I had a great time in Wheeling last week for a book talk and signing at the Ohio County Library. You never know when there’s going to be a reporter in the room, taking it all down. Turns out that The Intelligencer and Wheeling News Register did a nice story on my visit. My favorite part…
Noting that other teams overlooked players from historically black colleges and universities, Conte remarked, “Think about how much talent was left on the table all those years.”
Roberto Clemente Jr. came by the Center for Media Innovation today. He was a huge help while I was working on the book, All About Roberto Clemente, and it was great to reconnect with him now that it’s finished. He has a great understanding of his father’s legacy and a vision for carrying it forward. Plus, he’s constantly thinking about Pittsburgh.
My friend Chris Rolinson made the visit possible. He and Roberto are working on ways to provide clean water to places in the Dominican and Africa where it’s needed. And yet I shamelessly cropped him out of the photo!
Columbia University has posted a blog entry from me about the new Clemente book. You can check it out here.
What I learned in grad school:
I learned that quality matters, and I have worked hard every day since graduating to maintain high standards for my own work and for the craft of journalism. It’s something that I try to pass along to my students.
My time at Columbia really shaped the rest of my life. With the master’s degree, I have been able to teach at the college level and that has become a rewarding part of my career and life. Beyond that, the Columbia experience made me aware of the potential to tell meaningful stories and to connect with newsmakers. More than that, the experience helped me set a high standard for my future work. Read more.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wrote a colorful review of my latest book, “All About Roberto Clemente.” They noted that the book spends a lot more time talking about Clemente, the human being — and not just his activity as a ballplayer. An excerpt:
Those who saw Clemente play will never forget his laser-like throws from right field that froze baserunners, or his daring moves on the basepaths. But Conte’s book gives as much if not more time to Roberto Clemente the human being.
Read the full review here.
I grew up in Pittsburgh. And I knew the legend of Roberto Clemente. It gets passed down from grandparents to parents to children around these parts.
But I never really knew his full story.
So when my publisher asked if I would write a children’s book on the Pirates outfielder, I jumped at the chance. The book, All About Roberto Clemente, has just come out. It seeks to introduce a new generation to Clemente — the player, but also the man. The best way to understand his impact is to see how many contemporary players — especially from the Caribbean — still pay homage to Clemente today.
I also had two personal reasons for wanting to do the book: One, my cousin John David Charlton loved Clemente. He’s a little bit older, and understood Clemente’s greatness better than I did. I dedicated the book to John. The second is that my close friend Luis Fabregas grew up in Puerto Rico and made the same trek to Pittsburgh. This story is also Luis’s story.
The book is available at Barnes & Noble everywhere, Amazon and independent book stores.
The first time my journalism students tried talking about Donald Trump’s “grab her by the. ..” — well, you know — moment, the men in class could not get out the words — afraid to embarrass and offend their female classmates.
After a week or so, everyone in class had accepted the phrase as part of our new national lexicon and they discussed it freely (although it remains too indelicate to publish here).
With the daily crush of information and social media technology that connects and exposes us in new ways, it’s easy to forget how many groundbreaking moments happen all of the time. We crossed several significant thresholds in the way we communicate during 2016.
In some cases, words and moments that once seemed too offensive turned into the daily discussions. At other moments, technology broke new ground by revealing startling new ways of sharing information.
Here’s list of the tradition-shattering moments from the past year: Continue reading
With the Obama administration striking back at supposed Russian hackers and the Trump administration raising questions, Pittsburgh continues to remain at the center of much of this discussion.
When the White House named two suspected top Russian hackers accused of meddling in the president election, it identified Evgenii Bogachev. As a suspect, he’s already familiar to federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh: They indicted him in 2014 for running the massive GameOver Zeus scam.
David Hickton, the former U.S. Attorney for Western Pennsylvania, told me that he hopes the Trump administration will keep up the push to identify foreign hackers and hold them accountable:
“This is serious business and we realized this is serious business a long time ago,” Hickton told the Tribune-Review. “It’s not something we can put aside. We need to get to the bottom of this and resolve it.”
Separately, the Independent Journal Review raises some interesting points about cybersecurity and attribution. It linked back to one of my old stories to note that there’s not really any such thing as a totally secure computer:
“Really, the only safe computer is one that’s turned off and unplugged from the Internet, and even that may not be safe,” [J. Keith] Mularski told an audience at Carnegie Mellon University on Monday evening as he and co-panelists Nicolas Christin, an information systems security expert in CMU’s Cylab, and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review investigative reporter Andrew Conte debated the pros and cons of an increasingly wired world.