Every week, Syracuse University professor Aileen Gallagher helps Longreads highlight the best of college journalism. Here’s this week’s pick:
Journalism requires a relentless focus on the now and the next. But in order for journalists to give their audience any sort of context, they must always have a sense of the past. It’s not enough to know where we are today; we have to explain how we got here. That’s one reason that “whatever happened to” stories are so much fun to do and to read. Sometimes journalists can uncover new information, as did University of Nebraska-Lincoln students in 2005 when they re-reported the Kansas murders that made Truman Capote famous for In Cold Blood. Other times, as in this week’s College Longreads selection, we hear an alternate perspective on a story we thought we knew. Oklahoma State University alumnus Kyle Fredrickson, who now interns for the Dallas Morning News, sought out 82-year-old Wilbanks Smith last fall to learn how he remembers an ugly hit on a football field in 1951 that was portrayed at the time as racially motivated. What he found was an old man who remembers that day with grief.
Kyle Fredrickson | The Daily O’Collegian | 19 minutes (4,756 words)
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