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Donald Bird

Donald Allport Bird

Professor of Journalism

A.B., Rutgers UniversityM.A., Ph.D., Indiana University


Donald Allport Bird is Professor of Journalism and Communication Studies at Long Island University Brooklyn where he serves on the George Polk Awards Committee and from which he received the David Newton Award for Teaching Excellence. He graduated from Rutgersā€”The State University of New Jersey after being appointed a Henry Rutgers Scholar, also receiving Departmental Distinction in English. Later, he earned his Ph.D. at Indiana University in Folklore and Mass Communications. He has devoted nearly 40 years to mass communications teaching, administration, writing and consulting, with 16 as Journalism chair at LIU Brooklyn.

Dr. Bird has taught on-location at corporations such as NBC and Pfizer and at military bases in five states. Dr. Bird has lectured on the First Amendment, environmental reporting, digital media, media trends, and media economics at Remnin University in Beijing, Beijing Normal University, Nankai University in Tianjin, Fudan University and Hua Dong University in Shanghai, and Zhejiang University in Hangzhou. Dr. Bird has hosted foreign journalists at LIU Brooklyn for the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program and has been appointed and trained as an English Language Officer (contract) with the IVLP, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, of the U.S. Department of State. During the summer of 2010 he served as a New York Times Fellow at the International Center for Longevity. Dr. Bird also has held post-doctoral research appointments at Harvard University’s W.E.B. Dubois Institute for African-American Research and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he was a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow.

His students have won national and New York City metropolitan awards and a number have become successful writers, editors and broadcasters at leading media outlets throughout the country. Some have worked at CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, Fox News and CBS Sports. At least three have earned their Ph.D.’s and taught at universities; in addition, one directs the Midwest operations of The Associated Press, and another became the publisher of the Indianapolis Star.

Dr. Bird has studied persuasive techniques and teaches courses in speech, survey of mass media, public relations, news writing and sensationalism. While an undergraduate he worked at The Associated Press and later served on the copy desks of The Jersey Journal, the Patterson News, and Africa Today where he was associate editor.He has published articles on trade magazines, important media figures and has researched a history of Billboard magazine through the Beatles. One recent presentation in Quebec at the American Folklore Society was titled “Presentation of Self and Folklore on Facebook.” A work on 9/11 titled “Holy Smoke” on 9/11: Legend, Belief and Dialectics in the New Media will be published in New Directions in Folklore, an electronic journal of the American Folklore Society.

The internet and digital interests of his two sons, nearly 19 and 25, have taught Dr. Bird that, alas, a hundred years from now his own generation will be viewed as a transitional one. Bird is grateful for the enrichment provided by his students and family and strongly believes all teaching and learning is two-way, especially across generations. Teaching is a calling and not merely a profession. A War Baby and not a Baby Boomer, he believes that formulating the right questions is nearly as important as formulating the right answer and is grateful to LIU Brooklyn for allowing him to work with students and learn from them.


American Folklore, Assassination and Mass Media, Metropolitan Daily Tabloid Journalism, Popular Culture, Rumor and Gossip