Joan began her journalism career at The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J. as a general assignment reporter and went on to become the paper's medical editor. She joined The Star-Ledger editorial board in 1995 and specialized in writing editorials on health, education, urban and minority issues. In 2003 she began writing a column on Newark City Hall affairs, the good, the bad and the weird. The column continues to appear weekly in The Star-Ledger. Ms. Whitlow was born and raised in Cleveland Ohio; graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, and lives in Newark.