Josh Rushing is a correspondent who has worked at Al Jazeera for more than a decade. His hands-on and investigative style has led him all over the world. He has been tasered at an Amman arms show, pepper sprayed and tear-gassed during Santiago riots and blasted by the US Army’s Pain Ray in Quantico.
Rushing launched Fault Lines, a magazine-style program, for Al Jazeera English in 2009 and has been the correspondent for more than 50 episodes. Fault Lines provides a hard-hitting, in-depth look at the world. Fault Lines was later broadcast on Al Jazeera America for two years where it won the Emmy for best investigative journalism for a magazine show, two Peabody Awards, the Dupont, the RFK award and a shelf full of other awards for journalism.
Rushing’s reporting often explores the nature and consequences of armed conflict. The former US Marine captain has covered the global war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan extensively. He witnessed the birthplace of ISIS in the US detention camps in 2008 on one of his many reporting trips to the Middle East. He later returned to Iraq to highlight the organization’s spread often filming from refugee camps across the country to firefights on the frontline. He was embedded with Marines in Afghanistan during the invasion of Helmand and he ventured to Maiden Shah to warn of the Taliban’s resurgence at the gates of Kabul. He’s chased down gun runners in Moscow and has walked through Laotian minefields with children collecting metal to support their families. The Texas native has also provided Al Jazeera with significant coverage of the US’s drug war throughout Latin America. In Colombia, he followed local Special Forces locating and destroying active cocaine labs in the jungle and later embedded with cocaine makers in Peru to document how the lucrative drug is made in expeditionary mountain labs. He sneaked through military blockades to cover leftist rebels growing poppies in the mountains of Guerrero, Mexico, and has traveled from murder scene to murder scene in an effort to understand the unabated violence in the worst of Juarez’s killing years.
Much of Rushing’s reporting for Al Jazeera has been from inside the United States. He has investigated the FBI’s courtroom use of junk science to more intimate topics like the rise of firefighter suicides. He has exposed widespread abuse in nursing homes and unreported worker death rates during the Bakken oil boom. He has reported from inside more than a dozen prisons and once witnessed the execution of an inmate who had granted Rushing an exclusive death row interview. He has explored the multibillion-dollar industry of college sports, examining profits generated by student athletes who take enormous risk of injury for little more than a chance at the pros, while their coaches rake in millions of dollars in salary and endorsements. Rushing, a self-proclaimed techie, has also delved into cutting edge issues such as the US’ vulnerability to cyber-attacks and Silicon Valley’s advancements on drastically expanding the human lifespan. Rushing door-stepped the head of the NSA, General Alexander, so many times in Washington, DC, that the two were on a first name basis by the time his story on domestic spying aired.
In addition to long-form reporting, Rushing has covered breaking news. He was among the first reporters to arrive on the scenes of the Boston bombing, Fort Hood massacre and Virginia Tech shooting. He has provided live hits and general news coverage from Iraq and Afghanistan countless times through the years, from riding out of Iraq with the US’s last combat Stryker Brigade to covering Obama’s inauguration with Illinois National Guard troops at a base outside of Kabul.
Rushing has also anchored many of Al Jazeera’s news programs and studio shows, such as Third Rail, Witness, Talk to Al Jazeera, America Tonight and The Stream, for which he won a Gracie Award.
Palgrave MacMillan published his first book, Mission Al Jazeera, in 2007. Other writings and photography have been published in various books, magazines and websites from National Geographic to Reader’s Digest to the Huffington Post.
His career has been covered and praised by nearly every news outlet in the US from the Today Show to the cover of Fast Company Magazine. Rushing’s reporting is often clipped and used on The Daily Show and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. The New York Observer described him as, “A sort of Al Jazeera Anderson Cooper; the same earnest emotiveness, the same blue-red magnetism… He has that charisma—a presence that pops.”
Rushing, a 14-year US Marine veteran who rose from the ranks of private to captain, first became known to wide audiences for his role in the documentary feature film Control Room, for which the Los Angeles Times described him as, ”Open, earnest, articulate—characteristics that should make any American proud”.