The Wingspan

Centennial High School's Daily Online News Source

The Wingspan

The Wingspan

Alumni Feature: Jeff Amoros

Maryland politician Jeff Amoros states; “Being able to write is just such a foundational aspect of the working world, and it doesn’t matter what your field is.” Coincidentally Amoros’ passion for writing that accelerated him to his profession today was the product of his time Centennial’s own school newspaper.

Amoros joined the paper his freshman year of high school as a staff writer. His junior year, he became the sports editor, and his senior year, he was a co-editor in chief alongside his long-time friend Andrew Adams. 

“Everyone sort of had their own niche that they really enjoyed doing,” Amoros explained. This made it easy for him and Adams to run the class. When they were co-editors in chiefs, he and Adams would split up what sections of the paper they would run based on their interests. Amoros covered opinion pages and news editing, while Adams focused more on pop culture, design, and all of the visual elements of the newspaper. At the time, the paper was so popular that they added a completely new paper called The Vanguard which was run by another one of their close friends.

After graduating from Centennial, Amoros went on to study print journalism at the University of Maryland where he also reported for the University’s newspaper The Diamondback. Along with many newspaper outlets, The Diamondback was printed while Amoros was at the school but went digital soon after. This big shift from print to digital newspapers across the globe likely came with the recession in 2009. Just as Amoros was graduating, journalism jobs were being cut left and right. At the time, Amoros was working for a magazine in D.C called Capitol File, and had been offered a job as a deputy editor in August 2009, but a few days after graduation, the magazine laid everyone off and merged with their Philadelphia operation. The following two years Amoros spent working and saving money, and eventually went to law school. “I had always been interested in politics and involved with stuff, but I didn’t sort of choose this route until after journalism had chosen for me.” Amoros mentions how the decline of the journalism field led him to his path in politics.

Amoros is now the chief of staff for the Anne Arundel County executive, and while he is no longer working in journalism, he emphasizes the importance his knowledge of the field has had in his career in politics. Amoros mentioned how in his profession, he is constantly surrounded by people with political science and history backgrounds, where they essentially get trained to write too much. “Your instinct is to use a one dollar word when a ten cent word would work, and journalism is the opposite of that. It’s writing so that anyone can pick something up and immediately understand the flow of information,” Amoros continued. He acknowledged the importance of journalism, even through the lens of a person working in politics, where not everyone gets along with journalists. “American society is predicated on strong freedom of the press and independent press that are able to call attention to issues raised by those in power.”

Much like The Diamondback, whose publication has moved to online, most papers we read today are predominantly online. Amoros enjoys the convenience and opportunities the online publications provide, but considers the fact that journalism has changed completely since his time on The Wingspan. “We’re not in a time machine world, we’re not going to take things back 50 years for people to read a newspaper again in print,” Amoros said. In an era where everything you consume is online, Amoros couldn’t deny that he misses the process of putting together a printed newspaper. “There is something to be said about holding your work in your hand after it has been printed.”

Amoros cannot thank The Wingspan enough for his love of work in a pressroom, and the impact his experiences on the newspaper had on his future. “I can’t emphasize enough how beneficial learning how to write from a journalistic perspective is compared to everything else when you go to college … actually really the working world.”

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About the Contributor
Abby Rothrock, Photo Editor