There's so much more to self-motivated, go-getter Justin Joseph than being an investigative reporter for Fox 31 KDVR Denver News. He's an enthusiastic, contributing member of the Joseph Family Foundation created by his parents, Cheryl and Gary Joseph. The Joseph's created the foundation in 2006 as their way to give back to the community and provide opportunities to those in need through volunteerism, grants and donations. The foundation is making a big impression on the community and focuses on worthwhile charities which value education, giving all people an opportunity to better themselves, and attaining the dignity all God's creatures deserve.
In 2012, The Joseph Family Foundation ("Giving Wings to Angels") launched one of Denver's most exciting fundraisers "Urban Nights" (recently held on August 22, 2015) which benefits Urban Peak, a nonprofit serving homeless youth and youth at risk of becoming homeless. The fundraiser features a stunning runway fashion show and tons of other entertainment. Justin was instrumental in bringing this concept to his family and is involved in every aspect of planning and marketing the event and making sure it is a success.
Justin is a serious, intuitive investigative reporter who also has a great sense of fun; and it shows when you see him enjoying and giving his full attention to nonprofit events such as Urban Nights... and another Joseph Family Foundation supported event, "Pack Your Bags" for the SaddleUp! Foundation - as well as other innovative and creative fundraisers throughout the year.
With his keen intelligence and ability to connect, Justin Joseph's star continues to rise wherever... or whatever he jumps into!
Justin, was there any hint of your investigative nature when you were a child?
I was the type of child who always knew my Christmas presents before the big day. I knew from a very young age I was extraordinarily curious, and it has served me well in my current work.
How did you get involved in the kind of reporting you are doing now?
I originally got into news thinking I was going to be a legal analyst. So, after practicing law for a few years, I drove to Wyoming’s Channel 5 News and begged them to let me intern. Once I covered my first breaking news story, I was addicted. I knew I couldn’t be tied down to just one area of the news. I had to be able to cover all areas.
Now that I’ve been doing this work for ten years, I am officially the “crime” reporter mostly because of my sources and contacts from my days as a Deputy District Attorney in Denver.
My personality can be confrontational, and so I love the stories where the facts suggest someone is hiding something.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your investigative reporting?
I love walking away from any story knowing I’ve answered questions for our viewers. When news breaks in a neighborhood, people want to know how this news affects them. Police are more concerned with solving the crime. So, I view my job as trying to channel every bit of information I can verify to the public as long as it doesn’t hinder the investigation. Sometimes I can provide those answers in a few hours, other times, it’s taken me years.
Giving answers and closure to a family or neighborhood is immensely rewarding.
What is the hardest part of what you do?
Being taken away from family and friends on a moments notice for days or weeks to cover a story. Often, those of us in the business miss important holidays and dates because news is always the priority. It comes with the job offer.
Can you tell us about some of your toughest (or scariest) assignments?
I think part of reporting is having the courage to never be afraid. Whether you’re going to a crime filled neighborhood or worried about someone on whom you're reporting, if you ever let fear affect reporting decisions, you’ll end up doing a disservice to your viewers. It’s the number one thing I tell new reporters.
If I ever feel fear creeping in, my competitive self comes out and says, “I’m doing this because the next news person won’t.”
What do you think is the greatest problem we are facing in this country today?
Lack of kindness and respect for each other.
What’s the best advice you have received from a colleague or a mentor?
Always tell the truth.
How far do you have to go sometimes to get to the truth?
Absolutely as far as I need to without breaking the law.
What is your personal motto – or favorite quote?
Delight yourself in the joys of your God, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
What would you do with your life if you knew you couldn’t fail? That is your life’s work.
In all decisions, choose the path which requires the most courage.
What’s coming up in the future for Justin Joseph?
Time will tell.
Which one word describes you best (or maybe two)?
Assertive and competitive.
What do you hope to accomplish while you are at KDVR Fox News in Denver?
The list is winding down.
Did you find your job with DA Bill Ritter’s office interesting?
Yes but I was too young to do the work. It was too intense and my heart was always in reporting.
Tell us about your work with the Joseph Family Foundation.
The fashion show part of Urban Nights was my idea after I spent some time in Omaha. It had a spectacular outdoor fashion event and when my family decided to start Urban Nights, my job was to translate that event to Denver.
My job with the foundation is to handle the production design for Urban Nights. I am the person who decides on the marketing campaign, the look and feel for the show and its theme. I believe love is in the details, and every year I try to surprise our guests with something that makes them feel that Urban Nights is special. We want our guests to feel like Urban Nights is unlike any fundraiser they’ve ever been to.
In general, how do you think Denver has changed through the years?
I never appreciated Denver until I left. I believe we live in the greatest city with any adventure you choose. I’m proud to be a native Coloradoan.
How difficult was it to make the decision to switch from law to tv reporting?
It wasn’t. I knew in my heart that my life’s work was in reporting and once I made the decision, I surrendered everything to make it happen.
Going back to when you first started your career, what has been your proudest personal accomplishment so far?
That’s a really tough question. I guess it’s making the decision to leave a lucrative career as an attorney to pursue what I believe is my life’s work.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Hanging out with my partner Josh and our dog Payton.
What’s the best advice your Mom or Dad ever gave you?
Trust in your faith.
What is something you still want to learn how to do?
Fly a plane and learn the piano.
How do you want to be remembered by future generations?
Publicly, as an exceptional reporter and someone who gave back to the community. Privately, as someone who’s life was guided by faith.