FEATURED ALUMNI: JONATHAN FREED (J 88)
While most of us only dream of front row seats during our time's most significant events, Jonathan Freed repeatedly witnessed history in the making during his 20 years as a journalist.
A graduate of the IPJ Program in 1988, Freed reported for CBS News and CNN where his journalism career took him all over the world as a network correspondent, placing him not only in the front row but in the center seat.
Freed reported live from Biloxi, Mississippi as Hurricane Katrina hit, and he covered the aftermath of the storm there and in New Orleans in the following months.
Freed covered the White House during Bill Clinton's scandal with Monica Lewinsky. "I still remember my phone ringing before dawn one morning and hearing the voice of my producer in New York telling me I'd better head to the White House because of the first rumblings about the President and an intern," he said.
Freed was among the few to have a media seat at the Supreme Court hearings that settled the 2000 Bush/Gore presidential election. He reported from Japanís Nagano Winter Olympics, the Academy Awards, the Emmys, and served as both a national correspondent and an anchor in Canada.
Like many TFAS alumni, Freed notes that the Fund programs had a monumental effect on him: ìThat internship, [with ABC Newsí This Week with David Brinkley ] along with the IPJ program, convinced me journalism was what I wanted to pursue as a career. David Brinkley was, and always will be, one of my journalistic heroes,î said Freed.
After leaving life as a journalist three years ago, Freed worked as the National Spokesperson for State Farm Insurance, specializing in responding to catastrophes and legal crises. Freed later took the Director of Corporate Communications position with US Airways. As an FAA certified private pilot and with aviation as one of his reporting specialties, he could not resist the opportunity. Early into Freedís time at US Airways, Flight 1549 made its well publicized emergency landing in the Hudson River. ìI spent the rest of the year handling the fallout from the incident," said Freed, "and coordinating public appearances for the pilots and crew, everything from appearing on Larry King Live to testifying before Congress about the "Miracle on the Hudson."
Freed holds a B.A. in political science from McGill University in Montreal, an M.A. in Journalism from The University of Western Ontario, and a Certificate from the Board of Extra-Mural Studies from the University of Cambridge, England.
Freed is married with two children and is the Department Head for Media Relations/PR at Aflac.