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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Shribman Named Scholar-in-Residence at Dietrich College

Carnegie Mellon University's Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences has announced that David Shribman, who will be stepping down from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette after 16 years as executive editor, will join the college as a scholar-in-residence in January.

"I am excited to join a leading university like Carnegie Mellon and get involved in the intellectual life of the campus," Shribman said. "I'm a bookworm, so I'm also looking forward to having some time for reflection and writing."

Shribman will continue to pen his syndicated column, "National Perspective."

Shribman has been executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette since 2003. Previously, he was the Boston Globe's Washington bureau chief. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in journalism in 1995 for his analytical reporting on Washington developments and the American political scene. Before joining the Boston Globe, he was a national political correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. Prior to that, he covered Congress and national politics for The New York Times and was a member of the national staff of The Washington Star. He began his career at The Buffalo Evening News, where he worked on the city staff before he was assigned to the paper's Washington bureau.

Full Story: Shribman

David Cohen and an 80-year quest for “Lessons from Lives”

At David Cohen’s Nov. 8th talk at the Tenley-Friendship Library.
(photo by Jonathan Lawlor)
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by people’s life stories. My family teases me that I know the background of everyone I meet. I can’t resist asking, and listening,” Cohen told Forest Hills Connection.

Then, about a quarter-century ago, Cohen discovered the Harvard Study of Adult Development, research that began in 1938.

“With my lifelong interest in how people shape their lives, and have their lives shaped by the circumstances they face, I found a study that followed its participants from age 19 through the rest of their lives irresistible,” he said.

The working title of Cohen’s book is A Life You Want. It pulls together longitudinal research and other scientific studies to bring its readers a better chance at satisfying lives. The multi-faceted Cohen also has a writing background, going back to his childhood as a voracious reader.

“Writing was a natural consequence of endless reading,” Cohen said, “and my father and older brother were demanding and superb editors. I still remember how excited I was at age 12 to have The Washington Post publish my letter to the editor. I went on to write book reviews for The Post and The Washington Star (in the days Jonathan Yardley edited its book section), a column and articles for Harvard Magazine, a newsletter in one job, talking points, speeches, and Congressional testimony in another.”

Attribution: David Cohen,
Full story:  Cohen

"The Seas Are Dolphins’ Tears" And More From Poet Djelloul Marbrook

Djelloul Marbrook is the author of ten poetry books and ten fiction books. He has won the Stan & Tom Wick Poetry Prize, the International Book Award in poetry, and the Literal Latté fiction award for "Artist's Hill."

His poetry and fiction has been widely published in journals and anthologies. He lives in the mid-Hudson Valley and had a long newspaper career including stints at the Providence (RI) Journal, the Elmira (NY) Star-Gazette, the Baltimore Sun, and the Washington Star.

His new poetry volume – “The Seas Are Dolphins’ Tears” is just out - as is his trilogy of novels.

Attribution: Joe Donahue,
Full Story: Marbrook

Exhibit Honors Cartoonist Who Championed D.C. Voting Rights (And Invented The Teddy Bear)

Clifford Berryman / D.C. Council
A walk through the halls of the John A. Wilson Building, the seat of D.C. government, normally wouldn’t inspire laughter — until now.

Seven political cartoons by Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Clifford Berryman are now on display on the building’s fifth floor. The drawings all have a common theme: D.C.’s lack of representation in Congress. They’re located across the hall from D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson’s office.

Even those who haven’t heard Berryman’s name before are probably familiar with his work.

His 1902 drawing of President Theodore Roosevelt refusing to shoot a bear cub led to the creation of the teddy bear toy. He’s also responsible for the phrase “Remember the Maine!” a Spanish-American War rallying cry that’s still still taught in history classes today. The line accompanied a political cartoon he published in the Washington Post in 1898.

Berryman worked in the District for the entirety of his six-decade career as a political cartoonist. He drew for the Post from 1891 to 1907, then moved over to the Washington Star. He worked there until his death in 1949.

Berryman took on D.C.’s lack of voting rights dozens of times in his daily cartoons, particularly during his time at the Star.

Attribution: Mikaela Lefrak,
Full Story: Berryman

Mapping the Many Tunnels Under Washington, D.C.

