Remembering Karen Blumenthal: 'Have you knocked on every door?'

letter to the editor

Sometime during my senior year, we got a tip at the Chronicle about a salacious incident on Central Campus involving an athlete that had resulted in a heavily redacted police report. Being baby news vultures, we salivated at the prospect of a scoop, but being young and dumb, we were ready to call it quits after making a round of cursory phone calls and not getting anywhere. The editors and I debated whether to run something that would’ve been mostly innuendo, or to kill the story and move on. As always, we turned to Karen for wisdom. I can’t remember her exact words but I believe it was something to the effect of: “Have you knocked on every door of Central Campus to see if anyone heard anything? THEN WHAT ARE WE EVEN TALKING ABOUT?”

That was quintessential Karen—she was ready and willing to give support and guidance, but she wasn’t going to be all delicate about it.

Karen was an enthusiastic cheerleader of so many of our journalism careers—the reason we have careers at all—and I am still grateful and awed that someone as brilliant and beloved would choose to champion me.

So much of journalism involves beating your head against a wall, whether in trying to get that next job, crack the story or clarify your own muddled thinking. Whenever I’m ready to give up, I can hear Karen’s voice in my head: “Have you knocked on every door? THEN WHAT ARE WE EVEN TALKING ABOUT?” I will miss her so much.

Naureen Khan, Trinity '10.


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