Portrait of Joey Pagano

Joey Pagano

Freelance Journalist & Advocate 

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Joey Pagano

Freelance Journalist & Advocate 

About

My name is Giuseppe “Joey” Pagano, and I am a graduate student studying Cultural Foundations of Education and Disability Studies at Syracuse University’s School of Education. I graduated Syracuse’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in May 2021, one year early, and am pursuing a career in journalism and politics. Currently interning in the office of New York State Senator John W. Mannion, I am seeking freelance opportunities. Since graduating, I have been a guest columnist for Syracuse.com/The Post Standard, writing monthly columns on a variety of topics. I have also written for Yahoo Life and contributed to work at Syracuse University’s Center on Disability and Inclusion.

During my time at Newhouse, I wrote for The Daily Orange, covering race and gender, esports, and the arts. I polished my reporting and storytelling skills as I wrote for the Eagle Bulletin, highlighting local athletes and coaches. I wrote two stories about local product Ashley Twichell making the Olympics as a swimmer for Team USA for the first time, one when she originally qualified and another as she kept herself prepared after the Games were delayed over the COVID-19 pandemic. But it was my final year at Newhouse when I discovered my passion for productive opinion writing.

In the Fall 2020 semester, I utilized my personal experiences to delve into the disability beat. I wrote a 2,500-word story about the exclusion of students with disabilities on college campuses, pinned to a review of Syracuse’s disability services. Throughout the two-month reporting process, I accumulated material for other stories, including my personal essay and a reported feature about the struggles deaf college students faced in the opening days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pieces sparked the column I maintained for The NewsHouse, a campus publication, in the Spring 2021 semester. Named “The Wheelchair Quarterback,” and informed by personal experience, the column covered autism acceptance, disability representation in Hollywood, and more. The column itself and its individual pieces have won multiple awards for column and opinion writing, including first place finishes in the Society of Professionals Journalists’ Mark of Excellence regional competition and the Associated Collegiate Press Clips & Clicks contest.

During my time at Newhouse, my journalism professors praised my “scorched earth” approach to my work, whether writing or otherwise. As I progress, I hope to diversify my writing and overall work and to develop relationships. In January, I wrote a piece for Yahoo Life, where I interviewed two sources about the #MyDisabledLifeIsWorthy trend on Twitter. More recently, I wrote a column about the MLB lockout for Syracuse.com, where I discussed my love for baseball. As I decide what my next step is, I remain open to freelance writing opportunities surrounding any subject.

Giuseppe Pagano