Dan Becomes a Journalism Ninja…

I recently laid out my thoughts on the present and future of journalism, mass communication, j-education, and new media as part of a new AEJMC Web feature “Discussing JMC with…” Three of my answers and the cool ninja icon included on the page are below:


How do you define mass communication?

It is still, as it has always been, a conversation with the world. Yet, the one-to-many model is *so* 1990s. The new models: many-to-many or even one-to-some, with the possibility of many happening across it sometime later. The means for this communication are also changing. The Wikipedia entry for mass communication notes: “It is usually understood to relate to newspaper and magazine publishing, radio, television and film.” Judges’ ruling? Incomplete. Mass comm. can also now occur via a number of new media means, including a Facebook status update, a blog post, a Twitter tweet, a Flickr photo set, a YouTube video, a mass e-mail, and a wiki entry.




If you could save one J&MC course from extinction, what would it be and why?

Feature writing or any form of narrative journalism. I believe feature writing is the only thing, the ONLY thing, that will save journalism from being gobbled alive and skinned to the core by the masses of bloggers and user-generated content. Why? Because it’s *not* the type of news we’re always used to reading and because it’s *not* so obsessed with the rush of getting information out at any cost that it forgets that great reporting, great journalism, at its heart, is about the story. How do we escape life, even for a moment, especially in our e-intrusive age? How do we step out of the grind and take a second to more deeply reflect on what it all means? Feature stories, the best ones, have the power of stopping time or at least slowing it down, of releasing us from that sausage grind of a day, and making us leave our bodies, float above ourselves and consider the life we are leading and the higher order of things and the bigger picture questions of our culture, our society, our world.


What do you see for the future of journalism and mass communication?

I asked my journalism students in Singapore this question. Three of my favorite answers: Edward R. Murrow resurrected and reporting on CNN live/dead via hologram; microscopic video cameras implanted into our eyes so that all our waking moments have YouTube potential; and newspapers localized for every single person on earth. Truly, the only prediction that I feel comfortable making about J&MC’s future is that there will be one. The profession, the field of study, will survive, and the world will be better for it.


To read the entire discussion, click here.

One Response to “Dan Becomes a Journalism Ninja…”
  1. Vadim says:

    Great post!
    Feature writing is certainly one of the most important areas in journalism.
    Regarding the future of journalism, I am sure it is going to be the bright one as long as we stop holding to newspapers and magazines as and embrace new philosophy of reporting/writing in multimedia world (and even 3D Internet in the future).