The MediaShift team is shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Dan Reimold, a contributor, friend and inspiration for all of us doing our best to usher in the next generation of journalists.
A St. Joseph’s University assistant professor and founder of the College Media Matters blog, Dan researched, wrote and taught about student media outlets and how we can serve both college audiences and the needs of budding reporters, editors and producers. He was tireless in surveying the environment for student journalists, covering issues, controversies and trends for us here at MediaShift, as well as Poynter, the Huffington Post and other outlets. He was 34.
Dan’s breadth of knowledge and depth of passion for student media informed and infected everyone he spoke with. That expertise was to be respected, certainly, but it was Dan’s kindness and enthusiasm that truly hooked you.
The last time I spoke with him, he was helping me find my way through a story on student media’s movement away from print. His generosity of spirit showed in the time he gave me, the interest he showed me and the love he had for students. It’s heartbreaking to listen to that interview right now, knowing we’ve all lost a champion for training new journalists and covering campus communities. He had reverence for those communities and their relationship with media, telling me wistfully that our spaces are about the last remaining place besides train stations with “people milling about outside and walking around and gathering en masse.”
“Dan was an amazingly gifted educator and journalist, and meant so much to the college media world,” MediaShift Executive Editor Mark Glaser said. “He had the guts and chutzpah to take the @collegemedia handle on Twitter, and he earned that and lived it each day. It is a devastating loss to the journalism world and the MediaShift community. We will miss his insight and wit.”
Our whole team will remember Dan, as Managing Editor Courtney Cowgill put it, as “a great, kind, ambitious, smart, funny guy.” Our hearts are with Dan’s family, friends, colleagues and students.
Today is a huge loss — for students, for MediaShift and for the cause of informed, engaged and ethical journalism education. We will miss you, Dan.
UPDATE 1: A note from Kelley Callaway at Rice University was sent out to College Media Association members about Dan’s death, and was republished today in Romenesko. One quote from that message:
“What Jim Romenesko did for professional media, Dan Reimold did for college media through his popular blog College Media Matters. He covered the students who were covering their campuses, and he consistently legitimized an often-overlooked area of journalism. When collegiate media was facing budget cuts, publication thefts and other threats, he shed light on their struggles.”
UPDATE 2: A blog post on the Associated College Press site quoted Dan’s brother Zach saying, “We know how much Dan loved what he did and loved being part of the college media world.”
According to the blog post, “Zach said his brother suffered an accident in his Wynnewood, Pa. apartment. Details about funeral arrangements will be posted as they become available. In the meantime, Zach and his parents ask for privacy.”
UPDATE 3: According to an obituary in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the cause of death is still unknown. From the story:
His brother Zach said Reimold was found dead in his apartment Thursday after friends reported that they had not heard from him in a few days. He said his brother had suffered an accident, and they “don’t know 100 percent yet what happened.”
Alexander Balacki, chief medical investigator for Montgomery County, said the cause of death would not be determined for several weeks, “pending lots of further testing.”
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Editor’s Note: We will be updating and adding to this post as more information becomes available, including for a memorial for Dan.
Katy Culver is education curator for MediaShift.