Dean Easterlund (1967-1971)

We lived in turbulant times during my tenure with The Reporter from 1967-71.
I started in sports, moved to news my sophmore year, and served my junior and senior years as editor-in-chief.
I was one three of the first graduates of the class of a new journalism bachelor degree program.
As a staff, we prided ourselves in pushing the college newspaper to new heights.
We took the paper the paper from twice weekly, to three times per week, to a daily publication with in-house production. We were highly rated as All-American by the Associate Collegiate Press.
We had a great staff of reporters, columnists and editors. We had fun.
We sponsored a spring river rafting event on the nearby Rapidan River.
We published an April Fool’s Day issue in 1971 that caused angst with casual readers: fabricating news for a day that the multi-million dollar science building under construction was sinking, the Red Chinese joined the fight en masse in Vietnam, and the defection of the then powerhouse UCLA college basketball team members.
We covered the news of the campus and city; as well as state and nation.
We covered state legislative action and editorialized for the designation of state university.
We were constantly pulled by national issues driven by the war in Indochina.
The monumental year of 1968 affected us in ways we had trouble grasping with the assasinations of Martin Luthor King, Robert F. Kennedy and the election of President Nixon.
Politics were strongly partisan and freedom of the press was challenged during this period with the publishing of the Pentagon Papers revealing truths about the country’s involvement in a highly controversial war that students were bleeding for both as soldiers and war protesters.

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