After twenty-six years on PBS, Reading Rainbow ended its run on Friday, August 28th. Hosted by LeVar Burton (Roots, Star Trek: The Next Generation), Reading Rainbow was the third longest-running children’s show in PBS history, behind only Sesame Street and Mister Rogers. According to WNED in Buffalo NY, Reading Rainbow’s home station, the show is a victim of the recent economic crisis. For those of you feeling nostalgic, here’s a video of the original Reading Rainbow theme song:
On Monday, August 31, Daljit Dhaliwal becomes the new anchor at Worldfocus, the nightly international newscast produced by WNET.ORG. Martin Savidge will remain on Worldfocus as a special correspondent. Dhaliwal answered a few questions about her new role at Worldfocus and her own background in international news.
How does it feel to be back at public television and in the anchor chair of a national, nightly international news program? Dhaliwal: It very satisfying to return to the fold of the public television family. Most journalists would relish the idea of working in a news environment where international events are front and center and not an afterthought of news coverage. Public television viewers are a discerning bunch who are hungry for news and context about the rest of the world and it’s a privilege to be a part of a team that does that each weeknight. Why should international news coverage matter to the American public right now? Dhaliwal: The global economic crisis, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But specific stories aside, I think it’s important for Americans to be engaged because of America’s global influence and power.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in journalism? Dhaliwal: I grew up in the UK where public service broadcasting has a strong tradition and so I think being exposed early on to solid news and current affairs programs made me curious about what was happening out there. After university I was lucky enough to be accepted onto a BBC training course that then gave me solid building blocks for my career.
You’ve interviewed dozens of international newsmakers but if could pick a few who would they be? Dhaliwal: Osama Bin Laden, President Obama, Nelson Mandela, Bono, Vladimir Putin.
Where was the most exciting/interesting location you traveled recently for a story? Dhaliwal: I was in the Baltics not long ago reporting for Worldfocus and while it’s not a global hotspot area, it was certainly refreshing to bring stories from these places and put them on our newscast. I can’t remember the last time I saw pieces from Estonia and Lithuania on a nightly newscast.
What would you do in life if you were not doing journalism? Dhaliwal: One of the great thing about journalism is that it allows me to indulge my love of travel when I’m on assignment. So I would certainly travel more.
Watch a recent Worldfocus report by Daljit Dhaliwal on Estonia’s military after Soviet occupation and its alliance with the U.S. in Afghanistan. Click here to see more of her reports from the field as a special correspondent for Worldfocus.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the last surviving brother of an American political dynasty, died late Tuesday night at age 77. Kennedy struggled with a malignant brain tumor for much of the past year. Known as the “liberal lion” of the Senate, Kennedy’s career in politics has touched the lives of countless New Yorkers over the course of his 47 years on Capitol Hill.
Watch a video tribute to Senator Kennedy from the 2008 Democratic National Convention, and his endorsement of Barack Obama for president.
Watch a conversation with Senator Kennedy on Charlie Rose from 2005. Kennedy talks about his vision for America.
News and Public Affairs: Weekly Programs: Washington Week: Public disenchantment over Obama’s health care reform plan; the insurance industry’s role in the health care debate; health insurance industry’s influence on legislative reform. NOW on PBS: How a backlog in processing rape kits is affecting how justice is delivered on behalf of sexual abuse victims. Originally aired on April 24, 2009. Bill Moyers Journal: A broadcast of the film Critical Condition, which tells the stories of three families coping without health insurance. Religion & Ethics Newsweekly:
A segment on the recent Lutherans’ meeting that lifted the ban on noncelibate gays and lesbians in the church.
Consuelo Mack Wealthtrack: An interview with Andrew Lo, director, MIT Laboratory for Financial Engineering, in which he talks about hedge funds and how psychology affects the financial crisis. New York Now. Town hall meetings on health care. Available for one week only. Foreign Exchange: How the U.S. and China are dealing with climate change; a new film looks at oil and corruption in Equatorial Guinea; Russian foreign-policy after its war with Georgia.
