Photo courtesy of NPR.
Defense Journalist Returns to Learn, Sticks Around to Teachby Chris Carroll
Jamie Mcintyre M.A. ’14 had a leg up on fellow journalism students when he arrived on campus in 2009: decades of experience, from staying alive in war zones to conveying the horror of the 9/11 attack at the Pentagon on live TV without a script.
But they had an advantage over him too. They were entering the business during a momentous shift in how news is produced and disseminated, and possessed effortless familiarity with new technology and the pace of change.
After spending a year at UMD getting back on the cutting edge of journalism, McIntyre is sharing his expertise in front of the camera—and now behind it as a proponent of smartphone-driven journalism—as a lecturer in the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. “The revolution in storytelling has a lot to do with the simple tools we have now we didn’t have 20 years ago,” he says. “The ability to be nimble and create compelling videos with just what’s in your pocket is the way it’s going.”
McIntyre had covered wars as CNN’s Pentagon correspondent for 16 years when a network shakeup left him jobless, but with a year of paychecks under his contract.
He entered the Merrill School’s Returning Journalists master’s program, where experienced pros bypass basic classes and craft their own courses of study. With his war stories and been-there, done-that worldliness, McIntyre became a voice of authority in the classroom second only to his professors. Soon faculty members sought to harness his broad experience by drafting him to teach a multimedia class.
But then jobs at NPR and Al Jazeera America—where today he’s back on TV in his old Pentagon stomping grounds—delayed his thesis. With prodding from Merrill faculty, he produced it in 2014 and gave the commencement address.
Returning to school, he says, was a way to recharge and reinvest in journalism—something he recommends to other reporters mulling a master’s.
“I wanted to ask him what I’d be learning and if it would be worth it—because it was a huge risk,” says Courtney Maebus M.Jour. ’15. “He really took the time to talk to me, and I decided to do it.”
Maebus, who later took the multimedia class McIntyre teaches, recently shared a byline in The Washington Post with Pulitzer Prize winner (and Merrill professor) Dana Priest.
“Being an adjunct professor is my fun job,” McIntyre says. “The real satisfaction you get is from the work your students do.”
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