Donald Beatty Bloch
But Carter says the “single most epic Washington tunnel story” might be the adventures of Don Bloch, a Washington Star reporter who wrote for the paper for about a year. In 1934, Bloch convinced the inspector of maintenance at the pumping station to let him cross the city through its sewers for a Sunday feature. Equipped with a flashlight, rubber boots, and a gasmask, he hopped down manholes from street to street, with “cloud watchers” who would warn him if a storm might pose a risk from rising waters.

Bloch’s tour guide shoved him in a trunk lid for a ride on the waters leading into Rock Creek. Carter says it might be the “best thing in stunt tunnel journalism Washington has ever produced,” but Bloch’s story remains sort of an enigma to Carter. One of the few details he has been able to verify about him: He co-founded the Speleological Society of the District of Columbia in 1939. No mystery there, it’s not much of a leap from tunnels to caves.

Attribution: Andrew Small,
Full Story: Tunnels

Notable Washington Cemeteries

Kauffmann Memorial depicting
"The Seven Ages of Man"
The main reason Washingtonians might have heard of Rock Creek Cemetery: a celebrated sculpture by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The statue of a mysterious, shrouded figure sits in a copse of trees, marking the graves of Henry and Marian Adams. Commonly known as “Grief,” this sculpture is so important that a copy sits inside the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

The cemetery, in what is now Petworth, was one of Washington’s most exclusive burial grounds in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As a result, its elaborate mausoleums, modeled after Egyptian tombs and Gothic chapels, and carved statues bear the names of the families that gave Gilded Age Washington its department stores (Garfinckel and Lansburgh), beer (Heurich) and banks (Riggs).

There are many famous sculptures on the grounds — enough that the site has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The memorial to Washington Star publisher Samuel Kauffmann consists of a bench decorated with bronze panels depicting “The Seven Ages of Man” from Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.” Viewers can sit on the bench, next to a life-size statue of a woman in classical dress, and reflect.

Attribution:  Maura Judkis and Fritz Hahn,

Full Story: Cemeteries

Percy Qoboza: apartheid’s journalistic nemesis

In 1980 Qoboza went to the US as editor-in-residence for the Washington Star. Thloloe said Qoboza absconded from work to do this and when they questioned him about his move he replied in a telegram to say he had gone.

Vusi believes Qoboza’s career was bolstered by apartheid; exposing the brutality of the regime brought him the world’s attention. He wrote articles for publications including the New York Times. But Vusi also accepts that one could not imagine what his father might have become had it been a different time with different opportunities.

In addition to an honorary doctorate at Tufts University, Qoboza received an honorary doctorate from the Amherst College. The International Federation of Newspaper Proprietors awarded him the Golden Pen of Freedom.

Posthumously the South African government honoured him with the The Order of Ikhamanga in 2010.

Attribution: Tanya Ventner -
Full Story: QOboza

New Players Are Stepping Up To Bat In D.C.'s Sports Media Scene

1975 Press Photo Sportswriter Lynn Rosellini
At Washington Star Desk
George Solomon, director of the University of Maryland’s Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism, and formerly The Post’s assistant managing editor for sports from 1975 to 2003, has noticed a broad shift in news over the last 15 years.

“Digital and visual have really come on strong, and because of that, the newspaper circulation nationwide has declined,” he says. “With that, newspapers and now websites have tried to counter that by being more inventive, more creative, to appeal to a younger audience.”

And with fans now getting real-time game updates on their phones, they’re not as reliant on the paper, or even home pages of websites, for basic recaps and box scores. Readers expect features, opinion, and analysis—the type of sports coverage that afternoon papers like The Washington Star used to put out to differentiate themselves and serve readers, notes Aldridge.

“I think we’re all sort of PMers [a term for afternoon papers] now, in that regard,” he says. “Everybody has to kind of approach it from the standpoint of, the fan knows the score, they know who won or who lost. You have to tell them why or how that happened.”

Attribution:  Ethan MCleod,

Full story: New players

Former AP president To Replace Charlotte Hall As Adirondack Explorer Board Chairman

Former Newsday and Orlando Sentinel editor
Charlotte Hall chaired the board through six years
of online and print changes. Photo courtesy of Hall family.
Former Associated Press president and USA Today publisher Tom Curley is the Adirondack Explorer’s new board chairman.

Curley, a part-time Tupper Lake resident who retired from AP in 2012, replaces another retired news executive, Charlotte Hall, in leading the 17-member board. He joined the board last summer, and its members elected him president at their Aug. 25 meeting.

