Linton Weeks

Linton Weeks joined NPR in the summer of 2008, as its national correspondent for Digital News. He immediately hit the campaign trail, covering the Democratic and Republican National Conventions; fact-checking the debates; and exploring the candidates, the issues and the electorate.

Weeks is originally from Tennessee, and graduated from Rhodes College in 1976. He was the founding editor of Southern Magazine in 1986. The magazine was bought — and crushed — in 1989 by Time-Warner. In 1990, he was named managing editor of The Washington Post's Sunday magazine. Four years later, he became the first director of the newspaper's website, Washingtonpost.com. From 1995 until 2008, he was a staff writer in the Style section of The Washington Post.

He currently lives in a suburb of Washington with the artist Jan Taylor Weeks. In 2009, they created The Stone and Holt Weeks Foundation to honor their beloved sons.

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The Protojournalist
11:35 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Project Xpat: What The World Thinks Of America

Chantal Mpezo

"America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room," observed British historian Arnold J. Toynbee. "Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair."

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The Protojournalist
3:11 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Project Xpat: When Do You Become An 'Immigrant'?

iStockphoto

You are an American living in another country. Are you a tourist? An expatriate? An immigrant?

When does a visitor morph into something more? When does your home-away-from-home become your home?

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Thu December 12, 2013

The Future Of Blocks — Building On The Past

M&D

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 9:21 pm

Blocks grow with you — from basic alphabet blocks and geometric building blocks, to Tinker Toys and Legos and girder and panel sets, to bricks and

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Debate Club: Blocks Are The Best Toys Ever

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 8:16 am

Resolved: That blocks are the best toys ever.

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The Protojournalist
4:47 pm
Sat December 7, 2013

The Scent Of Pepper Spray Is In The Air

A police officer uses pepper spray on seated Occupy demonstrators at the University of California, Davis, on Nov. 18, 2011.
Thomas K. Fowler AP

Just in the past few days:

  • In Baton Rouge, La., joggers concerned about a recent attack on a runner are carrying pepper spray.
  • In Missoula, Mont., a woman files a complaint against a man for pepper-spraying her golden retriever.
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The Protojournalist
11:37 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Project Xpat: What It Means To Be An Expatriate

iStockphoto

When American expatriate Charles Trueheart was young, he lived all over the world — in Ankara, London, Saigon and Paris. His father was an American diplomat.

When Charlie was older, he moved back to the U.S. He went to college at Amherst. Eventually, he and his wife, Anne Swardson, became international correspondents for The Washington Post.

I was Charlie's editor at the Post for several stories. He is a lovely writer and a good friend.

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The Protojournalist
11:39 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Quick Question: Is Cyber Monday Passe?

Marek Uliasz iStock

Cyber Monday. The phrase seems so quaint. Like floppy disk. Or information superhighway.

But the idea of making a big deal about everybody shopping online on a given day seems even more quaint.

So quick question: Is the notion of Cyber Monday passe?

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The Protojournalist
6:29 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Project Xpat: Thank You For Posting

Turkey of Thanksgiving in Kazakhstan.
Patricia Cullinane

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 11:36 am

Thanksgiving — like the universe — is expanding.

Traditionally a time for Americans to pause and give thanks to a Supreme Being — for health or harvest or happenstance, Thanksgiving is evolving before our very eyes into a holiday where we give thanks to each other as well.

Just this week we received Thanksgiving-themed thank-you notes from a doctor's office, a lawyers' association, a New Jersey congressman and others. Can Thanksgiving-themed gift cards be far behind?

It's not a bad idea. Saying thank you to more people.

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The Protojournalist
1:13 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Project Xpat: An Air Force Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 101: Young students from around the world get a taste of the American tradition.
Sarah Kinzer

Thanking members of the U.S. military for their service is an American tradition – throughout the year. But what do those who are on the receiving end of our thanks have to be thankful for at Thanksgiving?

From somewhere in Southwest Asia, American expat Sarah Kinzer writes: "We are U.S. Air Force overseas... Due to host nation sensitivities I can't tell you a city — or country — but you can say we are stationed with the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing."

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Project Xpat: Thanksgiving Up, Down Under

Baby Partington
Susan Partington

For some expatriates there comes a point of surrender. Keeping the back-home traditions becomes too much trouble. Or the allures of the host country become too strong. Call it Thanksgiving Up.

Such is the case for Susan Partington who lives with her family in Gisborne, New Zealand. "After seven years down under, I've completely given up on the traditional foods. Spending a Thursday cooking lots of hot food during summer is absurd."

