Jason Mojica

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Jason Mojica (born 1974) is an award-winning American journalist[1], film producer[2], and musician[3]. He was the founding editor-in-chief of VICE News, and in 2013 became one of the first Americans to meet Kim Jong Un when he led the team that brought Dennis Rodman and the Harlem Globetrotters to North Korea.[4][5][6] [7] He is currently the co-host of The Modernist Society, a podcast highlighting "practitioners of the high and low arts." [8]

Early life and education[edit]

Jason Mojica was born in Cicero, Illinois in 1974.[9] He attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale for one year before dropping out, later getting a degree in Political Communication from George Washington University in Washington, DC.[10]

Career[edit]

In 1989, when Mojica was 15 years-old, he started the small press publishing company, Rocco Comics. The company later grew to publish zines including the DIY resource guide Book Your Own Fuckin' Life (with Maximumrocknroll), and eventually became the punk rock record label, Rocco Records. [11]The label released records by Mojica's own band, The Fighters, as well as The Bollweevils, 88 Fingers Louie, The Mushuganas, The Parasites, Winepress, and Apocalypse Hoboken. [12]

In 2006 Mojica and a group of his friends crowdfunded, produced and directed the documentary Christmas in Darfur? It was one of the first feature-length documentaries to be distributed online for free.[13] [14]

Mojica moved to London in 2009, and became a producer and correspondent on The Listening Post, a weekly media review and analysis program airing on Al Jazeera English.[15][16]

Mojica joined VICE Media in 2011, producing "tentpole" documentaries for the web, including two Webby Award-winning films: The Vice Guide to Congo, and The Rebels of Libya. In 2012 he became a producer on the debut season of the company's eponymous HBO show, VICE.

"Basketball Diplomacy" in North Korea[edit]

In March, 2013 Mojica became one of the first Americans to meet the reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Mojica and VICE Media founder Shane Smith are said to have come up with the idea of gaining access to film in North Korea by appealing to Kim Jong Un's reported love of basketball by proposing "a goodwill game of basketball with North Korea's national team." The VICE crew brought with them 5-time NBA Champion Dennis Rodman, and three members of the Harlem Globetrotters. [17] While in Pyongyang, the VICE crew attended a lavish dinner hosted by Kim Jong Un, and attended by Kim's uncle Jang Song Thaek, who Kim would later have killed by firing squad.[18] [19] "It was the most surreal experience of my life," Mojica said. [20] The trip was criticized by the Obama administration, with White House press secretary Jay Carney saying that, "Instead of spending money on celebrity sporting events to entertain the elites of that country, the North Korean regime should focus on the well-being of its own people who have been starved, imprisoned, and denied their human rights."[21]

Launch of VICE News[edit]

After the first season of the VICE show on HBO, Mojica became the founding Editor-in-Chief and Executive Producer of the company's stand-alone digital news platform, VICE News. The site launched in March of 2014 with groundbreaking coverage of the conflict and unrest in Crimea, South Sudan, and Venezuela.[22] In August, 2014, VICE News became the first news organization to embed with the Islamic State.[23] The resulting documentary, The Islamic State received worldwide news coverage, has been viewed more than 13 million times online, and won a 2014 Peabody Award and a National Magazine Award.[24][25] The launch of VICE News under Mojica inspired New York Times media critic David Carr, who had famously sparred with VICE founder Shane Smith to issue a mea culpa: "Being the crusty old-media scold felt good at the time, but recent events suggest that Vice is deadly serious about doing real news that people, yes, even young people, will actually watch."[26]

Others were more critical, with some suggesting that in making a film about the Islamic State, VICE had colluded with a terrorist organization. At a panel discussion at NYU, Mojica said, "I can certainly say that there is no collusion between Vice News and the Islamic State as much as there is a bit of sparring and each of us probably trying to get something different out of [the experience].”[27]

VICE fired Mojica in December, 2017 after an expose article published in The Daily Beast detailed a workplace culture of harassment. In a statement, Mojica objected that the article “painted me as indifferent to concerns brought by staff to their supervisor in Vice’s Los Angeles office in October of 2015. In actuality, I immediately elevated the concerns to HR upon being made aware of them… I must stress that I never suggested that the strains of conflict and crisis journalism were an excuse for abusive or harassing behavior. I do not believe –- and never suggested — that such behavior should be tolerated.”[28]

Filmography[edit]

2018: Shelter (Executive Producer)

2017: Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond (Co-Executive Producer)

2017: A World in Disarray (Executive Producer)

2014: The Islamic State (Executive Producer)

