Oct. 25, 2022

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Good Tuesday morning on this Oct. 25, 2022,


Connecting congratulations are in order for two of our longtime colleagues – Bill Kole and Edie Lederer.


The AP announced Monday that Kole, Boston-based New England editor who has covered some of the biggest stories in Europe, Middle East, Africa and North America in his 31-year career, will be retiring in November. His email -


Lederer, AP’s chief correspondent at the United Nations and a 56-year veteran of the news service, is among five who will be inducted Nov. 16 into the SPJ Deadline Club’s historic New York Journalism Hall of Fame. Her email –


Have a great day – be safe, stay healthy!




Bill Kole to retire after covering news for AP around the globe


Michael Casey, administrative correspondent for Northern New England, in a note Monday to staff:


After 31 years of covering some of the biggest stories in Europe, Middle East, Africa and North America, Bill Kole is retiring next month.

Kole told Connecting:


“It’s been such a blast – especially my long run as a foreign correspondent. That was a dream that came true, thanks to AP, and I’ll forever be grateful. There were a lot of big stories, but it’s the quirky ones that were the most fun: Covering poor Pluto’s demotion at a meeting of leading astronomers in Prague; going fishing with dynamite in Albania; and writing from Paris about 122-year-old Jeanne Calment, the oldest person who ever lived. As I told my staff: ‘That roar in the background? That’ll be me cheering you on.’”


Kole joined AP in Detroit in 1991, where he covered Dr. Jack Kevorkian, his suicide machine, and the spirited national conversation around individual end-of-life decisions. 


After a stint in Hartford, Kole went to Europe. In Paris, he was a lead writer on the crash that killed Britain’s Princess Diana. In The Hague, he oversaw coverage of the trial of the two Libyans who blew up Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people. From Vatican City, he reported on the death of Pope John Paul II and the conclave of cardinals that elected Pope Benedict XVI. And in Belgrade, he covered Kosovo’s independence and the arrest of former Yugoslav strongman Slobodan Milosevic.


He returned with his wife Terry to Boston in 2009, overseeing operations in New England where he earned a reputation as a reporter’s favorite – someone who championed his writers and gave them the space to develop beats and the skills to thrive at AP. He was also one of the go-to editors for leaders in the East, offering up his desking skills and leadership when staffing was short or a breaking story needed a steady hand.  

Terry and Bill in Newport, R.I.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Terry worked as an illustrator for The Detroit News in the early 1980s. She joined AP Graphics in New York in 1994 and was its first full-time artist abroad when Bill was posted to Paris in 1995, working with reporters in that time zone to produce infographics, and continued for a time after he transferred to the Netherlands as Amsterdam COB in 1997. Today, she teaches illustration and is a children’s book illustrator.)


When the father of two wasn’t anchoring a breaking story or scanning Playbook, Kole could be found out running, sailing or, as his late brother would attest, fishing at his favorite pond for bass. A nationally certified track and field coach, Kole has run 17 marathons and was featured in Business Insider magazine -- for running and tweeting every mile of the Boston Marathon in 2014, a year after terrorists set off deadly bombs at the finish line. 


A true Renaissance man, Kole is a great cook and musician. He was the “beat man” in an a cappella group and demonstrated his singing chops to his AP colleagues when he dedicated a sea shanty to a colleague. Is there anything this guy can’t do?


Now, Kole is well on his way to writing his next chapter. He has a book deal, and you can expect to see him on tour by next year talking about it – a takeout on aging with a focus on the growing number of centenarians around the world. No doubt more books will follow.


SPJ Deadline Club to induct AP’s Edie Lederer to New York Journalism Hall of Fame


The AP’s Edie Lederer, chief correspondent at the United Nations and a 56-year veteran of the news service, is among five new members to be inducted Nov. 16 into the SPJ Deadline Club’s historic New York Journalism Hall of Fame. 

This year’s ceremony, to be held at the Manhattan Manor near Times Square, will recognize five iconic changemakers: Gay Talese, Ken Auletta, Lederer, Carole Simpson and Anthony Mason.


