Forty years ago Garrick Utley brought news of the Vietnam War to people’s living rooms on the “NBC Nightly News.” Now he is comparing the broadcast media of that era – and earlier – to the present and future of digital media with students on the Oswego campus, in his new role as senior fellow and professor of broadcasting and journalism in Oswego’s School of Communication, Media and the Arts.
And in a true “medium is the message” moment, he is doing it, not only in person in a campus seminar room for several class meetings, but live from New York City via video conferencing the rest of the semester.
“The digital age has changed our lives and will continue to do so in many profound ways,” said the longtime NBC and ABC news veteran.
Utley teaches and holds seminars in the communication studies department in a variety of topical areas related to contemporary journalism, modern media and globalization. In addition, Utley continues to serve as the director of New York in the World, an initiative of the SUNY Levin Institute that focuses on the competitiveness of New York in today’s global economy. He was the founding president of the Levin Institute and served from 2003 to 2011.
Utley had his choice of SUNY schools, but he chose to join Oswego’s faculty. “The School of Communication, Media and the Arts at SUNY Oswego is a recognized leader in its fields,” he said. “I am excited to be joining the faculty and working with the students. This offers the opportunity to draw on my professional and personal experience in media, journalism and communications, which are all undergoing dramatic and rapid change. Working together I know we will be able to understand and cope with what these changes will mean for all of us as individuals and as a society.”
Before joining SUNY, he worked as a broadcast journalist on NBC, ABC and CNN, as well as public radio and public television, specializing in international affairs.
Utley began his career with NBC News in Brussels in 1963. In 1964-1965 he covered the American entry into the Vietnam War and then served as NBC’s correspondent in Berlin, Paris and London. In the 1980s he was the network’s chief foreign correspondent working out of the New York headquarters. Utley also served as anchor of the weekend editions of NBC Nightly News (1971 to 1973 and 1988 to 1993). He was the host of several network magazine programs, the Sunday edition of “Today” and the moderator of “Meet the Press.”
From 1993 to 1996, Utley was chief foreign correspondent for ABC News based in London and, from 1997 to 2002, he was a contributor for CNN.
Utley has received broadcast journalism’s most respected honors, including the Overseas Press Club’s Edward R. Murrow Award and the George Foster Peabody Award. He is the author of the book You Should Have Been Here Yesterday, published by PublicAffairs in 2000, a narrative of the growth of television news in the United States.