Cogan Fellow Frank James '79

Cogan Fellow Frank james visits with students.

rank James '79, a Cogan Alumni Fellow, speaks with English majors.

Frank James '79, a co-founder of NPR blog The Two-Way and former journalist for the Wall Street Journal and the Chicago Tribune, spoke about his rapidly evolving profession in a February 26 speech, There’s a Place for Us: An English Major’s Journey from Old to New Media.

Speaking to an audience of students, faculty and community members, James discussed the decline in the newspaper and magazine industries, as consumers increasingly turn to electronic and multimedia sources for their news.

James, who majored in English and is a member of Dickinson's board of trustees, entered  journalism long before the rise of the Internet, James enjoyed a two-decade career as a print journalist, covering higher education, economics, privacy and technology, homeland security, foreign affairs, health and science beats. He entered the blogosphere in 2005 when he founded The Swamp, an online blog about politics and policy; three years later, he co-founded his current news-commentary blog, The Two-Way.

James emphasized that while he is personally distressed by the decline of print journalism—and its effect on many journalists, who have been forced to find other lines of work—he is invigorated and encouraged by the opportunities in digital and multimedia journalism for talented, tech-savvy writers.

James also shared some of the most moving moments of his career, including attending the ceremony that marked Mandela’s becoming South Africa’s first black president, flying on Air Force One with President Bush just before the Sept. 11 attacks and meeting with Alan Greenspan at the height of his popularity as federal reserve chair.

James, a Cogan Alumni Fellow, appeared at Dickinson courtesy of the program named in honor of Eleanor Cogan, a scientist, homemaker and mother who took 52 courses at Dickinson College as a returning student and received an honorary doctor of letters from Dickinson for her commitment to lifelong learning and the liberal arts.

Photos by A. Pierce Bounds '71

Published June 12, 2013