Hall is a part-time resident of Paul Smiths and was managing editor at Newsday and editor at the Orlando Sentinel before retiring. She has chaired the board for six years, and will remain on the board.

Hall started her journalism career in 1972 and held editing positions with the Washington Star, Boston Herald-American and The Record of Bergen County, N.J., before joining Newsday in 1981. There, she oversaw a project that won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. From 2004 to 2010 she was editor and senior vice president at the Orlando Sentinel, where she led the paper’s digital transition.

She began regular visits to the Adirondacks in the early 1980s.

The Explorer’s focus on preservation and recreation matched Hall’s own interests when she was among the first subscribers two decades ago, she said, and she is proud of the in-depth reporting it has provided in years since. During her time on the board the magazine boosted its online presence with the Adirondack Almanack blog and its own news site, and its print product with glossy paper.

“I remember saying at one point that the magazine needs to be as beautiful as the Adirondacks,” Hall said. “I think we’re there now.”

Attribution: Brandon Loomis -
Full Story: Charlotte Hall

Jane Mayer: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Mayer, 62, is a native New Yorker. Her mother a painter and printmaker, her father a composer, her grandfather was a historian and John D Rockefeller Jr. biographer, and her ancestor Emanuel Lehman was a founder of the Lehman Brothers.

She attended tony New York high schools, was an exchange boarding school student in England and then, graduated magna cum laude from Yale in 1977. While at Yale, she was editor of the Yale Daily News Magazine. Also while studying in New Haven, she began her professional career in journalism as a freelancer for Time magazine.

In 1992, Mayer married fellow journalist William B. Hamilton, then Washington Post national editor, now Washington editor for The New York Times. They have one child, daughter Kate.

Mayer is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press.

And because good journalists pay their dues on the ground covering small communities, Mayer began as a beat reporter for small weeklies in Vermont, then moved on to the daily Rutland (VT) Herald before joining the staff of the now long-closed Washington Star as a metro beat reporter. In 1982, Mayer was hired by The Wall Street Journal. There she soared and was named the first female White House correspondent.

Full Story: Mayer Facts

Duke Zeibert’s: How a legendary restaurant brought old DC together

Duke’s “top-shelf” clientele were kept in the front of the restaurant. Average joes were more likely to end up in the back area, also known as “Siberia.”

(Duke’s former manager, Mel Krupin, described how seating was handled in a 2008 interview with Washingtonian magazine.)

Make no mistake: Few, if any, wanted to eat in Siberia.

Take the time, for example, when writer Nora Ephron was ushered back there with a lady friend during the Watergate era. As related by the Post’s Lois Romano in 1982, Ephron noticed that a particularly newsworthy boy’s-club crowd was getting all the good tables.

“Exactly what do you have to do to get a good table in this place?… Be indicted?” she snapped.

When Conconi was writing the Personalities column for the Post’s Style section in the 1980s, he frequented Duke’s to hunt for material. He was among the selected few who were higher up in the pecking order.

At the top, he said, were Cooke and King.

What made Duke’s so successful was the personable man behind it.

“The worst thing a guy can do is put his name on a restaurant sign,” he told The Washington Star’s Sandra McElwaine in 1986, some three decades after he went into business. “Then you become a slave; everybody comes to see you and wants you to come over and say hello, impress their boss.”

He had a point. The restaurant was really all about Duke. In part, because Duke was all about the restaurant.

Born in 1910, the Troy, New York, native got his start working at resorts in the Catskills and Berkshires. He later worked for the restaurant chain Fan and Bill’s in Florida, where he learned some valuable lessons about stature, as he told The Washington Star in 1972:

“I was a very popular guy. I was invited everywhere … on yachts, parties, estates, people catered to me. Until I had a run-in with my boss and left the place. In two weeks’ time, I noticed no one bothered with me anymore. I learned the lesson very early … it wasn’t me, it was my position that made me in demand.”

Attribution: Jack Pointer,
Full story: Zeibart

Doris Fleeson: Incomparably the First Political Journalist of Her Time.

Q: Who was the first woman in the United States to have a nationally syndicated political column and where, in Kansas, was she born and raised?

