Frontline World

About the Series


images from the episode
images from the episode

Episode Guide
EPISODE 101
Airdate: May 23, 2002

• Overview
• Press Reviews
• TV and Web Credits

>>Transcript

OVERVIEW

Sierra Leone, GUNRUNNERS
Tracking the secret operations of international gun smugglers
FRONTLINE/World investigates the deadly business of international weapons dealers, whose guns, grenades and mortars have contributed to millions of deaths around the world. We follow a team of U.N. detectives as they track down the source of illegal arms used to massacre civilians in Freetown, Sierra Leone. read more

Sri Lanka, LIVING IN TERROR
A journey to a tropical island besieged by suicide bombers
The day after video journalist Joe Rubin landed in Sri Lanka, a suicide bomber attempted to kill the prime minister. The assassination attempt failed but six civilians were killed. Arriving at the scene, Rubin realized that he was standing in a sea of body parts. It was the beginning of a six-week journey exploring how an island paradise had become a killing ground. read more

Bhutan, THE LAST PLACE
Television arrives in a Buddhist kingdom
FRONTLINE/World
explores the impact of television on a remote Buddhist kingdom in the Himalayas. After centuries of self-imposed isolation, Bhutan legalized TV in 1999 -- the last country in the world to do so. Follow Rinzy Dorji, the local "cable guy," as he hooks up "an electronic invasion." read more

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PRESS REVIEWS

It plays like CNN's World Today and PBS's imported BBC World News, but warmer and more personalized ... . The opening story, "Gunrunners," is even more complex and fascinating -- essentially a detective story that follows an international band of U.N. investigators as they attempt to find out who is supplying arms to rebels in Sierra Leone, where a protracted and nasty civil war has decimated the country. Network news complaints that foreign news isn't "sexy" are put to rest by this piece, which has more horror, intrigue and nobility than most Hollywood movies you can name.

-- Newark Star-Ledger

In a mesmerizing segment, FRONTLINE/World documents how the arrival of television, in 1999, has begun to change the tiny, gentle, insulated Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan ... . The Bhutan piece best captures the spirit and mandate of FRONTLINE/World, which series editor Stephen Talbot describes as a show "that will visit remote places that few of us have seen ... and will cover more familiar countries in unexpected ways ... ."

-- Boston Globe

It's very good -- the opening segment, which looks at a U.N. investigation into the source of the illegal arms used in Sierra Leone, is both tough-minded and organized like a thriller.

-- Toronto Globe and Mail

Each hour has three reports from independent documentary filmmakers. Tonight, they're far off the beaten track. It's an intriguing show for armchair travelers, with news from Sri Lanka, where the capital city's twin-towered World Trade Center has been bombed twice by terrorists; and Sierra Leone, where illegal arms traffickers fuel the wars that have killed 4 million people in West Africa; and Bhutan, now getting its first look ever at television -- and the World Wrestling Federation.

-- Houston Chronicle

"Channel Surfing the Himalayas" was reported by two journalism school grad students from the University of California at Berkeley, one from Bhutan, the other from South Africa. This isn't the sort of overblown, overproduced Big-Anchor, Big-Deal Documentary Special you'd find on the commercial networks. It won't draw the ratings of a Dateline story on dieting or Court TV's take on the Robert Blake trial. But it represents an important new wave of reporting from a global perspective that ought to be encouraged.

-- Denver Post

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TV AND WEB CREDITS

GUNRUNNERS

Producer/Correspondent: RICK YOUNG; Co-Producer/Reporter: WILLIAM KISTNER; Field Producers: KIM WOODARD, MATTHEW BRUNWASSER; Editors: CLIFF HACKEL: STEVE AUDETTE; Camera: PETER PEARCE; Additional Materials: GLOBAL WITNESS, MUSOU HADDAD, SORIOUS SAMURA/INSIGHT NEWS TV, LONDON, WORLD VISION; A co-production with the Center for Investigative Reporting, Inc.

LIVING WITH TERROR

Reporter/Videographer: JOE RUBIN; Associate Producer: NIMMI HARASGAMA; Editor JAY HANSELL; Special Thanks: Pew International Journalism Program

THE LAST PLACE

Producer/Reporter: ALEXIS BLOOM; Co-Producer/Reporter: TSHEWANG DENDUP; Camera: CLARENCE TING, ALEXIS BLOOM; Editors: ROBIN CHIN, GARY WEIMBERG; Special Thanks: UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

For FRONTLINE/World 101

Production Manager: RACHEL RANEY; Associate Producer: SHERAZ SADIQ, STEPHANIE MILLS; Unit Manager: SUZANNE ROMAINE; Web Producers: ANGELA MORGENSTERN, COLLEEN WILSON; Web Editor: WEN STEPHENSON; Promotion: ERIN MARTIN KANE, BRIAN ELEY; Satellite Photos: SPACE IMAGING; Sound Mix: JIM SULLIVAN; Online Editor: JULIE KAHN; Music: THE SUPREME BEINGS OF LEISURE; Series Design: JOHN MACGIBBON; FRONTLINE Production Assistant: DAVID MCMAHON; FRONTLINE Production Coordinator: PATRICIA GILES; FRONTLINE Coordinating Producer: ROBIN PARMELEE; FRONTLINE Production Manager: TIM MANGINI; FRONTLINE Series Manager: JIM BRACCIALE; KQED VP, TV Station Manager: DEANNE HAMILTON; Executive in Charge for KQED: SUE ELLEN MCCANN; Executive in Charge for FRONTLINE: SHARON TILLER; Series Editor: STEPHEN TALBOT; Executive Producer: DAVID FANNING

Web Site (Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Bhutan)

Producer / Content Developer: ANGELA MORGENSTERN; Coordinating Producer: COLLEEN WILSON; Design and Production: SUSAN HARRIS FLUENT STUDIOS; Content Development: THE CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING, INC., VICTORIA MAULEON, JOE RUBIN, SHERAZ SADIQ; Copy Editor: LINDA RAHM-CRITES; Web Editor: WEN STEPHENSON; Editorial Review and Writing: LOWELL BERGMAN, SUE ELLEN MCCANN, STEPHEN TALBOT, SHARON TILLER; Special Thanks: SAM BAILEY, MARRIE CAMPBELL, ANNE MARIE HAWKINS, AMANDA HIRSCH, DAN NOYES AND THE CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING STAFF, JENNIE CECIL, STEVE DAHLGREN, CINDY LIM, JASON MARGOLIS, STEVEN PAK, RICH DEAN, RICH WINEFIELD, EMILY COVEN

Photo Credits

Some photos on the 101 Web site are provided courtesy of MATTHEW BRUNWASSER, CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING THE UNITED NATIONS RALPH RENICK, JR., CENTER FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING TOM KRUSE tkruse@albatros.cnb.net (Photos of April 2000 riots, Bolivia) DANA CAMPEAU (Cultural images, Bolivia)

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