I’m John. I’m 33. I like to do a lot of things, as you’ll learn.
I’m also lucky.
I got to grow up in fire houses, and I got to come of age with this insane new thing called the Internet. I got to learn to appreciate what I have. I got to go to college, and then I got to go again. I got to write for the newspaper I read growing up. I got to start a website. Then another. Then an online magazine.
I got to have eclectic tastes, and express myself in new ways whenever I took up a new hobby. I got to do what my dad does for a living, for one day. I got to tell real people’s stories. I got to break a national story. I got to work for a true statesman.
I started as a journalist. I got hired at the Globe as a co-op student in 2006 and refused to leave. I made staff in 2010. I didn’t come into journalism by traditional means. I sort of started in PR and eventually came back to it. I spent my college years as Vice President for Public Relations in the Notheastern University Student Government Association, and Director of Public Relations for the Xi-Beta Chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, where I quickly became known as “the PR guy,” doing interviews and live shots on Boston’s television networks about college issues. Greek organizations and student governments have it tough, especially in student-run media, and I worked to cultivate a more proper image for my organizations.
I actually started out as a Criminal Justice major at NU. In my junior year, I was approached by one of my professors, a great media instructor named Gladys McKie, about starting a double degree program in Journalism.
At the end of the day, all I want out of my work is to feel like it meant something. I like working with people who help others, and I like to be where the action is. I gained respect as a cops reporter by showing up at crime scenes and listening to the scanners on my time off, instead of just calling from the desk. As a publicist, I host workshops even when I’m not being paid, and I go to meetings even when I don’t have to, I believe in gumshoe journalism and gumshoe PR, and that’s where the concept of JGPR comes into play. I know what I’m good at, and I want to apply what I’ve learned, done, succeed at, and failed at to help others (or help others who help others!) For me, public relations is a trade, not a gig or a paycheck. Like any trade, it takes a variety of tools, skills, and people to do a job effectively, and one of the things I’m best at is finding the right people for the right job. That’s why JGPR can build you a website, design a logo, program an iPhone App, send out a press release, and do pretty much everything else in the field of communications — and some things outside the field.
Between my time as a student and a freelance writer, my past part-time jobs have included: one-hour photo tech, video store clerk, security guard, web designer, HVAC technician’s helper, waiter, bartender, juice bartender, caterer, cook, messenger, call center call taker, and even a substitute teacher.
I also teach as an adjunct professor at Newbury College in Brookline, Lasell College in Newton, and Northeastern University.
Bachelor of Arts, Journalism — Northeastern University, 2007
Bachelor of Science, Criminal Justice (Concentration in Policing Studies) — Northeastern University, 2007
Master of Arts, Journalism — Emerson College, 2010
Awards and Honors
- PR News Public Affairs Professional of the Year, 2015
- Evvy Award, Emerson College — Amy Bishop Case, 2010
- Outstanding Senior Achievement Award, Northeastern University College of Criminal Justice — 2007
- Top 100 Most Influential Seniors, Northeastern University — 2007
- Student Body Vice President, Northeastern University — 2004-2006
- First Annual “Husky Leadership Award,” Northeastern University — 2005
- Awarded for work that contributed to ending post-sporting event rioting on campus
- Best Communications Program, Kappa Sigma Fraternity — 2005
- Created PR program that was modeled nationally to more than 200 collegiate chapters
- Scholarship from the International Association of Firefighters Local 1205 — 2002
- Four-time Boston Globe Impact Award recipient for outstanding news reporting
- National Headliner Awards, Second Place — 2010
- Shared award as part of team that covered Boston Water Main Break
John worked as a daily newspaper reporter for more than five years, and has worked in Internet media for more than 16 years. He can offer expert commentary on:
Fire Department Procedures
John is an expert on the procedures of The Boston Fire Department and the Boston MetroFire mutual aid system. He is familiar with the fire departments of many Massachusetts, Connecticut and other New England communities.
He can offer commentary on arson, the dangers of home oxygen equipment, the firefighting culture and profession and incident-specific firefighting and EMS tactics.
Crime and Policing
John has a degree in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University. He can offer commentary on juvenile justice, criminological theories, crime in New England, community policing, and police procedures.
As a news reporter, he has also covered and written about hundreds of incidents around New England.
John created ReviewCenter.com in 1997 and founded BlastMagazine.com in 2007. He has been working in digital journalism since he was 14. He is an expert on web standards and software, including WordPress.
Gaming and Tech
John can offer expert commentary on the video game industry, the local video game industry in Massachusetts, the history of video games, individual game titles and video game console wars.
He can offer expert commentary on most computer-related topics including software, hardware, Microsoft and Apple announcements and the history of personal computing.
John created the website Air Cache in 1997 and has given analysis and commentary on military aviation.
Examples of Journalistic Work
May 21, 2011 — This is the best story I ever wrote for the Boston Globe. Reporting from Irving, Texas, I fed this story back to Peter Schworm on the desk in Boston, and together we were able to tell the story of the life of a little boy who was murdered by his mother. A story that would otherwise have gone untold.
