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I'm a Student Journalist,and I'll Never Stop Fighting for the Freedom of the Press


There's a saying in the newsroom that if everybody is happy,you're not doing your job as a journalist.I'm the editor-in-chief ofThe Kentucky Kernel,the University of Kentucky's student newspaper.For the past year,my staff and I have been investigating how sexual assaults are handled by the school administration,focusing specifically on allegations that a professor sexually assaulted two female students and was then allowed by the university to quietly resign,paycheck intact.After we published a story exposing more details about the case,UK decided to slap us with a lawsuitto withhold the investigative report from the public.

Even though I feel like our university is not on our side of justice,这次旅行教会了我做一名记者意味着什么。我在高等教育透明度的斗争中看到了与像ProPublicaThe Marshall Project揭发联邦调查局和地方执法部门对强奸案的调查不充分的报道,through their joint reporting,won them the Pulitzer.I'm constantly inspired by journalists all over the country who are telling the great stories of our nation right now.And as I start in my own career,their work teaches me there will always be a place for watchdogs,even in theface of threats to freedom of the press.Here are a few stories that I hope journalists keep chasing:

Putting a face to the opioid epidemic

America's opioid epidemic is worsening,and it's evident in the rise of reporting on the issue.Last March the芝加哥论坛报reported that doctors were overprescribing opioids intended for medical use and creating a new generation of addicts.This January《纽约时报》put a human face to the effects of the epidemic,这次游行The Washington Postshed light on rural West Virginia towns where the state can't even keep up with funerals for overdose victims.大西洋甚至给出了历史背景,connecting how American government's fraught history with regulating drugs led to where we are now.The parents who have lost children in this new drug arena can have hope that the world will see them as more than just another statistic,瘾君子,dealer,or dead body because reporters are taking the time to humanize them.I hope we continue to uncover more of these important stories.


Reporting in war-torn countries

I've wanted to be a war reporter since I was a young girl.I watched the World Trade Center towers fall on 9/11 from my living room television,and learned about the conflict in the Middle East by watching CNN,from the invasion of Iraq and the capture of Saddam Hussein to the reelection of President George W.Bush.最近,读到叙利亚内战通讯员詹姆斯·福利在伊希斯手中被俘获和谋杀的消息后,我重新燃起了追寻奥姆兰·达克尼什等儿童故事的欲望,whom the world watched from the lens ofSyrian journalistsas he was carried out of the rubble of Aleppo—the child placed in an ambulance,孤独而恐惧。I remember the heart-wrenching feeling of seeing two-year-old Alan Kurdi's body face down on a Turkish beach,想想发生了什么土耳其摄影师尼弗·德米尔介意她拍那张照片。太多的美国人(甚至是政治家)认为中东问题最好由carpet-bombing.Journalists who have the human decency to tell these stories so the images and pleas of these refugees can be viewed in the States would say it's worth being shot at and possibly dying for these people to have a better chance at life.我想继续像福利这样的记者的遗产,Christiane Amanpour,and Anderson Cooper,and be there on the front lines making a difference too.

Continuing to expose campus sexual assault

When I found out that my university was making agreements with staffers accused of sexual assault and harassment—and was not informing the public or future employers—I made sure to warn the public,using my campus newspaper as the outlet.我希望记者们在这个问题上保持沉默;recent stories byCBS'60 Minutes Sports关于贝勒大学处理性虐待案件The Chronicle of Higher Education's大学性暴力处理不当案件的全面追踪令人鼓舞。


The judge on the case between my paper and the university在英国的统治to withhold the documents about the sexual assault cases we reported on,但我们很吸引人。Our story will help ensure the professor's record is in the open to any prospective employer,and we've filed open-records requests at eight public universities in Kentucky.Sometimes I get nervous about what we've taken on,但我会收到幸存者的感谢邮件。It's high time we stop the pattern of universities hiding sex offenders,and I won't stop fighting.

柯克正在肯塔基大学学习平面新闻和国际研究。She received an award from the Scripps Howard First Amendment Center at UK for excellence in journalism.Read more about herhere.