CNN anchor-reporter Victor Blackwell (front-left) with three West Baltimore teens, Kyrique Jones, Terry Brown and Jamel Phillips. The three received admission and all expenses paid to Bethune-Cookman University after being interviewed by Blackwell.
CNN anchor-reporter Victor Blackwell (front-left) with three West Baltimore teens, Kyrique Jones, Terry Brown and Jamel Phillips. The three received admission and all expenses paid to Bethune-Cookman University after being interviewed by Blackwell. (CNN screengrab)

Cable and network news reporters were routinely criticized by Baltimore residents and officials for coming here only to cover violence in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray in April -- and then leaving town.

For some channels that was true. But, as I pointed out in several posts and columns, CNN was here in force covering peaceful demonstrations five days before the first violence broke out.

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Furthermore, during and after the unrest, CNN did some fine reporting on matters not related to the violence, like anchor-reporter Victor Blackwell's visit back to the West Baltimore neighborhood where he grew up.

CNN posted a new video from Blackwell today that follows up on three of the Carver Vocational-Technical High School students he talked to in April: Kyrique Jones, Terry Brown and Jamel Phillips.

It turns out, Edison Jackson, president of Bethune-Cookman University, saw Blackwell's original interview with the three teens in which they talked about their sense that they might never get out of West Baltimore, and the school official decided to do something about it.

He invited the three Baltimore students to the Florida school and offered them admission and scholarships that would cover all expenses beyond those not paid by federal grants.

It's a great story, and all praise to Blackwell and CNN for telling it in a such a way that it would touch viewers like the president of Bethune-Cookman.

Click here to view the video at CNN.

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