News and Public Affairs: Wide Angle: Eyes of the Storm: A film that takes a look at Burma’s orphans trying to survive in the wake of last year’s deadly cyclone. P.O.V.: P.O.V. Shorts. From the PBS documentary series comes three short films: Utopia Part 3: The World’s Largest Shopping Mall looks at the world’s most gigantic mall in Guangzhou, China that is now deserted; City of Cranes offers a perspective of what it’s like to work up high on machinery; and Nutkin’s Last Standabout the English red squirrel. American Masters: Don Hewitt: 90 Minutes on 60 Minutes. A 1998 documentary on the late Don Hewitt who created 60 Minutes, the most popular and long-running television newsmagazine series in broadcast history.
Science: NOVA: Hunting the Hidden Dimension. This documentary explores the world of fractals as mathematicians try to examine its unique properties. Originally aired October 28, 2008. NOVA scienceNOW: Public genomes; algae fuel;mystery of the Gakkel Ridge; profile: Yoky Matsuoka.
Jon Rubin of WNET.ORG speaks at Brooklyn Borough Hall, accompanied by Digit from Cyberchase, Karen Boykin-Towns, president of the NAACP Brooklyn Branch, and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz
Inside THIRTEEN blogger: Daniel T. Allen, Community Engagement Coordinator, Friends of Thirteen, Inc.
As New York City students get in their last licks of summer, the annual NAACP “Back to School/Stay in School” (BTS/SIS) event yesterday at Brooklyn Borough Hall hopefully made the end of vacation a little sweeter as 2,000 free backpacks filled with essential school supplies were distributed to disadvantaged students.
This year the NAACP Brooklyn Branch forged a partnership with WNET.ORG as a media sponsor and with Friends of Thirteen to help fill the backpacks with supplies from THIRTEEN’s children’s programs. But the idea for this partnership was not born in a board room, nor at a fundraiser, nor even as a conversation between professionals.
It was Memorial Day weekend when Karen Boykin-Towns, president of the NAACP Brooklyn Branch, began preparing this year’s “BTS/SIS” event. She had been thinking of companies to ask for donations. It was her daughter who had the idea: “Mom, why don’t you ask Thirteen? They have a lot of kids’ shows.”
Karen’s first call was to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who then connected Dorothy Pacella, Executive Director of Friends of Thirteen, with Karen.
From there it was a team effort. THIRTEEN’s education department donated Cyberchase pencils and other back-to-school goodies from Martha Speaks and Sid the Science Kid. Digit, one of the stars from Cyberchase, and Jon Rubin, director, state and local education services for WNET.ORG, were at the event to help celebrate the new school year and encourage kids to stay in school.
Finally, happy 100th anniversary to the NAACP. THIRTEEN looks forward to future collaborations that will advance the committment of both organizations to improving access to educational opportunities for children and adults of all backgrounds.
Watch Jon Rubin’s comments at Brooklyn Borough Hall.
News and Public Affairs: Weekly Programs: Washington Week: Town hall protests and the health care reform debate; the new school year and swine flu; Secretary of State Clinton’s recent trip to Africa. NOW on PBS: The weak economy and health care (originally aired on March 20, 2009). Bill Moyers Journal: Media analyst Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Kaiser Family Foundation president and CEO Drew Altman talk about health care ads as part of a wider discussion on health care reform; former assistant to President Bush, David Krum, calls on conservatives to suggest their plan for health care reform. Religion & Ethics Newsweekly:
A feature on the Spafford Children’s Center in Jerusalem, which helps Palestinian kids deal with the trauma of living in the turbulent region.
Using the bar mitzvah to promote environmental or greener values.
Consuelo Mack Wealthtrack: An interview with Mark Headley, chairman and portfolio manager for Matthews International Capital Management, on the financial crisis and Asia. New York Now. The issue of control of the New York City schools by the mayor. Available for one week only.
News and Public Affairs: Wide Angle: Victory Is Your Duty. This film explores Cuba’s status as a producer of talented, award-winning athletes, and how the recent political changes will affect both its sports figures and the nation as a whole. The story is told through perspective of young nine-year-old boys from the the Havana Boxing Academy. In the Life: Coming Together. Concluding the series’ look at the 40th anniversary of Stonewall, this program examines how gay and lesbian art and culture impacted the movement.
