13 at 65: Topeka serves as springboard to Facebook for WIBW alum

Published: May. 28, 2018 at 6:32 PM CDT
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When Josh Mabry was working at WIBW-TV a decade ago, he never imagined where he'd be today.

For good reason.

"This is a dream job that I never could have imagined 10 years ago," Josh said. "Facebook is only 14 years old so when I was thinking about what I was going to do and what career I might want someday, this wasn’t even a dream because it wasn’t even a job at the time."

Josh worked at WIBW from 2006 to 2014. A high school internship led to a part-time studio camera operator position, which led to a host of full-time positions, from photographer to "web guy" to digital marketing.

From Topeka, Josh advanced to a digital content position with WIBW's parent company. It laid the foundation for his current job at Facebook, based at their offices in New York.

"I lead local news partnerships at Facebook," Josh explained. "I think the question is always, 'What do you do at Facebook?' A lot of people assume that if you work at Facebook you’re an engineer or you write code, you build software or something - and that’s not what I do. I just work with news publishers which is awesome because I come from that industry and it’s really fun. My team works with the roughly 5- to 7000 local publishers that are telling local news stories across the country and, essentially, we work with them to help them tell the stories that they want to tell on Facebook. So now when I go and I talk to local publishers they can relate to me and I can relate to them because I’ve done the work before."

Josh says it's rewarding to be part of an effort to get Facebook back to its origins of helping people stay informed about their communities.

"Local news is really where great journalism starts and that’s where a lot of the stories that matter most to people began," he said. "For me, somebody who is moved away from Topeka and I’m living in New York now, I still care about what’s happening back home so I use Facebook as a way to catch up on the local news that’s from where my family is and to keep track of what’s going on every day which I think is really cool."