Up against stiff competition such as The Washington Post and New York Magazine, Jon Prior, Mayborn School of Journalism alumnus, came out on top. While working for HousingWire Magazine, he won SABEW’s Best in Business Award in 2011 for best exploratory story from the Society of Business Writers and Editors. Recently, Prior landed at POLITICO as a reporter, catapulting him into the journalist’s haven that is Washington, D.C.
Prior says Dr. Tracy Everbach gave him the priceless advice that put him on his award-winning path: Start at a niche magazine or trade. You can become an expert on that particular subject. “I was lucky enough to take her advice,” Prior says.
The story that won him the SABEW award, The Elephant in the Room, required lots of long hours and complete dedication from Prior – dedication he gives to every story. When the phone call came, “I was on deadline writing the next feature,” he says. “The phone rang, but when you’re on deadline, it’s annoying. I wasn’t looking forward to the call.” But he’s sure glad he took it. Even though “in the newsroom, there’s no time to savor the moment,” he says. “I had to celebrate later.” Such is the life of a top-notch journalist.
His commitment to the art of storytelling is something he learned here at the Mayborn from Writer in Residence George Getschow. “He has his tribe that I’m lucky to be a part of,” Prior says. “I was lucky enough to take some graduate level courses under George, and he really taught us how to humanize very complicated stories. That’s something I think I’m still trying to do.”
With his education from the Mayborn, Prior had an advantage when job hunting. “I’ve talked to editors and publishers around the Metroplex, and they hold Mayborn graduates at a higher level,” he says. “They know they’re prepared and hold them to higher standards.”