By Jorge Rojas
Dear APSE members,
If you have not yet registered to be an in-person judge at the winter meeting in Orlando, you have about 28 more hours! If you are not planning to attend or serve as a remote judge, please fine yourselves $23 and donate here. It would be a nice way to show you care.
Here is an update on APSE doings in 2023 as we head into the annual contest Feb. 19-23.
The contest — Contest chair Naila Meyers is all over it and has been very accommodating to everyone, but it is now too late to pay dues and enter. You would need to complete a Hail Mary, as Naila is turning her attention to remote judging. Please contact her ASAP if you’ve overlooked a rule (such as the often-missed no articles allowed to be entered twice in story categories — except for those entered in Beat Writing) or you’d like to be a remote judge. We expect to have a good number of remote judges, but at last check last week, we needed about 10 more judges to attend in person and about 25 hotel rooms booked. If you’re able to sidestep airline prices or road-trip it to Lake Buena Vista, the weather in Orlando is great this time of year and it’s a perfect place to network, pick up ideas and catch up with old friends. It should be another spirited competition with tons of great entries to judge.
Surveys — In our second member survey, we asked you about what you want out of APSE conferences. We are heartened by the fact that our members continue to want to meet in-person periodically during the year. Only 30 members responded to the survey on conferences, making it difficult to draw broad conclusions from the answers. But according to Naila’s analysis of those responses, 33 percent of respondents said time off/schedule was the most important factor in deciding to attend an APSE conference, while 23 percent said money/cost was the most important factor and 16.7 percent said the networking opportunity was the most important.
We continue to seek feedback from members about how to make conference attendance more affordable and more appealing for your careers. A majority of respondents (69 percent) preferred a summer conference format that only required three nights at a hotel, while 87 percent of respondents liked the idea of universities hosting the summer conference. We got many good suggestions for future host cities, and respondents showed a clear preference for conference programming that included more workshops about tools of the trade and how to execute great journalism.
If you have not completed the survey on conferences, you still can!
And there will be another survey coming in the spring that could include questions about dues structure, technology and some miscellaneous topics.
Red Smith Award — We’re focused on the contest right now, but expect a formal call for nominations to come soon with a probable deadline in late February. The award, given annually by APSE to a writer or editor who has made major contributions to sports journalism, is regarded as the highest sports journalism honor in the country. Nominations should be submitted via this form.
Olympics –– An accreditation allocation meeting for Paris 2024, led by Jon Mason of the USOC and APSE Olympic chair Roxanna Pelin Scott, will take place in Chicago on Feb. 14. As with previous Olympic Games, members of APSE will work with the USOC to review requests and help determine appropriate allocations ahead of the IOC deadline in March.
Commissioners meetings — Chair Hank Winnicki has begun contacting the various league offices, and we are hoping to meet again this year in New York sometime in April. Thanks to Hank and Gary Potosky’s efforts, we were able to pull off having meetings last year for the first time after a two-year pandemic pause.
Attendance was understandably spotty for some sessions last May as the meetings came together quickly and many people were still averse to travel, but we are expecting a better turnout this year. Attendance at these meetings is vital to what we do. We covered a lot of important access issues last year with Covid-19 restrictions lifting, and it’s essential that we get in front of these commissioners to discuss any issues.
NWSL commissioner Jessica Berman was a strong addition last year, and Hank says he’d like to build off that by inviting some different leagues to join. He is open to suggestions.
Summer conference — Officers will meet on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 19, at the start of winter judging to discuss plans for our 50th-year conference at the Flamingo Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and possible sites for the next two summer conferences. In July, we hope to have a good mix of professional enrichment (including How We Did It sessions), some APSE history, a young professionals development gathering, entertaining speakers and a generally festive atmosphere. We also hope to lure some APSE legends and past presidents to join us in Vegas. Come one, come all.
Commemorative videos — You probably have seen that Erik Hall has been conducting video interviews with APSE legends and former presidents to commemorate the 50th year of APSE. He says he is doing fine for now, but he’s going to need some help down the stretch as we step up the production of these entertaining interviews. Any volunteers?
Editors’ credential requests — Along those lines, a key accomplishment for us last year was convincing NBA leaders to join the other pro leagues and return to pre-pandemic locker room access rules. We don’t want to give any league a reason to curtail access, so I am passing along this email from the NBA’s Tim Frank, who has always been great to deal with but says: “We have had all kinds of difficulties recently with media members/editors not applying for credentials/hotels in a timely manner. Could you please share the below note with your membership.” Important: The All-Star Game credential deadline is Friday and the hotel deadline is tomorrow. Please attend to this matter if your publication plans to send someone.
In order to more efficiently manage our media operations at all of our major events, we wanted to communicate to all editors and reporters the importance of the deadlines set forth for both credential and hotel requests. In recent years we have been very flexible – and in some cases too flexible – with accommodating outlets who consistently miss these deadlines. The reality is last-minute requests beyond the deadline have created numerous issues on our end and we need to create a better system of compliance. Our team works tirelessly to show up to events fully prepared in order to make your experience upon arrival as seamless and convenient as possible. Accommodating numerous late requests make that level of service very difficult to achieve.
