Today’s #MediaMonday comes to us from Tucson. Joe Ferguson is the current president of the Arizona Press Club and a reporter for the Arizona Daily Star, where he’s been for the last three years, covering Pima County, transportation and politics before moving to the investigative team. Like me, he got his start professionally in Flagstaff. There he covered business and city hall for the Arizona Daily Sun.
He’s got a number of awards to his credit, a pair of First Amendment awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and several awards from the Arizona Press Club and the Arizona Newspaper Association.
Joe, time to share:
I learned how to read on my father's lap, first sounding out words in the comics in the Milwaukee Journal. The section I remember best was called the Green Sheet because it was dyed green. From comics, I moved on to news articles and was reading stories before I entered the first grade. I got in trouble because I refused to read books in the first grade, as I said they were "boring."
I was hooked on becoming a journalist at an early age. Who wants to read See Spot Run when I can keep tabs on Congress?
I went to junior high and high school in Sahuarita and began visiting the University of Arizona campus on a regular basis after getting my driver's license. I remember scouting campus looking for the Arizona Daily Wildcat newsroom . I begged my journalism teacher who lived in Tucson as was going to the U of A for grad school to bring me copies of the Daily Wildcat to read.
I really enjoyed covering the recent Congressional District 2 election as well as the subsequent recounts, this was a big election and I enjoyed the twists and turns that came with it.
In Flagstaff, I covered a very tragic mid-air collision of two medical helicopters. It was a big story for the community and I enjoyed working with a team of reporters on a number of follow-ups.
Also in Flagstaff, I covered the housing market for seven years. During that time, I watched as a number of middle-class families struggled to find housing, dedicated public servants and community members worked to find solutions and how a number of smart, hard-working people lost their homes due to unfair loan practices and projects failing to ever get off the ground.