A: Doris Fleeson / Sterling, Kansas

Doris Fleeson was a newspaper reporter and syndicated columnist in Washington D.C. for nearly 40 years.  Fleeson was born in Sterling, Kansas, on May 20, 1901.  She graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in journalism in 1923. During her time at KU, she was a correspondent for the University Daily Kansan.  According to the archives at the Kenneth Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas, her first newspaper job outside of KU was with The Pittsburg (Kan.) Sun.  Eventually, she obtained a position at the New York Daily News. Within a few years, she was assigned to the newspaper's Albany bureau and became acquainted with Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose administration she later covered in Washington.

On September 28, 1930, she was married to John O'Donnell, a fellow Daily News reporter.  Fleeson joined her husband in The Daily News' Washington Bureau in 1933. Together they started the "Capitol Stuff" column.  Fleeson and O'Donnell divorced in 1942. The next year, Fleeson left The Daily News and went to Europe as a war correspondent for The Woman's Home Companion. After the war, she returned to Washington and began a column on political affairs, which appeared first in The Washington Star.  In 1958, Fleeson married Dan Kimball, who was President Harry Truman's Secretary of the Navy. 

By the time Fleeson went into semi-retirement in 1967, her twice-a-week column was distributed by United Features Syndicate, Inc., to 90 newspapers. Her reporting over the years earned her a number of awards and citations.  A champion of women's rights, she was an active member of the Women's National Press Club and an inveterate foe of the National Press Club, which did not admit women members. 

Full Story: Fleeson

Archives On The Air 53: Wartime Cartoons—James Thomas Berryman Papers

Political cartoons have played a key role in people’s understanding of current and historical events.

They are a digestible, but exaggerated, media that conveys the opinion of the cartoonist.

Or, to put it as the Washington Star did in 1948, “cartoonists are clowns tickling the world with the point of their pens.”

UW’s American Heritage Center has a wide breadth of political cartoons within its collections.

One example is the James Berryman Papers.

Berryman and his father were world-renowned cartoon artists that illustrated their animated ideologies for newspapers in Washington, D.C.

Full Story: Berryman Papers

Like father, like son: Channel 4’s Mark Segraves keeps the beat for local music

Mark Segraves has co-founded an organization called
the After Dark Fund to promote concerts
to raise money for D.C.-area
musicians in need. (Gerald Martineau)
It was the 1960s, and the Washington Evening Star’s nightlife columnist John Segraves happened to be working at the precise instant that the typical newspaper music critic was morphing from someone like him — short hair, white shirt, jacket and tie — to someone more like Animal from the Muppets.

Of one musician’s psychedelic D.C. performance in 1968, he wrote: “I do hope if he comes by our town again he lowers the decibels a few hundred degrees so one can appraise his voice. His guitar emits so much blatant noise that it too becomes indistinguishable.”

The artist was Jimi Hendrix.

“Dad hated rock-and-roll, and he never came around to liking it,” said John’s son, Mark Segraves. “But, that said, I remember for my 13th or 14th birthday, he bought me the Beatles’s ‘White Album’ and a radio and tuned it to WHFS.”
John Segraves, Mark's late father, in the 1960s and
1970s wrote a music and nightlife column
in the Washington Evening Star
called “After Dark.” (Family Photo)

And so the younger Segraves became steeped in both music and journalism. His mother, Frances, worked at newspapers in Frederick, Md., and Baltimore, and his father was a veteran scribe who went from Senators beat writer at the Star to assistant national editor, while also penning a twice-weekly music column called “After Dark.”

Mark is a reporter at Channel 4-WRC and an enthusiastic music lover. It’s something he learned at his father’s knee.

“He would take me to shows: Peggy Lee, Sammy Davis Jr., Roberta Flack at Mr. Henry’s,” Mark said. “I remember all of that vividly. After the show he’d have to go to the Washington Star in Southeast and write his column. I would run around the Star building at midnight or 1 a.m. while he was banging out copy on a typewriter. It was just great memories for me.”

The elder Segraves loved jazz and the Great American Songbook. If he missed the boat in some ways — did anyone else want Hendrix to turn it down so they could hear his singing? — he was prescient in others. Of a 1969 performance by Janis Joplin at Merriweather Post Pavilion, he wrote: “Can the voice within this cute little girl from Port Arthur, Tex., continue to take the strain and still work by the time she’s 30? We’ll know in four more years.”

Sadly, we knew sooner than that.

