Bob Stepno's Other Journalism Weblog
Explorations of personal and community journalism...
Traditional, Alternative, Online...
2002-2009 blog page archive

Subscribe to "Bob Stepno's Other Journalism Weblog" in Radio UserLand.

Click to see the XML version of this web page.

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Starting Sept. 1, PBS will broadcast a series of half-hour features on investigative reporting projects around the country. Produced by WNET in New York, the program is being carried locally by East Tennessee Public Television at 9 p.m. on Fridays, right after the NOW news magazine. From what I've read about it, the series isn't just about what the reporters discovered, but how they did each project.

You don't have to own a trenchcoat to learn something from the investigative reporting series -- even public relations students should be very interested in the "crisis management" issues in the first episode, the story of a year-long South Florida Sun-Sentinel investigation of FEMA that found a more than a half-billion dollars in questionable awards. The second episode is about an award-winning pharmaceutical industry expose.

And, speaking of public relations, here's the (rather excited for PBS) WNET press release:


Weekly Half-Hour Documentary Episodes Will Chronicle Recent Journalistic Investigations That Have Revealed Betrayals Of The Public Trust

A healthy democracy requires an informed public. Yet just outside the din of daily media, the plethora of "news" shows on TV and the mega-mall information overload of the Internet, there are things going on behind closed doors every day that adversely affect the interests of the American people. Whether government corruption, corporate malfeasance, or any other abuse of power by institutions or individuals entrusted with the public good, these acts all share one thing in common: the people committing them want to keep you in the dark.

That's where investigative journalism comes in.

Now, from the producers of the award-winning documentary series Wide Angle at Thirteen/WNET New York, comes AIR: AMERICA'S INVESTIGATIVE REPORTS, premiering Friday, September 1 at 9:00 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings). Each of AIR's weekly, documentary-style half-hour episodes will chronicle powerful, groundbreaking recent journalistic investigations, featuring the committed reporters and editors who have produced them. Whether originating in print, on television, radio or the Internet, these are the stories that have shaken communities, held the powerful accountable and tried to make a difference in the functioning of America's democracy.

"The truth is the greatest protection a free society can offer its citizens," said Stephen Segaller, executive in charge of AIR, "yet it's often hidden behind a back-room deal, a confidential memo or the spin of a political operative. AIR will document the work of journalists from different media whose investigations have succeeded in performing a critical role in our democracy - airing the truth to the public."

AIR will cast a wide net, including reports in the fields of government and the judicial system, business and investment, public safety, law enforcement, immigration, national security, elections, education, health and medicine, sports and more. In detailing the impact of each investigation, AIR will tackle broader issues - Is the public better protected now? Was the corruption stopped? Did the Congressman resign? Has the environment improved? And in some cases: Why has nothing been done?

At a time when government transparency is waning, when journalists are subpoenaed to reveal confidential sources, when the Freedom of Information Act - some would say the First Amendment itself - is under attack, the climate for questioning those in power has never been less friendly. Yet recent stories in the American media - from Abu Ghraib to Enron, from FEMA's preparedness for Hurricane Katrina to the BALCO sports doping scandal - have shown that there remains a vital streak of investigative journalism in America today.

Investigative reporters and editors are storytellers in their own right. Along with excerpts from their original newspaper or magazine articles, television, radio and web reports - some of which have won such prestigious awards as the Pulitzer or duPont-Columbia - AIR will feature these personalities and their shrewd insights about their reporting experiences, providing a rare look at journalism from the other side of the lens.

Funders for AIR: AMERICA'S INVESTIGATIVE REPORTS include Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Park Foundation, The Jacob Burns Foundation, The Betsy and Jesse Fink Foundation, Tracy and Eric Semler, and Scripps Howard Foundation.

AIR: AMERICA'S INVESTIGATIVE REPORTS is a production of Thirteen/WNET New York in association with the Center for Investigative Reporting. Stephen Segaller, director of news and public affairs programming at Thirteen, is executive in charge of AIR. Tom Casciato is executive producer; Scott Davis is senior producer.

Coincidentally, on ETPTV "AIR" will be followed by another WNET/PBS program college students may like, Roadtrip Nation, "about college grads seeking their paths in life." I wonder if any of them will be looking into investigative reporting?

If you can't wait until Friday, you can always find recent investigative reporting projects at Extra! Extra!, a bloglike list of stories that is headed right now by a five-part Times-Picayune series on the Memorial Medical Center deaths during the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Other recent Extra! Extra! headlines: "Sexual misconduct and military recruiters," "Vietnam war crimes revisited," "'Adult Interference' inflates test scores," and many more.

12:39:58 PM    

Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website. © Copyright 2009 Bob Stepno.
Last update: 7/27/09; 3:29:09 AM.
August 2006
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    
Jul   Sep