Lederer told Connecting: “I am thrilled beyond words to be included in this pantheon of media greats – and I was overwhelmed to learn from AP’s James Martinez, a Deadline Club board member, that I will be the first AP correspondent inducted into the Hall of Fame. I have had an amazing 56-year career at The Associated Press that has taken me all over the world, and it’s not over yet!”


From the Deadline Club news release:


EDITH LEDERER is a pioneering reporter who in more than five decades with The Associated Press has worked on every continent except Antarctica covering wars, famines, nuclear issues and political upheavals. She has been chief correspondent at the United Nations since 1998, reporting on the diplomatic side of conflicts in Ukraine, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Darfur and Kosovo, and major global issues from the nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea to climate change and women’s rights. The Long Island native’s career is marked by significant firsts: First female resident war correspondent in Vietnam in 1972, first woman to head an AP foreign bureau, in Peru, and the first journalist to file the bulletin announcing the start of the first Gulf War. Her many AP posts from Africa and Latin America to Hong Kong and London have made her an eyewitness to history on many fronts, helping to cover the breakup of the Soviet Union, conflicts in Northern Ireland and Bosnia, and the death of Princess Diana.


The last (pre-pandemic) inductees the Deadline Club honored was in 2019 - Tom Brokaw, Ted Koppel, Peggy Noonan, Jane Pauley and the AP’s own Richard Drew.


Established in 1975 as part of the Deadline Club’s golden anniversary celebration, the New York Journalism Hall of Fame was conceived as a lifetime achievement award recognizing reporters, writers, correspondents, editors, publishers and media executives whose work had made a significant contribution to American journalism. Past honorees have included Jimmy Breslin, Mike Wallace, Barbara Walters, Ed Bradley and Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, to name but a few.


This year's luncheon event will take place Wednesday, November 16, noon to 3 p.m. ET, at the Manhattan Manor, 201 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019, near Times Square. Learn more about the inductees and to buy tickets visit


More memories of your expense accounts


Ed McCullough - As a news editor and CoB overseas, I requested receipts - or, generally OK'd $50 a day all-in. Reporter's choice. That seemed acceptable in Latin America in the 1980s and 90s, and even in Europe in the 2000s. Knowing they could keep whatever they didn't spend, staffers generally took the daily $50 option; "grazed" at media gatherings, the occasional McDonald's or other reporters' expense accounts; and pocketed hundreds of dollars.


They also accepted working irregular hours, holding the line on OT, and beating the competition on whatever breaking news that we were covering. If need be said, we all took the same flights (economy class), stayed in the same budget-oriented hotels, played by the same rules, and (almost) never went over budget.


As a CoB, that acronym sometimes twerked to Collect old Bills, a couple of lunches stand out.


In Caracas in the mid-1990s, the publisher of a long-time Venezuela newspaper subscriber invited me - i.e., invited AP - to an expensive restaurant. As he ordered everything a la carte, I remember thinking to myself: What does AP call a good subscriber who doesn't pay his bills? Well, not "good," anyway.


After his discourse on the merits of balsamic vinegar, up comes the waiter with a silver tray. He whisks off the top and Voila! There sat a check for $25,000 - a lot of money at that time and place.


A decade later, the sister of the owner of the biggest newspaper in Finland invited AP - i.e., me - to lunch. She picked the place: about the most expensive hotel in Helsinki. She picked the main course: her favorite, Marshal Mannerheim's beef stew.

I was allowed to pick the wine. The list had no prices, but I knew the airport duty-free price of a red that should pass muster: Tignanello, a Super Tuscan that might impress her and unobtrusively pass N.Y. bean-counter review of my expense account. Such was not to be.


The bill was about $500. For two people. About two decades ago. A phone call from "headquarters" comes to my Stockholm office. From an SVP no less. "Did you really have lunch with her?" Yes. "Did you get that contract renewal negotiated?" Yes. (Her brother the publisher had asked, "Why do we need a new contract?" to which I replied, "Because the current one is decades old on two sides of a single sheet of paper, in Finnish, and signed by two people who are dead.") No further questions.




Jim Reindl - My expense account story involves Special Correspondent Hugh Mulligan. He came to Chicago to do a piece on Frank Lloyd Wright, who had designed a number of homes in the suburb of Oak Park where my wife and I were living (although not OUR house). I believe I did some kind of trivial work for Hugh to help further his story, so he wanted to take us to dinner. I picked a restaurant near our house that, while not extravagant, was not a place we could regularly afford.