John died after a heart attack in 1978. He was 48. Mark was 17.

“One of my great regrets is that he never got to see me as a journalist,” said Mark, 57, who has also worked at WJLA and WTOP.

Attribution: John Kelly -
Full Story: Seagraves

Three-day workshop on clear writing offered in Tamworth

TAMWORTH — The Yeoman’s Fund for the Arts is sponsoring a series of gatherings and workshops this August in honor of one of their founding members, Shirley Elder Lyons.

Becky Sinkler will lead three days of workshops at the Samuel Wentworth Library in Center Sandwich, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, Aug. 20, 22, and 24, from 3 to 6 p.m. She plans two days of instruction and conversation, with the last day devoted to editing of the participants' works, giving about 20 minutes to each one.

Sinkler had dropped out of college in the 1950s, married, and had children. Then she went back to school at the University of Pennsylvania and worked for a small daily newspaper before getting a job at the Philadelphia Inquirer, as a secretary in the Sunday magazine section. After a stint as copy editor of the Sunday magazine, then editor of the Inquirer Book Review, she was recruited by the New York Times, where she eventually became editor of the Sunday Book Review. After 10 years in that role, she retired and came to Sandwich.

“Structure of a story, article, book or even letter is foremost," she said. "You can impose it before you write, or after you have written. Clear writing is impossible without clear thinking, and clear thinking is not possible for some of us without clear writing. Motto: How do I know what I think till I see what I write?”

The series is dedicated to Lyons, a journalist who believed in and lived by clear writing. When she received the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Print Media Award for the second consecutive year in 1993, she told the Globe, “My philosophy is we have a responsibility to educate people and to tell people in simple terms about complex legal issues.”

She had already spent four decades in a career that took her from California to covering Congress, before “retiring” to the Granite State. While covering Capitol Hill, she wrote for the Post, the Washington Daily News, and the Washington Star. With Paul Clancy, she wrote "Tip: A Biography of Thomas P. O’Neill Jr., Speaker of the House."


Full Story: Workshop

'Him Doing Well Was Through His Children': Sharecropper's Son Makes Dad Proud

Percy White Jr. holds his son Percy White III, circa 1963.
Courtesy of Percy Ell White III
In 1962, White Jr. moved to Washington, D.C., and got a job as a custodian with The Washington Star newspaper, and eventually worked his way up to a supervisor. The rest of the family joined him a few months later.

Years later, White Jr. was ready to return to Mr. Marek's land.

"My father, he was getting older, and he asked me to drive him and my family down to Dinwiddie County to see Mr. Marks," White says. "Mr. Marks had long since died, but Mrs. Marks was there."

His father had a message to deliver to the wife of his former employer.

"My father got a great deal of joy out of telling Ms. Marks, 'Ms. Marks, you remember Angela? She's a manager for Metro. You remember Susan, my youngest daughter. She works for NASDAQ. You remember P.L. [Percy White III] — you know, the little, chubby, fat boy, he was born down here? Yeah. This is P.L. He went to college. He went overseas and played basketball. He's currently a probation officer.' "

White had witnessed one of his father's proudest moments.
Full Story: Storycorps

You don’t know what you’ve got ’til newspapers are gone

Richard Cohen, the veteran Washington Post columnist, once wrote, “Every journalist’s life is a walk through newspaper graveyards. The big dailies are the dinosaurs of our era. They thrived once. Their publishers smoked big cigars and their editors got the best tables in restaurants and the papers hit the front porch hard and heavy with ads.

Kids delivered them and adults worked for them and old men drew their pensions from them. They were a way of life, monuments in newsprint, but the way of life changed and the papers got weak and then sick and then died.”

Cohen wrote this as a lament when Washington’s Star newspaper died. Take note that he wrote it in 1981. America’s newspapers have been twitching and convulsing and dying for a long time.

