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Begleiter was founding Director of the Center for Political
Communication at the University of Delaware from 2010-2015. He brought
more than 30 years of broadcast journalism experience to his
award-winning instruction in communication, journalism, and political
science. During two decades as CNN’s “world affairs correspondent,”
Begleiter was the network’s most widely-traveled reporter. He has
worked in 100 countries on all 7 continents. He has traveled with
university students to Cuba, South America, Turkey, the United Arab
Emirates and Antarctica, and has conducted media training programs in
several countries under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State.
Begleiter has taught undergraduate courses in “Broadcast News,” “History
of TV News Documentary,” “Broadcast News Documentary,” “Global Media
& International Politics,” and special courses such as a study
abroad program in Antarctica and South America in photojournalism and
geopolitics (2003, 2005), in Turkey (2008) studying the “Geopolitics of
the Mediterranean,” and “Road to the Presidency” during election years.
also directed the university’s “National Agenda” course and speaker
program from 2010-2014, and, for more than a decade, directed the
“Global Agenda” course and speaker program. For several years, his
“Global Agenda” class met weekly by videoconference, and traveled to the
Middle East, to discuss cross-cultural and media issues. In 2015, he
earned the University of Delaware's "Excellence in Teaching" award, and
in 2009, he earned the comparable teaching award from the College of
Arts & Sciences. He was twice nominated by the University of
Delaware for the national Carnegie Foundation’s U.S. Professors of the
In 2004-5, Begleiter successfully used the Freedom of
Information Act in the United States to prompt public release of
hundreds of photos taken by the U.S. government of fallen American
soldiers returning home in flag-draped caskets, one of the costs of the
wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The ban on visibility of returning
casualties was lifted by the Pentagon in 2009. For this effort, in 2012
Common Cause of Delaware honored Begleiter with its John Gardner
Lifetime Achievement Award.
During the 1980’s and 1990’s, when CNN
was the world’s only global, all-news television channel, he covered
U.S. diplomacy, interviewed countless world leaders, hosted a public
affairs program called “Global View,” and co-anchored CNN’s
“International Hour.” In 1998, Begleiter wrote and anchored a 24-part
series on the Cold War. He covered historic events at the end of the
20th century, including virtually every high-level
Soviet/Russian-American meeting; the Persian Gulf Crisis in 1990-91;
Middle East Peace efforts; and many UN and NATO summit meetings. For
about a decade after coming to UD, he hosted the Foreign Policy
Association’s annual “Great Decisions” television discussion series, an
international affairs program on Public Broadcasting System stations.
joining CNN, Begleiter reported for WTOP AM-TV in Washington, D.C.,
then owned by the Washington Post Company. He began his broadcast
journalism career in 1967 in Providence, Rhode Island, where he worked
as a reporter and writer for WICE-AM and WJAR AM-TV, and served as News
Director for WBRU-FM.
In 1994, he received the Weintal Prize from
Georgetown University’s Graduate School of Foreign Service, one of
diplomatic reporting’s highest honors. In 2008, the Delaware Press
Association named him “Communicator of Achievement.” He was named as a
contributor to CNN’s award-winning coverage of major global events,
including the Gulf War (1991). In November 2000, editors of the Brown
Alumni Magazine named him among the 100 alumni who have had "greatest
impact... on the twentieth century." Other honors include awards from
the National Press Club, the National Academy for Cable Programming, the
Houston International Film Festival, the New York Festivals
International Competition for Television, Film and Video Communication,
the Associated Press and United Press International.
He holds an
Honors B.A. in political science from Brown University, an M.S. in
Journalism from Columbia University, and is a member of the National
Honor Society, Phi Beta Kappa.
Ralph's teaching centers around the
intersection of communication, politics and journalism, with the
practical goal of helping students become savvy consumers and observers
of their news and public affairs information environment, as well as
creators of intelligent and provocative public affairs programming: "I focus on images we create of our nation and impressions we form abroad,
as well as the relationship among news media, government and business."
COMM/POSC425: Global Media & International Politics (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2015)
COMM/POSC447: National Agenda (2010-2014)
COMM/POSC444: Global Agenda (2000-2013)
COMM427: Broadcast News (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010)
COMM/POSC425: Broadcast News Documentary (2004, 2006, 2009)
COMM/POSC/ENGL467: Road to the Presidency (2000, 2004, 2008, 2012)
Study Abroad (Antarctica 2003 and 2005, Turkey 2008)
COMM425: Raiding the Lost Ark: History of TV News Documentary (2001, 2003)
2015 - Excellence in Teaching - University of Delaware
2012 - John Gardner Lifetime Achievement Award, Common Cause of Delaware
2010 - Festival of Media Arts - Broadcast Education Association
2009 - Excellence in Teaching - University of Delaware College of Arts & Sciences
2008 - Communicator of Achievement, Delaware Press Association
2004 - Mark of Excellence - Society of Professional Journalists
1994 - Weintal Prize for Diplomacy, Georgetown University
awards (1972-1994): National Press Club, National Academy for Cable
Programming, Houston International Film Festival, New York Festivals
Competition for Television, Film and Video Communication, Associated
Press, United Press International.
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