This post isn’t a criticism of Kent State or its president, Dr. Lester Lefton. Rather, it is a salute to one of the student journalists at Kent State, Beth Rankin. Beth is a photojournalism major who writes a weekly column for the Daily Kent Stater.
Today Beth wrote a column — An open letter to Dr. Lefton — that among other things asked the university president why he reneged on an invitation he extended to meet with her earlier in the semester. Apparently, she wanted to ask him some questions as a student — not as a reporter or a columnist for Daily Kent Stater. And if I were a reporter I should be calling Dr. Lefton’s office and asking for a response before writing this. But since I am not — and haven’t had much success up to this point getting replies from organizations as a blogger — I’ll press on with the belief that Beth has presented the situation accurately. If not, I’ll be delighted to present the other side of the story.
But here’s the point of all this. I love journalism — and I have great respect for journalists. And it’s disappointing to me personally and professionally that the newspaper industry in particular has come on such hard times lately.
Yet I’m encouraged when I see the work of young journalists like Beth Rankin. She’s courageous and certainly appears to have a passion for reporting.
When I came to Kent in 1967 there were a lot of students like Beth Rankin. I hope for the future of our nation and democracy that there are many more.