January 03, 2017
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Good Tuesday morning!
"It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end."
This quotation, photographed and shared in Monday's Connecting, was on a plaque at the the Foreign Correspondents Club in Phnom Penh, Cambodia - once a real foreign correspondents club, but now a hotel and restaurant/bar.

The quotation was attributed on the plaque to Ernest Hemingway. Hold on, a minute, wrote Connecting colleague Lola Koundakjian (Email), who noted, "Perhaps a little fact checking was in order" and shared some evidence.
Click here for a Huffington Post story, "Hemingway's Stolen Quotation," which notes that the real author seems to be Ursula K. Le Guin in The Left Hand of Darkness. (FCC Hotels and Restaurants told a Connecting correspondent it would look into this and make changes if needed.)

In the end, whomever said it, the quote is a great one.  Look forward to more of your contributions as we get the new year started.
Connecting mailbox
Steve Buttry - He can't seem to say 'no'
John Lumpkin (Email) - Thank you for including the Des Moines Register column honoring Steve Buttry. It was a nice complement to Steve's annual holiday letter that many of us are blessed to receive.
Steve Buttry
Some of Steve's endeavors you may not always hear about, but they still define the Steve Buttry that I came to know apart from the important relationship that AP nurtured with him.
Simply put, he can't seem to say "no" to any request that involved furthering journalism, even if they were less apparent on a national scale.
Here are examples:
Steve is an alumnus of TCU who reunited with his alma mater during my post-AP time as director of TCU's Schieffer School of Journalism 2009-2014. He came to campus multiple times as speaker and, more importantly, "consultant" to move our program and our student media aggressively to so-called digital-first news coverage.
He is the Godfather of TCU 360, which supplanted the venerable TCU Daily Skiff, which he worked on (and so did several years earlier my wife Eileen and many years later our older son John). The reorganized, converged student newsroom, which now is part of the journalism curriculum, is led by a student editor overseeing all the multimedia products (the new web site, social media, the television newscasts, printed newspaper and slick news magazine).  

Of course, it took buy-in from students, faculty, the TCU administration and alumni and they ultimately made it editorially, educationally and financially successful. But I believe it wouldn't have happened without Steve, who somehow fit this connection into his full-time jobs at the time.
The Skiff was the name on the contract for associate membership with AP and, in that capacity, won top awards in multimedia competition against AP's regular newspaper members. The journalism that won the award was produced in late summer when school was not in session and there was no print edition, meaning the converged TCU 360 newsroom was the cause. That happened in my view, at least in part, because Steve can't say "no."
P.S. - he couldn't say "no" when he was working for Albritton in Washington and the TCU students in our Washington program needed to meet with him. Last year, in my volunteer capacity as mentor to University of Virginia student journalists (my alma mater), I urged the students to reach out to him when they attended the Knight Foundation conference in Ohio on student media that he keynoted. He didn't say "no" then either.
If students (and any others) want a thorough look at Steve's digital legacy, one place to start is this tab on his web site.
Pondering the future
Gene Herrick (Email) - Tradition has it that the peoples of the world embrace the first day of the new year with a new breath, and hope for a bigger and better future.
Monday's edition of Connecting - the emailed spectacular that connects the genes of news- worn journalists with the past and future - published the following  " Thought for Today: "A clash of doctrines is not a disaster - it is an opportunity." - Alfred North Whitehead, English philosopher and mathematician (1861-1947)."  Maybe.
Since the beginning of reported time, mankind has had opportunity, and hope for the future, despite clashes of doctrines.  The doctrines this country, and yeah, the world, now face because of the upcoming U.S. change in political leadership, have made hope questionable, and probably more toward fear. 

