Have you met the new CJN professor Steve Harvey? For students who want a career in journalism, he is someone they should definitely get to know. Harvey is a new broadcast journalism professor at Suffolk University and helps Communication and Journalism students produce shows at the 73 Tremont television studio. Harvey is not only a professor – he spent 35 years working as a television photojournalist and investigative reporter. He looks forward to achieving many things at Suffolk, but most importantly he wants to help the next generation of students become great.
Harvey spent 31 years as a TV News photojournalist for WBNS TV in Columbus, Ohio. His role as a photojournalist was a mix of news production, camera shooting, and interviewing. When he was asked about some of the significant stories he reported, he said: “Every day was significant. Every story mattered because each story affects people.”
Harvey has a passion for journalism. He does not do it for acclaim or awards, even though he did win four Emmys. “I did not chase awards. Many times I forgot to submit myself for the awards,” he said. One of his Emmys is even on display in his Suffolk office. That particular Emmy was won for a half-hour documentary called “Tip of the Spear.” During the Vietnam War, the media were able to report freely and the U.S. military blamed media for creating chaos. Therefore, the military did not allow the U.S. media to be embedded during the first Persian Gulf War. During the second Gulf War, the U.S. military made an exception to that rule and allowed Harvey and his crew to land on the aircraft carrier USS George Washington. He and his team were the first reporters allowed to embed with the U.S. military in the Persian Gulf. “I got to land on an aircraft. It was a riot,” Harvey said laughing. Because of those stories, and live broadcasts, the U.S. military began allowing U.S. media to embed with their units in the Gulf War Zone.
Not only has Harvey won Emmy’s, he also won a couple of Edward R. Murrow Awards. The award is named after one of the pioneers of American journalism and is a very prestigious award in television. One of the Edward R. Murrow awards was for doing an investigative report about the Air Force B1 bomber. In the late 70’s, when the U.S. Air Force wanted to create a high-speed stealth bomber, it hired the company Rockwell International to build it. Unfortunately, Rockwell discovered the quicker it built the bomber, the more money it made. Harvey did an investigation to prove that the building of this bomber was rushed and therefore, built poorly. Eventually, Harvey got a hold of documents that proved that the bombers were not built properly. “Some of the documents we got our hands on were a federal offense to have,” Harvey admitted. “We went and gave them to Ohio Senator John Glenn. He could have thrown us in prison, but he knew we were right,” he said. The Pentagon was not a fan of him after that though. Because of him they had to spend $500 million to fix the fleet planes. Harvey proves that if one wants to pursue a career in investigation journalism, he or she must have a lot of nerve to be able to get out the truth.
After an exciting 31 years at WBNS, Harvey became a professor at Kansas State University. When asked how he likes teaching in Boston now, he said it is a blast. “ The inner mix of walking through a community and there being all this diversity. There are people speaking different languages, senators, congressmen, and college students all walking down the same sidewalk. The opportunities here are phenomenal.”
Harvey plans to use his many years of experience to help the students at Suffolk achieve their dreams. “I want to contribute to the next generation of journalists,” Harvey said. “ I want to help them create opportunities to have successful careers and give them the tools to get the jobs of their dreams.”
As for advice for any aspiring journalists Harvey said, “There are 1,000 people out there who will tell you that you can’t. Spit in their eye and go chase your dream anyway.” While journalism is a lot of hard work, he said, it is worth it in the end if you have a passion for it. “It’s a blast being a journalist. Your worst day and your best day are almost the same day.”
If you haven’t met Professor Harvey yet, you’re encouraged to do so for career advice or just to hear some of his stories. For example, ask him about the time he covered the longest prison riot in U.S. history for 20 hours a day for seven straight days and then hopped on a plane to run the Boston Marathon immediately afterward. Professor Harvey definitely has plenty of knowledge and stories to share that will inspire students to chase their passions.