The song, “We are Family,” would have been a great theme for the Temple News team during my time as a staffer there from 1962–1968. I started out as a reporter and went on to serve as city editor, managing editor, columnist, and business manager through my undergraduate and graduate student years.
I entered Temple University in September 1962 as a 17-year old freshman, an alumnus of Central High School for Boys in Philadelphia. My “major” was Radio-TV-Film, but I took as many journalism courses as possible. I joined WRTI and Temple Newsand over the years, remained on both staffs.
When I turned 18 in 1963, I was eligible to donate blood. The Red Cross was encouraging college students to do so, hoping we would become lifetime donors. I wrote a feature story about my experience, won a News award for featuring writing. I enjoyed “reporter involvement” so much, I did many more first-person stories throughout my career in journalism.
It was a thrill to be inducted into the Lew Klein Awards Alumni-in-Media Hall of Fame in October 2012 in Mitten Hall – 50 years after first registering for classes in that same ballroom.
We produced four editions a week, Tuesdays through Friday, along with many “special editions.” As managing editor, I supervised a four-section edition about the university and its surrounding neighborhoods. (It was marred by a typo I caught when I picked up the first copy delivered to our offices. Somehow, “The Baptist Temple” became “Batpist”).
Many of us ate together (using meal tickets provided by the university) in the cafeteria, did some intra-staff dating and even participated in a university carnival as a student organization (Our very popular booth was a headline printing fundraiser).
Over the decades, many of us from the 60’s have kept in touch, and can recall conversations and experiences as if they had taken place just yesterday. Although we loved and respected our legendary teachers when we were students, we continue to grow in appreciation for how they prepared us for “the real worlds” of journalism and life itself.
Kenn Venit worked for The Temple News in 1962–68.