Ron Bishop is a one-time sportswriter, one-time newspaper editor, one-time public relations manager who since he was a child growing up in northern New Jersey knew he'd find his way into a classroom. A chance meeting with current Department of Communication colleague Ernie Hakanen at an academic conference in 1994, combined with his boss' decision to outsource his PR job, was the catalyst for his career at Drexel.
Called the "fun and games professor" by his Dean, Ron has cobbled together an eclectic research program, inspired by one of his professors at Fordham University in the 1980s who suggested the study of communication is at times like foraging through a junkyard. Communication researchers comb through the glut of messages we receive from a glut of sources, looking for clues as to how we make meaning from our experiences.
Ron's fourth book, Community Newspapers and the Japanese-American Incarceration Camps: Community, Not Controversy, was published in June 2015 by Lexington Books. Written with three of his former undergraduate students, the book explores how journalists for the local newspapers nearest to the incarceration camps treated their construction as a potential economic boon to their regions – and completely avoided discussion of how the incarcerees' civil rights were trampled by the government and military.
This follows More!: The Vanishing of Scale in an Over-the-Top Nation, published in 2011. In it, Ron explores the narrative offered up by the media which suggests that we must engage in every activity – from having a baby to attending school to aging and dying – with zeal, elan, and gusto. More! follows books on the cultural importance of pick-up games and on the news media's coverage of the court battle to remove the words "Under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance. Along the way, Ron has explored everything from coverage of gastric bypass surgery to why folks take up genealogical research.
From 2003 until May 2015, Ron proudly served as faculty advisor of The Triangle, Drexel's independent – and excellent – student newspaper. He also keeps his baseball mitts, a Frisbee (appropriate since Ultimate Frisbee was invented in the parking lot behind his alma mater, Maplewood, NJ's Columbia High School), and a regulation NFL football in his car at all times in case you want to have a catch.
Investigative reporting, sports journalism, journalism history, journalism sourcing patterns, textual narrative and ideological analysis, cultural history of fame.