Historical museum to host presentation on former Telegraph editor

September 9, 2018

The story of longtime North Platte Telegraph editor Keith Blackledge has yet to be told — until now.

At 7 p.m. on Thursday, the story of Blackledge, the editor of the Telegraph from 1967 to 1992, will be presented at North Platte’s Lincoln County Historical Museum at 2403 North Buffalo Bill Avenue.

“Keith Blackledge, Lessons from a Community Journalist” will incorporate stories derived from thousands of editorials, columns and correspondences.

It will also include video interview clips and photographs covering his involvement in the merger of the two hospitals into Great Plains Health, the expansion of Mid-Plains Community College, the formation of the Lincoln County Historical Museum and his leadership in the creation of Nebraska Public Radio, and Humanities Nebraska, to name a few.

Based on more than four years of research by Dr. Carol Lomicky and Chuck Salestrom, this interactive multi-media presentation will recount Blackledge’s newspaper career and his passionate advocacy in local and statewide projects. Their goal is to complete the first of several books detailing Keith’s life and legacy by the end of the year. Another book is also planned as an anthology of his editorials and columns.

The archetypal community journalist, Blackledge, for more than 25 years, wrote editorials and columns which provided his readers with a civic connection while he worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make his beloved community better.

Thursday night’s presentation also will include new information about the free press-fair trial battle fought by Blackledge and the Telegraph which resulted in the still-relevant 1976 landmark U.S. Supreme Court First Amendment decision.

Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation provided financial support for the research portion of this project. The presentation is supported by Humanities Nebraska, and is being promoted statewide to groups interested in local community promotion and growth.

“We thank Jim Griffin, director of the Lincoln County Historical Museum, for providing us the space to tell Blackledge’s remarkable story, and Dee Klein and the North Platte Telegraph for their promotional support,” Salestrom said.

According to Griffin, reservations for “Keith Blackledge, Lessons from a Community Journalist” are requested by calling 308-534-5640.

“After last week’s popularity and overflow Orphan Train presentation, I’m suggesting that you reserve your seat for Keith Blackledge’s presentation,” Griffin said.

The presentation is free and open to the public. A freewill donation will be collected to help defray the researchers’ further expenses

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