Close Up: Marcus Duane Shorter

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Before coming to American University, he was known as DJ Front Page–the Hip Hop expert of 95.5 WPGC. Marcus Duane Shorter entertained audiences with his music and media commentary on the Donnie Simpson Show. He beat out a number of other journalists because, he says, he was the “go to” guy for Hip Hop news. In today’s journalism environment, Shorter knows it pays to have a niche.

“I was cool with everyone on the show. I was the guy they went to for Hip Hop info,” he said. “I’m very passionate about music.”

Shorter covered an array of Hip Hop artists from the Wu-Tang Clan to Jay-Z. His character hailed from Queens, complete with a pseudo wife and child. This fall, he’ll say goodbye to DJ Front Page and join the journalism public policy master’s program at American University. From the station to the front steps of AU, Shorter carries a backpack decorated in musical notes and clefts.

His decision to join AU’s print journalism program, however, came from his real family. He was always told you didn’t need graduate school in radio and that what you could do for them “now’ was much more important.

“You’re seen as a dollar sign to them,” he said. “Radio is a cut throat business, and its harder to make money. I’m thinking about my future–a family and where I want to live.”  It was his father, who works as a mechanic, that helped him make the switch.

“I’m like him. I made up my mind and that was it,” said Shorter. The promise of a new car didn’t hurt either.

His father promised him the gift of a new car if he went to graduate school. He recalls the first car his father gave him–which caught fire moments after pulling it into the driveway. Since then, he’s been driving a ’94 purple Chevy and hopes to get a Honda Accord within the next few months.

But his passion for his journalism career runs deeper than a new ride. He’s interested in all kinds of writing: rapping, screenplay, print, and radio.

“There’s so much I can do–I don’t want to be confined to a box,” he said. Bootcamp’s multimedia focus will open the folds to blogging, video producing, and 21st century reporting.


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