30 years later, I’m still learning from Pat Stith

I had the privilege of working on some stories with Pat Stith while we were both at the News & Observer. Imagine him as Michael Jordan and me as the ball boy and you’ve got the picture. He was a masterful reporter and I was a kid. The stories about the newspaper stories we worked on are a-whole-nother blog post. But it’s safe to say that I learned a great deal about reporting and fact-checking and patience from him.


Now, three-plus decades later, I’m still learning. This time about blogging.

I’ve had a blog since 2004, and I’ve had this one since 2012. I started out writing about journalism, but as I’ve gotten further away from trying to peer into the foggy future of journalism, I let the blog drift away. I was dutiful about keeping track of good stories published in Sunday newspapers — the Sunday sampler — but other than that, meh.

Then, upon reading a post on Stith’s blog in January, I realized that I wanted to do what he does. He writes interesting anecdotes about his life in newspapers, his life growing up, his life with politicians and bureaucrats. His life. I started thinking that I should write some of this stuff down.

In February, I started writing three posts a week, Usually Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Sometimes I missed a post, other times I wrote a fourth. But three was my intent. Most are about newspapering, some are about teaching. Not many are about growing up, although those may come.

It’s made the blog fun again. Thanks, Pat.