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Inside FRONTLINE Corporation for Public Broadcasting Announces Grant to Expand PBS' FRONTLINE

May 18, 2010

Award-Winning Investigative Documentary Series to Air on PBS Member Stations Year Round Starting this Fall

David Fanning Receives CPB Ralph Lowell Award for Outstanding Contribution to Public Television

(Austin, TX) - May 18, 2010 - The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) today announced a new grant to expand PBS' award-winning investigative documentary series FRONTLINE to a year-round broadcast footprint. FRONTLINE will be celebrating its 29th season this fall on PBS.

The announcement was made at the annual PBS membership meeting in Austin, Texas, where CPB also presented FRONTLINE Executive Producer David Fanning with the Ralph Lowell Award for Outstanding Contribution to Public Television. The award is named after the late Boston philanthropist and founder of WGBH, where FRONTLINE is produced, and is among the highest recognitions in public media. Earlier recipients of the Lowell Award include Ken Burns, Julia Child, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alistair Cooke and Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer, among others.

The $6 million two-year grant to expand FRONTLINE will allow the series to add new multi-story magazine-format programs to each season, providing FRONTLINE producers with greater capacity to provide in-depth coverage of domestic and international stories, as well as social and cultural issues. The expanded FRONTLINE schedule on PBS will also feature "fast turnaround" news reports and timely investigative stories.

The new expanded FRONTLINE will build on and increase its partnerships with journalism schools and public media institutions like the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, ProPublica, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and American University's Investigative Reporting Workshop, among others. These partnerships will enhance FRONTLINE's investigative reporting resources and expand the series' ability to develop a digital-age generation of younger and more diverse reporters, doing innovative work both online and for broadcast.

"Quality journalism has never been more important. This grant to FRONTLINE will advance an investigative news service that will work across multiple platforms to expand its reach and service to the American people," said Pat Harrison, the President and CEO of CPB. "FRONTLINE continues to be a resource for stations and for educators, providing information and a thorough reporting on a wide-range of topics."

"At a time when journalism is facing widespread cutbacks and reductions, when network news divisions are laying off hundreds of broadcast journalists and producers, when fewer significant news programs are being produced, we're extremely grateful to CPB for its support of FRONTLINE's expansion plans," said David Fanning. "It's a testament to the series, its long history, and its place in American journalism."

"FRONTLINE is a paragon of American journalism and investigative reporting," said PBS President and CEO Paula A. Kerger. "PBS and its member stations transport citizens to wherever news happens, whether it's onto the battlefields of Iraq or into the obscure corridors of power.  We are deeply proud that PBS has been the home of FRONTLINE for 28 seasons. During that time, FRONTLINE has helped burnish public media's reputation for independent, courageous journalism. We look forward to extending the series through the summer."

Vivian Schiller, President and CEO of NPR, said, "FRONTLINE shines a light on some of the most complex and controversial issues of our times, and we at NPR are great admirers of their deep and incisive approach. FRONTLINE's year around presence further reinforces public broadcasting as the most important provider of independent in-depth reporting on television, radio and online."

This is the second major journalism grant announced by CPB this year. In March, Ms. Harrison announced a new Local Journalism Centers initiative to support in-depth reporting in markets across the country. The $10.5 million initiative will allow regional public radio and television stations to report on issues of critical importance in these regions and to share this content across a Public Media Platform for national and local broadcast and online.

"CPB is committed to independent, unbiased journalism and believes that public media can help fill a critical hole in the country at this time," Ms. Harrison said. "We have an obligation to ensure that in-depth international, national and local journalism thrives in the United States. It is critical to the health of our democracy."

41 Comments

COMMENTS

This is fantastic. I hope this allows Frontline to reach a wider audience without sacrificing substance.

Joshua B. / May 18, 2010 11:38 PM

Wonderful news!

Tara Katir / May 19, 2010 9:17 AM

FRONTLINE is a worthy archetype for journalistic excellence in an age of frivolous commercialism in the media. Only Public Television has proven its ability to air and promote such quality programming. I only wish I could still find a way to receive it in Western China!

