Joe Grimm

Joe Grimm

Joe Grimm

Inducted 2009

Armchair historian. College professor. National recruiter. Ombudsman and editor. Detroit Free Press

Joe Grimm has enjoyed a rich and varied career spanning 30 plus years. Hundreds of journalists acknowledge his help with coaching and mentoring them in job possibilities. Emilia Askari, staff writer for the Detroit Free Press, where Joe worked from 1983 to 2008, defines him as “the heart and soul of the newsroom … he’s had more influence on shaping who works at the Free Press than any other single person.”

He became a regular contributor to Editor & Publisher magazine, the Newspaper Association of America’s Fusion magazine and UNITY: Journalists of Color. He has led conferences for minority recruitment around the nation. He also writes an Ask the Recruiter Column on the Poynter website and for years edited and wrote for the Jobs Pages at the Free Press.

Grimm was also the chief cheerleader for the Free Press’ high school journalism program helping dozens of Detroit high school students learn about the possibilities of journalism as a career as they worked with Free Press staff and their own advisers. The Free Press published their papers six times a year in a special high school edition. This exposure to journalism along with Joe’s network and mentoring helped launch the careers of a number of these young people.

In the meantime, he found time to publish books on landing and acing newspaper internships, a collection of newsboy quotes, a story of Great Lakes sailors, and a compilation of Michigan voices. He teaches a compendium of journalism skills at Oakland University and Michigan State University. His recruitment skills, including a website called, stand out.

“I have never met anyone more sincere, more passionate and more committed to working in the trenches to recruit and develop talented journalists of color,” said Otis L. Sanford, editorial editor of the Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn.