About Terrance Mockler -Media Ecologist, Digital Storyteller, Journalist.

About Terrance Mockler -Media Ecologist, Digital Storyteller, Journalist.

Photo Credit: Eli Dreyfus (Used with permission.)


Welcome to my portfolio of recent work at the intersection of digital storytelling, and journalism. The portfolio is meant to assist youth to express their true identities through the communications field. 

Each story threads together common themes of youth, development, identity, and crisis. It provides concrete examples that students in the arts can follow on their journeys across the mediascape.

Terry Mockler (second from left.) Photo by George Reasner (With Permission).
Working with schools and students that specialize in communications and the arts is a fertile area to apply interdisciplinary studies.

Crisis, Identity and the Roots of Storytelling

“Some of the roots of storytelling were forged from generational identity and conflict. A novel genre was generated from the old again in Homer’s Illiad and the Odyssey, two tales about a father’s conflict and retelling it to another generation. Joseph Campbell retold the tale as “The Heros’ Journey.” George Lucas wrote the trilogy “Star Wars” based on Campbells’ work. CG Jung turned myths into typologies and archetypes. Neil Howe and William Strauss transformed archetypes into “The Fourth Turning- An American Prophesy.”

My eclectic academic and work background is well suited to media and interdisciplinary studies. Plus I love to solve puzzles. That is why I teach social studies at schools for the arts. My challenge is figuring out how to make social studies relevant to the media arts and the needs of the students. One way to accomplish this is to focus on helping students to recognize the obstacles to creating unique identities and harnessing the power of media to solve conflicts.”

According to Neil Howe in “The Fourth Turning,” Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Gray Champion” in “Twice-Told Tales”, is said to reappear at times of crisis. It skips a couple of generations and is cross-activated by the young when in a crisis.

 Students cannot rely on the old categories and are facing a real identity crisis. They need to identify with someone who will meet them on their ground and terms throughout their academic career. A champion who can see the way forward and who won’t flinch when the going gets tough. That way, trust and confidence in leadership can grow. Enter the Grey Champion-The Media Ecologist.

“Once I met media philosopher Marshall McLuhan who was the cornerstone of the inter-discipline of media ecology. I was supposed to pick him up to get an award at a conference where I was a volunteer. I was young and nervous and accidentally locked the limo up in a garage. They were upset. But McLuhan, his wife Corrine, son Eric, and I wound up having a lively conversation in his car on the way to the event about media. It was to be the beginning of a lifelong fascination with Media Ecology.

Terry Mockler

I think every school needs a resident media ecologist. Especially schools for the arts in which I specialize. We are in an era when people need to fashion responses to events on the spot. A media ecology perspective can help with that process by helping students to forge a strong sense of identity. I hope you enjoy this portfolio of recent work on many interesting topics related to this phenomenon.

Terry Mockler


Douglas Whittall (Photo with Permission)

Douglas Whittall recently retired from a 30-year long career as a Business Editor for The Toronto Star:

“In terms of your interest in multimedia, that is where journalism is today.” 

 “I would also urge you seriously to make a movie about your life styled after “Forrest Gump.”