Huntington Theatre Company's production of Hedda Gabler, at the BU Theatre, through Jan. 28

Vol. IV No. 18   ·   12 January 2001 


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COM journalism chairman to join Globe front office

By David J. Craig

William Ketter, who has chaired COM's journalism department since January 1999, has accepted a senior administration position at the Boston Globe.

Ketter will be the Globe's vice president for community relations beginning January 15. The position is new and entails helping to buttress the Globe's suburban editions.

  William Ketter. Photo by Vernon Doucette

"The Globe is undertaking a lot of new initiatives, including local news supplements to the Thursday papers in more of the suburbs," says Ketter. "I'll be involved in that. Basically, my duties are to get the newspaper closer to the communities it serves."

Ketter will also be an assistant to the publisher and help oversee the Globe's community outreach efforts, such as the philanthropic Globe Foundation.

Ketter came to BU in 1999 with nearly four decades of experience as a newspaper reporter and editor, including a 20-year stint as editor of the Patriot Ledger, a 90,000-circulation daily in Quincy. He will continue to regularly teach a COM course in newspaper management.

As department chairman, Ketter was instrumental in securing a $1.2 million grant last year from the Knight Foundation in Miami, Fla., to establish COM's Science and Medical Journalism Center. He also helped launch COM's Washington Journalism Program, which offers journalism students internship opportunities in the nation's capital (see story in the Bridge, November 10, 2000).

"Overall, I think I got our program closer to the news industry and moved it up a notch in the minds of people in the industry," Ketter says. "Being at BU was an exciting, stimulating experience for me. Helping to mold the next generation of journalists was a source of real satisfaction."

Ketter's emphasis on getting back to the "roots of journalism," says COM Dean Brent Baker, left an indelible mark on the department. "Some newspapers seem to be disconnected from their readers these days," he says, "but [Ketter] emphasized objectively covering a community in order to provide people with the information they need to navigate their lives."

Jim Thistle, director of COM's broadcast journalism program, has been asked to serve as acting chairman of the journalism department and to head the search committee to find Ketter's replacement.


17 January 2001
Boston University
Office of University Relations