Report says APME should tighten its focus p. 25

By: Editorial Staff Task force issues recommendations sp.

A TASK FORCE studying the future of the Associated Press Managing Editors group recommends that APME stay active but tighten its focus on AP and serving editors at AP member newspapers.
APME's board of directors accepted the task force's report at a special meeting in New York in early December.
The task force, headed by Ralph Langer, Dallas Morning News executive editor and a former APME president, was convened in September to review APME's role in light of eroding convention attendance.
The task force said APME has helped AP and member editors "for many years. Those roles are still valid and need to be aggressively pursued."
Task force members overwhelmingly concluded that the group "has important and vital work to do, that it needs to ruthlessly focus on two main goals and that it needs to communicate itself better to editors and publishers."
The report recommends that APME activities be "practical, useful, interactive where possible and focused on the Associated Press, editors and newspapers."
The task force plans to ask editors who are qualified to participate in APME what they think of the organization and to ask editors who abandoned conventions in the past five years why they stopped attending them.
The task force also urged the group to:
? Refine the mission statement to focus on "helping to improve editors and newspapers."
? Improve marketing and communication so newspapers know more about APME's work.
? Work closer with other journalism groups to broaden services and training to APME members. Work closer with AP and its board.
? "Reinvent" the annual convention so it offers "practical, hands-on, training-oriented sessions."
? Form committees to address specific issues.
Rich Archbold, APME president and managing editor of the Long Beach, Calif., Press-Telegram, called the report a "blueprint" for the group's continued success. He said new committees named in New York would effect some changes, and the convention scheduled Oct. 18-21 in Philadelphia will include things that the task force recommended.


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