Charles Apple

A longtime news artist and designer, Apple is the former graphics director of the Virginian-Pilot and the Des Moines Register. He teaches design and graphics workshops, does some consulting work and blogs for the American Copy Editors Society.


Durham Herald-Sun newspaper carrier shoots back during carjacking

The News & Observer
Thomasi McDonald reports on the Tuesday morning incident:

The news carrier told police he was delivering [The Herald-Sun] newspapers when a man approached him and took his 2008 Chevrolet pickup truck at gunpoint, [Kammie Michael, a Durham police spokeswoman] reported.

The news carrier told police the man fired a shot at him and he returned the gunfire, Michael reported.

Earlier: Harrisburg, Pa., carrier cited for delivering papers via rubber raft | Bundles save life of Charleston, W.Va. carrier in collision

Correction: This post originally misidentified the name of the Durham newspaper. Read more

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Former CNN anchor Rick Sanchez among 17 Latino journalists to visit Israel

Maynard Institute | The Jerusalem Post
The Anti-Defamation League sponsored a trip to Israel last week for 17 Latino journalists, including former CNN anchor Rick Sanchez, who was fired last year after calling Jon Stewart a “bigot” and making other anti-Semitic remarks. The trip was aimed at exposing Latinos to Israel and the ongoing conflict there. The Anti-Defamation League cites data that shows Hispanic Americans born outside the U.S. are nearly twice as likely to hold anti-Semitic views.

According to Maynard, others making the trip included:

  • Henrik Rehbinder, opinion editor of La Opinión in Los Angeles
  • Fernando Diaz, managing editor of Hoy in Chicago
  • Nuria Net, deputy editor of Univision News

Earlier: Sanchez calls Stewart “the classiest guy in the world” | Sanchez calls cable news “an ugly, nasty, vitriolic business” Read more

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Toronto Star identifies 71-year-old rape victim at family’s request

Toronto Star
Public Editor Kathy English writes that the newspaper’s decision to identify nursing home rape victim Danae Chambers “was both bold and brave.”

Even though Chambers’ brother and her guardian wanted her named to draw attention to the dangers vulnerable women face in nursing homes, the Star’s most senior editors still gave careful consideration to naming a sexual assault victim. Editor Michael Cooke gave the final go-ahead.

“We chose to identify Danae Chambers to put a human face to a problem we are told is prevalent and under-reported,” said investigations editor Kevin Donovan, who worked with reporters Moira Welsh and Jesse McLean. “We did this in the hope that government and eldercare leaders will take up the charge against this abhorrent situation.”

The original story ran Nov. 17.

Related: Slate/France editor explains why it named alleged rape victim | Why Poynter published Twitter handle of alleged rape victim | The ethics of naming rape victims | The stories we miss about rape and sexual violence Read more

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Tribune triples home delivery rates

Crain’s | Hollywood Reporter
The Chicago Tribune — ensnared in a three-year-long bankruptcy case — is doubling and tripling rates for weekday home delivery. Lynne Marek of Crain’s Chicago Business points out the increases come after the Tribune added 40 pages of content per week starting last June. Marek writes:

At the time of the redesign, which added 8% to its printing expenses, the paper downplayed the possibility of a price increase, but told employees that there would be one, even though home-delivery would continue to offer a discount to the newsstand price.

In a statement to Crain’s, the Tribune acknowledged the rate increase but pointed out the new rate is still less than the newsstand price.

Meanwhile, the Tribune plans to ask a judge today to speed up the process for approving a plan to move the company out of bankruptcy, reports Georg Szalai of the Hollywood Reporter. Szalai writes:

Tribune wants the judge hold a hearing to approve voting procedures on Dec. 13, followed by a voting deadline of Jan. 20. If things work out that way, confirmation hearings could happen during the first week of February.

Earlier: A Q&A on the Tribune bankruptcy | Bankruptcy judge OKs bonuses for Tribune managers | Oct. 31 ruling could benefit Sam Zell | Tribune launches “enhanced” paper Read more

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Avoid the trite holiday price index stories

BusinessJournalism.org
Phillip Blanchard urges editors to stay away from price survey stories that he believes  are meaningless. Blanchard writes:

The Farm Bureau Federation has been compiling its Thanksgiving shopping list for 26 years. By its own admission, as it says toward the end of its 2011 release, it’s useless: “While Farm Bureau does not make any scientific claims about the data, it is an informal gauge of price trends around the nation.” The numbers reflect prices gathered by “volunteer shoppers.”

