Joe Marren is a journalism instructor from Buffalo -- the one in New York that is famous for wings and snow and not the one in Wyoming that is NOT famous for ... well, definitely not wings, but maybe snow.

Marren is an assistant professor in the communication department at Buffalo State College, where he teaches newswriting, news editing and new media courses. In fact, he is a 1986 summa cum laude grad of Buff State, where he had a dual major in journalism and history and a minor in anthropology.

He has a master's degree in history from St. Bonaventure University. He also attended new media seminars at the Poynter Institute and was a Scripps Howard fellow at a symposium at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. But, shucks, that ain't all he does. See his vitae for even more fascinating info about the seminars he has attended and the workshops he has lead.

His newspaper career began with an internship as a sportswriter with the Clarence Bee in 1984. Marren was also a part-time features writer with the Niagara Gazette from 1985-88. In 1988, he became sports editor of the Salamanca Press, at the time the smallest daily newspaper in New York state. He left the Salamanca paper for the nearby Olean Times Herald and was a bureau reporter out of Bradford, Pa., from 1990-92. As a Times Herald cityside reporter Marren covered cops and courts, politics and business in Bradford and Potter County, Pa. He was promoted to assistant city editor in 1992 and stayed at that job until leaving for a position as associate editor of Business First from 1996 to 2002.

He won numerous writing awards for his columns at the Times Herald and at Business First. Marren has also written numerous free-lance articles on sports history and other topics. His first book, "Buffalo's Brush With the Arts: From Huck Finn to Murphy Brown," was about the literary and artistic history of his hometown. It was also one of the lowest-selling books ever published by Western New York Wares. Oh well. A quick check on Amazon.com will show that the much more appreciated book, "Mergers & Acquisitions: A Valuable Handbook," is by ANOTHER Joseph Marren who is much more successful in business and writing than our hero. Marren and Tim O'Shei have also written three presidential biographies for children for Enslow Publishers.

Since his full-time academic career began in 2002, Marren has written book reviews and online tests (on literature, geography, history and AP style) for the American Copy Editors Society. Some of his "how-to" articles have appeared on the Web site of the Center for Community Journalism. Do a search on his name on Poynter's Web site to see seven articles he wrote about narrative journalism while he was at the Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism in 2002.

Marren makes presentations on journalism and does commentaries for WBFO radio in Buffalo. He was also once in a play that recreated the trial of Leon Czolgosz, the man who killed President McKinley in Buffalo in 1901. Our hero played the part of photographer Harry Bliss. In Marren's opinion, it was the testimony of photographer Bliss that convicted Czolgosz because the medical experts offered conflicting testimony full of medical jargon while Bliss simply told the court what he took pictures of. The lesson in journalism and life: Simplicity is sometimes best.

Marren and his wife, Penny, now live in Colden, N.Y., with their daughter, Sara.

last updated: January 2008

 

Sara gives her dad his first violin lesson.

My brother Dan and I when our brother Brian made captain in the BPD.

Penny & I on the road to meet the Buddha (Hawai'i, 2007)

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