ALL-STAR CREDENTIAL DEADLINE: The credential deadline for NBA All-Star is Friday, February 3. Please note that we will not accept any applications for credentials beyond that date. There is no cancellation penalty on credentials, so it’s important that all editors and producers potentially interested in attending the event submit their requests by that deadline. You can always cancel if your coverage plans change for any reason.
In addition to meeting these deadlines, we ask that any approved media who do not plan to attend, notify us via email so we can properly cancel your credential and properly accommodate the media who will be in attendance. We understand that last-minute changes happen but a failure to notify us that you do not plan to attend results in your media seat being unused when another one of your media colleagues could have used it. We want to work together to ensure all in attendance have a great experience.
ALL-STAR HOTEL REQUESTS DEADLINE: The deadline to request a hotel is Wednesday, February 1, while the deadline to cancel your request is Monday, February 6. We will not accept requests for hotel rooms after February 1 and failure to cancel a hotel request by the February 6 deadline will result in a charge to the card on file for the reservation. There will be no exceptions made for these deadlines.
Thanks for your attention to this matter. Looking forward to seeing many of you in Salt Lake City in February.
Diversity Fellowship — The annual Diversity Weekend, in which the APSE Fellows meet for the first time, took place in Nashville Dec. 9-11 and was a rousing success. Michael Anastasi and I are declaring this another great group of talented individuals. It was quite a full schedule, which included discussions on strategy and leadership, a visit to the Nashville Public Library’s Civil Rights & Votes for Women wings, a Predators game, a Titans game, an art show, and of course, the 15-minute speeches. For those attending judging, you will get to meet:
- Patrick Bernadeau, Pensacola News Journal
- Meredith Perri, MassLive / The Republican
- Zach Powell, Lock Haven Express
- Damon Sayles, The Athletic
- Alex Vejar, Salt Lake Tribune
- Kelly Ward, Seattle Times
TIDES report — We have been in communication with Dr. Richard Lapchick and the folks at UCF about TIDES (The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports) conducting another racial and gender report card for APSE. We are scheduled to talk this week in hopes of having surveys distributed to U.S. sports editors in late February. This is an important initiative for APSE, especially coming off the pandemic, and participation from all of our members is key. Please take the time to respond accurately to the surveys and please do not feel discouraged or embarrassed if your diversity staffing numbers are not where you want them to be. No one will be singled out regarding any negative results and only some select highlights might be made public in the report, which is targeted to be released in September and will keep APSE current on its two-year schedule. We appreciate your making the effort to respond.
Award certificates — We are thrilled to report that all of the contest award certificates have been sent out to winners. If anybody is missing theirs, please email Lisa Wilson (at firstname.lastname@example.org). She has them saved from the past three contests (2019-2021). Thank you, Lisa!
Newsletter — We are looking for a volunteer or two to work with Jake Adams and Lindsey Smith in the writing/reporting/planning of lead stories for the newsletter, which went on hiatus over the holidays as Jake assumed interim SE responsibilities in Louisville. We would like to get them going again, perhaps by March 1, and it should be a not-too-too heavy lift (and good practice) to arrange an interview or Q&A with someone on an interesting or trendy topic.
Student chapters — We are in the process of revising APSE’s requirements to make it easier for colleges to apply, and we have a goal of adding 20 more student chapters (at least) this year. It makes the most sense for us to line up chapters to begin as APSE members in August, coinciding with the start of the school year. We have some leads and possible interest from colleges such as Arizona, Miami, Ball State and Boston U. If you regularly communicate with universities in your area, feel free to broach the subject of possible members with journalism advisers or with your region chair.
Regions — From 2021-22 APSE president Gary Potosky: Region chairs and vice chairs need to begin finding a time for a virtual or in-person meeting this spring. Virtual is perfectly OK. A few regions did not meet in-person or virtually in 2022, so they need to make it a priority in 2023.
Region committee leadership — Gary Potosky, Michael Kates, Jason Murray — will be glad to help in setting up region meetings, and one of us can participate if needed. The regions committee is working on a longer-term plan to re-think the regions and how they function each year. More to come at the winter conference.
The Great Plains needs to elect a vice chair and eventually the Southeast region too. Contact region chair Chris Kwiecinski at email@example.com or Erik Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a candidate in mind, or want to be one. The Great Plains states are: Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma. The Southeast states are: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.
Membership committee chair Jason Murray is building a 2023 calendar of APSE national/regional/student events.
Election time — We’ll be taking nominations for 2nd vice president at the winter meetings. It’s time to start thinking about good candidates and to take a good look in the mirror if you are thinking about running for office.
Jorge Rojas, Naila Meyers, Dan Spears, Ed Reed, Bill Eichenberger, Glen Crevier