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A Bill Moyers Special - Becoming American: The Chinese Experience

Portraits
The Chinese Experience
About the Programs


Program Bios

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Bill Moyers
Executive Producer

During his 25 years in broadcasting, Bill Moyers has pursued a broad spectrum of journalism. In presenting Moyers with one of his two prestigious Gold Batons, the highest honor of the Alfred I. DuPont Columbia University Awards, Columbia University President Michael Sovern called Moyers "a unique voice, still seeking new frontiers in television, daring to assume that viewing audiences are willing to think and learn."

A survey of television critics by Television Quarterly, the official journal of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, placed Moyers among the 10 journalists who have had the most significant influence on television news. The Academy has also recognized his work with more than 30 Emmy Awards for excellence. He was elected to the television Hall of Fame in 1995 and a year later received the Charles Frankel Prize (now the National Humanities Medal) from the National Endowment for the Humanities "for outstanding contributions to American cultural life."

In 1986, Moyers formed Public Affairs Television, Inc., with his wife and partner, Judith. This independent production company has produced more than 300 hours of programming. In 2002, he launched the weekly PBS series NOW with Bill Moyers and also produced Bill Moyers Reports: Trading Democracy and America's First River: Bill Moyers on the Hudson. Prior programming includes such series as Bill Moyers Reports: Earth on Edge; Trade Secrets: A Moyers Report; On Our Own Terms: Moyers on Dying; Surviving the Good Times: A Moyers Report; Free Speech for Sale; Facing the Truth; Moyers on Addiction: Close to Home; Genesis: A Living Conversation; Healing and the Mind; and Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth.

Prior to establishing Public Affairs Television, he was executive editor of the Bill Moyers' Journal on public television, senior news analyst for the CBS Evening News, and chief correspondent for the acclaimed documentary series, CBS Reports. Two of his public television series, Creativity (1982) and A Walk Through the 20th Century (1984) were named the outstanding information series by the Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Following his 1971 best-selling book, Listening to America, four books by Moyers based on his television series have also become bestsellers: Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth, A World of Ideas I and II, and Healing and the Mind.

Before entering broadcasting, Moyers served as deputy director of the Peace Corps in the Kennedy Administration and was special assistant to President Lyndon B. Johnson from 1963-1967, including two years as White House press secretary. He left the White House in January, 1967, to become the publisher of Newsday. For 12 years Moyers was a Trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation and now serves as President of The Florence and John Schumann Foundation.

Judith Davidson Moyers
Executive Editor, Executive Producer

Judith Davidson Moyers is president of Public Affairs Television, Inc. an independent production company in which she collaborates with her husband, Bill Moyers. In addition to her CEO responsibilities, she has also been Executive Producer of major Public Affairs Television documentaries and documentary series such as America's First River: Bill Moyers on the Hudson; Trading Democracy; On Our Own Terms: Moyers on Dying; Facing the Truth; Moyers on Addiction: Close to Home; Free Speech for Sale; The Language of Life with Bill Moyers; Amazing Grace; Circle of Recovery; All Our Children; Families First; The Arab World; Minimum Wages; and Facing Hate with Elie Wiesel. She was Executive Editor of Public Affairs Television's Fooling with Words, Genesis, The Wisdom of Faith and Healing and the Mind as well as the election-year series entitled Listening to America with Bill Moyers. She currently serves as Executive Editor for NOW with Bill Moyers, a public affairs program airing weekly on PBS.

A member of the Academy of Television Arts and Science, Judith Moyers has been awarded the prestigious Everett C. Parker Award and several Emmys. Most recently, she received an Emmy for her work on Trade Secrets: A Moyers Report. In 1995 she received the Humanitas Award.

She has long been involved in a wide range of corporate, civic, and educational affairs. She was a director of The Ogden Corporation, a director of mutual funds for PaineWebber and Capital Research Group and on the board of Columbia Residential Realty, Inc.

For 13 years she was a Trustee of the State University of New York and Vice-Chair. She was a director of the Research Foundation of New York State and the Rockefeller Institute of Government and earlier served as a Trustee of Hofstra University. She currently serves on the Board of the Public Agenda Foundation.

A founder of the Day Care Council of Nassau County and the national consumer organization Educational Products Information Exchange, she has been recognized as an advocate for children over many years. She has been honored for her work with the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the Girl Scouts of America, and the Laymen's Ecumenical Council, and has received honorary degrees from several universities.

Beginning with her teaching experience in Scotland in the 50's, Moyers has been keenly interested in international education and has served as a U.S. Commissioner to UNESCO, a member of a White House Commission on Children, and a member of the National Governors Association Task Force on Education and Economic Development.

Born in Dallas, she is a graduate of the University of Texas.

Thomas Lennon
Series Producer

Thomas Lennon, series producer and the lead writer, has devoted much of the past decade to exploring issues of race and ethnicity on film, including his landmark 1998 PBS production The Irish in America: Long Journey Home. He served as a producer and director on the upcoming Unchained Memories, a portrait of the slavery experience told through the testimony of former slaves, which will premiere at the January 2003 Sundance Film Festival. He has won numerous awards for his work, including a Peabody Award and Dupont-Columbia Award for Battle of the Bulge and an Academy Award-nomination in 1996 for The Battle Over Citizen Kane. Other production credits include Jefferson's Blood, Tabloid Truth, The Choice and Seven Days in Bensonhurst.

Ruby Yang
Series Editor

Originally from Hong Kong, series editor Ruby Yang has explored a range of Chinese themes in such documentary films as the 1998 production Citizen Hong Kong, which she directed, and the 2001 production China 21. She has edited numerous documentaries and feature films including Xiu, Xiu: The Sent Down Girl, directed by Joan Chen, All Power to the People!, The Black Panther Party and Beyond, China: The Wild East and Autumn in New York.

Producers
Los Angeles-based producer Joseph Angier, a veteran with over 20 years of documentary experience, has created programming for broadcast networks and cable channels including PBS, ABC, NBC, HBO, Lifetime and A&E. He signed on to produce the first program in the series from the West Coast, where so much of the epic history of the Chinese in America is set. Mi Ling Tsui, who helped to develop the initial treatment for the three-part series before the production was underway, had worked with Bill Moyers in 1992 on the weekly PBS series Listening to America with Bill Moyers. The producer of the second program in this series, Tsui worked previously at ABC News for over six years on Century: America's Time with Peter Jennings. In 1990, she produced China Now, a documentary on the cultural and social background of the 1989 Chinese student movement. Steve Cheng, who has been a producer at Dateline for the last ten years, took a one-year leave of absence from NBC to tackle the contemporary program of the series. Previously he spent 13 years at ABC News covering Congress and national stories.

Other Key Staff
San Francisco cinematographer Michael Chin, who previously worked with Thomas Lennon on The Irish in America: Long Journey Home as well as shooting the PBS documentary Africans in America, directed all dramatic recreations. Li-Shin Yu, best known for her work with Ric Burns as editor on New York: A Documentary Film and Ansel Adams: A Documentary Film, co-edited the second program in BECOMING AMERICAN: The Chinese Experience.

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