IONA

Jack Breslin, PhD

A Long Island native, Jack Breslin and his family moved to the Mid-Hudson Valley in 1961, where he decided to study to be a Roman Catholic priest, a dream he pursued for nine years. During that time, he graduated high school from St. Mary's Seminary, North East, Pa, in 1969, and received his bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from St. Alphonsus College, Suffield, CT, in 1974.  Leaving the seminary three years before ordination, Breslin decided to "see the world," traveling through Europe, Central America and the United States, while working as a bank teller, security guard, convenience store manager, and summer camp swimming instructor.

His first professional article, also his first unsolicited freelance effort, was published in the Hartford Advocate, a Connecticut weekly, followed by numerous freelance pieces in such publications as Family Circle, Travel Holiday, Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, New York Post, Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Journal News, and several other newspapers and magazines.

Deciding to pursue a career in media, Breslin earned his master's in journalism from the University of Georgia in 1979, he then worked two years as a reporter and feature writer for the Kingston Daily Freeman, a small newspaper in upstate New York. From the newspaper world, Breslin moved into network television publicity, beginning with NBC in 1981, where he helped publicize the premiere of "Late Night With David Letterman," daytime dramas and dozens of miniseries and TV movies in New York City and Los Angeles.

When the Fox Broadcasting Company started up, he was hired as one of its pioneers to launch what is now the fourth network. Among the many shows he publicized there was the crime fighting show "America's Most Wanted (AMW)," about which he wrote a best-selling Harper paperback in 1990.

With that interest in AMW and the criminal justice system, Breslin left his Fox managing duties to become publicity director for AMW in Washington, DC, until 1993. Since then, he has enjoyed working as an adjunct professor, freelance writer and public relations consultant for numerous clients in business, entertainment, politics and education. In 1997, Breslin enrolled in the doctoral program at the University of Minnesota's School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where he taught courses in public relations, media law and media ethics.

In 2001, Breslin joined the Department of Mass Communication at Iona College after completing his doctorate, and is now a tenured associate professor.  He has been extensively interviewed and published about his primary research area, the media's treatment of crime victims from the legal and ethical perspectives, which was the focus of his doctoral dissertation.   
His other research interests are international media ethics, sports journalism, and journalism history, particularly presidential press relations.   He is currently writing a textbook for combined media law and ethics courses, which he currently teaches at Iona, in addition to the introductory mass communication course and sports journalism.  Among his Iona service activities are moderating four Iona in Mission trips, including three to Africa.    In 2012, he received the college’s Hugh J. McCabe Memorial Award for Social Justice.