We met Hugh then sat down for before-dinner drinks. Then appetizers. Then salads and dinner with wine, lots of wine. Then coffee and dessert. Then after dinner drinks. Then the bill.


Hugh hunched over the bill for a while, giving it careful consideration. Finally, he looked up at my wife and said, “You are a source,” then turned to me and said “and you are a long cab ride.” I suspect Treasury did not see the humor.


And more stories of your ‘dream car’


Hal Spencer - After 13 months in Vietnam, I had $1,400 in my pocket and no car. My dad and I went down to his favorite Salt Lake City car dealer to help me find a sensible ride. Maybe a Dodge Dart, Dad suggested. Good car.


But lust is a powerful thing.


As we talked to the dealer, I gazed out at the showroom and there sat a brand-new midnight-blue 1968 Sunbeam Alpine. This English import had black leather seats, a boss tac, and other cool gauges and toggle switches, and of course a rag top. But it was $2,800. To my surprise, my dad caught my fever, lent me the balance, and I knew heaven.


The car, built for English country roads, was insanely impractical. It was dashing and fast on the zippy Southern California freeways where I finished the last months of my hitch. But in the Rocky Mountains, in all kinds of weather, not so much. I got to know cold and danger best as I inched over Monida Pass between Idaho and Montana on solid ice enroute to Missoula for school. By then I was broke and the tires were bald.


But still. For four years, I knew the mystical joy of a foreign sports car.



AP Investigation: Moscow taking Ukrainian kids to raise them as Russians



Russia has been open about its desire to turn Ukrainian orphans into Russian citizens with Russian families — the country has promoted adoptions on television, framing them as a generous outpouring for children in need. Whether or not they have parents, raising the children of war in another country or culture can be a marker of genocide, an attempt to erase culture and identity.


Investigative correspondent Sarah El Deeb started work on the story over the summer with Ukrainian journalists Anastasiia Shvets, based in Kyiv, and Lviv-based Elizaveta Tilna, reaching out to dozens of Ukrainians to determine the extent of the issue. The problem, Ukrainian officials say, is that they don't even know the identities of the kids who have disappeared into Russia — many were pulled by Russian forces from bombed-out basements in besieged cities like Mariupol — making it all but impossible to trace them. Moscow producer Tanya Titova and cameraman Kirill Zarubin, meanwhile, reported from the other end, learning how the adoption process worked and locating large groups of Ukrainian children in camps throughout Russia.


Read more here.



Unswerving reporting reveals how thieves drove new muscle cars off the lots of automakers, dealerships

New Chrysler vehicles are parked in storage lots near the the Stellantis Detroit Assembly Complex in Detroit, Oct. 5, 2022. AP PHOTO / PAUL SANCYA


Exclusive reporting by Detroit’s Corey Williams exposed how an Ohio-based theft ring using cloned key fobs to steal muscle cars and other high-powered vehicles in Michigan — even from an automaker’s factory lot. The true crime narrative was the result years of work by Williams, and it was a hit with readers.


Williams doggedly kept notes and records after a brazen 2018 car and truck theft at a Detroit auto plant, where thieves crashed a security gate to steal high-performance vehicles. He started keeping track of similar thefts at that auto plant and at dealerships in Oakland and Macomb counties north of Detroit. What was striking to him through all of it was the lack of detail coming from law enforcement, and the stonewalling he endured when he asked about the thefts, including queries to Detroit police, Oakland County Sheriff's Department, Michigan State Police and the FBI.


Read more here.

AP logo sighting

Claude Erbsen - Appropriately enough on a writing implement.

Connecting wishes Happy Birthday

Marty Thompson

Stories of interest


This political era has nearly killed off newspaper endorsements for president (Nieman Lab)




Readers of Alden Global Capital newspapers: Endorsements in national and even statewide races are now verboten in your daily’s pages. As they told readers earlier this month:


Endorsing candidates for elected offices inherently means picking one party over another. At this stage of our nation’s history, that partisan selection is counterproductive to achieving the essential goal of facilitating healthy public debate and building trust in our journalistic enterprise.


