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PBS

Ken Burns On How To Make History ‘Not Homework’

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With the debut of Ken Burns‘s latest documentary, “The Roosevelts,” tonight on PBS, we take a look back at Burns’s First Big Break, when he brought The Brooklyn Bridge to life. Burns has not forgotten what the success of that first documentary has meant for all the award-winning work he’s produced since: “The real thing is what you put into the film, not what kind of glory comes afterwards.”

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Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff & Jim Lehrer on ‘Core Values,’ New ‘Faces’ at PBS NewsHour

WoodruffIfill“It’s kind of a dream come true,” Judy Woodruff tells TVNewser about the job she started last September.  ”I pinch myself every day to believe that I am co-anchoring the [PBS] NewsHour.”

One year after her debut as half of the program’s new anchor team, Woodruff’s appreciation for the position is matched by that of her friend and co-anchor, Gwen Ifill.

“I got the great chance to be a caretaker” of an iconic show, says Ifill.

The veteran journalists made history when, on September 9, 2013, they became the first women to co-anchor a nightly network newscast.

“No matter where I go around the country,” Woodruff says, “people come up, and they just say how excited they are, how thrilled they are” about the groundbreaking team.

Noteworthy as it may be, the NewsHour‘s co-founder, Jim Lehrer, tells TVNewser that Ifill and Woodruff got the nod simply for being the “logical and best combination” for the job.

Calling the duo “terrific,” he says he’s delighted with a transition that was more than two years in the making.

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Would Jim Lehrer Moderate Another Debate? ‘No, No, No, A Thousand Times, No’

JimLehrer1He’s known as the Dean of Moderators, having been at the helm of twelve presidential debates since 1988.

But don’t count on veteran newsman Jim Lehrer making another go of it in 2016.

“No, no, no, a thousand times, no,” he tells TVNewser about what he’d say if asked to moderate in 2016.

Lehrer felt the same way when we talked with him 2010. But he ended up moderating the first 2012 presidential debate.

“The only reason that I finally changed my mind [in 2012] was because I was persuaded by the Commission on Presidential Debates to do it, because we were going to try a new format,” he says, referring to the “new, open” approach that enabled the candidates to more freely speak and interact with each other.

Lehrer, 80, was roundly criticized, for not doing enough to challenge candidates, Pres. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, or control their questions.

Would anything change his mind when it comes to 2016?

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‘Frontline’ Gets New Funding to Expand Investigative Reporting

frontline logo“Frontline,” PBS’ flagship investigative series produced by WGBH in Boston, has secured two new grants that will go toward a major expansion of investigative reporting across all the show’s platforms.

The first grant, $5 million from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler, is the single largest gift by an individual to “Frontline” in the show’s 30-year history. The majority of that will go toward a new endowment for continuing journalism. The second donation is a two-year, $800,000 grant from the Ford Foundation that will go toward a new cross-platform Enterprise Journalism Group.

“These two gifts are a vote of confidence in FRONTLINE’s ambitions for the future,” executive producer David Fanning said in a statement. “’We know that to keep doing significant investigative reporting we have to undertake a major effort to raise additional funds for the time-intensive and costly work of enterprise journalism. The generosity of the Haglers and new support from the Ford Foundation is an expression of optimism about the future of the series and the kind of journalism we practice, and need to keep expanding.”

TVNewser’s 2014 Guide To Graduation Speakers

Class-of-2014. jpgAs is TVNewser tradition, here now is our seventh annual list of who’s-speaking-where-and-when at the nation’s colleges and universities (in alphabetical order):

CNBC’s Guy AdamiQuinnipiac University (CT), May 10

CNN’s Brooke Baldwin: University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication (NC), May 11

ABC’s Richard Besser: University of Michigan School of Public Health (MI), May 1

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: Cansius College  (NY), May 17

Bloomberg’s Michael Bloomberg: Harvard University (MA), May 29… Williams College (MA), June 8

CNN’s Gloria Borger: Colgate University (NY), May 18

FNC’s Dr. Ben CarsonRegent University (VA), May 3

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Miles O’Brien’s Report from Japan Airs Tonight

MilesObrienJapanThe first of Miles O’Brien‘s reports from Japan airs tonight on “PBS NewsHour.” O’Brien, the program’s science correspondent, was packing up from the reporting trip on Feb. 12 when one of the equipment cases fell on his left arm. A seemingly innocuous accident resulted two days later in the amputation of his arm, above the elbow.

In tonight’s report, O’Brien, covered head to toe in protective gear and wearing a respiration mask, offers viewers a rare look inside the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. He reports on the on-going efforts to contain radiation-tainted water that continues to leak from the plant into the sea. Two more reports will air next Wednesday and Friday.

On “NewsHour” Wednesday co-anchor Judy Woodruff mentioned the accident, adding, “All of his colleagues here at the NewsHour are awed by Miles’s determination to soldier on, despite his life-changing accident. He is a very brave man and a cherished friend.”

After Freak Accident, Miles O’Brien Has Arm Amputated

milesobrienMiles O’Brien, the former CNN anchor, was on assignment in Asia earlier this month when a freak accident led to an emergency surgery that resulted in the amputation of his left arm, above the elbow. On his blog, he writes about what happened:

I had finished my last shoot after a long reporting trip to Japan and the Philippines and was stacking the Pelican cases brimming with TV gear onto my cart. As I tried to bungee cord them into some semblance of security for movement, one of the cases toppled onto my left forearm. Ouch! It hurt, but I wasn’t all “911″ about it. It was painful and swollen but I figured it would be okay without any medical intervention.

That was on February 12. By the morning of the 14th the swelling had increased. He went to a doctor who, upon seeing his arm, admitted him to the hospital and recommended an emergency procedure to relieve the pressure. By then, it was too late.

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Gwen Ifill: Media ‘Lost Sight of the Bigger Picture’ During Mandela Coverage

gwen ifillPBS News anchor Gwen Ifill says the media “lost sight of the bigger picture” while covering the death of Nelson Mandela. In a PBS blog post, she writes the focus was on non-stories, including the fake interpreter tasked with translating the service into sign language:

There is no question it was an insult to the world’s deaf and an international security threat to have a man on stage whose defense for not knowing sign language was that he could be violently schizophrenic. But did that deserve more attention on a day when thousands gathered in Pretoria — in long lines that reminded me of the first free South African elections — to pay final tribute to Mandela?

I never cease to marvel how efficiently we can minimize real news – whether it be rare proof that Washington has a little bipartisanship left, or history unfolding on another continent.

I’d feel a little better if we could at least try to remember the big picture.

[h/t Huffington Post]

MacNeil and Lehrer Share Their Story of Nov. 22, 1963

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Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer returned to their former program last night to reflect on Nov. 22, 1963 — the day President Kennedy was killed. Both men covered the president’s visit — MacNeil for NBC News and Lehrer for The Dallas Times Herald. They talked about the morning leading up to the assassination, the days following, the conspiracy theories that persist 50 years later and how the tragedy shaped their careers as reporters.

WATCH:

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CNBC’s Courtney Reagan Gets On-Air Marriage Proposal

CNBC’s retail correspondent Courtney Reagan was doing a segment on holiday shopping for the CNBC-produced “Nightly Business Report.” At least that what she thought.

The show’s anchor, Tyler Mathisen was in place, as was the camera and production crew, so they started recording.

But it was all a ruse. What Courtney didn’t know is that her boyfriend, investment researcher Jared Baker was waiting in the wings, with a diamond ring. She looked stunned. He told her he’s loved her since the day they met. She cried. He got on one knee. She cried some more. Mathisen grabbed the tissues. And the rest is TV history.

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