By Alfonsina Venegas
Published: April 18th, 2019
John Marzulli is an American journalist with a long career and the desire to let students know, that despite things having changed considerably in the field, there are still many opportunities out there for recent Journalism graduates.
Marzulli started his career as a part-time intern at the NY Daily News. He ran errands for editors and reporters and wrote stories during the summer. Marzulli worked nights at the Daily News until he graduated college. Then he decided to join the Police Academy and became a police officer in the 1990s.
“In the 90s’, there was a lot of violent crime in the city. We got very busy; the murder rate was at an all-time high, with around 2,200 murders in that year. Today, there’s about 275 murders in a year,” he said. “There was a big transformation at the department in 1994, with major Giuliani and Police Commissioner Bratton, who re-engineered the police department, and crime dropped significantly. We worked at 9/11, which was the monumental event at my time in the Police Headquarters Bureau.”
Marzulli smiles. It looks as if he knows the best and the worst of both worlds: to be a journalist, and to be a police officer, as these two professions are a part of his life, intertwined by choice or by fate. After two years on the force, he missed writing, so he went back to the Daily News and worked at the Research Department. Then he got promoted to reporter.
“It wasn’t long before they assigned me to the Police Headquarters Bureau of the Daily News, which to this day it’s called The Shack. But twelve years was a long run. It’s a seven- days- a week beat. When things happen, you get called in the middle of the night. “
By that time, Marzulli was married and had a child, so he asked to be moved to a court beat. There was an opening at the Federal Court House in Brooklyn. At this new post, Marzulli got to see human drama, tragedies, and situations that can be compared to a soap opera. He learned a lot, from how to read a court document, to the legal terms used by attorneys, to how the Court system worked in general. He kept this job for 14 years. Marzulli worked a total of 20 years for the Daily News.
In 2016, Marzulli got offered a job by then US attorney Richard Donoghue to work for the Eastern District of New York. He has worked there ever since, as a Public Information Officer, issuing press releases and answering questions from the media. Marzulli appears to enjoy this last post in his career. When asked about any advice he would give to recent Journalism graduates, he answered:
“You have to become good at writing by writing a lot,” he said. “Also, do a lot of reading. It’s a craft. You build a story by putting blocks of information together and weaving that information into a story. There will always be jobs for those who can write fast and clearly. I used to write many stories every day. The more you write, the fastest you get at it, so write a lot, write as many stories as possible. Reading is also important: read anything, the more you read and the more you write, the better you get at it. Once you do that, much of what you want to say flows naturally. With practice you will become more skilled writing the story, so just keep writing!”