2014: Last Chance High (Executive Producer)

2013: The Hermit Kingdom (Producer)

2012: Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan (Producer)

2011: North Korean Labor Camps (Producer)

2011: VICE Guide to Congo (Producer)

2008: Christmas in Darfur? (Producer / Director)[29]

Awards and nominations[edit]

2016: Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards - Selfie Soldiers

2016: National Magazine Award - Selfie Soldiers

2015: National Magazine Award - The Islamic State

2015; News & Documentary Emmy Award (Nominee, Outstanding Coverage of a Breaking News Story in a News Magazine) - Russian Roulette, The Invasion of Ukraine

2015; News & Documentary Emmy Award (Nominee, Outstanding Coverage of a Breaking News Story in a News Magazine) - Outstanding Interview, "The Architect"

2014: Peabody Award - Last Chance High

2014: Peabody Award - The Islamic State

2014: IDA Award (Nominee, Best Short Form Series) - Last Chance High

2014: IDA Award (Nominee, Best Short Form Series) - The Islamic State

2013: Webby Award (Online Film & Video: News & Politics, Series) - VICE News

2013: Webby Award, People's Choice (Online Film & Video: News & Politics, Series) - VICE News

2012: Webby Award (Online Film & Video: Documentary, Individual Episode) - The Rebels of Libya

2012: Webby Award (News and Politics: Individual Episode) - The VICE Guide to Congo

References[edit]

  1. ^ Carr, David (2014-08-24). "Its Edge Intact, Vice Is Chasing Hard News". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  2. ^ "Jason Mojica". IMDb. Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  3. ^ "Jason Mojica". Discogs. Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  4. ^ Nast, Condé. "Understanding Kim Jong Un, The World's Most Enigmatic and Unpredictable Dictator". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  5. ^ Anna, Fifield (2019). The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong Un. PublicAffairs. pp. 174–180. ISBN 1541742486.
  6. ^ Mojica, Jason (2019-05-21). "In Dealing With North Korea, Fake It 'til You Make It". Medium. Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  7. ^ Stelter, Brian (2013-03-03). "Daredevil Media Outlet Behind Rodman's Trip". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  8. ^ "The Modernist Society on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  9. ^ "Jason Mojica". www.wikidata.org. Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  10. ^ "Punk scene to mainstream". The GW Hatchet. 2009-03-02. Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  11. ^ Warwick, Kevin (2019-05-06). "How 'Book Your Own Fuckin' Life' Kept DIY Bands on the Road in the 90s". Vice. Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  12. ^ "Jason Mojica – Bio – Jason Mojica". Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  13. ^ "Viewing the Darfur conflict through another lens". The GW Hatchet. 2007-02-20. Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  14. ^ "Vice cop". Time Out Chicago. Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  15. ^ "Egypt's media squeeze". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  16. ^ "Jason Mojica". IMDb. Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  17. ^ Markowitz, Eric (2013-07-02). "How We Became an International Incident". Inc.com. Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  18. ^ The Hermit Kingdom | VICE on HBO, retrieved 2019-10-05
  19. ^ Mojica, Jason (2019-09-19). "Meet Kim Jong Un's Unauthorized Biographer". Medium. Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  20. ^ Toronto, Point of View Magazine • 392-401 Richmond Street West •; email, ON • M5V 3A8 • Canada •639-0653 • Send us an. "Not More of the Same: Jason Mojica talks about Vice Documentary Films – Point of View Magazine". povmagazine.com. Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  21. ^ Nakamura, David (March 4, 2013). "White House denounces Dennis Rodman's trip to North Korea". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  22. ^ "Vice News wants to take documentary-style storytelling to hot spots around the globe". Nieman Lab. Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  23. ^ Carr, David (2014-08-24). "Its Edge Intact, Vice Is Chasing Hard News". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  24. ^ "2015 National Magazine Awards | ASME". asme.magazine.org. Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  25. ^ "The Islamic State". www.peabodyawards.com. Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  26. ^ Carr, David (2014-08-24). "Its Edge Intact, Vice Is Chasing Hard News". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-10-15.
  27. ^ Calderone, Michael (2014-09-19). "Vice Editor Says 'No Collusion' With ISIS For Documentary". HuffPost. Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  28. ^ Spangler, Todd (2017-12-01). "Vice Fires Three Employees for Sexual Harassment and Other HR Violations". Variety. Retrieved 2019-11-09.
  29. ^ "Film & TV – Jason Mojica". Retrieved 2019-10-05.

External links[edit]

Jason Mojica (Official Site)

Jason Mojica on IMDB