Blanchard — who runs the Testy Copy Editors bulletin board — also is a grinch when it comes to the PNC Wealth Management’s annual price index of the gifts in “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

Imagine the man-hours wasted by graphic artists in their futile attempts to compellingly illustrate this trite publicity grab by PNC.

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Newspapers can’t make money online because ‘advertising costs too darn much’

ClickZ
Why can’t newspapers make money online? Simple, says Sean Carton: “Newspaper advertising costs too darn much.”

Carton refers to an analysis by comScore that cites the average cost per thousand impressions — or CPM — for newspaper websites as $6.99. Compare that to $2.52 for online advertising and just 56 cents for social media.

Print newspapers? Don’t even go there: They have an average CPM of $60, writes Carton.

Unless they can figure out how to pare down costs, price themselves competitively, and, more importantly, offer content that’s worth paying for (see The Wall Street Journal), desperation tactics such as paywalls are only going to hasten the inevitable decline.

The former dean of Philadelphia University’s School of Design and Media, Carton is now developing the Center for Digital Communication, Commerce and Culture at the University of Baltimore. Read more

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Chicago Tribune photographer harnesses ‘the power of the moms’

Chicago Tribune Photo Nation blog
Chicago Tribune photographer Chris Walker says he harnessed “the power of the moms” last week during a tense school meeting.

The story: A meeting regarding a middle school principal who was put on paid leave after sending sexually explicit messages to a college student.

(Chris Walker/Chicago Tribune)


Walker said he expected some resistance and that one woman tried to bar him from entering the meeting.

I protested, and when she left, I started shooting from the doorway.

But I could hear murmurs of encouragement coming from inside. “Let him in,” someone shouted. A second woman invited me in, and I didn’t ask questions; I entered and to nods of approval from the crowd.

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Survey: Magazine e-readers want more digital content

Association of Magazine Media | All Things D | New York Times
Here are some of the findings from of a survey by the Association of Magazine Media:

  • 90 percent of respondents say they’re reading as much or more magazine content since they began reading via a mobile device.
  • 63 percent say they want even more digital magazine content.
  • 76 percent say they want more electronic newsstands.
  • 55 percent say they like to dig into the digital archives of a magazine.
  • 70 percent say they’d like videos in digital editions to run less than a minute.

The survey included 1,009 adults who use magazine-branded apps on a tablet or e-reader, the Association reports. Read more

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Suspect said to have used bombmaking instructions from online al Qaeda magazine

CNN
Testimony in the case of a New York bomb plot suspect has brought attention to an English-language online magazine published by al Qaeda.

CNN’s Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister report:

[The suspect, Jose] Pimentel based his design on…based his design on a ‘recipe’ from the online al Qaeda magazine ‘Inspire’ entitled “How to Build a Bomb in Your Mom’s Kitchen,” published in the summer of 2010.

According to the article in ‘Inspire,’ which runs to eight pages and includes photographs and sketches, the advantages of the recipe were that it used readily available ingredients that would not arouse suspicion and could easily be “disposed of if the enemy searches your home.”

The article included images of holes being drilled in a pipe. It ends: ‘In this article we covered one of many ideas for the lone mujahid.”

The magazine launched in July 2010. Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic wrote about it at the time. Read more

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South African press club asks public to wear black in opposition to ‘secrecy bill’

BusinessDay | News24 | Bizcommunity
The National Press Club of South Africa is asking the country’s citizens to wear black on Tuesday to oppose a bill that the National Assembly is expected to vote on that day.

The South African Press Association explains what some critics call “the secrecy bill”:

If the bill is passed the media will not be able to claim it acted in the public interest if it violated or was party to the violation of a law, or published classified information to substantiate a report on, for example, malpractice or corruption in government.

Violators could face up to 25 years in jail for some offenses. The problem, of course, is that the government decides what information can and can’t be published. Critics have called the legislation the “secrecy bill” and claim the law is too broadly-written. Read more

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