John Soltes, an award-winning journalist with extensive experience in a variety of industry roles, has always introduced education into the newsroom, shepherding journalists into dedicated professionals with a clear understanding of effective reporting, writing and editing.
At County College of Morris, Soltes teaches journalism in the Communication Department and co-chairs The Legacy Project, an interdisciplinary initiative built on the remembrance of social movements, historical figures and important eras in world history.
His studies at Rutgers University and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism gave him a foundation in the possibilities of journalism and the ever-changing dynamics of the profession. Throughout his own evolution as a writer, Soltes has taken time to focus on specific areas of the journalism world, including entertainment and religion.
After earning his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers and his master’s from Columbia, Soltes was selected as a fellow in the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education. His work in the program resulted in a published freelance piece on the obstacles of the Nigerian Catholic community in both The New York Times and The Brooklyn Rail. While interning at Time Asia in Hong Kong, Soltes reported, blogged and wrote stories for Time.com. His online articles included a piece on Graham Greene tourism in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; a feature on an elaborate nighttime ritual at the India-Pakistan border; and a profile on Hilly Kristal, legendary owner of CBGB on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
Other articles by Soltes have been published by The Hollywood Reporter, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Earth Island Journal and New Jersey Monthly, among other publications. His most recent writing focuses on wildlife stories, including articles on bats, ospreys, wolves and turkeys.
Soltes served as editor in chief of The Leader newspaper, a weekly publication that served the communities in the Meadowlands region. While at The Leader, he co-won the prestigious Hildy Johnson Award for Best New Jersey Story of the Year from the Garden State Journalists, among other awards. After nearly three years at The Leader, Soltes continued to expand his freelance career as both a journalist and professional resume writer. In 2011, he launched Hollywood Soapbox, an online magazine focusing on entertainment. Soltes’ writing on that website has earned him two awards from the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists.
During his career, Soltes took part in the Berlin Capital Program for the German Fulbright Commission. He also participated in “The Church Up Close,” an in-depth journalistic look at the Roman Catholic Church, hosted by the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. His personal and professional travels have taken him to Italy, England, India, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Portugal, France and Costa Rica.