From New York to South Africa: Dean Meminger
Cyril Josh Barker | 12/26/2013, 11:34 a.m.
Time Warner Cable NY1 News reporter Dean Meminger is one of the many Black faces viewers see on the local news network. His recent coverage of Nelson Mandela’s memorial, done on location in South Africa, is one of the highlights of his stellar journalism career.
Born and raised in Harlem and the Bronx, Meminger is the son of late Knicks basketball legend Dean “The Dream” Meminger. The journalist said he got his start in radio at his alma mater Pace University.
“I was always into radio,” he said. “I love music, and in college, that’s what I did. A position opened up at the station, and I was deejay and being the news director.” [ED NOTE: Missing words in quote?]
Meminger began his career in 1995 as a reporter and stand-in anchor at BronxNet (News 67). While at BronxNet, he also produced and hosted the entertainment show “Bronx Magazine.” He joined NY1 in 1997 and has been in the forefront of some of the city’s most crucial news stories.
His coverage has included the World Trade Center after 9/11 and the police shooting deaths of Amadou Diallo in 1999 and Sean Bell in 2006. He captured the only video shot of U.S. Air Flight 1549 minutes before it made the miracle landing on the Hudson River.
He currently serves as NY1’s criminal justice reporter and is a stand-in anchor.
“For me, it’s an honor giving people information on a local New York level,” Meminger said. “As a New York City native, it’s a tremendous job for me to deliver useful information to fellow New Yorkers.”
Having traveled around the world to cover the news, his coverage has no boundaries. He went to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in January 2010 to cover the relief efforts of New Yorkers after the earthquake. In May 2009, he went to Mexico City to cover the effects of the H1N1 flu epidemic on area residents. Meminger traveled to the Dominican Republic in 2007 to investigate whether relief supplies from New Yorkers were helping residents on the island devastated by Tropical Storm Noel.
In April of 2007, he traveled to Mali, West Africa, covering the journey and burial of an African family tragically killed in a house fire in the Bronx. The trip to the Motherland would not be his last.
Meminger is just off the heels of one of the most celebrated stories of his career. He was the only New York City reporter to travel to South Africa to cover the memorial of civil rights icon and former South African President Nelson Mandela. He said he convinced the management at NY1 to allow him to make the trip.
He spent five to days in South Africa speaking with several South Africans about their experience during apartheid and their feelings about Mandela and interviewed U.S. Ambassador to South Africa Patrick Gaspard.
“We knew it was important for New Yorkers to have a voice they knew telling them what was going on in South Africa. There is a connection to Nelson Mandela in New York City, and as an African-American traveling there, it was eye-opening. I wanted to let people know that apartheid existed not long ago,” Meminger said.
As for upcoming work, Meminger is hosting NY1’s coverage of New Year’s Eve in Times Square.