Jeff Newton selected as 2009 COMM Distinguished Alum

Ben Kleppinger presents Jeff Newton with a commemorative plaque

EKU's Department of Communication 2009 distinguished alum is Mr. Jeff Newton. Mr. Newton was honored during a presentation on Friday, April 3, 2009, at the annual College of Business and Technology Professional Skills Conference senior recognition luncheon.

The honor is reserved for special alumni who have distinguished themselves in their professions through excellence, dedication, and service.

Mr. Newton earned his Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from EKU in 1997.

Mr. Newton is a producer for 60 Minutes, a Sunday night news magazine that has for the past 40 years remained the No. 1-ranked broadcast in network television news.

Newton came to CBS seven years ago as a field producer, reporter and cameraman on the Wednesday-night primetime program 60 Minutes II.  From there, he was promoted to 60 Minutes and has been there for four years.  He is the show’s main producer and expert on combat and warfare. 

In 2007, he won a national Emmy Award for producing a two-part series on war in the Iraqi town of Ramadi.  He also has won the Edward R. Murrow Award for Continuing News Coverage, given out by the Radio Television News Directors Association, as well as the David Kaplan Award for Overseas Reporting from Abroad, given out by the Overseas Press Club of America.

His first interest in conflicts came during a stint as editor of The Eastern Progress.  He and the staff reported on campus events as the first Gulf War unfolded before their eyes on television. 

At the age of 24, he covered the Bosnia war.  His work has taken him from Nicaragua to El Salvador, Panama to Afghanistan, and points in between.  Mr. Newton writes for print, shoots video for broadcast, and edits and writes scripts for television.  He is quite comfortable with a still camera because his assignments require him not only to file stories but to shoot photos as well.

Recently, he was on assignment for 60 Minutes in Afghanistan and Iraq covering stories about Afghan warlords, trekking into the rugged Afghan mountains with British Royal Marines on combat operations, joining U.S. Special Forces raids on Taliban and al-Qaida safe houses and documenting all night military missions.

So far, Mr. Newton has reported from 66 countries.  When home, he lives in Brooklyn and works in New York City.

Congratulations, Mr. Newton, on being selected as the 2009 Distinguished Alumnus representing the Department of Communication.

The college also honored distinguished seniors for the year as selected by their respective departments within the College of Business and Technology. Mr. Benjamin Kleppinger was selected as the Communication departmental distinguished senior. In addition, recipients of scholarships and awards for the 2008-09 academic year were recognized. Students were honored for outstanding achievement and more than 40 area employers were on hand to engage in networking activities with college graduating seniors.

Mr. Newton was inducted into the 2011 EKU Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

Published on April 03, 2009