J. Jennings Moss

josh+moss

I’ve often said that my time at the Wildcat was the most fun I ever had as a journalist. It was also the best training I could have ever had for what’s been a great career. Some of my standout memories.

  • When confronted with the administration imposing shorter library hours, the editorial board of which I was a member came up with the idea “why don’t we suggest that students mount a protest?.” The idea caught on and within a week, around 2,000 students filled the library one night and refused to leave. This was a clear sign of the power of the student press.
  • The people I worked with were funny, intense, insane, devoted and just a bit off. There was the editor who, when he got mad, threw a chair across the newsroom. There was the sports guy who we made fun of because he would talk into his tape recorder and pretend to be a radio announcer (I’m talking about NBC’s Dan Hicks, not making fun anymore). There was the reporter, who when I was city editor, towered over me and threatened me. There another reporter who I fired who cried with relief. There were the late nights and long weekends spent in the Franklin Building, sometimes with contraband snuck in. There were lots and lots of good times.
  • As I was graduating, at the SBS luncheon, a group of students presented some readers’ theater to the graduates and parents. One of the pieces they did was the last column I wrote for the Wildcat, where I talked about graduating and reflected on my time at the paper and the UA. It was a thrill to hear my words read out loud.

RESUME

As a reporter at the Wildcat, Josh went by the byline Joshua Moss. But for most of his career, he’s written under the name J. Jennings Moss—a byline he was sure would get him into the New York Times one day (which ultimately happened a handful of times, including one piece about professional dancers in Las Vegas and another about the real East Village origins of Broadway theater

Josh spent three years at the Wildcat while he secured a dual major in Journalism and Political Science. He started on the police beat, covered the UA administration, became city editor, failed in a bid to be editor, and covered the Arizona Legislature as the Bolles Fellow. He did two internships while in college, for the Providence Journal and the Tucson Citizen, neither of which would have been possible without the Wildcat.

His first real job was covering cops and courts in Pasco County, Florida, for the Tampa Tribune. Most memorable story there was covering the path of a fledgling serial killer. Next, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he spent six years at The Washington Times and fulfilled his first big career goal of covering U.S. politics and government. He spent time on Capitol Hill, at the White House, covering the 1992 presidential campaign. A jump to magazines followed when he became Washington correspondent for The Advocate, the national gay and lesbian newsmagazine. Here, he got the first interview by a sitting president to discuss gay topics and he wrote the story that led to Representative Jim Kolbe announcing he was gay.

Josh left Washington and political journalism for New York, where he landed at ABCNews.com early in the digital news revolution. He spent more than four years as a senior editor at ABC, manning the evening desk during 9/11 and the start of the wars with Iraq and Afghanistan.  He jumped to FoxNews.com as managing editor, where he spent two years running the minute-to-minute news operation for the top-rated cable channel.

Another jump followed, and Josh got into business journalism when Conde Nast launched Portfolio magazine and Josh joined its web operation. He rose to, first, become deputy editor of the site and then, because Portfolio’s editor when Conde Nast shut down the magazine and the site got picked up by American City Business Journals. Josh remains editor, though the site is now called the Upstart Business Journal.

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