Therefore we along with other papers at Tribune Publishing and MediaNews Group will no longer be endorsing candidates in presidential, congressional and gubernatorial elections. We will continue to cover these high-profile, often controversial races, but we recognize that picking a candidate may alienate more readers than it persuades.


Read more here. Shared by Mike Holmes.




The Oregonian’s Racist Legacy (Oregonian)


Story by ROB DAVIS

Photography by BETH NAKAMURA


Content warning: This story contains detailed descriptions of hate crimes and quotations of racist statements the newspaper printed.


On the first day Henry Pittock printed the Morning Oregonian as a daily in 1861, the owner and publisher said he aimed for his newspaper to be “useful and acceptable to our people.”


Through what it covered and what it ignored, in landmark editorials and everyday stereotypes, the newspaper left no doubt in the decades that followed who Pittock’s “people” were: white men.


The now 161-year-old daily newspaper spent decades reinforcing the racial divide in a state founded as whites-only, fomenting the racism that people of color faced.


It excused lynching. It promoted segregation. It opposed equal rights for women and people of color. It celebrated laws to exclude Asian immigrants. It described Native Americans as uncivilized, saying their extermination might be needed.


Read more here. Shared by Steve Graham.

And this from the editor of the Oregonian. Shared by Paul Albright.




Murdoch’s succession: who wins from move to reunite Fox and News Corp? (Guardian)




This week’s 200th anniversary soiree for the Sunday Times gathered some of the biggest names in media at the headquarters of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in London’s Piccadilly to celebrate one of the jewels of Rupert Murdoch’s empire.


But talk of famous front pages and scoops among guests at Monday night’s event, where the attendees included News Corp boss Robert Thomson and News UK chief Rebekah Brooks, was overshadowed by the news that broke three days earlier: the mogul’s plan to reunify his media empire.


After a lifetime of deals, Murdoch, now 91, is making perhaps his final play as he seeks to merge News Corp – home to the Times, Sun, Wall Street Journal and the Australian – with Fox, broadcaster of Fox News and crown jewel NFL games, as he hands the running of his empire over to eldest son, Lachlan.


While the 51-year-old heir, who shocked his father by abruptly leaving the family business in 2005 to move to Australia and pursue his own interests before being enticed back a decade later, is primed to become chair, there is plenty of chatter over who will get the top job running the day-to-day business.


Read more here.

Today in History – Oct. 25, 2022

Today is Tuesday, Oct. 25, the 298th day of 2022. There are 67 days left in the year.


Today’s Highlight in History:


On Oct. 25, 1760, Britain’s King George III succeeded his late grandfather, George II.


On this date:


In 1859, radical abolitionist John Brown went on trial in Charles Town, Virginia, for his failed raid at Harpers Ferry. (Brown was convicted and hanged.)


In 1881, artist Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga, Spain.


In 1910, “America the Beautiful,” with words by Katharine Lee Bates and music by Samuel A. Ward, was first published.


In 1945, Taiwan became independent of Japanese colonial rule.


In 1960, the Bulova Watch Co. introduced its electronic “Accutron” model.


In 1962, during a meeting of the U.N. Security Council, U.S. Ambassador Adlai E. Stevenson II demanded that Soviet Ambassador Valerian Zorin confirm or deny the existence of Soviet-built missile bases in Cuba; Stevenson then presented photographic evidence of the bases to the Council.


In 1971, the U.N. General Assembly voted to admit mainland China and expel Taiwan.


In 1983, a U.S.-led force invaded Grenada (greh-NAY’-duh) at the order of President Ronald Reagan, who said the action was needed to protect U.S. citizens there.


In 1986, in Game 6 of the World Series, the New York Mets rallied for three runs with two outs in the 10th inning, defeating the Boston Red Sox 6-5 and forcing a seventh game; the tie-breaking run scored on Boston first baseman Bill Buckner’s error on Mookie Wilson’s slow grounder. (The Mets went on to win the Series.)


In 1994, Susan Smith of Union, South Carolina, claimed that a Black carjacker had driven off with her two young sons (Smith later confessed to drowning the children in John D. Long Lake, and was convicted of murder). Three defendants were convicted in South Africa of murdering American exchange student Amy Biehl. (In 1998, all three were granted amnesty by South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.)


