Professor Richard Benedetto teaches the Journalism Internship Seminar for TFAS U.S. Programs in Washington, D.C. Benedetto served as the White House and national political correspondent for USA TODAY as well as a political columnist for Gannett News Service. He has reported on government and politics on the local, state and national levels for the past 34 years.
As a native of Utica, NY, Benedetto began his journalism career with the Buffalo Evening News and held government reporting positions with the Utica Daily Press and Observer-Dispatch. He also worked in the Albany bureau of Gannett News Service, covering state and government politics during the administration of Governor Hugh Carey.
He is a founding member of USA TODAY, joining the newspaper in Washington, D.C. in 1982, prior to its debut. He wrote the paper’s first front-page cover story on its initial day of publication.
In addition to reporting on the White House and national politics, Benedetto writes a weekly political column for the Gannett News Service, which serves the Gannett Company Inc.’s 102 daily newspapers. The column also appears on the USATODAY.com website.
He has covered the administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He has covered every national political convention since 1972 and every presidential campaign since 1984.
Benedetto received his bachelor’s degree from Utica College of Syracuse University and holds a master’s in journalism from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communication. Syracuse University awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1992.
He has lectured at colleges and universities across the country and has received numerous journalism awards. In 2005, he served as a visiting professor at the University of Colorado and St. Bonaventure University. He also taught news writing and reporting as an adjunct professor at Utica College. He was honored in 1998 with the National Italian-American Foundation Media Award for his projection of a positive image for Italian-Americans.
Benedetto wrote a memoir of his long reporting career, “Politicians Are People, Too,” that was published in 2005 by University Press of America.