Young journalists engage for Trump era

screen-shot-2017-02-27-at-1-32-01-pmMy latest column is a call to arms for young journalists. We’ve heard a lot about professionals getting fired up about covering the Trump administration. But it should be noted that young people are feeling it too — even if they’re not heading to Washington. Fact is, there are great stories all around and accountability to be demanded at every level. My column…

President Trump calls the media “the enemy of the American people,” and now the young journalists I know are ready to go to war.

They’re not out to fight their fellow citizens, of course. Instead, they feel emboldened to hold power accountable — Trump, other elected officials, corporations, business executives — and want to tell honest stories about Washington affecting and ignoring people. I asked my students about how Trump’s animosity influences their career goals. They had ready answers:

• “It’s pushing me to make sure my stories are as credible and accurate as they can be. There’s no room for fake news.”

• “I won’t read editorials and opinion any more. I just read hard news.”

• “Now with everything going on, I feel like I need to be in the loop.”

• “It’s just really important to get the facts because who knows what are the facts and the alternate facts?” Read more…

One note: A reader wrote me after this appeared to say I was engaging in fake news by saying Trump declared war on all the media — rather than just the ones he deems “fake.” I deleted the email rather than respond. But let me note here that Trump’s tweet specifically mentioned the New York Times, NBC, ABC, CBS and CNN. This an attack on THE MEDIA. For further evidence, see comments by chief White House strategist Steve Bannon, saying, “The media here is the opposition party.”

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Wheeling County library

screen-shot-2017-02-13-at-1-32-46-pmI 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.”

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Clemente Jr. visits Point Park

Rimg_1127oberto 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!

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Columbia: Profile on my Clemente book

 

Columbia University has posted a blog entry from me about the new Clemente book. You can check it out here.

screen-shot-2017-01-31-at-4-00-51-pmWhat 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.

Book review: ‘Clemente’ tells story bigger than baseball

screen-shot-2017-01-24-at-8-52-42-amThe 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.

My new book: ‘All About Roberto Clemente’

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.

robertoclementefinalwebSo 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.