Growing up, broadcast and digital journalism sophomore Dhani Joseph understood the importance of education. Taught by his family to always do well in school, Joseph excelled academically. When the Bronx native entered high school, he aspired to a career in the medical field, though his academic strengths skewed more towards his current career goals.
“I hate math,” he says. “However, I was always good at reading and writing so [I said,] ‘let’s see where this takes me.’”
Reflection during the COVID-19 pandemic reversed Joseph’s dreams, and he decided to pursue a career in sports journalism at the Newhouse School.
“Even though I didn’t get into sports until middle school, I was always around sports, picking up on all the different commentators,” Joseph says.
As he watched, he was inspired by ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and Newhouse’s own Mike Tirico ’88 and Bob Costas ’74.
The Newhouse School, “the best communications school in the world,” was the driving force behind Joseph’s decision to attend Syracuse University. He says he knew it was the place for him to learn essential skills “as a journalist and sports commentator, so I can—one day—be one of the greats of Newhouse.”
Joseph is well on his way to being one of the greats as he completes the inaugural semester of Newhouse DC, a one-semester program where students experience working and living in the nation’s capital. They take classes, complete an internship and connect with the vast Newhouse Network.
Joseph interns with Pro Sports Outlook where he creates NBA, NFL and MLB content. He recently shadowed his Newhouse DC mentor Scott Abraham ’05—a sports anchor at ABC7/WJLA-TV—at a Washington Commanders game at FedEx Field. Joseph also toured the WJLA studio with Abraham and Michelle Marsh ’05, an Emmy Award winning journalist and anchor. He watched them broadcast the news live and got a chance to sit at the anchor desk.
A self-proclaimed planner, Joseph says the decision to come to Washington, DC was unexpected, but essential.
“I wanted to be a part of the first initial cohort able to experience something brand new to potentially get an edge over my competition… I feel like doing a program like this, with the connections I am making with the sports industry while I’m here is something you can’t take for granted.”
Joseph is not only completing Newhouse DC, a program where he says “the opportunities are endless,” but he’s also in the important role of president of the Syracuse University chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists.
“We have the responsibility of being a resource for Black journalists on campus whether that is giving resources on scholarships, fellowships, potential internships that are around, just being a resource for Black journalists who don’t know where to find these things,” he says.
“We want to be a place you can come to and say ‘Alright Dhani, I’m trying to find this,’ and we will do our best to help you… We try to have a community. Being Black journalists at a predominantly white institution, we try fostering bonds that last throughout these students’ careers.”
As for the future, Joseph only wants to take on more…and make history at Syracuse University. His goal is to complete all three Newhouse off-campus programs, which would be “pretty historic since most people don’t have a chance to do Newhouse LA and DC.”
He plans on Newhouse LA next summer and Newhouse NYC in Spring 2024, hoping to get his name on a plaque, too. One down, two to go.
Jacob LeRea is a first-year student in the broadcast and digital journalism program at the Newhouse School.