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CNN’s John King can’t wait to talk about Rhode Island and Jim Taricani tonight

The URI grad’s journalism roots run deep in the Ocean State

CNN's John King discusses the electoral college map on Election Night, Nov. 4, 2020.
CNN's John King discusses the electoral college map on Election Night, Nov. 4, 2020.CNN

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Happy Wednesday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and I can’t even remember the last time the Knicks lost a game. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

ICYMI: Rhode Island was up to 145,358 confirmed coronavirus cases on Tuesday, after adding 318 new cases. The most-recent overall daily test-positive rate was 2.5 percent, and the first-time positive rate was 20 percent. The state announced three more deaths, bringing the total to 2,654. There were 153 people in the hospital, and 333,476 residents were fully vaccinated. 


You know CNN’s John King from his marathon stint last year at the network’s “Magic Wall” as the world waited for a winner to be called in the presidential election. But he’s also a University of Rhode Island graduate who says his favorite moments in journalism came during his time interning at the Associated Press in our state.

King is set to share some of his Rhode Island memories and speak about the importance of journalism tonight when he headlines URI’s inaugural Taricani Lecture on First Amendment Rights at 5 p.m. The virtual event is free to attend, and you can register here.

The lecture series was created following the 2019 death of legendary investigative reporter Jim Taricani, who became a friend and mentor to so many journalists during his distinguished career at Channel 10.

That includes King, who met Taricani in 1984 as an intern for the AP. It was also the year Buddy Cianci resigned as Providence mayor (for the first time) and mob boss Raymond L.S. Patriarca died. King said he learned pretty quickly that “Rhode Island is Disneyland for journalists.”


King said his speech tonight, called “From Taricani to Trump: Lessons Learned on a Journey from Rhode Island to Washington and Beyond,” is designed to remind students that journalism remains under attack in this country, and Taricani was willing to go to jail to defend the First Amendment. (Taricani famously refused to reveal a FBI source, and was convicted of criminal contempt and sentenced to six months of home confinement in 2004.)

King said he hopes tonight’s talk is less of a lecture and more of an opportunity to have a discussion with the next generation of journalists.

”Jim was a damn good reporter, but it was mostly because he was a listener and he had respect to all sides of the story,” King said. 

His message to students: “The main point I want to make to the students is to find someone like Jim in your life.”


My latest column: Inaction on police reform is not an option right now, especially when sensible ideas for changing the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights are on the table. Read more.⚓ Here’s our roundup of what Rhode Island leaders had to say after Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George FloydRead more.⚓ Governor Dan McKee on Tuesday defended his plans to tax some forgiven federal business loans and said he’d probably support changes to how police are disciplined in the state. Read more.⚓ The United States Golf Association announced Tuesday that Newport Country Club will host the 2024 US Senior Open from June 27-30. Read more.


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Opinion: My colleague Jeneé Osterheldt writes that justice requires more than one cop’s accountability. Read more.

Police: Boston Police Commissioner Paul F. Evans was informed in 1996 that his own investigators believed one of their officers had sexually abused a child, but after pushback from the union, the patrolman was allowed to keep his badge and return to patrol, according to files released by the city Tuesday afternoon. Read more.

Education: For the first time since the MCAS became a graduation requirement in 2003, high school juniors will be exempt from having to pass the exam to receive their diploma. Read more.

Sports: Liverpool executed an abrupt 180 and, along with the other English Premier League teams involved, deserted a bold European Super League plan it had been a proud signatory to less than 48 hours earlier. Read more.


Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

⚓ BIRTHDAYS: Rhode Map readers, if you want a friend or family member to be recognized on Friday, send me an e-mail with their first and last name, and their age. If you want a shout out on the new Globe Rhode Island Facebook page, send along their Facebook handle as well.

⚓ Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos will hold her first small business Town Hall event on Facebook Live at noon.⚓ Governor McKee will tour Federal Hill at 4:15 p.m.

⚓ The Providence School Board meets at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.


⚓ Do you ❤ Rhode Map? Your subscription is what makes it possible. We’ve got a great offer here.

Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.