John F. Solomon, IV, Comm ‘88
John Solomon considers journalism a career of optimism and pragmatism.
As the executive editor of The Washington Times, John thinks reporters and editors must work with “all of the great values of journalism: fairness, accuracy, precision, accountability, speed, depth and context.”
It’s a demanding combination, but John says Marquette, from which he graduated magna cum laude, taught him well.
“What I took away from the Jesuits is the awareness that, in a shrinking world, you can’t get by on minimal knowledge,” he says.
Before his 2008 appointment to the Times, John had a long career with the Associated Press, which took him from Milwaukee to Washington, D.C., where he also worked for The Washington Post. He covered some of the capital’s leading stories, including an award-winning series with 60 Minutes.
Since taking the job at the Times, John has recognized the newest challenge for journalists: to present the news in the formats consumers want.
“Where others see journalistic demise, I see unprecedented opportunity to reshape the profession from two-dimensional storytelling to a four-dimensional, interactive experience of the news,” he says. “Newspapers have been liberated to give their readers a front-row seat to history if publishers, editors and reporters simply embrace changes in technology, business models and distribution without compromising the core values of journalism.”
This is a major change in the world of journalism, but John says the Jesuits emphasized that “no obstacle is too overwhelming to overcome.”