Kent State Investigation: A Student Reporter’s Story

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In Doug Brown’s own words on his investigative reporting:


Kent State University student journalist Doug Brown has received national recognition in journalism circles for his coverage of the withdrawal of a $1 million donation to the university’s athletics department from an alumnus whose investment firm once defrauded investors of nearly $9 million.

Daniel Reimold interviewed Brown about this continuing story and the reporter’s use of public records in his investigative reporting.

Some highlights from the interview:

  • 16:00 to 22:00 – Brown recalls his attempts to track down the donor, Jason Cope, for comment and Cope’s subsequent withdrawal of the donation, which was to coincide with the dedication of the university’s basketball in his name. The interview includes a reading of the related email Cope sent to let school officials know of his decision.
  • 22:00 to 25:08 – Brown talks about the reaction to his initial story about the cancellation of the donation on Jan. 6.
  • 25:08 to 26:16 – Brown closes with a quick discussion about his passion for public records. His investigative reporting has also addressed the athletics department’s disciplinary measures toward men’s basketball players charged with crimes and examined the results of the department’s mandatory drug testing of athletes.