"This is the first time this group has ever had guidelines on this," said AASFE President and Houston Chronicle Features Editor Jane Marshall in Editor and Publisher on Oct.
The guidelines, passed unanimously at the AASFE's 54th annual convention in New York, were in part inspired by the efforts of "Star Wars" creator George Lucas to control the timing of reviews and stories about 1999's "Star Wars: Episode 1 -- The Phantom Menace." The guidelines discourage feature editors and writers from engaging in "fanlike behavior," like requesting autographs.
In addition, "Editors will plan coverage according to the dictates of their news judgments and shall not be obliged to disclose schedules, deadlines, run dates, coverage plans, or story play to any outside source or resource in exchange for access." The guidelines also state, "Should any editor receive threats of censure, withdrawal of access, or any other signs of so-called 'punishment' by an outside source or resource in connection with the reporting, scheduling, or cancellation of any review or feature, such threats should be brought to the attention of the AASFE president and arts and entertainment committee chair."
The speaker told the AASFE audience, which included editors from about 240 papers, that her 4-year-old "askMartha" column has 232 newspaper clients.
Hax, 33, described to AASFE attendees some of the ways her feature attracts its audience of teens and adults under 30 years of age.
Dan Rather and Martha Stewart will speak at this month's NFC and AASFE conferences in New York
Stewart, who will talk to the AASFE, is the lifestyle maven with a media rEsumE that includes a New York Times Syndicate column.