By Jay McWilliams
One of Hawaii's finest journalists, University of Hawaii
Professor Beverly Ann Deepe Keever, is being inducted into the
Society of Professional Journalists' Hall of Fame this month, an
honor she well deserves.
Her background as a working journalist is not the only reason she is qualified to receive this tribute. For a quarter of century, Professor Keever's passion for open records and holding the government accountable have been at the core of her teaching at the university. Several generations of journalists in Hawaii have benefited from her dedication to these causes and have joined the fight for open records in the crusade for freedom of information.
Nearly 20 years ago I was a student in Professor Keever's legendary Public Affairs Reporting class. I had no idea how relevant her teaching would be for me, as I now co-own an online newspaper, HawaiiReporter.com, in which we collect and publish 20 kinds of public records weekly. I truly got my money's worth for the cost of my education when you consider that Professor Keever continues to be an amazing mentor, always there to offer guidance and share her experiences where journalism issues are concerned.
In 1958, Professor Keever graduated with honors from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Four years later, she went to Vietnam as a free-lance writer and stayed for seven continuous years, covering the war longer than any other Western correspondent. When she went to Vietnam, she had no job and started stringing for a variety of publications including the London Daily Express and the London Sunday Express. From 1962 to 1964, she worked as a stringer and sole resident correspondent in South Vietnam for Newsweek. After that she worked for the New York Herald-Tribune and the Christian Science Monitor. She also did free-lance writing for the Washington Post, Newsday, The Economist, Parade and Cosmopolitan.
Her resume is impressive and filled with such noteworthy accomplishments as research endeavors, presentations, academic and community services and awards, all on both the local and national levels. She has written books and articles on such topics as sexual harassment, coverage of racial minorities, newsroom and reporting issues, and, her favorite, freedom of information.
Professor Keever is the perfect choice to become this year's inductee in SPJ's Hall of Fame as she epitomizes all the qualities that should define a professional journalist: a hard-working professional who is dedicated to finding and reporting the truth, with an unwavering focus on keeping public records open and government officials accountable for their actions.
Hall of Fame