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PUB CHAT: Trying not to be in the news

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04.06.2022

One of the first editors I ever worked for as a fledgling cub reporter used to say, “Reporters need to REPORT the news, not BE part of the news.”

He meant simply that we need to report about crimes, not commit them; report about protests, not lead them; report about City Council meetings, not be on Council.

I’ve adhered to those words as much as possible in a 38-year career, but as I returned over the weekend from a two-week trip to Italy with a great group of 43 other travelers, I twice felt like I was breaking my editor’s edict. Even though I was off the clock and was a traveler, not a journalist, I felt like I was part of the story — perhaps too much a part of the story.

Check that, it was actually two stories: international travel during the days of covid and America’s wild Memorial Day weekend of airline problems.

As for the pandemic — you’ve heard about it, right? — I had been keeping close tabs on Italy, which has been one of the world’s hardest-hit countries. Things had subsided to a level where we felt safe to travel there, but covid is still around, just as it is here. Speaking of here, however, in December the United States made it a requirement that all air travelers abroad age 2 and older, regardless of vaccination status, need to show documentation of a negative viral test result taken within one day of a return flight to the U.S. before boarding.

In other words, you test negative, you can come home to America the Beautiful; you’re positive, Europe keeps........

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