Student Paper, J-School Extend Kindness Amid Tragedy

Less than a week ago, Jeff Engelhardt, the managing editor of The Daily Egyptian student newspaper at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, faced one of the most horrific moments imaginable: learning from police that three members of his immediate family had been killed and a fourth was in critical condition. 

Amid tragedy, there is kindness, and good journalism.  The Daily Egyptian and members of the university’s j-school have joined together to raise money for Engelhardt and his remaining family and have started a memorial fund in his name.  

DE reporter Allison Petty also deserves kudos for writing a pitch-perfect related story on the incident.  She presents the tougher details (including a squirm-inducing one about a slit throat) without either shying away from the truth or sensationalizing.  She graciously, and bravely, sought out Engelhardt for information, no small feat considering what he must be going through and how icky all reporters feel when intruding on someone’s personal grief.  And she fully discloses Engelhardt’s connection to the newspaper, including his recent selection as incoming editor in chief (sadly occurring only a week before the killings).

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  1. […] to Petty, included: an extreme spewing of vitriol at the newspaper in the comments section for its recent coverage of the murders of three members of a DE staffer’s family (apparently some students felt it was self-indulgent); and a comment […]