Dave Smith, the first APSE president, presides over our work still. Credit: Naila-Jean Meyers

Hello, APSE members, lapsed members and potential members,

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! You (hopefully) made it through the start of the school year and beginning of the fall sports season, and wouldn’t you know? Practices and training camps for winter sports are revving up already, too. Here in Minnesota, we’re still hitting 80 degrees and we’ve got hockey teams on the ice. 

It’s also the time of year to renew your APSE membership — or join for the first time. It’s time to commit to a community of sports editors and writers who work together to push forward through an ever-changing media environment to provide the best journalism possible. The deadline to pay dues for the coming year is Oct. 15.

Among the other benefits of membership: 

  • Paying dues now gains your organization entry into our annual contest. Rules for the 2023 contest will be announced soon. The deadline to enter will be in January 2024, with judging taking place Feb. 25-29 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and remotely. Reach out to contest chair and first vice president Dan Spears at dspears@gannett.com with any questions. 
  • Access to networking, mentorship and career development opportunities throughout the year, but especially at regional events and our summer conference, which in 2024 will be in Charlotte, N.C., from June 20-22.  The APSE Google calendar is a great way to keep track of events.
  • A support system to help you deal with access problems with the organizations we cover and the ups and downs of this industry business; to bounce off ideas and talk through plans; to seek advice and compare notes on shared experiences. We are a great resource for first-time sports editors, journalists in career transition and longtime sports leaders alike.
  • Membership gives you access to our directory, which will get an upgrade in the months ahead. You can find it here.
  • A pipeline of journalists, from students as you seek future interns, to early-career reporters and editors, to promising candidates to be sports editors. Members can post jobs (or see what jobs are available) on our website. If you take the diversity pledge with our diversity chair, A. Sherrod Blakely, APSE will waive its fee for job postings.

For the financial stability of the organization, it was necessary to raise dues slightly for 2024. We also restructured our membership tiers to account for the decline in print circulation and better align with our contest categories. So when you fill out the form, pay attention to the new tiers and the drop-down menu, because the options have changed. 

RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP HERE

This will almost certainly be the last year we use print circulation as our main metric for sorting our members by size. Research on what the right metrics to use is ongoing (you’ll see it most clearly in the contest). 

If you have any questions about APSE membership or problems with payment, please email me at njmeyers@startribune.com or executive director Bill Eichenberger at billapse707@gmail.com. I also will hold virtual office hours for a few hours each Tuesday during our membership drive for anyone who has questions about being a member, the contest, programming, mentoring, fundraising, whatever. You can sign up for a time on Calendly here

News and notes from around APSE:

* I’m sure many of you followed the recent news about USC’s football program suspending access for Southern California Media Group reporter Luca Evans. Thank you to Tom Moore and his SCNG crew, Iliana Limon Romero and her LA Times team and the many others who supported Luca and worked toward a solution with USC. To my knowledge, this is the second time in the past two months that a major college football program has revoked a beat writer’s access for perceived violations of protocol. Both suspensions were reduced after discussions with the schools. If anyone is having similar issues, please report them to me and APSE legal committee members Gerry Ahern and John Cherwa, and we can provide assistance on a course of action. Football coaches seem to increasingly be demanding reporters to keep their eyes, ears and mouths shut until the ever-decreasing appointed times.   

* Welcome back to school to our student members and chapters! Our now-annual student session on how to land an internship is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m. ET. Red Smith Award winner Leon Carter of The Athletic, Tommy Magelssen of the Dallas Morning News and Aria Gerson of The Tennessean will be among the speakers. Contact Lisa Wilson at lisabellwilson46@gmail.com for more information and the Zoom link. If your summer internship application is live online, send them my way because we will be compiling links for an article on our website.

* The deadline to apply for the APSE Diversity Fellowship is Sept. 30! Find out how to apply here. New this year, Diversity Fellows get a discount on their APSE membership after they graduate from the program.

* 2022 contest certificates will be arriving soon to your email inboxes.  Keep an eye out!

* APSE is now on Instagram. Give us a follow: @apsportseditors. If you don’t yet receive our newsletter, send an email to  apsportseditors.news@gmail.com  to sign up. 

* The topic of journalism ethics in this fast-moving business came up again and again at our summer conference in Las Vegas. Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal recently wrote about “a potential landmine journalists now face amid the boom of legal sports betting around the country, given their access to inside information and their ability to affect gambling markets.” 

Parting thought

I was part of The New York Times sports department for 15 years and am forever grateful to have worked alongside the amazing journalists there. So last week, when the last sports section produced by that department was published and the reporters and editors were scattered to new places, was sad for me and for our industry. The New York Times has left an imprint as an APSE member as well. Our highest honor, the Red Smith Award, is named for a former NYT columnist, and the department’s writers and editors have been honored many, many times in our annual contest. In our most recent contest, NYT Sports was a Grand Slam winner and led all organizations with 15 top-10 finishes in writing, photography and video, including wins in Long Feature for Juliet Macur and Event Coverage for women’s figure skating at the Beijing Winter Olympics. Good luck to NYT Sports alums in their new pursuits.