CNN reporter April Ryan speaks on UK’s campus


April Ryan speaks at Memorial Hall on Friday, January 25. Photo by Pete Comparoni | UKphoto

Cody Ryan

At an event hosted by the Martin Luther King Center, a crowd gathered to hear White House Correspondent and CNN political analyst April Ryan give a lecture in Memorial Hall Friday.

On Friday, Jan. 25, Ryan talked about the accomplishments of Martin Luther King Jr. and the progress the country has made because of Dr. King. She credits Martin Luther King for hers and other black journalists’ jobs. 

Since Martin Luther King Day was last Monday, the progress of diversity was Ryan’s main focus.

“This room is so diverse, and it’s wonderful that we are all able sit down and simply have a conversation and talk about issues of race and come together in midst of a time of diversity and divide,” Ryan said.

Ryan engaged in a question and answer with UK journalism student Nailah Spencer.

“I was nervous, even though I was well prepared,” Spencer said. “I think it shows that you’re humble. You still get that nervousness sitting in front of somebody asking questions.”

After her lecture and Q&A with Spencer, Ryan took questions from the crowd.

“This crowd was great,” Ryan said. “I really enjoyed it, especially the little white kids who came up and talked to me, and that’s what Dr. King wanted. Dr. King wanted all of us to look at each other as people, not a race of people – we’re all one.”

She tried to not discuss politics too much, but her confrontations with President Donald Trump arose as a topic of conversation.

“It was interesting to hear her perspective on what it’s like to be in the front line,” journalist Rena Bear said. “Especially with a president like Trump who is so anti-media and tries to discredit the news by calling them fake news.”

While issues surrounding diversity and Martin Luther King made up the bulk of her lecture, Ryan also spoke about growing up in Baltimore and how important it is for her to give back to her hometown.

“She’s very intelligent and just listening to her talk, I learned so much in a short period of time about how to be a better journalist and how to be a better person in general,” Martin Luther King Center intern and UK student journalist Taylor Savage said.