with the input of lawyers, who seem to have little understanding of how social media can benefit journalism and news orgs. by building community.” –J.D. Lasica, CEO, Socialmedia.biz

Filed under: Changing times, Discussions, Workshops, , , , , , , , , ,

Cool look at the the Arch

AP’s Tim Donnelly captured this video of the St. Louis arch from the Hyatt Regency, site of this year’s APME/APPM conference.

Filed under: Fun things to do in St. Louis, Misc., Photojournalism, , , , ,

Election results announced

By Eric Berger

With outgoing president Bobbie Jo Buel characterizing Otis L. Sanford as an energetic, “sweetheart of a guy,”  the editor of the Memphis Commercial Appeal was confirmed as the new APME president.

Sanford discussed his vision of hope and assured the audience that as president he would work tirelessly and fervently for the APME over the next year.

“We have the momentum, we have the commitment, we have the talent,” he said.

Mark Baldwin, editor of the Wausau Daily Herald; Cate Barron, editor of The Patriot-News; Alan English, editor of  The Augusta Chronicle; and Carole Tarrant, editor of The Roanoke Times,  were elected as at-large members of the board.

Dennis Anderson, editor  of the Lawrence Journal World, was elected as board member from newspapers with circulation under 35,000.

Jack Lail, editor of the knoxnews.com, and Laura Sellers-Earl, editor of the East Oregonian Publishing Co., were elected as board members from online publications.

Filed under: Elections, ,

Photojournalism presentation


An example of the photojournalism done at the Dubois County Herald. The brothers in the image have lived on their family farm their whole lives. Photo by Torsten Kjellstrand.

by Eric Berger

John  Rumbach of the Dubois County Herald gave an engaging presentation on the importance of the static in a drastically changing industry, the photo.

He asked everyone attending to take a moment and write down the core principles that they use as a journalist. Everyone entered into thought and a few shared theirs:

Truth and reality in a fair and unbalanced way; an unbiased approach;  to pursue truth, actively; to increase understanding of the world.

He moved to discussing  The Concerned Photographer, whose author considered himself a commentator, not just someone who captures pictures.

After  defining community photojournalism, Rumbach emphasized its importance. He talked about the need to think locally and on what the audience wants.

“If we dont think about our audience, all we have is a portfolio,” he said

He then read from a list of examples of what readers want in their newspapers:

-More ordinary people in the newspaper

=Stories that recognize the 95% of the community that commits no crimes, that don’t participate in politics.

Rumbach asked what those attending to think about what they do when not on the clock.

“Now think about how this intersects with your life as a journalist,” he said.

His presentation continued with talk about the threat to hyperlocal reporting, which he characterized as newspaper’s last  franchise, by anyone and everyone.

Examples given:

The Paperboy.com



These sites and lesser sites serve as a torrential downpour on the information marketplace.

With that in mind, he said people need journalism more then ever, and we must raise the bar.

He highlighted the NY Times “One in Eight Million” sound-slide series as a way to connect with the audience.

The Herald started a weekly “pictures as words” series with no idea about how long it would last. It has run for the last 30 years and he showed some examples.

One example was a  series run prior the 2008 election titled “Double-Edged Sword”, showing how national issues impacted local residents.

Filed under: Photojournalism

Flickr Photos


  • That's the conference, folks! :) Won't you join @APME Oct. 20-22, 2010, at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla.? (#apme10, anyone?)| 9 years ago
  • Congratulations to our coverage team members Emily Stewart & Kristin DiFate, winners of $500 scholarships for their work this week #apme09| 9 years ago
  • Magnuson: challenging all newsroom/newspaper leaders to rebuild with leadership & diversity in mind #apme09| 9 years ago
  • Magnuson: sharing award with the D&C newsroom; "commitment to diversity must come very clearly from the top" #apme09| 9 years ago
  • Robert G. McGruder Award for Diversity Leadership: honoree #2: Karen Magnuson, Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat & Chronicle #apme09| 9 years ago

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