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From the Editor’s Desk: The importance of investigative reporting

I joined The Post during my freshman year, hoping to make a true difference through storytelling. I am happy to say that the publication is on track to do just that. 

There has not been an official investigative section at The Post in years. There are many stories exploring and uncovering inequalities and injustices at Ohio University and in Athens, Ohio, but I knew there needed to be a dedicated staff and editor to the cause. So, I proposed the idea to the executive editors when applying for the position of Projects editor. 

With the help of our investigative editor, Alex Imwalle, we can now shine a light on stories that have been previously overlooked or underappreciated. 

When Ashley Beach approached us with the idea to investigate the history of Ohio women’s athletics, I knew she would apply her extensive knowledge and talent for sports writing to such an important topic. For weeks, we would meet to discuss her new findings and interviews. 

I am so lucky to have been a part of the amazing exploration, and it sets a precedent for what other investigative writers should strive for. I hope the story calls attention to the importance of investigative journalism, but most importantly, makes a difference for anyone who dealt with these inequalities. - Hannah Campbell 

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I started this story in April after I learned of the 50th anniversary of Title IX at the Mid-American Conference Basketball Tournament. From there, I spent seven months collecting documents, conducting interviews and drafting version after version of this story. 

OU has a rich history of women’s athletics I was unaware of until I began this process. There were competitive sports programs long before the NCAA and the Mid-American Conference added women’s sports in 1981. Ohio’s women won state tournaments in the 1970s, but most people don’t know that because there was minimal publicity for the teams. 

I spoke with former and current athletes, administrators and coaches from the 1970s to now to learn about their experiences first-hand. This was the most rewarding part of the process because I could hear how each woman helped improve Ohio for the next. 

One of the most instrumental parts of the investigative process was the Mahn Center at Alden Library and the Judith Daso special collection for women’s issues. I spent four hours digging through financial reports, Title IX committee reports, meeting minutes, dissertations and more on a Sunday afternoon. I felt like Nancy Drew and it was worth it. 

My goal with this story is to uncover the history of Ohio’s women’s sports, the good and the bad. These women put up with so much and now, after 50 years, there has finally been some change. As others have said, it’s an incredible time for women in sports. - Ashley Beach 

Hannah Campbell and Ashley Beach are juniors studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Tell Hannah by tweeting her at @hannahcmpbell and let Ashley know by emailing her at ab026319@ohio.edu 

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