The last issue of APME News magazine was distributed this week at the News Leaders Association Conference in New Orleans.
The publication’s life cycle came to a close as NLA emerged as a new organization, born from the merging of the American Society of News Editors and Associated Press Media Editors.
The final issue looks back at the history of the APME and takes a nostalgic look at its founding and its accomplishments, along with some quirky things from its history, said Andrew Oppmann, editor of APME News and Vice President for Marketing and Communications at Middle Tennessee State University. Oppmann, a former editor and publisher, worked closely with the APME Board of Directors.
APME News was created as a newsletter in 1964 and grew over the years into a quarterly magazine.
“We’ve had presidents appear at our conferences, entertainers, celebrities, all traveled as the conferences moved from site to site,” Oppmann said.
The final edition features old black and white photographs of celebrities and politicians from Bob Hope and Ladybird Johnson to President Richard Nixon and Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi. All have been in attendance at conferences.
The magazine’s focus has been on sharing ideas and talking about journalism and concerns about journalism, said Oppmann.
“Mostly, it’s been a vehicle to spotlight excellence by newsrooms and describe how they led certain projects, how we would do those certain projects,” said Oppmann. “Our best read features were the ones where we had editors describe the story behind the stories of how they did that special project, how they designed that database, how they launched that website, how they covered that hurricane, those kinds of things.”
Oppmann described the magazine as somewhere between an organization newsletter and a magazine of ideas. He said it has been a vehicle to communicate for a journalism organization, a benefit of membership, but also something of value for teaching and sharing of ideas.
Like APME News, whatever communication vehicle NLA decides to use, Oppmann hopes the story behind the story is included.
“The most valuable thing we did was help editors understand these projects don’t happen by magic, that there’s some blood, sweat and tears that go into these things and getting into that detail is helpful if you wanted to try to do something similar,” he said.
Oppmann was editor of APME News for seven years, the longest serving editor. Steve Massie from Automotive News in Detroit, M.I. worked as the design director and Autumn Phillips, the managing editor of The Post and courier in Charleston, S.C., worked as a staff writer for APME News.
Mary Eber is a senior at Ball State University in Muncie, IN, majoring in Journalism and Telecommunications. She graduates in December 2019 and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org