Dana Jennings, 2010 Visiting Journalist
Visiting Journalist Program Home | Chelsea Conaboy, 2012 | Kevin Sullivan, 2011 | Dana Jennings, 2010 | Steve Damish, 2009 | Natalie Jacobson, 2008 | Barbara Walsh, 2007 | Jackie MacMullan, 2006 | Ron Winslow, 2005 | Donald Murray
When Dana Jennings, '80, learned that he had prostate cancer two years ago, he did what any self-respecting journalist would do: he wrote about it. A reporter for The New York Times, he began a column for the newspaper's blog Well, submitting essays every few weeks about his treatment, his thoughts, and his recovery. Soon his entries were receiving hundreds of readers' responses. Two of the columns were so lauded that they were selected to appear in "The Best American Medical Writing 2009."
Learning to write for a new medium - the Internet - at the age of 51 after dedicating the previous 30 years to writing everything from newspaper columns to magazine features to novels, struck Jennings as both "strange and interesting." The bottom line, he says, is that he was just following the advice of his mentor, writing legend and UNH professor Don Murray: "Write about what makes you different."
Jennings will honor his mentor next month when he returns to the University of New Hampshire as the 2010 Donald Murray Visiting Journalist. In this role, Jennings will visit UNH journalism classes during the week of April 5-9, 2010, meet with The New Hampshire staff, and present a talk titled "My Brief Life as a Woman: a Veteran Journalist-turns Cancer Blogger" at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 6 in MUB Theatre II. The event is free and open to the public.