By Tommy Deas
Executive Sports Editor
The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News
First, let me extend my thanks and appreciation to those who elected me to this position and to all the old friends I got to see and new friends I got to meet at the Summer Conference in Chicago.
The Third Vice President’s chair was created to give a voice to the smaller news organizations in APSE. Not only do nearly one-third of APSE’s 500-plus members come from the ranks of the smaller news organizations, this is the area with the greatest potential for growth as APSE goes forward.
My plan is to reach out to discover in what ways APSE can better serve the small news organizations, and to work to make this organization as responsive as possible to the wants and needs of this portion of the membership. As a first step, I have sent an informal survey to about a dozen APSE members from under-40,000 circulation shops to get a feel for what they think APSE does well and what it can do better. From their responses, I will be putting together a more formal survey that will be distributed to all APSE members from the smaller news organizations to generate more wide-ranging feedback to, hopefully, identify areas that I need to focus on in my role as spokesman.
I also want to help bridge any gap, real or perceived, between the membership from small news organization and those from the larger news organizations. I have found sports editors from the largest newspapers in the country to be most willing to share advice and assist with shaping ideas, and consider this to be one of the greatest values in APSE membership. There are ways we can all help each other out, and we need to make sure we explore every opportunity to exchange ideas and learn from each other.
If you want to help, there is an immediate and easy way to get involved right away. If you know a sports editor – a colleague at another paper, someone you worked with previously, a buddy from college – at an eligible smaller news organization who is not an APSE member, please reach out to them. Tell them what APSE means to you and how you have benefitted from this organization. Make that initial contact and see if they have any interest. Let them know we want them to be a part.
I look forward to serving you. I also urge anyone who has any ideas or concerns to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. You don’t have to wait for a survey to come your way to be heard.