Jay Bushinsky was for four decades a reporter from the Middle East. During his career, he covered almost every major event that has shaped the region, including Israel's Six-Day War (1967), the Yom Kippur War (1973), the Iranian revolution (1979), and the first Gulf War (1991).
Throughout his long career, Bushinsky did not just witness history, but recorded it as it was being made, shaping the whole of the region militarily, politically, diplomatically, and economically.
The former diplomatic reporter for The Jerusalem Post, Jay Bushinsky began his career in journalism at a relatively small, but dynamic and creative daily—the Middletown Times Herald-Record, based in Orange County, New York. He covered municipal affairs until an opportunity arose at the Miami Herald, where he worked as a copy editor and contributed specialized articles on Middle East-linked stories.
His prolonged stint as a foreign correspondent began in 1966 with the Chicago Daily News for which he covered the Six-Day War a year later. By then, Group W, the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company's radio stations, hired him concurrently and he reported the conflict electronically as well. More conflicts in the region followed, including the Yom Kippur War in 1973, the Cyprus War in 1974, and the Iranian Revolution in 1978-79, as well as the Lebanon War in 1982 and the Gulf War in 1991.
He then worked for INN, WWOR-TV and filed to dozens of U.S. television stations, including WFLD, Chicago, KCBS, Los Angeles, the Group W stations, and WUSA in Washington, to name a few. He conducted several major speaking tours in the U.S., appearing in cities and towns from coast-to-coast explaining and analyzing the Middle East dispute and related issues. In 1980, he established CNN's Jerusalem bureau and ran it until 1985. He served as chairman of Israel's Foreign Press Association. He was appointed Middle East bureau chief of the Chicago Sun-Times in 1986 after having joined the newspaper in 1978, immediately after the closure of the Chicago Daily News. From 1985 to 1996, his weekly column on Middle East affairs appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times and was syndicated to a number of other major American and Canadian newspapers. He became Infinity Broadcasting's Middle East bureau chief, Fox's "Good Day New York" correspondent and president of Media Group International (MGI). MGI produced several TV programs and film documentaries including the internationally acclaimed "Alois Brunner: The Last Nazi" in which Bushinsky served as writer, narrator, and research director.
Jay and I met during the war in Lebanon in the middle of Beirut. It was the beginning of friendship that was to last for many years.
He will be missed by all who knew him.