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The Fred Friendly Seminars are a prestigious public affairs series on PBS started by Fred Friendly, the distinguished broadcast journalist.

Since they began on television in 1984, the Seminars have probed a broad spectrum of national and international issues. Panelists have included two Presidents of the United States, several Supreme Court justices, and scores of notables from the worlds of medicine, journalism, politics, business, and the law.

Fred Friendly
Fred Friendly
The Fred Friendly Seminars have won every major broadcasting award, and the series was named one of the finest PBS programs ever by TV Guide.

For their success, the Seminars rely on assembling a panel that represents virtually every outlook on the issue being explored. The participants are assigned roles in what Fred Friendly called "the hypothetical" -- a situation that brings the issue down to human scale.

The panelists are not told in advance what the hypothetical scenario will be, nor the roles they will be asked to play. It is the moderator's job to describe a hypothetical scenario and then ask panelists to role play what they would say and do if they were confronted by the situation the moderator has described. By introducing twists and turns in the hypothetical story line, the moderator forces the panelists to take a hard look at their own beliefs and listen to the beliefs of those who oppose them.

As panelists wrestle with the hypothetical, the drama created pulls the audience in and they too struggle with these complex issues.


Fred Friendly Seminars >> What are the Fred Friendly Seminars? | The Socratic Method
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A production of Fred Friendly Seminars (www.fredfriendlyseminars.org)