John Andrew Prime worked at the Gannett daily The Times at Shreveport fulltime since August 1978, as both a reporter and editor in several back-and-forth shiftings. At the time he retired at the end of October 2015 he was the military reporter, history columnist and editorial page editor.In April, 2011, he received the General Oliver P. Smith Award for Distinguished Community Reporting from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation at a gala banquet at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Va. Top honorees at the event were filmmakers Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Gary Goetzman, and Fred Smith, founder and CEO of FedEx.
In 1998 and part of 1999, he spent six months compiling and processing data to provide the bedrock material for a "school report card" project that was selected for the 1999 "Best of Gannett" Division I Outstanding Achievement by an Individual.After 9-11 he initiated and led a special report on members of our 1/156th Armor Battalion and 256th Brigade Combat Team of the Louisiana Army National Guard, which returned to the state in September 2005 after almost a year's combat in Iraq. Before that, he reported on the service of Bravo Co., 1/23rd Marines, based in Bossier City. In early 2002 he led the reporting and production of a special 12-page section on the 50th anniversary of the B-52 bomber. The package included interviews with aerodynamicist Bob Withington, legendary test pilot Guy Townsend, "Mr. B-52" Maj. Gen. William Eubank and best-selling author Dale Brown. The project included pioneer work both at The Times and Gannett in the intensive use of digital audio on the Web.
In August 2007, he was one of two journalists selected to accompany crews taking part in an historic recreation of a 1938 flight called the Rex mission. In that, B-17 bombers intercepted the Italian luxury liner Rex hundreds of miles off the U.S. coast, demonstrating that this nation's air power could and would protect it from distant enemies. The Rex Redux mission, as the flight was called, demonstrated that the B-52 bomber, long known and feared as a weapon of mass and now precision destruction, could also serve as precision intercept and intelligence-gathering platform. He flew on Rex 52, B-52 60-0059 or "Balls 59," with a top-notch crew commanded by Lt. Col. Jim Noetzel, commander of the 96th Bomb Squadron.
In the summer of 2002, his first book was published. "Images of America: Barksdale Air Force Base," a pictorial history of the nation's premier B-52 establishment, was co-written with H.D. "Buck" Rigg and Shawn Bohannon. It is published by Arcadia (www.arcadiapublishing.com) and is available through Amazon.com, through the publisher, at major bookstores or through the authors.
Before a general reorganization of the paper in January 1992, he was an entertainment reporter and weekend entertainment section editor, as well as an arts critic and music reviewer.
His earliest reporting was for a number of newspapers that published intermittently in Shreveport in the middle 1970s: The Third Paper (an underground), the Bossier Press, the Valley Voice and the Voice (both published by Buddy Roemer, who would later become a Louisiana governor), the Shreveport Journal and finally, The Times.
He also worked as a Shreveport area stringer for Time Magazine, and had feature articles published in the Los Angeles Times, the Houston Post, the Dallas Morning News and the Minami Nippon Shimbun (South Japan Daily News) in Kagoshima, Japan.
In 1983, Prime attended the National Gathering of Holocaust Survivors to follow the participation there of survivors in Shreveport: Isaac Ain and Rose and Louis Van Thyn.