Whether he’s the face of the camera, behind the camera or writing the script, professor of communication Steve Yavner has certainly established himself as a journalist. Now, he uses his experience to better the aspiring journalists and students of Fairfield.

“I graduated from Brookline High and if you asked me what I wanted to do, I would have told you I wanted to direct Monday Night Football,” said Yavner. “We used to take apart our little TV studio and set it up for the football games, and I was the director, and I loved that, but I was always afraid I was going to change my mind.”

Yavner had no idea how much of an impact his dreams to direct Monday Night Football would have on the rest of his life.

He went on to graduate Williams College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. After landing a job on the production crew for a news broadcast station in West Palm Beach, Yavner was able to experience something that showed him what he wanted to do with the next couple of years in his life.

“While I was there, we got hired out by NBC to work the launch of the very first space shuttle and spring training camps,” said Yavner. “After that I thought, ‘oh, I want to check out this news and sports thing.’”

After quitting his job in West Palm Beach, Yavner headed back up the east coast and landed the position of weekend anchor for news and sports for a station in New York where he was the face of the camera, rather than behind the camera, something he had never really thought about doing before.

“You know, people want to be on TV because they want to be on TV and I don’t know if that was ever the case with me,” said Yavner. “It was just that I liked doing it, I think I was good at it.”

When he was finally settled down in New York, Yavner said, “A sports job back in West Palm Beach fell into his lap,” and just like that, Yavner was back down the coast where he was involved with sports journalism for 12 years.

“All the time I was in sports, I wanted to tell good stories, I wanted to be an entertainer, and I looked at sports as a chance to be the entertainment,” added Yavner. “I wanted to take your mind off of your troubles and maybe put a smile on your face at the end of your work day.”

However, after more than a decade in West Palm Beach where he married and had children, Yavner made the decision to move back to his hometown where he did freelance writing and reporting and then got a full-time job as a full-time news writer and producer. From there, Yavner moved to Philadelphia where he was 6 o’clock producer. Then, he moved to Miami as an executive producer, and after that, to Miami Channel 4 where he became news manager.

After teaching at the University of Miami for a brief period, Yavner decided that all that he had done and accomplished wasn’t enough and currently, he is pursuing a Ph.D. at New York University while teaching courses at Fairfield University.

Yavner, who has been teaching at Fairfield for about three and a half years, teaches courses including sports broadcasting, mass media and society, American media and U.S. history. Yavner, who told stories of those that found classes like his to be helpful in other disciplines like accounting, stressed that the life of a journalist often parallels the life of a student. Like journalists, students are often forced to exist in a world revolving around technology.

“A lot of what I do, in terms of media and things like that, I think they’re really important skills that your generation needs to be able to navigate and there’s a part of me that thinks journalism should be a core requirement,” said Yavner. “The skills that journalists have are the skills that everyone should have because journalists decode media and in this media-saturated world, we need to think about what is going on in media.”

Yavner, who has seen large success in the journalism sector of the career world while others struggled, added that he doesn’t see journalism as a dying art, but a changing art.

“Everything is changing, it’s not dying. My best piece of advice is what I try to build into my classes is that you don’t know what the future is going to look like,” he said. “When I look at all my classes, I think the most important thing you can learn is that all areas of learning are all about gathering data, analyzing data and reinterpreting data.”

He stressed that in no matter what area one chooses to involve themselves with, they are always going to be looking at the data, understanding the data and then changing as a result of what one has gathered whether that is in the field of journalism, business or even medicine.

“When you don’t know what you want to do in the future, that skill set of gathering, analyzing and reinterpreting is key,” said Yavner. “It’s all about how you put the reinterpretation back out there in a different way.”

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