He covered the 2016 presidential campaign travelling to New Hampshire and South Carolina, as well as across Florida, securing one-on-one interviews with Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, and Marco Rubio.
For CBS4 News, DeFede has produced long-form reports, including half hour specials such as “Last Chance Boot Camp,” on Florida’s military style corrections center for young offenders; “Life and Death at Zoo Miami,” a look at the care and treatment of animals at Miami’s zoo; and “The Versace Murder: A South Beach Story,” on the twentieth anniversary of the fashion designer’s murder by spree killer Andrew Cunanan.
In August 2017, CBS4 News aired “The Everglades: Where Politics, Money and Race Collide,” a one hour documentary on the 2016 environmental disaster that hit the Treasure Coast and its relation to Everglades restoration. DeFede spent more than a year working on the documentary.
Jim DeFede was born in Brooklyn, New York on August 11, 1962. Although his family remains in the same rent-controlled apartment building where he was raised, DeFede left Brooklyn when he was 19 to attend Colorado State University. Much to his mother’s continuing disappointment, however, DeFede never graduated from college.
In 1986, DeFede landed his first job in journalism as a night cops reporter for The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington.
In 1991, he accepted an offer to become a staff writer with the weekly newspaper Miami New Times, where he won numerous awards during his eleven year tenure with the paper.
Between 2002 and 2005, DeFede was a metro columnist for The Miami Herald.
DeFede has been a contributing writer for Tina Brown’s Talk magazine. His work has also appeared in Radar, The New Republic, Newsday, Mother Jones, The (London) Independent, Miami Monthly, Key West Magazine and Loft.
His first book, “The Day The World Came To Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland,” was published in 2002 by HarperCollins and was recognized with a 2003 Christopher Award for its ability to “affirm the highest values of the human spirit.”
DeFede has won five regional Emmy Awards for his work on CBS4 News.