Full Story: Gone

TV reporter aims to help DC-area musicians who fall on hard times

NBC Washington reporter Mark Segraves and
musician Nils Logren, during a recent benefit concert.
 (Courtesy Mark Segraves)
Reporter Mark Segraves was a regular at local music shows long before he could legally drink, and now he’s hoping to help some of the musicians who entertained him — and who need a helping hand.
“My dad wrote the After Dark column in the 1960s and 70s for the Washington Star, where he reviewed the local music scene,” Segraves said. “As a kid, he would take me to these shows, so I started meeting people like John Denver, and Roberta Flack, and Bill Danoff — some are still playing around at clubs and big venues, today.”
Segraves is a reporter with NBC Washington, a news partner of WTOP. He was also formerly a reporter at WTOP.
Segraves and local music veteran Tommy Bowes have formed a nonprofit called After Dark Productions, with the goal of helping musicians who fall on hard times and promoting local music.
Attribution: Neal Augenstein
Full story: DC Musicians

Veteran journalist on the highs and lows of 50 years in Asia

Tables were thumped, bottles were emptied and off-key songs resounded in Seoul’s La Cantina – the oldest Italian restaurant in South Korea – on Saturday evening as foreign correspondents gathered to celebrate the 80th birthday of one of their number: Don Kirk, an American journalist who has been reporting on Asia since 1965.

Since that year, the still-working old Asia hand has built up a formidable clipping file of stories covering everything from Vietnam’s Tet offensive to Korea’s “Economic Miracle,” while also finding time to pen a shelfful of books and amass families on three continents.

Then it was Indonesia, where an abortive coup took place. For the chaotic island nation, this would be “The Year of Living Dangerously.”

“I was stringing for a bunch of papers including the New York Times, the Washington Star and the Daily Telegraph, traveling around Indonesia,” he recalled. “About 300,000 people were killed in that bloodbath.” Despite the scale of the carnage, he was not unduly traumatized, courtesy of prior experience in inner cities in the US. “I had previously covered stories in Chicago and New York, so had covered the run of fire, police and scandal.”

Attribution: Andrew Salmon,
Full article: Don Kirk 80th Birthday

Classmates who barely knew each other celebrate life after kidney transplant surgery

Ken Walker & Charlie Bell - Classmates who
barely knew each other celebrate life
after kidney transplant surgery
(The George Washington University Hospital)
Kenneth Walker and Charlie Ball walked down the hallway at The George Washington University Hospital together Thursday, just three days after they went under the knife when Charlie donated his kidney to Kenneth.

"You feel better instantly," Walker said. "You really never or rarely get a new lease on life. I got one, and I'll be grateful for the rest of my life."

Walker had been on dialysis for the past 18 months. He was seeking out a new a kidney everywhere and then he went on the listserv of the all-male class of 1969 at D.C.'s Archbishop Carroll High School and asked for help.

His former classmate, Charlie, who is now living in California, did not remember Kenneth but volunteered anyway. They later discovered they were a match.

"I didn't feel nervous at all," Ball said. "I just feel blessed to be able to do something extraordinary."

"Was it rough?" ABC7's Sam Ford asked the two former classmates turned friends.

"Day by day the recovery is slow, but it's good," said Ball.

Attribution:  Sam Ford/ABC7,
Full Story: Surgery

MCANA's Second Annual Best New Opera Award Goes To David Hertzberg's 'The Wake World'

MCANA is the only North American organization for professional classical music critics. The association was incorporated in 1957, and early members included leading critics such as Paul Hume of the Washington Post, Irving Lowens of the Washington Star, Miles Kastendieck of the New York Herald Tribune and Harold C. Schonberg of the New York Times. Current members include critics at the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune, Montreal Gazette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, San Francisco Chronicle, Toronto Star, and Washington Post; regular contributors to the Wall Street Journal, Gramophone,, Musical Toronto and Opera News; as well as program annotators and broadcast journalists. The organization is a member of the National Music Council. In 2013, MCANA launched Classical Voice North America, a web publication for reviews, features, and commentary with readers in 87 countries.

Attribution: Opera News Desk,
Full story: MCANA

‘The mayor saw it with his own eyes:’ Reporter chronicles 1968 chaos of DC riots

Earlier that Thursday evening, [Paul] Delaney, a City Hall beat reporter, had filed his story for the day and headed out with colleagues to a Pennsylvania Avenue haunt, the Hawk ‘n’ Dove. They had a few post-deadline drinks and had just put in their dinner orders when the waiter came rushing back to the table: Martin Luther King had been shot in Memphis.

