From SNL to the White House

Rich Edson—The Rutgers Alumni who has seen it all

The current era of American politics is extremely unpredictable. All three branches of government are subject to volatile circumstances. But for reporters like Rich Edson, a Washington Correspondent for FOX News, the erratic nature of US politics is not only fascinating—it’s his lifeblood.

Edson, who graduated from Rutgers in 2003 as a Journalism and Media Studies and History double major, combined his passions. His early love of politics and unique ability to disseminate information in an intelligible manner has translated into an invigorating career. Since joining FOX in 2007, he’s interviewed some of the world’s most powerful leaders, traveled extensively, and broken huge stories.

“I always had an interest in politics and current events; I also liked performing in the school play. All of these different interests seemed to come together in my career,” he said. He remembers watching nightly news on the 1992 presidential election with his grandparents, while his mother, a nurse, worked a night job at a local hospital. This early gravitation to politics and thirst for knowledge followed him to college, where he began to study journalism and history at Rutgers University—New Brunswick.

During his time at Rutgers, Edson wasn’t entirely sure what kind of journalism he wanted to pursue. He dabbled in a bit of everything—calling football and basketball games for WRSU, interning at Saturday Night Live, and honing his overall reporting skills. “As a student he achieved; he was always asking questions and always trying to find out the right things,” said Steven Miller, the Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies for the Rutgers JMS Department. “Rich is the type of person who sets a goal and goes for it.” As time went on, Edson found that he wanted to pursue a career that could combine his historical inquisitiveness and political savviness on the TV screen.

Edson learned the fundamental aspects of his day-to-day job in front of the camera as an undergraduate journalism student. As he reflected on his time as a JMS student at Rutgers, he recalled many instances where certain professors taught him tangible and invaluable lessons that assisted his career. Steven Miller’s TV Reporting taught him the very basic keys to putting a news story together, and the ground rules for communicating a complex idea in a short time frame. It also taught him how to be professional on camera.