Wednesday, May 23, 2012

APRTA to APTRA

APTRA stands for Associated Press Television and Radio Association. Membership is somewhat limited. In fact they describe right on their website, listing only 13 of a possible 50 states. At the time of this writing 8 of their 24 board seats are vacant as well. They also misspell 'Alaska' which is just embarrassing for an organization of journalists. The Latin adverb sic is an acronym for the Latin phrase  sic erat scriptum, meaning "thus was it written." It's added after a quote indicating exact transcription ie including spelling errors. The usual purpose of this is to inform readers that the errors have been repeated intentionally, as a form of ridicule as it is here.(I almost didn't do this but that error has been there for over a year now.)
"APTRA's purposes are to advance journalism through the media of radio and television, to co-operate with the Associated Press in order to make available an accurate and impartial record of the news, and to serve as a liaison between representatives of the radio and television stations in California, Nevada, Hawaii, Arizona, New Mexico, Idaho, Washington, Colorado, Utah, Montana, Wyoming,  Alsaska [sic], and Oregon that are members of the Associated Press and the management thereof, in attainment of those goals."
Actually, I emailed their current president Robby Messer and he responded to me in minutes. So it will likely be gone by the time you read this post. Typos aside, APTRA has been around for over half a century. The association was founded by Hal Eisner almost 60 years ago.  One source indicated that the group had over 2,000 members in 1960. But in 1960 it operated under a different acronym: APRTA, the Associated Press Radio-Television Association. I presume the change wasn't made to emphasize television over radio, but to move that vowel so their acronym could be pronounced a bold act of acronymy.

Aside from their basic function as a group of AP liaisons, APTRA is best known for their annual scholarship. College students focused on Broadcast Journalism in member states. It's a very open program, applicants fill out a form with 6 questions and attach samples of their work. That's it. Good luck kids. More here.