"You Can Never Really Know Enough"

Monday, 12th June 2017

Dan Danaher, UL postgraduate student, MA in Journalism - June 2017

I decided to mark my 25th year in journalism this November by returning to education. I have just started the MA in journalism. I looked at the course content and I felt that this would be suited to my needs. I want to develop my journalism skills and enhance my employment opportunities. The location suits me as I work in Ennis and live in the outskirts of the town. UL is an impressive campus, well laid out and accessible.

In 1991, I graduated with a Certificate in Journalism from the College of Commerce, Rathmines, which was the only recognised course of its kind in Ireland at the time. I didn’t have an undergrad, I got an exemption to do the MA because of all my industry experience. There is a presumption that you couldn’t do this MA if you didn’t have the basic degree but after a bit of a research I discovered that this wasn’t the case.

Over the last 25 years, I have worked primarily in regional journalism, however, in recent years I have contributed on a regular basis to national newspapers, radio and television. I have been a senior staff reporter with the Clare Champion Newspaper since 1996 and previously worked for the Midland Tribune for five and a half years. I have a special interest in special investigations, all health and medical related issues as well as agricultural, rural and local economic affairs.

Journalism has changed dramatically since then with the emergence of the internet and various forms of social media, the advent of which has brought new challenges and opportunities for journalism. With the ever-increasing popularity of social media, I am acutely aware there is potentially a worldwide audience for some of my stories.

I believe completing a Master’s degree in Journalism in UL will help equip me with all the latest knowledge and best practice to embrace new media for online journalism.

Working in journalism, you have to be available to your reader. The online medium has been, up until recently, the preserve of the emigrant population and the younger generation. However, in the last five years in particular more of the older generation are embracing mobile phone and tablet technology. New media would be a big interest for me as I am keen to have a stronger online presence and would like to increase my use of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

I’m also interested in studying media law. No matter how long you are in journalism the law is always changing and you could never really know enough.

Dan Danaher, MA in Journalism.