BETHANY, W.Va. – A longtime journalist and Bethany College alumnus has pledged two new summer internship opportunities for Bethany students.

Kurt G. Franck ’78, president, general manager, and executive editor of The Blade in Toledo, Ohio, announced the internships during the John Keresty Lecture in Journalism, the signature event of Bethany’s annual Communications and Media Arts Week.

Franck also is vice president of operations for Block Communications Inc., a role in which he oversees the business side of The Blade and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Bethany students of any major are eligible to apply for the reporting internships. The Blade and the Post-Gazette will each host an intern from Bethany.

Interns will provide content for the traditional newspapers as well as their respective websites and news apps, Franck said.

As part of his lecture, “Journalism Transmitted Through Digital Media,” Franck encouraged students to seek out and take advantage of internship opportunities. He also discussed the struggles the newspaper industry has had after giving away its content on the Internet for years.

“I understand why the paper that I grew up with doesn’t work for you,” he told students. “You’re on the move.”

Still, the industry provides a valuable service, he said, noting that the idea of so-called news deserts – areas without any local daily news outlets – is painful. He encouraged students to dig as much as possible to find credible sources.

“We need local news, and we need good storytelling,” Franck said. “There are a lot of people who are misinformed.”

Professor Patrick Sutherland, chair of Bethany’s Department of Communications and Media Arts, said the new internship opportunity gives students another avenue to gain experience.

Though the department doesn’t have any other formal internship agreements, Bethany has a history of placing communications students at such companies as CNN and Booz Allen Hamilton, and with companies in the Wheeling, Steubenville, and Pittsburgh markets, Sutherland said.


Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.