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
11:12 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Sonic Dictionary: An Aural History Project

Brooke Watson of Duke University gathers sound for the Sonic Dictionary.
Mary Caton Lingold

If you don't know the meaning of a word, says Mary Caton Lingold, you can look it up in the dictionary, but if you don't know what a particular sound sounds like, where do you go? (Besides NPR, of course.)

For instance: What does tobacco harvesting sound like? Or someone clogging? Or a shotgun?

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The Protojournalist
11:12 am
Mon February 3, 2014

6 Odd College Courses In America

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 1:21 pm

About college courses, actor Tom Hanks recently told The Star-Ledger: "I had thought, oh, college, you have to take chemistry and stuff and sit there slogging through work in the library. And then it was like, wait, you can go to college and study theater? And act in plays? This is almost a racket."

Check the catalogs at colleges these days and you will see that you can study theater, act in plays and explore a whole lot more.

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The Protojournalist
11:12 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Fixing The NFL: Put Robots In The Super Bowl

Cleatus of Fox Sports
Kevin Lynch FOX Sports

Through one lens, the National Football League — on the threshold of Super Bowl XLVIII — looks to be at the top of its game. Revenues are ridiculously high: more than $9 billion a year, CNN reports. Television ratings are roof-piercing: 34 of the 35 most-watched TV shows of autumn 2013 were NFL games, according to the NFL.

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The Protojournalist
11:12 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Warning: In Bitter Cold, Beware The 'Umbles'

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 2:03 pm

Icy vortices, trains of snowstorms, treacherous temperatures — many people are having to learn some harsh lessons about harsh weather.

"When the weather is bitter cold," says Dr. Campbell McLaren, "we have to be vigilant — not just to protect ourselves, but those around us."

And we have to watch out for the "umbles."

As an emergency room doctor in northern New Hampshire, McLaren has specialized in hypothermia and other deleterious effects of extreme cold. He speaks in a Scottish brogue — and by telephone and email, he warns against the umbles.

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The Protojournalist
11:15 am
Wed January 22, 2014

As Time Goes By, What Makes A Movie Timeless?

Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup in Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave. It could become a classic.
Jaap Buitendijk Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 5:54 pm

Awards season is upon us. And on top of us. And all over us with red carpets, acceptance speeches and actor antics.

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The Protojournalist
11:35 am
Fri January 17, 2014

News Match Game: Leaders And Tweeters

President Barack Obama at a "Twitter Town Hall" on July 6, 2011 at the White House.
MANDEL NGAN AFP/Getty Images

The votes are in, and President Obama — with 40 million followers on Twitter --is the Leader of the Tweet World, according to the Digital Policy Council's recent report on the use of social media by presidents, potentates and other pooh-bahs.

The Top 5 World Leaders With The Most Followers On Twitter:

1) President Barack Obama of the United States

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The Protojournalist
11:12 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Quick Question: Time To Leave Smokers Alone?

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 4:48 pm

Fifty years ago this month, the landmark U.S. Surgeon General's report linking cigarette smoking and lung cancer was released.

Over the past half-century, America has become more and more inhospitable to people who smoke — and to tobacco companies. In a recent statement, the Department of Health and Human Services declares its desire "to make the next generation tobacco-free."

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The Protojournalist
11:12 am
Sat January 11, 2014

Tell Us The 6 Songs Of Your Life

.sarahwynne. Flickr

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 1:09 pm

Music. It's been there with us from the beginning — sometimes in the background, sometimes centerstage. We listen. We sing. We play along. We compose. We remember.

We are a species deep into music. And the music is deep into us — especially those of us at NPR, where music is an essential element of everyday existence.

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The Protojournalist
11:40 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Can Amazon's Jeff Bezos Save Planet Earth?

Jeff Bezos.
David Ryder Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 1:07 pm

Look. Up in the sky — and in that little package with the A-to-Z logo. It's a bird. It's a plane.

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The Protojournalist
11:13 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Have Yourself A Tacky Little Christmas

Solid Color Neckties

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 10:55 am

Maybe it all started with ugly Christmas sweaters. Or with cheesy inflatable Santas. Or hideously inappropriate tree ornaments. But Christmastime – at least its visible trappings and accoutrements – seems to be getting tackier.

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The Protojournalist
11:45 am
Thu December 19, 2013

100 Years Of Solvitude: A Reported Crossword Puzzle

Word-Cross creator, 1938.
Bettmann/Corbis

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 3:17 pm

Created by a British-American wordsmith, the very first Word-Cross appeared in the New York World on Dec. 21, 1913.

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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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