In 1999, golfer Payne Stewart and five others were killed when their Learjet flew uncontrolled for four hours before crashing in South Dakota; Stewart was 42.


In 2002, Democratic U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone of Minnesota was killed in a plane crash in northern Minnesota along with his wife, daughter and five others, a week and a-half before the election.


Ten years ago: President Barack Obama, seeking to shore up support among women, intensified his pressure on Mitt Romney to break any ties with a Republican Senate candidate, Richard Mourdock of Indiana, who said that if a woman became pregnant from rape it was “something God intended.” Romney ignored the emotional social issue, holding to an optimistic campaign tone as he fought for victory in crucial Ohio.


Five years ago: Two women who said they had been lost at sea for nearly six months were rescued by a U.S. Navy ship in the Pacific. (The women said they had set out from Honolulu for what was supposed to be an 18-day journey to Tahiti in May but that they encountered a storm; records showed no severe weather in the area at the time, and other inconsistencies in their story came to light in the days after their rescue.) CBS News named correspondent Jeff Glor as anchor of the “CBS Evening News.” The U.S. government announced that all incoming flights to the United States would be subject to new security screening procedures before takeoff.


One year ago: Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed redrawn voting maps that paved a safer path for the GOP’s slipping majority in the state. Sudan’s military seized power, dissolving the transitional government and arresting the prime minister; thousands of people flooded the streets to protest the coup, and the Sudan Doctors’ Committee said three protesters were killed when security forces opened fire. Hertz announced that it would buy 100,000 electric vehicles from Tesla, one of the largest purchases of battery-powered cars in history.


Today’s Birthdays: Actor Marion Ross is 94. Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Knight is 82. Author Anne Tyler is 81. Rock singer Jon Anderson (Yes) is 78. Political strategist James Carville is 78. Singer Taffy Nivert (Starland Vocal Band) is 78. Rock musician Glenn Tipton (Judas Priest) is 75. Actor Brian Kerwin is 73. Actor Mark L. Taylor is 72. Movie director Julian Schnabel is 71. Rock musician Matthias Jabs is 66. Actor Nancy Cartwright (TV: “The Simpsons”) is 65. Country singer Mark Miller (Sawyer Brown) is 64. Rock musician Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers; Chickenfoot) is 61. Actor Tracy Nelson is 59. Actor Michael Boatman is 58. Actor Kevin Michael Richardson is 58. Actor Mathieu Amalric is 57. Singer Speech is 54. Actor-comedian-TV host Samantha Bee is 53. Actor Adam Goldberg is 52. Actor-singer Adam Pascal is 52. Rock musician Ed Robertson (Barenaked Ladies) is 52. Actor Persia White is 52. Country singer Chely (SHEL’-ee) Wright is 52. Actor Leslie Grossman is 51. Violinist Midori is 51. Actor Craig Robinson is 51. Actor Michael Weston is 49. Actor Zachary Knighton is 44. Actor Mariana Klaveno is 43. Actor Mehcad (muh-KAD’) Brooks is 42. Actor Josh Henderson is 41. Pop singer Katy Perry is 38. Rock singer Austin Winkler is 38. Singer Ciara is 37. Actor Krista Marie Yu (TV: “Dr. Ken”) is 34. Actor Rachel Matthews is 29. Actor Conchita Campbell is 27. San Diego Padres outfielder Juan Soto is 24.

Got a story or photos to share?

Connecting is a daily newsletter published Monday through Friday that focuses on retired and former Associated Press employees, present-day employees, and news industry and journalism school colleagues. It began in 2013 and past issues can be found by clicking Connecting Archive in the masthead. Its author, Paul Stevens, retired from the AP in 2009 after a 36-year career as a newsman in Albany and St. Louis, correspondent in Wichita, chief of bureau in Albuquerque, Indianapolis and Kansas City, and Midwest vice president based in Kansas City.

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:

- 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.

- Second chapters - You finished a great career. Now tell us about your second (and third and fourth?) chapters of life.
- 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?

Most unusual place a story assignment took you.

Paul Stevens
Editor, Connecting newsletter