How to get college students interested in a corruption trial

Kent State public-affairs reporting instructor Susan Valerian makes her students attend at least one day of the Jimmy Dimora corruption trial. Britni Marie Williams sat in for the class and also hoped to get a trial story for the Daily Kent Stater. (She’s the paper’s city editor.)

“Originally, I had no idea if I was going to come away with a story because students generally don’t want to hear about the nitty gritty details of a corruption trial,” she tells WKYC.com. “After I heard the language being used, I knew that would be a way to spark students’ interest while still briefing them about the trial.”

I asked Williams about her initial reaction to the language. She emailed:

“I was shocked at first. I hear that kind of language around campus now and then, but to hear it in the courtroom was ridiculous. Being the city editor for the Daily Kent Stater, I knew right away that we couldn’t put it in the print edition. I had got in contact with our website editor during the trial to see what he thought and how much we could actually say. We talked about how to do it as tastefully as possible and also about putting the editor’s note on the top of the page. He was also the one who did the final edits on the story and posted it online.”

Here’s a passage from her story:

The language included in the wiretaps is quite explicative to the point of shocking.

In one of the wiretaps, Schuman complains to Kelley that someone “wants to make everything fucking difficult,” and he calls another person “a cunt.”

In two other wiretaps, Schuman tells Kelley “we got the fuckin’ juice,” and “oh, you cock.”

Kelley, on two separate tapes, told Schuman “it’s going to be a fucking nightmare,” and “we’re going to fuck them good and hard.”

* Dimora trial coverage hits Kent State student newspaper
* Colorful language marks Dimora corruption trial
* Earlier: Cleveland station uses puppets for corruption trial coverage

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