“We told them, cancel dinner! We jumped up and went back to the paper,” Delaney recalled.
After Delaney learned of King’s killing, he and his fellow City Hall reporter, Ron Sarrow[sp], headed right for 14th and U.
Attribution:Jack Moore -
Full story: Delaney

‘Everything was on fire’ — remembering the DC riots 50 years later

Walter Gold was then a nightbeat reporter for The Washington Star, familiar with the seedier sides of 14th Street. (“I knew the bootleggers, the prostitutes … They accepted me, and I accepted them,” he recalled).

After the riots broke out, he was on his feet in the streets for 18 hours straight. On the second day, as black smoke choked the horizon, he recalled climbing 13th Street where it rises steeply to a hill.

“You could pretty well see all of downtown Washington,” he said. “And to see the heavy smoke coming out of those areas: 14th Street; H Street; 7th Street. You figured, ‘Oh my God: Are we being invaded?’ … And there was some fear that this would lead to some terrible catastrophe for Washington.”

Attribution: Jack Moore,
Full Story: MLK

The Innovator Who Introduced Cherry Blossoms to the U.S.A.

In late March 1908 Fairchild gave a series of lectures in the D.C. area. He described his travels and recalled his first view of the sakura in Japan. He ended each lecture by displaying a photograph of the unsightly speedway near the Washington Monument. What an excellent place, he mused, to plant cherry blossom trees. Shortly after, in the Washington Star, Fairchild’s thought was given front‑page treatment. If the trees were planted soon around the Tidal Basin’s speedway, they could bloom the following spring; and not long after, the newspaper reported, “Washington would one day be famous for its flowering cherry trees.”

Attribution: Daniel Stone,
Full Story: Cherry Blossoms

On this day in Alabama history: ‘Forrest Gump’ author Winston Groom was born

Author Winston Groom serves as
the keynote speaker for the
Alabama Humanities Foundation’s
annual Awards Luncheon on
Oct. 24, 2013, in Birmingham,
Jefferson County.
(From Encyclopedia of Alabama,
photo courtesy of the
Alabama Humanities Foundation)
March 23, 1944

Author Winston Groom (1943- ),
pictured ca. 1998, is best-known for
his 1986 novel "Forrest Gump," which
was adapted to an Oscar-winning film
starring Tom Hanks and directed by
Robert Zemeckis. Groom was raised in Mobile
County and earned a bachelor's degree from
the University of Alabama.
(From Encyclopedia of Alabama,
courtesy of The Doy Leale McCall Rare
Book and Manuscript Library,
University of South Alabama)
Author Winston Groom was born in Washington, D.C. Best known as the author of “Forrest Gump,” Groom grew up in Mobile County and attended the University of Alabama before serving in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. After returning from Vietnam, he worked as a reporter for the Washington Star and wrote several books based on the war, including “Conversations with the Enemy: The Story of PFC Robert Garwood,” a Pulitzer Prize nominee. He published “Forrest Gump” in 1986, and the novel became a bestseller after its film adaptation won six Academy Awards in 1994. Groom’s more recent work focuses on historical non-fiction, including topics such as the Civil War, World War I, and World War II.

Attribution: Graydon Rust,
Full article: Groom

What Once Was News for the Capital and the Nation: Politics and Washington’s Daily Newspapers

Theodore W. Noyes served as editor of the Evening Star
during its late 19th and early 20th centuries
heydays. (undated photo–Library of Congress,
Prints & Photographs Div., Harris & Ewing Coll.).
The 20th century saw the decline of such vigorously politically-affiliated newspapering, and Walter Lippman’s more objective journalistic principles held sway (although in serious decline today). The Evening Star, leader of the four daily newspapers (Star, Post, Morning Times, and Evening Times) was led by editor Theodore Noyes, a tremendous civic leader as well well-respected newspaperman. A few years after Theodore Noyes’ death, nephew Crosby S. Noyes, of the Evening Star, riffed in the Star’s 50th anniversary supplement under the title “Newspapers in Washington fifty-six years ago.” “There were, properly speaking, no newspapers in Washington at that time. They were vigorous party organs, devoted to politics and depending for their support on party patronage. They expended nothing for news.” [6]

His is an exaggeration but understandable, having looked back from a professionalized 20th century press to a very different antebellum Washington. But his era does indeed seem as alien to us today. He noted the ability of an afternoon paper (such as the Star to be first out with news:

“Washington is peculiarly a field for a successful afternoon newspaper. In the first place, most of the executive business of the departments is practically over by 2 o’clock; the decisions are made, the letters are written and in the mails. When Congress is in session the committees meet by 10 o’clock, are through by 12 o’clock, the two Houses meet at 12 o’clock and have transacted much of their most important business in the a few hours afterwards, the substance of which is transmitted at once to The Star office by its special wire service. Twenty-five thousand people are released from their duties at approximately 4 o’clock and this s the time when The Star is being sold on the streets.” (Noyes, p.9-10)

A Post reader, it goes without saying, would have to wait over 12 hours for the same news in their morning newspaper. It’s not quite the “sleepy, Southern town” of caricature but not much like today’s 24-hour media circus.

