Students may see a local celebrity on campus this fall. That's because Dan Fagan, local reporter with KTUU Channel 2 news, will be an adjunct professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Fagan will be teaching Writing for Electronic Media, a 400-level journalism class where students will learn to write news scripts and other copy. “My goal is to get students to function as reporters, be good reporters, effective reporters,” Fagan said.
Fagan was approached by Journalism Professor Roseanne Pagano to become an adjunct. She has had Fagan as a guest speaker in her beginning reporting class several times. Pagano says that the students really enjoy him and he gets a lot of energy from them.
“He will tell you, without blushing, that he has the best job in the world,” said Pagano.
Fagan said his interest in reporting was sparked during his first post-college job
After growing up in New Orleans, he graduated with a business degree from Louisiana State University Baton Rouge. He started working for an ad agency where he was charged with producing “quality of life” videos. He enjoyed the writing and interviewing and toyed with the idea of journalism.
“I took a tape to a station in Beaumont, Texas and asked to be a reporter,” said Fagan.
He was hired to cover feature stories at first. He had to haul around his own equipment and shoot his own video for stories.
Fagan laughs as he remembers his very first assignment.
“I remember it vividly, actually,” he said with a chuckle. “There was this big Baptist church in town with a huge Christmas light display and two guys, Eddy and Bubba, that took them down. It took something like two weeks. I got to profile them.”
Fagan eventually moved on from the Eddies and Bubbas of Beaumont, and started reporting for stations in Lafayette and Baton Rouge. He began reporting crime stories, “a horrible beat,” he said, and decided he wanted something different.
He came to Alaska and Channel 2 three and half years ago. He's now in charge of finding the lead story for the late edition news. He says Alaska offers more variety and adventure, “and a lot less crime.”
Fagan says he's excited about teaching at UAA. He plans to assign students projects that will give them practical experience, and he hopes to get students excited about reporting.
“Journalism requires that you learn something new everyday,” said Fagan. “I like TV especially because you get to marry words and pictures together.”
He also wants them to know that journalism is not hard to get into as long as, “you're good and effective at it,” Fagan said. Or he suggests getting a job hauling a reporter's equipment and working your way up.
Fagan said the only thing that can sometimes be hard or frustrating about journalism is finding the stories.
“Sometimes this town has nothing happening."