History: Antiques Roadshow: Houston, Texas (hour three). American Experience: Summer of Love. This latest installment recalls the free-spirited times of San Francisco in the mid-’60s.
Arts: Masterpiece Mystery: Inspector Lewis, Series One: Old School Ties. Inspector Lewis investigates two murders after chaperoning a celebrity criminal on a visit to Oxford. Available for online viewing through August 30, 2009.
DIY: Jacques Pepin: More Fast Food My Way: Simple Savers. Basil cheese dip; classic salad Frisée aux Lardons; spaghetti with fresh tomato and anchovy sauce; chocolate cups and chocolate rocher with hazelnuts and cornflakes.
Guitar legend, hit-maker, inventor and “Wizard of Waukesha” Les Paul passed away today at the age of 94 in White Plains, New York. Paul invented the solid-body electric guitar in 1941, and his dedication and musicianship over the course of his lifetime has influenced generations of guitar players the world over. In 2007, American Masters profiled Les Paul and his enduring impact on the world of rock in “Chasing Sound.” Visit the American Masters website to learn more about the documentary, view a timeline of his career, and read an interview with filmmaker John Paulson. “Chasing Sound” will air this Sunday, August 16th, at 11 p.m. on THIRTEEN.
Watch a clip from “Chasing Sound,” and share your memories of Les Paul below.
This afternoon, the Senate voted 68-31 to confirm Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Sotomayor, a native of the Bronx, becomes the first Hispanic and the third woman to serve on the high court. “This is a wonderful day for Judge Sotomayor and her family, but I also think it’s a wonderful day for America,” said President Obama at the White House.
For more news and analysis of Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination and confirmation, please visit Supreme Court Watch at The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer for in-depth coverage.
News and Public Affairs: Weekly Programs: Washington Week: President Obama’s event-a-day strategy in pushing his health care reform platform; the state of the economy with both the Dow Jones and unemployment rising; the significance of the recent meeting between the President, Prof. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and the professor’s arresting officer over a beer. NOW on PBS: A look at how the city of Atlanta is fighting child prostitution. Originally aired on May 30, 2008. Bill Moyers Journal A talk on health care with Wendell Potter; an essay on the influence of money and lobbying on health care reform; viewer mail. Religion & Ethics Newsweekly:
A look at an interfaith wedding through the example of Sunitha Mani, an Indian Hindu bride who was born in America.
Consuelo Mack Wealthtrack: An interview with David Swensen, chief investment officer at Yale University, on his thoughts of the new investment reality.
News and Public Affairs: P.O.V.:Hold Me Tight, Let Me Go. Kim Longinotto’s film looks at the work of Oxford, England’s Mulberry Bush School for emotionally disturbed children. Wide Angle:Contestant No. 2: A young Arab-Israeli woman aspires to join the Miss Israel pageant against the views of her conservative family and community.
Science and Nature: NOVA:Astrospies. A look at a special group of secret U.S. astronauts who gathered intelligence information on the Soviets during the Cold War. NOVAscienceNOW. Moon smasher; secrets in the salt; bird brains; climatologist Lonnie Thompson. Nature:Silence of the Bees. This program examines the recent disappearance of the honeybee and its impact. Originally aired on October 28, 2007. Time Team America:Range Creek, Utah. The team explores a territory where an ancient people may have lived in. The Mysterious Human Heart:The Silent Killer. Learn the causes and impact of heart disease.
History: Antiques Roadshow: Fame and Fortune. History Detectives: Amelia Earhart plane; Fillmore pardon; boxcar home. The Ascent of Money:Planet Finance. A look at worldwide financial practices, the rapid rise of the real estate market, and the fallout from the sub prime mortgage diaster.
Over the weekend, two gay clergy (a man from San Francisco and a woman from Baltimore) were among those nominated to fill a couple of open bishop positions in the Los Angeles diocese of the Episcopal Church. Religion & Ethics Newsweekly Special Correspondent Kim Lawton spoke to KPCC public radio in Los Angeles this morning about the significance of this event. Click here to listen now.
Kim’s interview will also be aired tonight on NPR’s All Things Considered. For more information and analysis on the rift in the Episcopal Church over homosexuality, please visit the Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly website.