By Ellyce Loveless
Few students have the kind of passion for world news that recently-graduated International Studies major MeNore Lake has. Two years ago she sought to fulfill a need at the University of Kentucky through this passion. She wanted to create an online news publication that would publish monthly articles written by students about international politics, economies, science, sports, and culture, and thus The World Report was born.
Lake comes from a family that values the knowledge of international affairs, where discussing the culture of other countries is customary dinner conversation, and traveling out of the country is always an exciting yet familiar adventure. When she came to UK, she noticed a void in student interest concerning international issues.
“One thing that I was missing from home was the opportunity to watch news with my family,” she said. “When I got to UK, it was all about school and homework and Lexington. I wanted to find a place at UK that would help me to feel like I’m part of the global community as a student.”
That feeling is one of growing importance in our quickly-globalizing world, so students immediately became interested in Lake’s idea. The World Report currently has twelve authors, all of whom are students at UK, and six contributing authors that include faculty and students.
“We try to be as multidisciplinary as we can,” Lake explained. “We have writers coming from all kinds of different backgrounds.” This includes students who are studying languages, international affairs, journalism, anthropology, politics, and the sciences. As an added bonus, the publication is not written exclusively for English speakers. One student, sophomore Brandon Jent, translates much of The World Report into Spanish, welcoming different cultures and peoples to read these articles.
The site also presents a section on UK and Lexington news, so it comprehensively looks at local news in the bigger scheme of things. This section features stories about student study abroad programs, and other campus news dealing with internationalism and worldwide events.
When asked why international news was important to her, Lake responded, “My vision of myself is as one piece of something that is global and goes beyond my locale. When I read about international issues, it helps me understand what it is exactly I’m working with: where I am and what my goals can be.”
She, and the officers and writers of The World Report, hope that others share this vision.
“It’s important for my peers to pay attention to international news,” she said. “Because this is a new dynamic of the world that we are rising into; we’re the next generation of leaders and teachers in a world that is more global and diverse [than before].”
Next year’s editor-in-chief will be International Studies junior Emily VanMeter who has worked on The World Report for almost two years. VanMeter hopes to collaborate with UK’s College of Arts & Sciences and other departments on campus to integrate world news into the university. “I think The World Report is here to stay at the University,” she explained. “And I think it's a resource. So my goal is to get people to really capitalize on that, both as readers and writers. It's clear that the interest in international understanding is there. I want The World Report to be a way to showcase that the same passion thrives outside of the classroom as well.”
Lake has similar hopes for the future of this publication. When she was a freshman, she noticed that many of her classmates were reading the UK newspaper in between and during class. This inspired her; “If I could make world news as tangible as that,” she said. “Where you just pick it up and look at it on your way to class… That would be when The World Report’s full potential is realized.”
Both Lake and VanMeter hope that through university integration The World Report will someday publish in both print and electronic form. “There’s something unique about print,” Lake explained. “That will cross over to my peers as being important.”
Lake graduated in spring, but others like VanMeter will carry on and stimulate interest in world news. “People at UK really are passionate about what’s going on beyond Lexington,” Lake said. “That’s the unique thing about UK. If we hold on to that, foster it and let it grow, we could make UK even better than it already is.”
photo by Dana Rogers