Friday, February 19, 2010

* Yale Daily News vs. Daily Kent Stater

Our Town

Why did you choose the Yale Daily News?

That was the question put to me about my postings on YDN articles. I suppose I could have chosen student papers at Ithaca College, Middlebury or Kent State (my other alma maters) but Kent is the only one with a daily newspaper.

Now, no offense to the dear old Stater, but it is hardly a forum for intellectual debate. I recall that when the journalist I.F. Stone visited the Kent State campus the year after the shootings, he was struck by the fact that in his two days there he never heard anyone talking about a book.

That said, one does have to acknowledge that the Stater was a gutsy daily journal after the shootings, when pressure from all sectors of society---especially the State of Ohio (Kent's funding source) was to smoothe over, cover up and forget the Kent State murders, which became almost immediately after the shootings, "the tragedy" "the May 4th incident", "the deaths", a conscious attempt to use language to drain the event of its horror.

I have said elsewhere, that if there was a Pulitzer Prize for student journalism, the Stater deserves it for its three years of coverage beginning May 1,1970.

So why the Yale Daily News and not The New York Times?

I guess the real reason (aside from the fact that posting on the Times is a spit in the ocean) is that New Haven was my birthplace and my grandmother's home (if you can call a third-floor walk-up with no hot water two blocks from Yale a "home") for the first 21 years of my life.

I came to New Haven every Sunday with my mother to pick my grandmother up for the drive to Sunday dinner at our house near the Sleeping Giant. I was MOULDED by New Haven---and by Yale's presence there. I can visualize the streets and buildings, smell the scents, feel the textures of New Haven and Yale in my mind's eye.

And because I was befriended by three elders (Bishop Moore, Miss Wilder, and Dr. Bainton) who had access to various aspects of Yale's inner sanctum, I can sense the heartbeat of the place, irregular as that beat might sometimes be.

But that is another story.

One I prefer to leave sheltered in the gentle chiaroscuro of my memory.

Horseman, post on.

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