Our country and the world have always faced fear created by nature's eruptions, mankind's inhumanity to mankind, and political firestorms.  But, they always had a thread of hope that peoples could cling to, and feeling the ship would right itself.
However, the residents of the United States face more trepidation than ever before as the nation prepares to install a new leader, who, by every standard, has demonstrated a character so strange that veteran political leaders - of both parties - plus news professionals, and even world leaders, question, and even fear.  "What does he really stand for?" stymied folks ask.  "What will happen if he does all of the weird things he says he is going to do?" They also question his line of communication by using an internet site called "Twitter," where possible new policy is forecast with 140 characters.  
In the past, regardless of the political affiliation of the presidential winner, the folks in the cities and hinterlands have grumbled for a while, but generally settled back into life, some with more hope than others, but all with hope.
Today, on the eve of the changeover, there is an air of wonderment, and even trepidation.  And, yes, fear.  The word fear is a reality.  Today, families are split, church pew sitters are split, communities are split, and yes, even the nation is split.  There appears to be little, if any, middle-ground.  One can feel the apprehension in the air.  Yes, one can even sense fear. 
Whiskered journalists and world leaders have never seen a political winner take over before being sworn into office, nor have the peoples of the world seen the newcomer favorably communicate and show favor to leaders of nations who have long been our adversaries.  2017 seemingly is destined to be a time of fear and wonderment. 
As Tiny Tim said, "God bless us, everyone."
Printer art, and Telex machines
Andrew Selsky (Email) - I remember seeing some printer art too during the holidays back in the day, though nothing near as elaborate as these works of art. Heck, I'm so ancient that I even used Telex machines in Honduras and Nicaragua.
Connecting wishes Happy Birthday
Gary Sosniecki -
Stories of interest
This Is What It's Like to Read Fake News For Two Weeks   (Politico)
A few weeks ago, perplexed by the persistence of fake news, I attempted to think like someone I wasn't. On December 13, I created a dummy Twitter account. More of a clone, actually. I chose to emulate Michael Flynn Jr., the 33-year-old son of President-elect Trump's choice to be national security adviser. Flynn Jr. was also one of the most prominent believers in the invented "Pizzagate" scandal that had prompted an armed man to fire shots inside a D.C. pizzeria in hopes of breaking up a child sex ring that didn't exist. My working theory was that you can learn a lot about a fake news adherent from the company he keeps-especially on social media, where it's possible to create bespoke echo chambers.
In the days after the election, fake news-the vast majority of which demonized Hillary Clinton or manufactured good press for her opponent-had become the fixation of the mainstream media. Watchdogs published lists of websites to disbelieve. Facebook pledged to vet bogus information; gullible readers would be educated by cigarette pack-style warnings. And yet there was no perceptible decrease in the quantity of fact-free fare being peddled by enterprising young internet trolls, from California to the Balkan states-"Trump Offering Free One-Way Tickets to Africa & Mexico for Those Who Wanna Leave America" was a particularly popular one. Unlike the #pizzagate gunman, whose parents suggested that psychological trauma from a car accident might have contributed to his confused thinking, a number of people who should have known better clung to the most sensational of made-up stories. People like Michael Flynn, Jr. I was aware that the president-elect was susceptible to the occasional National Enquirer cover story (remember Ted Cruz's dad and the JFK assassination?), but to understand what produces strenuous conviction in such absurdities, I knew I'd need to do more than take a stroll through the checkout line.
Read more here.
Eagles eject Inquirer beat writer McLane from press box during game   (
The Eagles on Sunday ejected Inquirer beat writer Jeff McLane from Lincoln Financial Field after he and a member of the Eagles' media relations department got into an argument over how loudly reporters in the press box were discussing a penalty.
McLane, who has covered the team for eight seasons, was escorted from the stadium during the second half of the Eagles' final regular-season game, against the Dallas Cowboys.
Read more here. Shared by Paul Shane.
Toga Parties, Gangsters and Near-Death Experiences: 27 Years With The Times   (New York Times)

Journalists hate to complain to their editors about close calls and bad luck. We shut up, lest we be grounded. Why risk the fun?
In what other job could I crash a toga party in India, masquerade as the husband of a Times correspondent in Saudi Arabia, dine with Yakuza gangsters in Japan, meet Fidel Castro in Manhattan, have my arm soaked by baby tiger slobber at the Baghdad Zoo or rescue a calico cat from Pakistan?
Dangers made each overseas assignment more memorable, if not always more fun, for me. During my tenure as a senior editor for News Operations, which involves managing logistics and communications for The Times's far-flung bureaus, I traveled to Senegal, Haiti, Philadelphia, Kenya, Shanghai, Kabul, Caracas, and just about everywhere in between. There I had a small taste of the kind of hazards that are part of correspondents' everyday lives.
Read more here. Shared by Bob Daugherty.
The Final Word
See How the World Has Changed Over Three Decades  (Time)
It doesn't pay to take your eyes off the Earth for a second. Look away even briefly and who knows what it will get up to?
That's not how things usually seem to human beings living on the surface of the planet. The mountain that's here today ought to be here tomorrow. The river that meanders along the boundary of your state or your nation will be meandering into the future. If you were in orbit, however, things would look very different-especially if you were in orbit for a few decades at a time. Since 1972, the Landsat satellites-a rotating fleet of four different  spacecraft-have kept exactly that kind of long-term vigil, circling the Earth and scanning the surface for the incremental ways the human population is changing the only home it's got. They've been aided since 2015 by the European Space Agency's Copernicus Program and its Sentinel-2A satellite.
View more here.
Today in History - January 3, 2017

