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Newshour with Jim Lehrer

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Newshour with Jim Lehrer

PBS NewsHour[1]
250px
The logo of the relaunch of PBS NewsHour from December 7, 2009
Format News television program
Created by Robert MacNeil
Jim Lehrer
Presented by Gwen Ifill
Judy Woodruff
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Production
Location(s) WETA-TV studios, Arlington, Virginia (weekday editions)
WNET studios, New York City (weekend editions)
Running time 60 minutes (Weekday)
30 minutes (Weekend)
Production companies MacNeil/Lehrer Productions
WETA-TV
WNET
Broadcast
Original channel PBS
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original run October 20, 1975 – Present
External links
Website

PBS NewsHour is an American evening television news program that is broadcast weeknights on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS); the program is currently anchored by Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff, who also serve as its managing editors.[2] The weekday editions originate from Arlington, Virginia and are produced by MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, a company co-owned by former anchors Jim Lehrer and Robert MacNeil, and Liberty Media, which owns a 67% stake in the company,[3] in association with PBS member stations WETA-TV Washington and WNET Newark / New York. The weekend editions are primarily produced by WNET from its New York studios.

Unlike most current evening network newscasts in the United States, each weeknight edition of the PBS NewsHour is one hour long. The program also runs longer segments than most other news outlets in the U.S. The PBS NewsHour is known for its in-depth coverage of the subjects involved, and avoids the use of sound bites, instead playing back extended portions of news conferences and holding interviews that last several minutes.

History

Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer first teamed up to cover the United States Senate Watergate hearings for PBS in 1973, which led to an Emmy Award win.[4] This recognition led to the 1975 creation of The Robert MacNeil Report, a half-hour local news program for New York City PBS member station WNET that debuted on October 20 of that year, each episode of which covered a single issue in-depth. A few months later on December 1, 1975, the program was renamed The MacNeil/Lehrer Report and began to be broadcast on PBS stations nationwide.

On September 5, 1983, having decided to start competing with the nightly news programs on the Big Three television networksABC, CBS and NBC – instead of complementing them, the program was extended to an hour in length and incorporated other changes such as the introduction of "documentary reportage from the field";[5] it became known as The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. On October 20, 1995, MacNeil retired as co-anchor of the program, with Lehrer becoming the program's solo anchor; the program was accordingly renamed The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer three days later on October 23.[6]


On May 17, 2006, the program underwent its first major change in presentation in years, adopting a new graphics package and a new version of the show's theme music. On December 17, 2007,[7] the NewsHour became the second nightly broadcast network newscast to begin broadcasting in high definition, following NBC Nightly News, which switched to HD in March of that year. The difference between this broadcast and Nightly News is that the NewsHour was shown in a letterboxed format for those with standard-definition television sets. The switch came with the existing graphics being upconverted to HD and the introduction of a new set.

On May 11, 2009, it was reported that The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer would be revamped on December 7, 2009[8] and be retitled as the PBS NewsHour.[1] In addition to an increased integration between the NewsHour website and nightly broadcast, the updated production would feature co-anchors, as had been the practice until Robert MacNeil's 1995 departure from the program.[9] The overhaul was described by Jim Lehrer as the first phase in his gradual move toward retirement.

On September 27, 2010, PBS NewsHour was presented with the Chairman’s Award at the 31st News & Documentary Emmy Awards, with Robert MacNeil, Jim Lehrer, longtime executive producer Les Crystal, and current executive producer Linda Winslow receiving the award on the show's behalf.[10]

Lehrer formally ended his time as a regular anchor of the program in June 2011. He continues to occasionally host on Fridays, when he usually leads the political analysis segment with Mark Shields and David Brooks.[11]


For much of its history, PBS NewsHour only aired Monday through Fridays; however, on September 7, 2013, the program expanded to include weekend editions on Saturday and Sunday evenings, anchored by Hari Sreenivasan. Although the weekend broadcasts are branded PBS NewsHour Weekend, they instead air for a half-hour; in addition, the Saturday and Sunday editions originate from the New York City studios of WNET, as opposed to the program's main production facilities at the Arlington, Virginia studios of WETA-TV.[12][13] Plans for a weekend edition of PBS NewsHour had been considered as early as March 2013.[14]

On August 6, 2013, Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff were named as co-anchors and co-managing editors of the NewsHour broadcast. The two will share anchor duties on the Monday through Thursday editions, with Woodruff solo anchoring on Fridays.[15]

MacNeil/Lehrer Productions announced in a letter to the show's staffers on October 8, 2013 that it had offered to transfer ownership in the PBS NewsHour to WETA. In the letter, Jim Lehrer and Robert MacNeil cited their reduced involvement with the program's production since their departures from anchoring, as well as "the probability of increasing our fundraising abilities."[16][17]

Production and ratings

The NewsHour is notable for being run on public television; there are no interruptions for advertisements (though there are "corporate-image" advertisements at the beginning and end of the show and interruptions to call for pledges during public television pledge drives).

The program has a more deliberate pace than the news broadcasts of the commercial networks it competes against. At the start of the program, the lead story is covered in depth, then a news summary that lasts a few minutes is given, briefly explaining many of the headlines around the world. International stories often include excerpts of reports filed by ITN correspondents. This is usually followed by three or four longer news segments, typically running 6–12 minutes each. These segments explore a few of the headline events in-depth. The segments include discussions with experts, newsmakers, and/or commentators. The program used to regularly include a reflective essay, but these have been curtailed more recently. On Fridays, there is a political analysis discussion between two regular contributors, one from each of the Republican and Democratic parties, and one host from among the senior correspondents. Since 2004, the usual participants have been syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks. Analysts who fill in when Shields and/or Brooks are absent have included David Gergen, Thomas Oliphant, Rich Lowry, William Kristol, Ramesh Ponnuru, Ruth Marcus, and E. J. Dionne.