Kim Bowers / May 19, 2010 11:28 AM

I think "Frontline" is one of the most reliable sources of news and educational information sources there is and I am delighted that it will now be year round.

al wright / May 19, 2010 11:44 AM

Truth and justice does prevail!

Darcy Bamford / May 19, 2010 11:57 AM

FRONTLINE: Simply, the best.

Bill Mott in Dallas / May 19, 2010 12:12 PM

This is the best news I have heard all day! I invite Frontline to have a look at how journalism has changed in the small Hudson River town of Cold Spring, NY, where the purchase of the small local newspaper about two years ago has created an atmosphere of fear and paranoia in politics, school budgets, zoning…

The paper is published by Elizabeth Ailes, wife of Roger.

Julia / May 19, 2010 12:42 PM

Great news! My favorite show on TV with the best narrator...can he read me a bedtime story?

lynn / May 19, 2010 1:02 PM

I am very glad that you will expand your Frontline investigative reports. Thank you.

cindy martin / May 19, 2010 4:41 PM

This is wonderful news!

corey hurst / May 19, 2010 5:41 PM

Congratulations. Frontline is one of the best on PBS.

Catherine Schneider / May 19, 2010 5:48 PM

I'm delighted to hear that Frontline will extend its programming throughout the year. I recently was downsized from my job and returned back to school full time. In doing so, I cancelled my cable and don't miss it a bit since the only programming worth watching is Frontline. Thanks for a job well done!

Mary / May 19, 2010 6:03 PM

Congratluations David Fanning and staff at Frontline. We look forward to many more informative and outstanding Frontline productions.

Jim Hansen / May 19, 2010 6:26 PM

Frontline conducts penetrating investigations
of issues important to me! Your Wounded
Platoon puts tears in my eyes.

Please continue your absorbing work!

John A. Cruty / May 20, 2010 3:18 AM

Thanks god America.......we need FRONT LINE.

Shalom Aharoni / May 20, 2010 1:09 PM

Thank you PBS for this excellent program! I can't wait to see many many more.

Mary L / May 20, 2010 5:10 PM

Frontline is the best program on television
Period.

Linda Caffrey / May 20, 2010 8:04 PM

Frontline has always been my favorite program ever since I came to United States 20 years ago, Its un- biased opinion, high quality Journalism, and Indepth coverage on the topics and extensive research are no comparision to any other program on television I congragulate WGBH Boston and PBS for this achievement. Thank You

Ahmed Salahuddin / May 21, 2010 4:37 AM

Frontline has always been my favorite program ever since I came to United States 20 years ago, Its un- biased opinion, high quality Journalism, and Indepth coverage on the topics and extensive research are no comparision to any other program on television I congragulate WGBH Boston and PBS for this achievement. Thank You

Ahmed Salahuddin / May 21, 2010 4:37 AM

Shows like Frontline are a shining example of all that has been lost from broadcast journalism.

One can only hope that the year round schedule is an indication that there is some hope for true reporting.

I am well under 40 and get disgusted over how little programming is available to educate, inform or even entertain us in contrast to the ever growing line-ups of irrelevant people doing even more irrelevant things.

Viewers like myself must also salute all the hard working people behind the camera who deserve respect for putting together such phenomenal programming and how much effort must go into it. PBS is so consistent in quality over quantity, it would be a positive to assume that more hours of Frontline means more cops on the beat of good stories.

Also, Will Lymans narration makes the show worth listening to even if the topic is not of interest, he makes it so without any gimmicks One can only describe his tone as "objective and soothing".

Frontline is truly exceptional television that by virtue of venue offers programs like no other and I just wish more of my peers actually watched, but so long as there are more programs, I will!


Big J / May 21, 2010 8:05 AM

As someone who resides outside of the United States, I can take a view of American journalism from a more distant perspective. Frontline is a shining light in the American media landscape. Your reports are thorough, informative, relevant, and often captivating. Congratulations on your funding.

