Posts tagged ‘PBS’

Listening to the “Greatest Generation”

I caught this a few days late, but I thought this op-ed by Penn State College of Comm instructor Boaz Dvir was very much worth sharing. His piece, published last week in the Las Vegas Sun on the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, highlights the lessons he learned from veterans while working on the PBS documentary A Wing and a Prayer. The full, hour-long documentary is available on YouTube, and you can check out a short trailer for the film below:

Dvir notes that every WWII anniversary now serves as “a reminder that that our days of gleaning wisdom directly from the Greatest Generation are numbered.” It’s a harsh truth that I know many of us can appreciate: My grandfather, who served as an Army Air Force ball turret gunner in B-17s over Germany, turns 90 this year. I try to treasure the chances I’ve had to talk to him about the war, and about life, and I’m glad for any reminder to do so.

Ryan Jones, senior editor


September 9, 2015 at 6:42 pm Leave a comment

Investigating the Sordid Trail of E-Waste

Peter Klein ’91, a former producer for CBS’s 60 Minutes and now a journalism faculty member at the University of British Columbia, has given his UBC students something nice for their résumés: an Emmy award.

Klein led 10 students in a class called International Reporting on a project to investigate what becomes of electronic waste—dead computers, cell phones, and the like. They found some pretty unsavory stuff, according to a story in Canada’s Globe and Mail:


September 28, 2010 at 9:36 am Leave a comment

Penn State prof analyzes Paul McCartney’s greatness

I was not at all surprised to read this morning that Paul McCartney received the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. That’s because I’d already read and edited an interview with music theory professor Vincent Benitez, who analyzed all of McCartney’s post-Beatles work in the just-published The Words and Music of Paul McCartney: The Solo Years.

The award seems especially appropriate because Benitez said McCartney’s song-writing skills are “in the same league as George Gershwin.”

You’ll be able to read the interview with Benitez in our July/August issue, which we’re finishing now and which should be in your mailboxes in early July. And you can watch the concert, to be broadcast on PBS, on July 28.

Lori Shontz, senior editor

June 3, 2010 at 10:24 am 1 comment

‘Telling Amy’s Story’ Comes to PBS

About a year ago, those of us who work in development and alumni relations at Penn State had a chance to watch a film about a domestic-violence case here in Centre County that led to tragedy: the wife dead, and the husband charged with murdering her. It was a spellbinding and sobering film, tracing the way the alleged harassment and violence escalated over time, and how the woman’s coworkers in retrospect might have been able to see what was coming. (I think that’s why it was shown to us—to raise our awareness and help us be more alert to the signs whenever a coworker might be at similar risk.)

When the film ended, the room was silent; we all just sat there absorbing what we had seen. And one of my first thoughts was, “Wow, we missed a chance to do a great story for the magazine.” I figured that since the movie was finished and already being used in seminars like the one we had just experienced, we were too late to get anything into The Penn Stater.

Now, more than a year later, I’ve just found out that the film is taking on a new life—and this time, we hope to cover it. Joe Myers ’98, creative director at Penn State Public Broadcasting and the film’s producer/director, apparently has reworked the documentary since last we saw it, and tonight, Telling Amy’s Story has its premiere at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Starting June 1, it will be seen on many PBS stations nationwide.

Telling Amy’s Story now features actress Mariska Hargitay (detective Olivia Benson on NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), who not only appears in the film but will speak at the premiere tonight in Washington. Hargitay is founder of the Joyful Heart Foundation, which seeks to “heal, educate, and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse.”

Telling Amy’s Story has an impressive website with a trailer for the documentary as well as resources to help prevent domestic violence; the film also has a Facebook page.

Meanwhile, we’ve assigned a feature story on the film, and the story behind it, to one of our favorite freelance writers. Because of the magazine’s lead time, the soonest it can run is our September-October issue, but we suspect that Telling Amy’s Story will still have legs (as they say) by then. And, needless to say, the problem of domestic violence is not likely to go away anytime soon.

Tina Hay, editor

May 18, 2010 at 2:19 pm 2 comments

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