August 22, 2010 — This story represents one of three 9-alarm fires I covered in my career at the Boston Globe. This story best shows my understanding of firefighting procedures. I got great access, and took the photo you see above. I also wrote a sidebar story explaining what was going on in real-time, with a recording of the radio transmissions from that night.
Feb. 24, 2010 — Pulling an all-nighter in East Boston.
The Amy Bishop case
Part of the team of reporters on this story.
Earthquake in Haiti
January and February, 2010 — I played a very small role in the Globe’s amazing coverage of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti. I covered some local angles, including near-daily coverage of local teenager Britney Gengel and a profile of an aid worker. Seriously, though, read and view the work of Maria Sacchetti, Steve Smith, Bill Green and Dina Rudick, who actually went there.
Mercy flight for cancer patient ends in flames on Easton plaza
Aug. 12-13, 2008 — Reported from Easton. I was the first reporter on scene after hearing reports of a plane crash from a police scanner home.
2 firefighters die, 12 hurt in blaze
Aug. 30, 2007 — Reported from Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The staff and correspondents who worked on this story received Boston Globe Impact Awards for our work reporting this story, one of the biggest of the year.
Food and Drink
Earning a $10k bond is child’s play
May 28, 2008 — Reported on Foxboro chef and third-grader Sophie Philibert.
Beyond the rock, some wine finds
Sept. 13, 2007 — Spent the day drinking in Plymouth. Massachusetts has 24 wineries that make everything from Merlot to fruity cranberry vino. The best part is that you can do this as a day trip and not spend $100 all day. A great way to spend a cool late summer day. This was the first newspaper story to feature a photograph I took.
For this team, Duxbury triathlon was not about winning
Sept. 28, 2008 — Covering a touching story from Duxbury
The E3 Expo
July 2008, July 2009, June 2010, June 2011 — I covered E3 from Los Angeles for The Boston Globe, gathering news from local and national angles, for four consecutive years.
Hands-on education in the nature of fire
June 26, 2008 — A centerpiece feature for Globe West, North, South and Northwest on the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy. I interviewed cadets from each zone and got to go into a live training burn wearing full firefighter gear.
Fill tilt: For the ultimate pinball wizard, math skills help his winning strategy
April 28, 2008 — This article was on the cover of the first ever Boston Globe Living & Arts Sidekick section. Bowen Kerins, of Salem, then the top ranked competitive pinball player in the world.
Launch producer for BoMoms.com, a Boston Globe project for area mothers, which led to the launch of Boston.com’s parenting page.
Blast: The Online Magazine
Editor and founder of Blast, an online lifestyle and technology portal. Doing cover and page design, writing and editing. Contributing staff of more than 50.
The Good Men Project Magazine
Designed website and served as digital editor for first year.
Full Resume of Work Experience
City of Boston, January 2012 to January 2014
- Deputy Press Secretary to Mayor Thomas M. Menino
- Served as mayoral spokesman to press
- Programming, media relations, crisis management, and constituent services
- Worked on communications team during 2013 Boston Marathon attack and manhunt
- Worked for the longest serving mayor in Boston’s history
The Boston Globe, Boston, June 2006 to January 2012
- News Correspondent and later Staff Reporter
- Produced content on deadline
- Cultivated sources in government, police and fire, education and other avenues
- Contributed to city, suburban, business, arts, food, technology, and automotive news
- Staff position at one of the top American newspapers
- Wrote nearly 1,600 news reports
Newbury College, Brookline, Mass., Jan. 2011 to present
- Adjunct Professor
- Teaching college courses
- Instructing students in law, ethics, advanced writing
- Teaching about multiple fields including journalism, advertising, and public relations
The Good Men Project Magazine, Boston, Feb. 2010 to April 2011
- Web designer/Web editor
- Helped launch a new lifestyle magazine online
BoMoms.com, Boston, June to July, 2008
- Launch producer
- Handled editorial and technical matters for New York Times Co. web product
- Helped get a new project off the ground in a team environment
The Sun Chronicle, Attleboro, Mass., April to Sept. 2007
- Online Services Manager
- Website editor
- Responsible for web presence of major suburban newspaper
- Developed new programs for a news source unfamiliar with doing business online
BlastMagazine.com, Boston’s Online Magazine, Jan. 2007 to present
- Owner, editor
- Manage daily business and editorial operations for 200,000-reader publication
- Write, produce, design, and package daily and monthly content
- Member: Online News Association
MFS Investment Management, Boston, Jan. to June 2006
- Communications intern
- Facilitated a variety of client and broker/dealer issues company-wide
- Learned all aspects of the mutual fund industry
- Ported this business knowledge into news reporting work
ReviewCenter.com, New Haven, Conn., 1997 to 2003
- Started one of the early web-based technology news portals at age 14
- Supervised more than 20 writers
- Learned basics of web design, journalism, news writing, and business management
Yahoo! Geocities, Online 1996 to 1999
- Community leader
- Helped people make their own personal websites in the early days of the web
- One of a select group of teenagers allowed to take part in the program
- Emerged as an early leader with one of the largest companies on the Internet