Joao-Pierre S. Ruth
"One of the first stories I wrote as a journalism intern was about The Cowtown Rodeo in Pilesgrove (yes, that's in New Jersey). Working on the story meant driving about two hours south to the end of the Turnpike. There I met Howard Grant Harris, one of the few true cowboys to be found in the state. Was this New Jersey or had I taken a wrong turn and ended up in Montana? I grew up in the land of shopping malls and movie theaters, not bucking broncos. That is the kind of surprise you uncover working as a journalist."
"I am a 30 year-old reporter for NJBIZ, a weekly, statewide business publication. I graduated from Piscataway High School and ultimately Rutgers University in New Brunswick with a bachelor's in English. I started out interning for the newspaper while in my final years at Rutgers. As an English major I knew plenty about writing essays and research papers, but little about journalism."
"I quickly learned it means taking on the job of a communicator, an investigator, a researcher and a writer. At first I got some of the lighter work writing about muffin businesses and New Jersey's only rodeo. I was hired as a reporter after my summer internship ended in 1997 and I took on tougher business stories. I have covered lawsuits and power plays made inside corporate boardrooms. That has meant chasing down and roping up people who do not always want to talk to the media. I think the folks at The Cowtown Rodeo would be proud."