Florida Journalism School Dean: ‘This Is the Golden Age for Communicators’

Diane McFarlin says they have superceded the gatekeepers.

Diane McFarlin (pictured) graduated from the University of Florida a month after the release of All The President’s Men. By the time she took over as dean of the College of Journalism and Communications in 2013, the media landscape had changed dramatically from those Woodward-Bernstein days. But as an interview conducted with the Gainesville Sun and reprinted in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reminds, she’s been well up to the challenge.

McFarlin was previously the publisher and executive editor of the Herald-Tribune. She began her career at age 15 at the Lake Wales Daily Highlander, covering a youth commission meeting, doing various things that summer and continuing on the following summer after high school graduation:

She was in charge while the publisher and managing editor were traveling when a warrant was issued for the sports editor’s arrest on charges of molesting youth league players. She wrote the story and laid out the paper.

At the University of Florida, McFarlin has added a director of entrepreneurship and partnerships to help funnel graduates into some of the newer storytelling opportunities, which she acknowledges have replaced for the most part the reporter gatekeeper roles of old. McFarlin also, in 2015, created The Agency, a division of the Journalism and Communications program that allows advertising and public relations students to work on ad campaigns with companies like Procter & Gamble.

Read the rest of Anthony Clark’s piece here.

Editor’s note: The original version of this item incorrectly framed the interview as having originally run in the Herald-Tribune. FishbowlNY apologizes for the error.

Image via: University of Florida

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