N. J. Burkett

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N. J. Burkett
Born Newton Jones Burkett, III
(1962-05-06) May 6, 1962 (age 56)
Orange, New Jersey, U.S.
Occupation Journalist
Notable credit(s) Senior Reporter for WABC-TV (1989–present)

Newton Jones Burkett, III (born May 6, 1962), known as N.J. Burkett, is a correspondent for WABC-TV, the largest ABC television station in the United States. He joined the Eyewitness News team in July 1989 from WFSB-TV in Hartford, Connecticut where he had been a correspondent since 1986.

Early life and education[edit]

Burkett grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, though he describes the choice to use the initials "N.J." as arising from the efforts of his agent and a station president to make him seem less "aristocratic" and not a tribute to his home state.[1] He graduated from Elizabeth High School with the class of 1980 and attended Columbia University.[2]


Burkett is best known for his coverage of the World Trade Center attacks of September 11, 2001, for which he shared or was awarded-outright many prestigious honors including the George Foster Peabody Award, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, the Edward R. Murrow Award and the Emmy Award for Outstanding On-Camera Achievement from the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He holds a BA in Political Science and a Master's in International Affairs, both from Columbia University.[3]

In June 2016, Burkett was elected First Vice Chairman of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences by the academy's Board of Trustees. He served on the academy's Executive Committee from 2014–2016 and as President of the academy's New York Chapter from 2011–2015.


  1. ^ Mason-Draffen, Carrie via Newsday. "What's in a name? At work, an initial reaction", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 11, 2008. Accessed January 23, 2015. "Newton Jones Burkett III, a correspondent for New York's WABC-TV news station, became N.J. Burkett in a sort of Hollywood moment almost 19 years ago.... Mr. Burkett, who did grow up in Elizabeth, N.J., said he looked at the person dumbfounded and said, 'That's right – my mother named her son New Jersey.'"
  2. ^ Harris, Doug. "Dateline: The World; Elizabeth Native, NJ (Newton Jones) Burkett of WABC News, writes the 'first draft of history'", Trinitas Hospital Healthy Edge, Fall 2008. Accessed January 23, 2015. "[Q] As a native of Elizabeth, what keeps the City close to your heart? [A] ...I was in the Elizabeth High School graduating class of 1980. I lived in Elizabeth for the first 18 years of my life until I left to go to Columbia University, but my parents still live there."
  3. ^ "ABC Local Profile". Retrieved March 12, 2014. 

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