Written by: Tom Rieland
Date: February 20, 2014

John Mount with WOSU student intern Khalid Moalim.

John Mount with WOSU student intern Khalid Moalim.

John Mount lived a life many of us would hope for ourselves — long, vigorous and full of impact.

In his 95 years, he committed virtually all his efforts to improving Ohio State, especially focused on helping generations of OSU students achieve their goals.  WOSU’s Amy Milbourne and student intern Khalid Moalim met with John just a few weeks ago. Khalid is the first Ohio State student to receive the newly created WOSU Public Media Mount Fellowship in Journalism.  Through this gift, John also wanted to honor his late wife Ruth Mount, who served as president of the Friends of WOSU advisory board.  Khalid is working in the newsroom of 89.7 NPR News thanks to the Mount Fellowship.

If you don’t know of John’s career, he held four different vice-presidency positions at OSU, served as a faculty member and an administrator to OSU President Novice Fawcett among other positions.  In 1970, John represented the administration in discussions with student groups during the on-campus riots.  At the same time, he directly supervised the administrator at WOSU, which was covering the riots.  It was a tense time that retired WOSU Radio Manager Don Davis recalled recently in an oral history interview:

I know there was a time during the riots that some administrators said we shouldn’t be broadcasting at all. And John Mount, who was the vice president to whom we reported at the time, said, “As long as they follow the rules and standards and good practices of journalism, I think they should broadcast.” And he stood up for us, he was our champion. Otherwise, we would have had to stop doing news if he hadn’t done that.

Just a piece of the long life and career of John T. Mount.  We miss you already, John.

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  • DWIGHT BOBSON

    The premise is faulty. NPR does not depend on federal funds. Local stations depend on federal funds and that’s where federal funds go. Each local station is governed by its own local community and provides programming for its local community per its local board policies and its community advisory boards, based on local needs and interests. Each station chooses to buy, or not buy, programs from individual production companies and producers, for example, American Public Media, Public Media International, NPR, Association of Independents in Public radio, etc. Each station also produces its own programs. Some local stations, mostly in rural and smaller communities, depend on federal funds for up to 50% of their budget. Stations in the larger markets may get less than 5% federal funds. So to cut federal dollars is to prevent the smallest communities the opportunity to have locally controlled public media. Based on the facts, the discussion is very different from the one being presented.