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Photo of Caleb Jones courtesy of Sarah Jones

Alumnus headed to Hawaii to direct AP bureau

02/11/15

Hancock native Caleb Jones ’05 will trade in his snow boots and winter coats for flip flops and Aloha shirts next month as he heads to Honolulu, where he will oversee breaking news and enterprise for the Associated Press (AP).

“Basically, I get to work in paradise, as both a manager and a reporter. It’s really a dream come true for me,” Jones said.

Jones has worked in the AP’s “Nerve Center” in New York City since 2007, when he started as a staff photo editor. He later became the desk supervisor for news, and edited photos for all the AP staff photographers who work in the United States, as well as photos by AP photographers working abroad.

Since April 2011, Jones has been a news producer at AP’s New York headquarters, beta-testing new AP platforms, posting to its flagship social media accounts and interacting with users. He helped to create and promote AP Mobile content, wrote Microsoft’s Windows 8 news tiles, and edited and wrote for AP Stream projects.

“I’d been applying to be a reporter for a while now,” Jones explained of his job change. “I wanted to do more than just photos, in sort of a cross-format type thing. And, after being at a desk for a few years, I was looking to get back in the field. I like interacting with people. I like telling their stories.”

He continued, “There’s a lot to be said about sitting at a desk, as well. I’ve really enjoyed all the jobs that I’ve had and I’ve learned a lot. It’s important to go through that process. I wanted to learn as much as I could about journalism and go back out and apply what I’ve learned. It’s where I’ve always wanted to be.”

In Hawaii, he will be the administrative correspondent and a cross-format journalist in charge of the AP bureau in that state.

Jones, who at MCLA majored in English/communications with a focus on journalism, got his career break in 2004, when one of his professors suggested that he apply for an internship with the AP to take photos at the Democratic and Republican national conventions in Washington, D.C.

“I got it. I was a senior photo intern, so I was in charge of a group of 15 to 20 interns and coordinated between the photographers and the photo editors. That’s where I met the photo editors in Washington,” Jones said.

After his 2005 graduation, Jones returned to D.C., where he worked as a freelance photographer, mostly for the AP. His work took him to the State Department, Capitol Hill and the White House.

In addition, he served corporate clients and took photos for the European Pressphoto Agency. His photographs appeared in a number of publications, including the New York Times and Newsweek magazine.

A non-traditional student who took a few years off after high school to travel before he settled down to his college studies, Jones lived in his childhood home in Hancock while he attended MCLA. He developed a keen interest in journalism after taking photojournalism classes, and went on to take photos and write stories for the former North Adams Transcript newspaper, first as an intern, then as a weekend photographer and freelance journalist.

“I was little bit older. I wanted to really focus on my studies. I wanted to really do well. I didn’t do so well in high school. I wasn’t always interested, but I was able to come out of MCLA with a 3.4 GPA.

“My professors were great,” he continued. “I had some really interesting and smart professors who helped me a lot. Had it not been for them, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It was a great experience. I’m glad I went there.”