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University of Delaware Leadership

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  • Ralph Begleiter, Founding Director, Center for Political Communication

    Founding Director, Center for Political Communication
    Distinguished Journalist in Residence
    Rosenberg Professor of Communication
    University of Delaware


    Ralph 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.

    He 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 Year award.

    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.

    Before 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.

    Teaching philosophy

    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."

    Courses Taught

    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

    Previous 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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  • Center for Political Communication
  • 190A Graham Hall, 111 Academy Street
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-7771
  • Send us an email
  • Department of Communication
  • Department of Political Science and International Relations