Alumni Newsletter

Get to know The DOAA Board: Treasurer Josh Barnett (’94)

Courtesy of Josh Barnett

Josh Barnett joined The D.O.A.A. Board of Directors as treasurer when the organization was reformed in summer 2016.

UPDATED: Feb. 18, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.

Philadelphia is one of the great sports towns, and in the last 16 years, all four of the city’s major teams have made at least one trip to their sport’s championship.

Josh Barnett was there for it all.

The Syracuse University alumnus attributes this opportunity to not luck, but to what he learned at The Daily Orange: the value of hard work.

“I don’t know if I would have gotten into the business as quickly or as prepared as I did if it weren’t for my experiences at The D.O.,” said Barnett, who works as an editor for USA Today.

Barnett (‘94) serves as treasurer of The Daily Orange Alumni Association Board of Directors. He sees many positives in a cohesive alumni base.

In an ever-changing industry, he said, it’s important to have someone older to turn to. Barnett has been involved in D.O alumni efforts in the past, and said the network can’t serve just current students and recent D.O graduates.

It has to be for everyone.

“Anyone who came through The D.O. now shares a common bond,” Barnett said. “I never rushed a fraternity, The D.O. was my fraternity.”

When looking back at his time at The D.O., Barnett said there wasn’t one aspect that prepared him most for a career in journalism. Everything he did for the paper gave him a foundation.

Once he rose through the ranks and assumed the role of The D.O.’s sports editor, the new managerial duties shaped him. He realized determining how others executed stories took priority.

“I think you get a better sense of someone’s true ability when their buddy is editing them,” he said.

That mentality has followed Barnett throughout his professional career. After stops at papers in Glens Falls, as well as Utica and Syracuse, he took a position with the Philadelphia Daily News in 1999.

Barnett spent more than a decade in Philadelphia. He started on the copy desk, became the sports editor in 2004 and added executive to that title four years later.

He was running the show during one of the city’s most historic moments: The Phillies’ 2008 World Series victory.

Overseeing coverage for that series was particularly difficult because the title-clinching game was delayed for rain and didn’t resume for two days. Barnett said he knew the next day’s edition had the chance to be one of the Daily News’ best-selling papers in years.

When Game 5 finally resumed, there were only a few innings of play before the Phillies won it. Deadlines were tight, Barnett said, and the presses had to start as possible.

“I remember saying out loud in the newsroom, ‘A Philadelphia team hasn’t won a championship for 24 years. Give us five more minutes to get the paper out,’” Barnett said.

Barnett has worked as the director of content for USA Today’s high school sports since 2012. And while he’s covering high school athletes as opposed to professional athletes, Barnett said it requires the same fundamental skills.

Barnett has worked as the director of content for USA Today’s high school sports since September of 2014, after joining the paper as assistant managing editor of SportWeekly and publications in July of 2012. And while he’s covering high school athletes as opposed to professional athletes, Barnett said it requires the same fundamental skills.

And as efforts move forward to solidify The D.O.’s alumni base, Barnett and the rest of the board have been working with the current staff to re-engage other alumni.

“The best thing that can happen to this organization is that it survives regardless of the people who are involved in it,” Barnett said. “It becomes something strong enough to stand on its own.”

CORRECTION: In a previous version of this post, Josh Barnett’s career trajectory was misstated. Barnett has worked as the director of content for USA Today’s high school sports since September of 2014, after joining the paper as assistant managing editor of SportWeekly and publications in July of 2012. The Daily Orange regrets this error.

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