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The Protojournalist
3:33 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Project Xpat: A Globetrotter's Thanksgiving

November in Nepal: a ceremonial candle.
Sarita Fae Jarmack

If you can't be with the holiday you love, love the holiday you're with.

Sarita Fae Jarmack, 25, who grew up in the United States, has already traveled to some 30 countries. Roaming the wide world over, she has discovered that it can sometimes be quite difficult — even on this interconnected planet — to touch base with her childhood traditions.

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Project Xpat: A Seoul Food Holiday

Jessica Osborne, in green sweater, celebrates Thanksgiving with friends in Seoul.
Haley Wan

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 1:31 pm

For many Americans, Thanksgiving is more about people than pumpkin pie.

And for many Americans observing the special day in other countries — since pumpkin pie can be hard to come by — the people around them play a more prominent role.

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The Protojournalist
3:33 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Project XPat: Turkey Ball In Djibouti

Baseball in Djibouti
Rachel Pieh Jones

Here in the States, many folks play American-made football — touch, not tackle — on Thanksgiving Day after the megameal.

But in other parts of the world, no one will be the wiser if you make a substitution — and play American-made baseball. Turkey Ball instead of Turkey Bowl, perhaps?

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Project Xpat: No Tinned Pumpkin

Rowan Crutchlow, at age 3, helping to make her great-grandmother's pie cust.
Kelly Crutchlow

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 12:00 pm

Recipes, like memories, transcend place and time. Wherever American Kelly Crutchlow lives, she brings along remembrances of her family and their ways of observing Thanksgiving.

Today Kelly, who is originally from Iowa, is living near Coventry, England, with her British husband, Adam, and their two children, Rowan, 4, and Ewan, 2.

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The Protojournalist
4:11 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

Project Xpat: Not So Chilly In Chile

A circle of Thanksgiving celebrants in Santiago, Chile.
Amy Bell

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 4:21 pm

As American expatriate Amy Bell points out, a Thanksgiving celebration does not always depend on falling leaves and falling temperatures. It depends on being full of thanks.

In Chile, Thanksgiving "falls on the brink of summertime," says Amy, a science teacher at an international school in Santiago. "Unfortunately, we don't have the day off from work, so my crew of American expats gather on the following Saturday to enjoy a full day of eating, drinking and gratitude."

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Project Xpat: Homage In Catalonia

Janine Denny of New York readies the Thanksgiving table in Spain
Regan Watson

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 3:16 pm

Sometimes you carry Old Thanksgiving Traditions with you around the world; sometimes you make up Old Thanksgiving Traditions right on the spot.

Regan Watson — an American expat from San Diego now living in Barcelona, Spain — and her friends are creating a few rituals that we homelanders might want to consider.

"For years I had hosted Thanksgiving at my shared Barcelona apartment," Regan says, but "my oven was a bit too small for the 9-kilo turkey that I had to special order."

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The Protojournalist
5:24 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Project Xpat: Thanksgiving In Faraway Lands

Evy Gedlinske, last Thanksgiving.
Michelle Lin

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 11:29 am

For many Americans, the Thanksgiving holiday – with its site-specific sounds, smells, tastes, colors and rituals – is a meaningful, memory-making must-do kind of thing.

Even – maybe, especially – for those Americans living in other countries.

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The Protojournalist
11:56 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Project Xpat: Exploring The Expatriate Life

Expatriate Ernest Hemingway, 1923
National Archives, via Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 4:20 pm

Funny thing about being an American living away from America: It makes you think more about what it means to be an American.

But which is the dominant sentiment? Absence makes the heart grow fonder? Or out of sight, out of mind? The answer depends on a lot of variables.

Over the years, various people and projects have explored those variables: the mechanics and meanings of expatriation.

One of America's most notable expatriates, novelist Ernest Hemingway, examined the notion from many angles in the 1920s.

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The Protojournalist
11:18 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Project Xpat: Recalling Thanksgivings Abroad

Kate Brantley in Lille, France, 2012.
Kate Brantley

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 8:31 am

When we asked American members of the NPR community who are living in other countries to let us in on their plans for Thanksgiving 2013, we received hundreds and hundreds of responses.

Some expatriates say they plan to trot out the turkey and dressing and Mama Stamberg's cranberry relish. Others say they don't plan to celebrate one whit. Many folks sent us stories and photos of past Thanksgivings spent abroad.

Here are a few examples:

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Who Were You When JFK Was Shot?