Attribution: Matthew B. Gilmore,
Full Story: Washington Papers

Lecture - What is Fake News? Part Two at the Mark Twain Library on Wednesday, March 21

If all news is fake, how do we know what is real? Fake, misleading or inaccurate information disguised as news is not a new phenomenon. What is new: Anyone with a smartphone and wifi connection can create and perpetuate content. This two-part seminar will equip us to become media savvy. Part One examines the habits of fact-checkers and the impact of filter bubbles, as well as the tools we can use in order to be productive participants in online and in-person discourse. Part Two will examine the evolution of the news industry and its effect on our media consumption. This discussion will cover the evolving challenges in the newsroom and what sophisticated news consumers need to know about digital media and how news is produced.

Part Two Presenters:

Merrill Brown is an educator, consultant, advisor, investor and veteran media executive and journalist. He has written for The Washington Post, The Washington Star, Media General Newspapers, The Winston-Salem Sentinel, and The St. Louis Post Dispatch. Brown launched and was the website’s founding Editor-in-Chief. He is former Director of the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University.

Mark Weinberg is a digital media consultant who started his career at The Dallas Morning News, serving as fashion editor, features/lifestyle editor and Sunday front page editor. He later went on to Knight Ridder, where he helped launch the nation’s first digital newspaper network; then AOL where he served as executive editor and vice president for network programming; and Hearst Magazines where he was vice president of programming and product strategy for the company’s digital media division.

Attribution: Romy Weinberg -
Full story: Fake News

NYT’s Robert Pear to join policy expert Ed Grossman for Poynter Talk

Robert Pear, a domestic correspondent at The New York Times, will discuss his over 40-year career at the newspaper at Yale on Monday, March 5, as a Poynter Fellow in Journalism.

Pear’s talk, “Four Decades Reporting on Health Care for the New York Times,” will take place from 12:10 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Rm. 120 of the Sterling Law Building, 127 Wall St. Pear will be joined by Ed Grossman, former deputy and senior legislative counsel in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the event will be moderated by Abbe Gluck, professor of law and faculty director of the Solomon Center for Health Law and Policy, which is co-sponsoring the event.

Pear has been a domestic correspondent at The New York Times Washington bureau since he joined the paper in 1979. His coverage has included a host of issues: the Justice Department, social policy, health care, civil rights, immigration, and foreign policy. But he is best known for his coverage of health policy and health care. Before joining the Times, Pear was a reporter for five years at the Washington Star.

Full Story: Yale News 

Syracuse University announces University Lectures speakers

Maureen Dowd is an editorial journalist and the recipient of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary. She covered seven presidential campaigns and has written best-selling books on former President George W. Bush and the sexual politics of the 2016 presidential election.

Dowd has worked for The Washington Star, The New York Times and The Times Magazine. She has won a Glamour Women of the Year award and was a finalist for another Pulitzer Prize in 1992.

Attribution: Kennedy Rose,
Full Story: Maureen Dowd

Jack of all trades: McGrory's back, leading SDSU's Mission Valley campaign

John R. McGrory Jr. grew up in a working-class Boston suburb, on a street that had been home to McGrorys since the 1850s. His parents urged all five of their children to attend college, and all five did.

Jack, the eldest, attended Colgate in upstate New York. A classics major, he was schooled in government and politics by his second cousin — Mary McGrory, then a columnist for The Washington Star and later for The Washington Post.

An internship on Sen. Ted Kennedy’s staff ended in 1971, the year he graduated, when he received his draft notice and enlisted in the Marine Corps. Too tall to squeeze into a cockpit — aviation was his first choice — McGrory went to Quantico, Va., to train as an infantry officer.

Attribution: Peter Rowe -
Full Story: Jack McGrory