June 28, 2006
Kind Words from the Critics
BY Stephen Talbot
FRONTLINE/World's final TV report of the season goes inside Zimbabwe to find a broken country.
Our season finale this week was exceptional in that all three of our stories -- from Zimbabwe, Mexico and China -- were reported and produced by women who graduated recently from the University of California at Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. Tim Goodman, the TV critic at the San Francisco Chronicle, took note of this in his popular blog, "The Bastard Machine." This is what he had to say...
"Frontline/World" has always been the little international news magazine that could. It's also been one of those efforts made far away from the bright lights (and the shallow end) of national network and cable news. The work done on "Frontline/World" has been relentlessly good and important but often accomplished somewhere off the radar. I've been as guilty as anyone else in my business of not giving the series greater exposure. In fact, few people even know that Frontline, based out of WGBH in Boston, has offices for "Frontline/World" at the Graduate School of Journalism at U.C. Berkeley.
It's a unique collaboration and one that Grad School dean Orville Schell was instrumental in nurturing. It's not only been good for the school -- as a training ground for young, professional journalists - but has helped Frontline tap a new generation of reporters who believe in the mission of international reporting. On Tuesday at 9 p.m. on KQED, for the first time since "Frontline/World" was created, all three stories on the program will be reported and produced by recent Berkeley graduates.
"Zimbabwe: Shadows and Lies" comes from Alexis Bloom and Cassandra Herrman. They graduated in 2001. "Mexico: A Death in the Desert" is by Claudine LoMonaco and Mary Spicuzza. They graduated in 2004. And "China: The Women's Kingdom" comes from Xiaoli Zhou, who graduated in 2005. It's nice to see all of these "stories from a small planet" start out in Berkeley.
And we are pleased to see that TV reviewer Denise Duguay at The Gazette in Montreal, Canada, not only praised our Zimbabwe lead story, but called attention to our "superb website." We take great pride in the FRONTLINE/World Web site, which we continue to publish year round. We hope you will visit often this summer to watch "Rough Cut," our ongoing series of online videos, and to read our latest Dispatches from our correspondents around the globe.