Jim Ash, a veteran print and broadcast journalist who has covered everything from the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster to the Donald J. Trump presidential campaign, has joined Florida Politics as a Tallahassee correspondent, publisher Peter Schorsch announced.
He starts Feb. 20.
Ash joins fellow state capital correspondent Danny McAuliffe and contributor Michael Moline to boost the platform’s legislative and state government coverage.
Former Tallahassee correspondent Jim Rosica now takes on the role of Senior Editor; he remains based in Tallahassee.
“With a new administration and so many new players in The Process, it’s an exciting time in Florida politics.” Schorsch said. “Our readers expect more and better coverage. Hiring a savvy veteran like Jim will help us meet these demands.”
Ash, a second-generation journalist, spent the past 18 months as a senior editor and legislative writer for the Florida Bar News. Before that, Ash worked as a reporter and producer at WFSU-88.9 FM. There, he covered the Legislature and state politics for all National Public Radio affiliates in Florida, with his stories also appearing on NPR.
Ash began his career as a high school intern and copy boy at The Palm Beach Post. He was a recent University of Iowa graduate when Gannett hired him to join the first team of reporters at Florida Today in Brevard County, an experimental newspaper and the prototype for USA Today.
As a special projects reporter, Ash won a Best of Gannett Award for exposing a military waste dump beneath a residential housing development near Patrick Air Force Base. He made the discovery while researching a suspicious concentration of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in an adjacent neighborhood.
As capital bureau chief for Gannett News Service, Ash covered the rise of the Republican majority, the 2000 presidential recount and the Republican National Convention in 2008.
“It’s an honor to be part of a team that has worked so aggressively and so successfully to raise the bar for state news coverage,” Ash said. “Innovation is never easy, but it’s always more rewarding.”
He’s is a proud father of four, an avid skin diver and voracious reader. One of his most satisfying accomplishments is exploring nearly all of the public hiking trails in and around Big Sur, Calif.
Ash is the son of the late Clarke B. Ash, who once led the opinion sections of The Palm Beach Post and the now-defunct Miami News, and Agnes Ash, the News’ first female business editor and later publisher of the Palm Beach Daily News.
Ed. Note — This post was corrected as to Ash’s first day.