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Star-Ledger Op-Ed - Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019


JoePict.jpgI am a 52-year-old writer who has spent the last 30 years in news, with much of that time dedicated to covering the media. I have also written for magazines, the Internet, fictional and other freelance writing. I was born in La Crosse, Wis., one of five boys, and spent the first few years of my life in various towns in Illinois, moving nearly every year as my father rose up the corporate ladder.

When I was seven, we moved to Summit, N.J., where my family has been based ever since. I consider Summit, a suburban city about 20 miles west of New York, to be my hometown. I currently live in Maplewood, N.J.

After graduating from Summit High School, I took my interest in journalism and communications to Brooklyn College, where I majored in broadcast journalism, minored in business, and wrote for the school paper. I also spent four years as a D.J., sportscaster, and newscaster at WBCR - Brooklyn College Radio, while also serving stints as news director and sports director there.

Following college graduation, I first worked at The Daily Journal in Elizabeth, N.J., before moving to California, where my jobs spanned three newspapers over eight years. I also spent four years as a weekend anchor and reporter for KPFA Radio, the Pacifica Radio Network affiliate in Berkeley, Ca. Most of my time out west was spent in San Francisco, where I met my wife, Claire. We have been married since April 1998.

In January 1999, we moved back to the east coast after I took a job as an editor at Editor & Publisher magazine, which covered the newspaper and Internet businesses. I wrote an average of three to four stories each week, in addition to a number of special projects and cover stories. I then spent eight years at Media Matters for America, covering conservtive media issues.

I am a news junkie who loves crafting a story from many angles, as well as interviewing almost anyone. I believe writing and journalism are among the most interesting and important professions around. There are few stories that bore me and few assignments that frighten me. I like to learn from others about how to improve writing and about what makes an interesting story. Some of my journalistic passions involve writing about and for the underdog and the independent mind. I strongly oppose materialism, corporate greed and political or government corruption. I see journalism and writing as a great way to expand minds and spread opinion.

Although I pride myself on a deep devotion to writing, I am also an avid football and baseball fan, a great follower of music - from blues to classical - and love the creative side of movies and books. In addition, I have become addicted to running and love to travel as much as possible. And I'm hopelessly devoted to my children, my daughter, Cloey Alice, who was born on February, 2001, and my son, Cole, who came in to the world in March 2004. 

I hope this gives you some idea of my interests and a snapshot into my life.

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