Columnist: Bob Ashley

Feb. 28, 2015 @ 03:27 PM

Bob Ashley: Game results next day a sweet turning point

Many of you noticed and remarked on something we were pretty pleased with a week and a half ago. We had the results of the UNC-Duke basketball game in The Herald-Sun the morning after the game.


Feb. 27, 2015 @ 06:04 PM

Rudy Giuliani, once heroic, now simply foolish

Amazing. Just ... amazing.

Here we are, six years later, six years of mom jeans and golf dates and taking the girls for ice cream. And yet, some of us are still hung up on the perceived "otherness," the "not like us"-ness, of Barack Obama.


Feb. 15, 2015 @ 02:42 PM

Fund drives insure WUNC, public radio’s vital service

In the mid-1970s, my wife, Pat, and I lived in an apartment that was half the second floor of a house on Raleigh’s Chamberlain Street, a few blocks from the N.C. State University campus.


Feb. 07, 2015 @ 09:13 PM

Wrestling with a past that’s ‘not even past’

Just off the University of North Carolina campus on East Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, a little-noticed plaque put there in 2003 (replacing an earlier one) notes that road is part of the Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway.


Jan. 31, 2015 @ 10:49 PM

Google Fiber, a plus for us, could deepen divide

The news that Google, that juggernaut of the Information Age, is bringing super-high-speed Internet connections to Durham and the rest of the Triangle generated no small amount of excitement last week.


Jan. 10, 2015 @ 10:47 PM

Reflecting on changing area paper has called home

I’ve noted before that The Herald-Sun is about to hang its shingle in new quarters this month. As I write this mid-week, we’re on the very cusp of that move. When you read this, if all has gone well, we’ll be in our new digs – although it may be another day or so.


Jan. 03, 2015 @ 11:15 AM

Looking back on a decade of Durham transformation

Ten years ago Saturday – yesterday – I became editor of The Herald-Sun, returning to Durham after a 35-year absence. What a decade it has been since.


Dec. 29, 2014 @ 06:02 PM

A new year, new opportunities – and new offices

It is hard to believe another year is just days away.  If time seems to drag when we’re young, its pace accelerates as birthdays pile up.

But, ready or not, 2015 is at our doorstep.


Dec. 20, 2014 @ 02:17 PM

Students love Apple – but they love their libraries, too

Not long after I moved back here a decade ago, I observed to a Duke professor that I was struck that virtually every student I saw on campus seemed to be on a cell phone or displaying the tell-tale dangling white cords of iPod earbuds.


Dec. 14, 2014 @ 03:38 PM

‘Outsider’ label an old weapon against protestors

Protestors who have filled city streets have succeeded in driving a community conversation not just about police practices, the criminal justice system, race and society, but also about protest itself.


Dec. 06, 2014 @ 12:06 PM

Insistence on ‘exceptionalism’ can distort our history

“Don't know much about history

“Don't know much biology

“Don't know much about a science book

“Don't know much about the French I took”

-- Sam Cooke, “Wonderful World,”


Nov. 29, 2014 @ 10:37 AM

Cataclysmic events help define or shape generations

Nov. 22 passed relatively quietly eight days ago. Not much was made of the cataclysmic event that occurred 51 years before, although it was mentioned here and there in the news.


Nov. 22, 2014 @ 12:25 PM

A valued colleague takes on new opportunities

Alert readers will notice a familiar name missing from our masthead – that of Nancy Wykle.

Let me assure you it reflects great news. Nancy, a valued colleague for the past decade, has been promoted to editor and publisher of the Daily Dispatch in Henderson, owned, as is The Herald-Sun, by the Paxton Media Group.


Nov. 15, 2014 @ 09:55 AM

Should we question the model of student (briefly) athletes?

The national debate over big-time college athletics, given greater impetus in the past couple of decades as television and marketing revenue has fueled soaring expenditures, has in the past year or so deepened further.


Nov. 01, 2014 @ 11:41 PM

Wise words on college athletics from a former colleague

A couple weeks ago, I finally finished after many fits and starts a wonderful book by my old friend and former colleague Ed Williams.

Williams, now retired, was for many years editor of the editorial pages at The Charlotte Observer, and for several of those years I was a mid-level editor on the news side of the paper. His book, “Liberating Dixie,” is a collection of columns and editorials he crafted with characteristic grace, wisdom and incisiveness over the years. Reading it was in some ways discouraging, since I was reminded on page after page how I could never measure up to the caliber of Williams’ work.