The program's senior correspondents are Gwen Ifill, Ray Suarez, Margaret Warner, Jeffrey Brown, and Judy Woodruff. Essayists have included Anne Taylor Fleming, Richard Rodriguez, and Roger Rosenblatt.[18] Correspondents have been Tom Bearden, Betty Ann Bowser, Susan Dentzer, Elizabeth Farnsworth, Kwame Holman, Spencer Michels, Fred de Sam Lazaro, Paul Solman, and others.[19]

Former NewsHour anchor Jim Lehrer and current anchor and senior correspondent Gwen Ifill are frequent moderators of U.S. political debates. By November 2008, Lehrer had moderated more than ten debates between major U.S. presidential candidates.[20] In 2008, Ifill moderated a debate between U.S. vice presidential candidates Joe Biden and Sarah Palin; in 2004, Ifill moderated a debate between candidates Dick Cheney and John Edwards.[21]

After the United States-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the NewsHour began what it called its "Honor Roll", a short segment displaying in silence the picture, name, rank, and hometown of U.S. military personnel killed in Iraq. On January 4, 2006, the NewsHour added military personnel killed in Afghanistan to the segment. The "Honor Roll" continues to be a regular feature of the program.

According to KQED in San Francisco.

NewsHour editorial guidelines

On December 4, 2009, when introducing the new PBS NewsHour format, Jim Lehrer read out a list of guidelines in what he referred to as "MacNeil / Lehrer journalism."[23] They are as follows:

  • "Do nothing I cannot defend."
  • "Cover, write, and present every story with the care I would want if the story were about me."
  • "Assume there is at least one other side or version to every story."
  • "Assume the viewer is as smart and as caring and as good a person as I am."
  • "Assume the same about all people on whom I report."
  • "Assume personal lives are a private matter until a legitimate turn in the story absolutely mandates otherwise."
  • "Carefully separate opinion and analysis from straight news stories, and clearly label everything."
  • "Do not use anonymous sources or blind quotes except on rare and monumental occasions."
  • "No one should ever be allowed to attack another anonymously."
  • "And finally, I am not in the entertainment business."

Criticism

Critics have accused the American news media – including the NewsHour – of having a pro-establishment bias.

In 1992, radio broadcaster David Barsamian called the NewsHour "stenographers to power."[24]

FAIR study

In October 2006, the media criticism group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) accused the NewsHour of lacking balance, diversity, and viewpoints of the general public, and corporate viewpoints. FAIR found that the NewsHour's guest list from October 2005 to March 2006 had Republicans outnumbering Democrats 2:1, and people of color accounting for 15% of U.S.-based sources.[25] FAIR also protested in 1995 when Liberty Media purchased a majority of the program, citing Liberty's majority owner, John Malone, for his "Machiavellian business tactics" and right-wing sentiments.[26]

NewsHour executive producer Linda Winslow responded to many aspects:

FAIR seems to be accusing us of covering the people who make decisions that affect people's lives, many of whom work in government, the military, or corporate America. That's what we do: we're a news program, and that's who makes news... I take issue with the way the FAIR report characterizes each guest, which they have obviously done very subjectively. Witness the trashing of Mark Shields and Tom Oliphant (in the full report), who are not liberal enough for FAIR's taste. When you get down to arguing about degrees of left-and-rightness, I think you undermine your own argument.

She also accused FAIR of counting sound bites as interviews, thereby skewing their numbers toward the political party holding a majority (at the time of FAIR's report, Republican Party).[27]

Scholarly analysis

In 2003, UCLA political scientist Tim Groseclose and Missouri economist Jeff Milyo evaluated various media programs based on "think tank" citations to map liberal versus conservative media slants and published a study alleging liberal media bias in general. Based on their research, PBS NewsHour is the most centrist news program on television and the closest to a truly objective stance.[28][29] However, their methodology has been questioned.[30]

International broadcasts

  • In the United Kingdom, the NewsHour is seen four times a day each Monday through Friday on PBS UK, the day after the program's broadcast in the U.S.[31]
  • In the Middle East, the program is seen daily on OSN News.
  • In Australia, the program is seen Tuesdays through Saturdays at 4:30 p.m. on SBS One.[32]
  • In New Zealand, the NewsHour is seen Tuesdays through Saturdays at 10 p.m. on Triangle Stratos and Triangle TV (Auckland).[33]
  • In Japan, the program is seen every weekday on NHK BS-1.[6]
  • The program is seen internationally through Voice of America and World Radio Network.

References

External links

  • PBS NewsHour official website
  • Template:Google+
  • NewsHour video archive
  • NewsHour story index
  • Segment broadcast on November 16, 2005 on citizen journalism mentioning and World Heritage Encyclopedia
  • NewsHour Podcast Directory
  • s announcement that its Honor Roll would henceforth include US military personnel killed in Afghanistan
  • April 20091204_pbsnewshour.mp3 Segment from 12/04/09 in which Lehrer introduces new format, including enumeration of editorial guidelines.
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