DAN REIMOLD never lost faith in journalism.
Sure, newspapers all over the country are in trouble. Loss of advertising, falling circulation. The familiar litany.
But Dan, an assistant journalism professor at St. Joseph's University and an influential blogger celebrating the importance of college newspapers, believed the study of journalism was still worthwhile.
"In a world in which everyone can be journalists, or at least say they are, it will be those with the real journalistic training and knowledge who will rise above and be recognized and (hopefully) over time financially rewarded," he wrote on Aug. 13 on his blog, College Media Matters.
Daniel Ryan Reimold, who had made a national name for himself and obviously was headed for many more accomplishments in the journalism field, died Friday at the age of 34. His death at such an early age and at the height of his influence shocked colleagues and many around the country who had been influenced by his writings.
Dan was found dead in his apartment in Wynnewood on Thursday after friends had not heard from him for a few days.
His brother, Zach, said Dan had suffered an accident, but the Montgomery County Medical Examiner's Office said the cause of death would not be determined for several weeks, pending tests.
Dan served as an adviser to St. Joseph's University's undergraduate newspaper, the Hawk, and liked to challenge the staff to deal with current events and controversial issues.
He led the paper to the prestigious Pacemaker Award last year for its daily reporting.
"I remember the excitement when their name was called during the awards ceremony," said Amber Billings, digital and design coordinator for Associated Collegiate Press. "I've never heard anyone scream so loud with joy."
Dan used his blog to promote college publications, which he viewed as an overlooked area of journalism. He championed undergraduate publications in the face of budget cuts and indifference by some school administrations.
"Losing Dan is a huge blow to the College Media Association and Associated Collegiate Press, but also to college media in general," said Kelley Callaway, vice president of member services for the College Media Association.
"He was energetic, funny, innovative and engaging. His loss is a personal and professional one."
"He was undisputably the foremost scholar on college media today," said College Media Association president Rachele Kanigel. "I can't think of another person who came close to his stature in the field. His independent news site College Media Matters was the go-to spot for all news about college media, and his writings were widely cited by journalism educators and researchers."
Dan wrote a textbook, Journalism of Ideas: Brainstorming, Developing and Selling Stories in the Digital Age, which he used in conducting forums around the country on the subject of college journalism.
He was also the author of Sex and the University: Celebrity, Controversy and a Student Journalism Revolution, published in 2000 by Rutgers University Press.
Dan also wrote scholarly articles for College Media Review and the Newspaper Research Journal, and journalistic pieces for the Huffington Post and USA Today, and maintained a monthly column about the student press for the Poynter Institute.
His brother, Zach, told Associated Collegiate Press, "We know how much Dan loved what he did and loved being part of the college media world."
"Dan was incisive, inquisitive and passionate about his students and the First Amendment," said Diana Mitsu, Associated Collegiate Press executive director. "He had the rare gift of being able to get people to laugh out loud and learn at the same time."
Dan grew up in Bensalem, Bucks County, and graduated from Bensalem High School. He went on to Ursinus College where he earned a bachelor's degree in communication. He earned a master's degree in journalism from Temple Univeristy and a doctorate in journalism and mass communication from Ohio University, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Grizzly, the student newspaper. He was a summer intern at the Inquirer.
Dan was a Fulbright research fellow who taught journalism at a number of schools before arriving at St. Joseph's in 2013. He was an assistant journalism professor at the University of Tampa in Florida, and was a visiting assistant professor of journalism at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
Besides his brother, he is survived by his parents, Suzanne and Rick Frey and Donald and Jodi Reimold; another brother, Matthew; two step-brothers, Andrew and Ronald Koran; and two step-sisters, Stephanie Bartosh and Adrienne Pennell.
Services: 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 7 p.m. today at the Tomlinson Funeral Home, 2207 Bristol Pike, Bensalem.
Donations in his name may be made to Saint Joseph's University, 5600 City Ave., Philadelphia 19131.