Mark Memmott

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.

As the NPR Ethics Handbook states, the Standards & Practices editor is "charged with cultivating an ethical culture throughout our news operation. This means he or she coordinates regular training and discussion on how we apply our principles and monitors our decision-making practices to ensure we're living up to our standards."

Before becoming Standards & Practices editor, Memmott was one of the hosts of NPR's "The Two-Way" news blog, which he helped to launch when he came to NPR in 2009. It focuses on breaking news, analysis, and the most compelling stories being reported by NPR News and other news media.

Prior to joining NPR, Memmott worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor at USA Today. He focused on a range of coverage from politics, foreign affairs, economics, and the media. He reported from places across the United States and the world, including half a dozen trips to Afghanistan in 2002-2003.

During his time at USA Today, Memmott, helped launch and lead three USAToday.com news blogs: "On Deadline," "The Oval" and "On Politics," the site's 2008 presidential campaign blog.

Organizers had predicted a turnout of thousands at a rally in a Tampa park Monday morning to protest Republican policies.

They ended up getting a better showing, as least early on, from the members of the media desperate to cover something — anything — on what was to have been the opening day of the Republican National Convention.

Political conventions, even ones that have been delayed a day by a tropical storm, are all about getting a party's message out to the nation.

Minutes ago in the Tampa Convention Center, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky used a sit-down with USA Today and Gannett correspondents to restate one key argument Republicans have been making and will continue to make through Election Day:

The Donald isn't done yet with the "birther" conspiracy.

Developer/reality show star/sort-of politician Donald Trump brought his unique personality to Florida on Sunday and for at least a few minutes took some of the spotlight away from the Republican National Convention in Tampa and tropical storm Isaac out in the Gulf of Mexico.

Sometimes you just walk into a metaphor.

What classic rock title could better describe what a politician's really saying to voters than Cheap Trick's I Want You To Want Me?

Greetings from Tampa, where that old phrase "the calm before the storm" has never been more appropriate.

Tropical storm Isaac is now looking like it will make landfall somewhere along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana east to the Florida Panhandle. And when it gets there Tuesday or Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center is warning, Isaac could be a Category 2 hurricane.

In Commerce, Mich., today, The Associated Press reports, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney told supporters that he and his wife, Ann, had been born in nearby hospitals. Then, Romney added, "no one's ever asked to see my birth certificate; they know that this is the place where both of us were born and raised."

A shooting near the iconic Empire State Building this morning has left two people dead — one of them the gunman who first opened fire — and has shut down streets around that Manhattan landmark.

Police do not believe there's any link to terrorism. Instead, they suspect the gunman had some sort of work-related grievance.

Update at 3 p.m. ET. In its latest update, the National Hurricane Center says that tropical storm Isaac "could be near hurricane strength" when it reaches Haiti later today. That's a slightly more serious forecast from where we began the day.

Our original post — "Isaac Barrels Toward Haiti, But Isn't Likely To Become Hurricane Today":

At first the news may be a shock because of what would seem to Americans to be such a relatively light punishment considering the crime:

Cycling superstar and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong's seven Tour de France titles are about to be wiped from the record books.

With "green on blue" attacks by Afghans in uniform increasingly in the news, Americans officials are being asked whether the people of Afghanistan are turning against the coalition troops that have been in the Central Asian nation since late 2001.

Though there were "a few notable improvements" in places such as Indiana, where beneficial rains fell, the deep drought that has dug in across much of the nation's midsection continued in the past week, according to the statisticians at the National Drought Mitigation Center.

Their maps from the past three weeks tell the story.

Graham Spanier, who lost his job as president of Penn State University for allegedly not doing enough to investigate whether former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was molesting young boys, has "launched a full-throttle defense" against charges that he cared more about the university's reputation than Sandusky's victims, Harrisburg's

The man who murdered Beatle John Lennon in December 1980 has been denied parole for a seventh time, The Associated Press reports.

Mark David Chapman, New York State Corrections inmate No. 81A3860, is now 57-years-old. He's serving a prison term of 20 years to life.

Lennon was gunned down at the entrance to his Manhattan apartment building.

The fuss over photos of Prince Harry enjoying some billiards-in-the-buff fun with a lady or two in Las Vegas has led the queen's office to contact Britain's Press Complaints Commission to warn that newspapers in the U.K. better not publish them.

There were an estimated 372,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up by 4,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

Another way of measuring, to show the recent trend, also rose: "The 4-week moving average was 368,000, an increase of 3,750 from the previous week's revised average of 364,250."

Overall, what we've said the past two weeks still applies:

Those old-fashioned things called books can roil campaigns, and two that are due to hit stores on Sept. 11 certainly have that potential.

Here's the latest on tropical storm Isaac, which could hit Florida this weekend and drench the Republican National Convention in Tampa early next week:

-- The National Hurricane Center says the center of the storm should pass "to the south of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico today ... [then] approach the Dominican Republic tonight and Friday."

It didn't go far, but the NASA rover Curiosity has taken its first test drive on Mars.

"This is how I roll," NASA writes (speaking for Curiosity) with a photo it has released showing the rover's first tracks. "Forward 3 meters, 90 [degree] turn, then back. Electric slide, anyone?"

"We have a fully functioning mobility system," NASA engineer Matt Heverly just told reporters. He said Curiosity ended up moving about 4 1/2 meters during today's test. It also did a full revolution going forward, backed up and did another revolution.

Listen and see if you can get it out of your head. There are some here at Two-Way headquarters who certainly can't.

A 2.3 percent increase in sales of previously owned homes in July from June is the latest sign that the housing market is on the mend, Reuters reports.

The National Association of Realtors said this morning that sales of existing homes increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.47 million.

Expect to hear about this from the campaign of Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney as he continues to take aim at President Obama's record on the budget and the economy:

The Congressional Budget Office reports this morning that "for fiscal year 2012 (which ends on September 30), the federal budget deficit will total $1.1 trillion ... marking the fourth year in a row with a deficit of more than $1 trillion."

There's word this morning of another wildfire, this time outside the community of Manton in Northern California, where "dozens of buildings, many of them likely homes, have been destroyed," as The Associated Press reports.

Wildfires out West have been a constant topic this summer, it seems, on The Two-Way and other news outlets.

We absolutely, positively will not make a reference to the crown jewels.

Oops, we just did.

It seems that last Friday night in Las Vegas, Prince Harry — third in line to the throne over in England and one of the world's most eligible bachelors — did some "cavorting with two naked women in a Las Vegas hotel room," as the London Evening Standard puts it.

The evening apparently involved some "strip billiards."

The mystery surrounding the death of a rare white buffalo and the claim by some Lakota Sioux in Texas that it had been killed by other Native Americans deepened Tuesday. A local sheriff announced that investigators believe the animal died of a bacterial disease and said the case is now closed.

Two new polls come to much the same conclusion about the 2012 presidential campaign:

The Rocket is going to be pitching again Saturday night.

It's tempting to make a "fight club" reference (and some news outlets have), but the outrageous nature of the allegations seems to call for a more straight-forward approach:

Rosie O'Donnell has chosen an unusual way to tell her fans that she suffered a heart attack last week:

In verse.

On her blog.

And she's using the experience to urge other women to "listen to the voice inside" and call 911 if they suffer the symptoms she did — which she tried to ignore for a day.

An aircraft that had been set to fly Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey out of Afghanistan today was damaged by shrapnel from rockets fired at the Bagram air field north of Kabul from outside its fences.

Two maintenance workers on the ground were slightly wounded, NPR's Tom Bowman reports. Dempsey was not near the aircraft at the time. He later left Afghanistan on another plane.

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