Alec Presley, Kent State Post 7

Since my last blog post, most of my research has been spent trying to follow up what I talked about there. Now as anyone who read the comment I left on that last blog post would know, there was trouble with my email, so nothing actually got sent. Obviously I have since resent those emails.

The wounded former student that I emailed, Alan Canfora, was very understanding of the mishap. I sent him several questions, but he told me he only did interviews over the phone or via Skype. He also mentioned something about including other students, which gave me the idea to ask my group mates Cynthia and Kelly. The three of us did the interview via phone on Sunday.

The conversation lasted a little under a half-hour. We all took turns asking our questions, and Mr. Canfora gave each one an insightful answer.

One of the things I wanted to know was why he decided to stay at Kent State, and if that was something a lot of the survivors did. I didn’t get a super clear answer to the first part, but he did tell me that a majority of the injured did stay at the university.

Because I’m doing my project on the reaction to the photo, I wanted to find out how survivors were treated. His answer was that for some people it was big deal that earned him some respect, but the vast majority of people treat him like a regular person.

The closest I got to actually asking about the picture was when I asked his opinion of the media coverage of the shooting. He said that for the most part he was okay with it, but he didn’t like that the news had to report the National Guard’s “three big lies,” that 1) the students shot first, 2) that the closet student was five feet away, and 3) that there wasn’t an order to fire.

Overall the interview went well. Cynthia and Kelly will probably describe the answers they got in their blog post. While I didn’t gain any new info on my photo specifically, the perspective of a student who lived through the attacks is invaluable for the project.

I am yet to reach the other person I tried to email, Marry Ann Vechio, the subject of the picture. However, I should be doing that within the next week or so.


One thought on “Alec Presley, Kent State Post 7

  1. Alec,

    Great post, and I am extremely jealous that you had the chance to interview someone connected to your photograph. My subject is unknown and Don McCullin isn’t noted for giving out interviews in general, especially concerning my photograph. Anyways, I know you mentioned that you did not ask many questions, but something you may want to email Mr. Canfora about concerns the “three big lies” and his response. Obviously when this occurred the news outlets used interviews from various people concerning what happened. My question I would ask him is if he participated in many interviews. The reason being if he did then why wasn’t his story given credence, or if he didn’t, then what was his reasoning for his silence on the issue. If the media did cover his story, or other students stories, then why did the claims of the National Guard members receive more respect when they were just as old as some of the college students at Kent State? If the media ignored the students in this event, then there is a greater question to ask, which is why did the media blatantly bias the story by not representing the students voices? Ignoring one side of the story creates a very biased picture of what happened, those in the media know and recognize this. What could they gain from only sharing one side of the story?

    – Jenn

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