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Michael Keaton Says Good Journalism Matters to Democracy

photo of Michael Keaton
Michael Keaton studied journalism and speech at Kent State University in the early 1970s. He also acted in plays including "The Odd Couple," playing the supporting role of Roy, which Keaton said might be Neil Simon's least interesting character.

Kent State University awarded thousands of degrees over the weekend, including a Doctor of Humane Letters to actor Michael Keaton.

About three-dozen Kent State digital media and film production students got the chance to meet Keaton before Saturday’s commencement ceremony, asking him about his career and his time at Kent State in the early 1970s.

Keaton studied speech and journalism at Kent State before leaving to pursue a career in acting.  He says he considers journalism “extraordinarily” important.

“I still love print media, so I read two, sometimes three, newspapers a day. (I) kind of blow through them pretty quickly – and watch the news probably too much. So I think even if I wasn’t an avid consumer of journalism, I’d feel the same way.”

Keaton has portrayed a member of the news media in three films -- “The Paper,” “Live From Baghdad” and “Spotlight” – and his other work includes “Batman,” “Mr. Mom” and his Oscar-nominated role in “Birdman.”

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.