Investigative Reporting on Campus

Kent State reporter draws national attention with unraveling of  university’s controversial relationship with would-be donor

By Dan Reimold
University of Tampa

Doug Brown, an enterprise reporter for the Daily Kent Stater at Ohio’s Kent State University, is the most famous student journalist so far in 2012.

Doug Brown

Early last month, Brown reported on the past legal troubles of Jason Cope, an alumnus who was preparing to donate $1 million to the Kent State athletics program and have the school’s basketball court named after him.  He dove into the story after the paper’s web editor received an email from a stranger with a one-sentence tip: “Google Jason Cope v SEC.”

What Brown discovered: A bit more than a decade ago, as branch manager of a financial firm, Cope had been part of a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors out of close to $9 million.  He was found guilty of breaking federal securities laws that “involved fraud and deceit” and ordered with his co-defendants “to pay a total of more than $19 million in penalties.” Continue reading Investigative Reporting on Campus