By Melisa Fink ’14
After landing competitive internships at both The Hartford Courant and Los Angeles Times while studying journalism as an undergraduate at the University of Connecticut, David Ushery recognized his calling in the news business.
Ushery is now an Emmy-award winning news anchor at one of the leading news stations in New York City, WNBC-TV News 4.
“I treasured my time in the small journalism department,” Ushery said in a phone interview. “In fact, I went back recently to say thank you to Wayne Worcester, who was one of my instructors there. That foundation of print and writing has served me well in my career.”
Maureen Croteau is another professor Ushery credits for his strong beginning in journalism.
“The good professors are the bread and butter of the department — the small, but mighty journalism department,” said Ushery, who now helps UConn Journalism shape its curriculum as a member of the department’s Professional Advisory Committee.
Ushery said the most valuable skill he obtained during his four years at UConn was “communication.” He served as a student-elect member on the UConn Board of Trustees and held a variety of other campus leadership positions, which combined with journalism, left him well prepared to speak in front of large groups and tell a good story.
“There’s no substitute for good storytelling. You have to have a good beginning, middle and end and keep the viewer or reader engaged. It should be fact-based, but compelling writing,” Ushery said.
In 2009, Ushery took a risk and acted on an idea he’d been brewing. He wanted to deliver local news in a different, more fast-paced way. “[News 4 New York was] really trying to engage younger views who were drifting away from a traditional 30-minute newscast.”
His idea came to be known as “The Debrief”, an Emmy-nominated half-hour broadcast that allowed journalists to explain important stories they had covered that week. “The Debrief with David Ushery” airs every Sunday on WNBC-TV at 5:30 a.m.
Viewers can also catch Ushery on the weekend editions of “News 4 New York” at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.
Follow David Ushery on Twitter at @DavidUshery4NY.