By The Associated Press
Today is Tuesday, Jan. 3, the third day of 2017. There are 362 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Jan. 3, 1967, Jack Ruby, the man who shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, died in a Dallas hospital.
On this date:
In 1521, Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church by Pope Leo X.
In 1777, Gen. George Washington's army routed the British in the Battle of Princeton, New Jersey.
In 1870, groundbreaking took place for the Brooklyn Bridge.
In 1892, J.R.R. Tolkien, author of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, was born in Bloemfontein (BLOOM'-fahn-tayn), South Africa.
In 1911, the first postal savings banks were opened by the U.S. Post Office. (The banks were abolished in 1966.)
In 1938, the March of Dimes campaign to fight polio was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who himself had been afflicted with the crippling disease.
In 1946, William Joyce, the pro-Nazi radio propagandist known as "Lord Haw-Haw," was hanged at Wandsworth Prison in London for high treason.
In 1947, congressional proceedings were televised for the first time as viewers in Washington, Philadelphia and New York got to see some of the opening ceremonies of the 80th Congress.
In 1959, Alaska became the 49th state as President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a proclamation.
In 1977, Apple Computer was incorporated in Cupertino, California, by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Mike Makkula Jr.
In 1980, conservationist Joy Adamson, author of "Born Free," was killed in northern Kenya by a former employee.
In 1997, Bryant Gumbel signed off for the last time as host of NBC's "Today" show.
Ten years ago: Gerald R. Ford was laid to rest on the grounds of his presidential museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan, during a ceremony watched by thousands of onlookers. Four Americans and an Austrian abducted in southern Iraq spoke briefly and appeared uninjured in a video delivered to The Associated Press. (The men, security contractors for the Crescent Security Group based in Kuwait, were later killed by their captors.) Former Commerce Secretary C. William Verity Jr., 89, died in Beaufort, South Carolina.
Five years ago: The Iowa Republican Party held its caucuses; although Mitt Romney was originally considered the winner by an extremely narrow eight-vote margin, officials later said that Rick Santorum had in fact beaten Romney by 34 votes; in the Democratic caucuses, President Barack Obama ran unopposed. A gas pipeline in central Syria exploded; the government blamed "terrorists" while the opposition accused officials of playing on fears of religious extremism and terrorism to rally support behind President Bashar Assad.
One year ago: Republican presidential contender Donald Trump brushed off an African militant group's video that showed him calling for Muslims to be banned from coming to the U.S., telling the Sunday news shows he wouldn't be dissuaded from saying what he thought. Saudi Arabia announced it was severing diplomatic relations with Shiite (SHEE'-eyet) powerhouse Iran amid escalating tensions over the Sunni kingdom's execution of a prominent Shiite cleric.
(Stations: Lloyd, single name, is correct)
Today's Birthdays: Actor Dabney Coleman is 85. Journalist-author Betty Rollin is 81. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Bobby Hull is 78. Singer-songwriter-producer Van Dyke Parks is 74. Musician Stephen Stills is 72. Rock musician John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) is 71. Actress Victoria Principal is 67. Actor-director Mel Gibson is 61. Actress Shannon Sturges is 49. Actor John Ales is 48. Jazz musician James Carter is 48. Contemporary Christian singer Nichole Nordeman is 45. Musician Thomas Bangalter (Daft Punk) is 42. Actor Jason Marsden is 42. Actress Danica McKellar is 42. Actor Nicholas Gonzalez is 41. Singer Kimberley Locke ("American Idol") is 39. Actress Kate Levering is 38. NFL quarterback Eli Manning is 36. Actress Nicole Beharie is 32. Pop musician Mark Pontius (Foster the People) is 32. Rhythm-and-blues singer Lloyd (single name correct) is 31. Pop-rock musician Nash Overstreet (Hot Chelle (shel) Rae) is 31. Actor Alex D. Linz is 28.
Thought for Today: "If people never did silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done." - Ludwig Wittgenstein, Austrian philosopher (1889-1951).

Got a story to share?

Got a story to share? A favorite memory of your AP days? Don't keep them to yourself. Share with your colleagues by sending to Ye Olde Connecting Editor. And don't forget to include photos!

Here are some suggestions:
- Spousal support -  How your spouse helped in supporting your work during your AP career. 
- My most unusual story -  tell us about an unusual, off the wall story that you covered.
- "A silly mistake that you make"-  a chance to 'fess up with a memorable mistake in your journalistic career.
- Multigenerational AP families  - profiles of families whose service spanned two or more generations.
- Volunteering  - benefit your colleagues by sharing volunteer stories - with ideas on such work they can do themselves.
- First job  - How did you get your first job in journalism?
- Connecting "selfies"  - a word and photo self-profile of you and your career, and what you are doing today. Both for new members and those who have been with us a while.
Life after AP for those of you who have moved on to another job or profession.
Most unusual place a story assignment took you.

Paul Stevens
Editor,  Connecting newsletter