Maneesh Deshpande / May 21, 2010 8:00 PM

I am very happy to hear that Frontline will expand to year-round programming. The loss of NOW and Bill Moyer's JOURNAL was very disturbing, particularly in light of the rabid programs and their growth on the right and left. Frontline is an indispensible source of balanced and insightful reporting we all need. I realize programs like FRONTLINE are very difficult to research and produce on a consistent basis. I hope all PBS viewers continue to give both their financial and moral support to continuing such valuable programs like this.

Doug D / May 22, 2010 9:58 PM

I love Frontline and I'm thrilled it's going to be funded for year-round reports. PBS, and primarily Frontline, are the only reasons I own a television.

James / May 22, 2010 10:53 PM

Thank goodness, the last bastion of professional journalism. Congratulations Mr. Fanning!

Scott McFall / May 23, 2010 2:13 AM

Please tell David that in spite of the fact that Julia Child and Ken Burns got their awards before he did, the judges finally got it right. Mark and Kim Jespersen

Mark Jespersen / May 23, 2010 8:53 PM

I can only agree with Mr.Mott:
Frontline- Simply the best!

Bonnie McMillan / May 23, 2010 10:53 PM

This is absolutely wonderful news. I always speak very highly of PBS, Frontline and previously Bill Moyers Journal. Keep up the great work!

Len Prygoda / May 24, 2010 12:57 AM

Terrific! From an editor/designer in the business...this is the best produced show on TV as far as I am concerned. Great in depth stories that explore topics ignored elsewhere. Keep it coming gang
THIS is what INVESTIGATIVE TV JOURNALISM IS SUPPOSED TO BE.

C abolt / May 24, 2010 10:29 AM

That's great news! I can't wait for the fall season to start! Keep up the excellent work, FRONTLINE!

Wilbert Jones / May 24, 2010 7:24 PM

Every now and then, a decision is made that serves to restore our faith in the idea of an informed citizenry. Frontline is possibly the most relevant news program being broadcast in the US. Bravo! for Frontline's expansion to year-round broadcasts.

S Moses / May 24, 2010 7:57 PM

execellent news!!! I love this program great stories all the time.

teddy / May 24, 2010 8:23 PM

This one of my alltime news shows for such a long time! I am very glad a news program with such quality stories as Frontline will still be avialable for viewing in the future! Great!

Oliver Brown / May 25, 2010 12:26 AM

Glad to see that one of the best investigative journalism shows left on TV is expanding its programming. This is one worthy cause i would donate to in order to expand its exposure to the world.

To the future of Frontline

James Alexander / May 25, 2010 9:08 PM

Excellent news indeed! this is is a good thing. truly one of the best if not the best investigative news source ever.

Temitope / May 26, 2010 4:57 PM

I'm so pleased to see Frontline expanding its reach. Investigative journalism is one of the most powerful forces we have in this country for keeping our Government, the laws they pass, and the businesses who shape our economy in check. It is when journalists fail to do their job that events like the Iraq war happen needlessly.

Marcus / May 26, 2010 5:32 PM

Awesome!!!

David Fleming / May 27, 2010 9:45 AM

I hope this is the good news it appears to be. "Multi story magazine format" worries me. I like have an hour of information on one topic. But if this is the only way Frontline can stay on the air between the economic situation and the downturn in responsible journalism, I'll take it.

Julie / May 27, 2010 10:44 PM

Thank you, thank you, thank you. The best and most honest news program ever produced for television.

t.b. / June 1, 2010 12:00 AM

Best news I've heard regarding TV or journalism in awhile! Compare Frontline to other "documentary" type programs on TV, and it is really unrivaled. I hope that any "multi-story magazine format" productions are only done in addition to the more "in-depth" format presentations that only Frontline does so well with, and that so many of us so eagerly watch presently.

Gary / June 1, 2010 4:37 AM

One of the very few things worth watching on television anymore just got better. So glad to see this.

Adam Q / July 13, 2010 1:53 AM

Frontline is like having a true friend, it is always there to count on and it always speaks to truth. So happy this friendship will now be year round.

Gene / August 27, 2010 2:25 PM
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