Dave is at home in Gainesville, resting.
His term ended at 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, 2006.
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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Feb. 20: St. Augustine, Fla.

Flagler College in St. Augustine (Google map) is forming a brand new SPJ chapter, its first ever.

I drove over on Monday afternoon to speak at the chapter's first official meeting. It was held in a ballroom in the old Hotel Ponce de Leon, a spectacularly beautiful building built in 1887 as a luxury resort. Henry Flagler, a co-founder of Standard Oil, was the builder.

After the meeting, Dr. Helena Sarkio, the chapter adviser and a former colleague at the University of Florida, took me, her dean and the chapter president and vice president to dinner at the Columbia Restaurant in old St. Augustine. The fare: Spanish.

Dr. Sarkio shot this picture.
Feb. 10-12: St. Petersburg, Fla.

I flew into Tampa from Santo Domingo on Friday evening, then checked in to the St. Pete Hilton. Saturday is the semi-annual meeting of the Council of National Journalism Organizations.

SPJ Executive Director Terry Harper was there, so we met up in the bar and had drinks with Eric Newton of the Knight Foundation. We discussed journalismtraining.org, which SPJ created and manages for CNJO with Knight funding.

Saturday, we met all day at the Poynter Institute (Google map). CNJO includes the leaders of some 50 national journalism organizations from the obituarists to SPJ, IRE and NPPA.

After the meeting, I drove Terry to the Tampa airport and then joined other council members for dinner. The fare was Spanish at the Columbia Restuarant on the pier in St. Petersburg.

Sunday morning, I left early to drive home -- made it by noon.
Feb. 7-10: Santo Domingo,
Dominican Republic

Here I am, back in the D.R. so quickly. This time, it is at the behest of the U.S. Department of State, which has asked me to speak on the first anniversary of the passage of the D.R.'s first freedom of information law. I'm also lecturing at two universities in Santo Domingo (Google map).

I met with Rafael Molina, incoming president of the Inter American Press Association, and we agreed to cooperate on creating an inter American FOI conference in Miami. We also discussed the ethical practice of journalism, and Molina said he would like SPJ to make a presentation at IAPA's annual convention in Mexico City.

I participated in a news conference on the FOI law passage and lectured at FunGlode and Universidad Catolica.

Dan and Lisa Kubiske were again kind enough to put me up in their home in Santo Domingo.

Friday, I flew back to Tampa.
Memphis at sunset

Jan. 12-15: Memphis, Tenn.

I flew to Memphis Thursday morning for the winter meeting of the SPJ Executive Committee. On the way into the city from the airport, I had to pay my respects to Elvis through a visit to Graceland. I did the whole tour, cars, airplanes, house and the works. Then, I had dinner Thursday night with Ron Spielberger and his wife. Ron is executive director of College Media Advisers, and we wanted to discuss the situation at Ocean County College, where the newspaper adviser was replaced after 35 years.

Friday, Terry Harper, Clint Brewer and I had lunch with Chris Peck, editor of the Commercial Appeal. The fare was Cajun, and Chris was very gracious, agreeing to support SPJ in his newsroom and keynote the regional conference.

In the afternoon, I played hookey and visited Sun Studios. It was a spiritual experience to stand in the small room where so many famous muisicans made their first recordings. Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins were among them. We had dinner -- Memphis barbecue, of course -- at the Rendezvous, my second trip to the famous alleyway barbecue joint in two days.

Saturday, the executive committee met from 9 a.m. to nearly 5 p.m. in a plush conference room at the Commercial Appeal building. Dinner was at a Brazilian place serving all-you-can-eat meat, a churrascarea, if you will, called Texas de Brazil.

Caught an early flight home on Sunday.
Dec. 14-18: Santo Domingo,
Dominican Republic

Wife Jeanne and I flew from Gainesville to Santo Domingo (Google map for me to make a series of appearances at Dominican news organizations. We stayed at the home of Dan Kubiske, co-chair of SPJ's International Journalism Committee, and visited Clave Digital, the American Center, Caribe, FunGlode and met with editors and publishers of other newspapers.

The hope was to begin bringing the SPJ Code of Ethics to Latin America. I brought 50 copies of the code in Spanish and distributed all of them in the various newsrooms.

We had planned to meet with the incoming president of the Inter American Press Association, but he had to cancel because of a family emergency.

The photo was taken at FunGlode. L-R: Fredric Eman-Zade, director general, Carlson, Iban Campo, Director of Communications.
Nov. 16: DeLand, Fla.

I caught a 6:40 a.m. flight back from Fort Worth, jumped in the car at Orlando airport and drove up to Stetson University in DeLand. There, I spoke at a luncheon meeting of the Florida Public Relations Association.
Nov. 15: Fort Worth, Texas

It is traditional that the SPJ president make the Fort Worth Pro Chapter of SPJ the first stop. I flew out of Orlando on Nov. 15, spoke at an evening meeting in Fort Worth and was presented with the traditional gift, a branding iron with my initials on it.
Oct. 31-Nov. 10: Seoul, South Korea

I was honored to lead the SPJ delegation to the Asian Journalists Forum in Seoul, South Korea. But, wow, is it a long trip -- 15 hours on an airplane from Atlanta to Seoul, then a couple of hours to get through the airport and into the city.

Traditional Korean toast to celebrate the forumI arrived at the Koreana Hotel in downtown Seoul at about 6 p.m., just in time to dash through a shower, put on a suit and tie and straggle in to the opening dinner about 10 minutes late.

Six SPJ representatives were among some 58 journalists from 24 countries. The first two days were spent in sessions on the top floor of the Korea Press Center in downtown Seoul. Then, the entire group moved to Jeju Island for another day of meetings.

SPJ was able to make some meaningful contributions to the discussions about freedom of the press and freedom of information in various countries. I presented a report on the state of FOI laws and journalism in the U.S., including a lengthy examination of the Judith Miller case. We also helped move a resolution about the Six Party Talks away from political statements and toward statements about what journalists should do to ensure fair and impartial coverage.

The group also passed a resolution calling for an end to the persecution of journalists in Nepal and approved documents forming the Asian Journalists Association.

After the forum ended, the SPJ contingent traveled to several cities in Korea and was treated to a series of programs that helped us gain greater understanding of the cultural heritage of the Korean people. We ate a lot of wonderful Korean food as well.

More photos