A composite image of Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer, Randall Kennedy and James Billington.
Courtesy of Nancy Fuchs Kreimer, Randall Kennedy and James Billington

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 8:53 pm

The usual question for Americans on an Anniversary of National Significance is: Where Were You When...?

Where Were You When you learned that: Martin Luther King Jr. had been shot on April 4 in 1968? Neil Armstrong walked on the moon on July 21, 1969? The twin towers of the World Trade Center were attacked on Sept. 11, 2001?

But there is another question of orientation: Who Were You When ... a certain nation-changing event occurred?

This is who I was — 50 years ago this month — when I heard that President John F. Kennedy had been shot.

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The Protojournalist
3:04 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Peak Halloween: Is The Holiday Over The Hill?

Barbara Helgason iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 5:13 pm

Is Halloween — our national October obsession with candy, costumes and decorations — over and done?

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Haiku In The News: Reality In Riyadh

A Saudi woman walks past vehicles stopping at a traffic light in Riyadh, where there is a government ban on women driving.
Fayez Nureldine AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 4:15 pm

Poetry is important. And the hope for this standing feature of The Protojournalist is that by searching for a poetic nugget in the constant rush of news we can slow down for a moment and contemplate what the news story really means.

Like finding a lovely pebble in a mountain stream. Or a dropped earring on a crowded sidewalk.

Haiku in the News — you can find other examples here — is not designed to be a trivial thing.

Gray Lady Poems

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The Protojournalist
1:07 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Why Are Most Rampage Shooters Men?

A makeshift memorial hangs on a lamp post across the street from the Washington Navy Yard, on Sept. 20.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 2:29 pm

Aaron Alexis, the man who police say killed more than a dozen people at the Washington Navy Yard on Sept. 16, has joined a heinous parade of mass murdering shooters, nearly all men.

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The Protojournalist
11:47 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Are There Too Many 'Hillionaires' In Washington?

House Oversight Committee chairman and megamillionaire Darrell Issa is reportedly worth more than $355 million.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 12:08 pm

Capitol Hill is rife with rich people — "hillionaires," if you will.

Writing in The New York Times, Nicholas Carnes, a public policy professor at Duke University, points out that millionaires show up in only 3 percent of American families. But more than 60 percent of the Senate, most members of the House of Representatives and the Supreme Court — and the president himself — are millionaires.

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The Protojournalist
2:38 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Quick Question: Can Baseball Stop Retaliation?

New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez is hit by a pitch in a game against the Boston Red Sox in Boston on Sunday.
Jared Wickerham Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 11:37 am

Could Major League Baseball abolish retaliation if it chose to?

A recent Protojournalist Instant Conversation, Baseball Danger, addressed the perils of a Major League Baseball pitcher hurling hard balls at a batter in retaliation for some action – a stolen base, a home run, etc. It has long been accepted behavior.

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Tue August 20, 2013

5 Odd Things You Can Buy

Roadside trash.
eBay

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 1:14 pm

For the person who has everything — or maybe wants everything — we go Windows-shopping at Why I'm Broke, a portal to outrageous gift ideas.

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The Protojournalist
12:29 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Baseball Danger: An Instant Conversation

Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals gestures toward the pitcher after being hit by a pitch in a game against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on Aug. 6 in Washington, D.C.
Greg Fiume Getty Images

Starter: You know, with all the talk in recent years of "bounty hits" — tackles designed to knock opposing players out of professional football games — among players in the NFL, it may be easy to forget that professional baseball players have a similar system that, in a way, could be even more dangerous: It's called retaliation.

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The Protojournalist
11:31 am
Tue August 6, 2013

The End Of Football As We Know It

iStockphoto.com

The Kickoff

It happens every year — air cools, leaves change, Americans talk about the demise of football. This year there may be more talk than usual, for several reasons, such as:

1st Down

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Elevator Pitch: Why Care About Washington?

wbeem via Flickr

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 11:24 am

­­My friend Mark Leibovich — a New York Times reporter — has written a book about the inner watchworkings of Power Washington called This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral-Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!-in America's Gilded Capital. Among the incestuous cognoscenti of the Capital City, This Town has more buzz than a top-bar beehive.

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Mon July 8, 2013

The Life Of Paula Deen: In A Four-Course Menu

Cooking show host Paula Deen visits FOX Studios in December.
Slaven Vlasic Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 3:19 pm

Appetizer: Hogs In A Sleeping Bag

These hearty kielbasas, partially hidden in puff pastries, represent Paula Deen's first catering company The Bag Lady — begun in 1989. It offered "lunch and love" ... in a bag.

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