‘Truth isn’t dead’: My John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award speech

Josh and Yoli hold the Press Freedom Award.

On Wednesday, Dec. 7, Yoli and I attended a gala at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. where I was given the domestic John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award. It was my privilege to accept the award and speak briefly about my experience.

Since then, several people have asked for the text of my remarks, so I’m publishing a transcript here for posterity. Below I have also included a video excerpt of me at the event.

I encourage you to also make time to watch the story of persecuted journalist Rana Ayyub, the other John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award winner.

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Joseph earns a bike

Joseph’s final BWorks class, where he earned a new bike.

In June, Joseph earned a new bike through the BWorks program. Joseph tells the story:

At BWorks, we learned the parts of the bike and how to change tires. I decorated my bike helmet.

One time we did a slow race where the slowest person wins, but you can’t let your feet touch the ground.

We got pick out bikes. The green one was already taken, so I picked a blue one. It didn’t have a kickstand, which made my life harder until they installed one for me.

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Joseph gets a new bedroom

This panoramic photo shows the results of the first of framing.

This year, we constructed a new room in the basement for Joseph to move into, giving each of the kids their own room. It was a long road to get here.

Joseph tells the rest of the story:

I have a new bedroom. It’s in the basement, so the ceiling is low.

It all started with the sounds of drilling in the night. There were builders at our house! I went downstairs and there was a bunch of wood studs instead of our old TV room.

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It’s World Press Freedom Day — and National Teacher Day

Most readers of this blog are already familiar with the story.

Last year I was persecuted politically by our state executive after I reported on Missouri’s failure to protect teacher information.

So today is an interesting convergence for me: It’s both World Press Freedom Day and National Teacher Day.

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Farewell, Nan

Josh opens presents with Nan, including a Tomy toy computer.

Growing up, it felt like I often had to start over — moving to new houses, switching schools, losing grandfathers.

One of the rocks I could cling to amid the sea of changes was Nan.

Her house at 5118 Village Lawn in San Antonio was like my lifelong second home. I can’t think back to a time without it, without her.

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Revisiting my dot-matrix EV3 Lego printer

This photo shows v3.0 of the Viper Printer.

This year I decided to revisit the dot-matrix Lego printer that I first built and programmed in 2017. The original design was the result of a lot of iterating, but it still had some significant problems. I wanted to try again, with a focus on eliminating errors and printing very consistent images.

You can download .LXF and .IO models of v3.0 of my LEGO printer, plus Python code for the printer, from the Viper Bots’ GitHub repo.

Keep reading to learn more.


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