These three hours of prime time television document the benchmark events between the years 1945 and 1985, giving viewers a sense of relevance to events that have shaped today’s world. The program realizes its goal of "teleology," that is, making meaningful what has happened in the past 40 years, by use of archival footage, some never before broadcast, interspersed with testimony of more than 125 witnesses, who personalize the events through their stories. It is exquisitely edited, masterfully executed, blockbuster television journalism.
CREDITS: Roger Goodman, Eleanor Prescott, David Bohrman, Edward Hersh, Mark Foley, Av Westin, Peter Jennings, Ted Koppel, Pete Simmons, Denise W. Burke
"Afghanistan: The Untold Story" focuses attention on the tragedies of the Soviet-Afghanistan war, especially the war-wounded Afghani children the innocent victims. The account of the Boston medical community’s generosity in providing aid for these casualties adds an extra dimension to this praiseworthy 60-minute broadcast. It is exemplary local television.
The statistics about what happened over the past two decades to the once stalwart and steadfast American black family, the backbone of the black community, are shocking and distressing. In an unflinching account that tries to understand why this disintegration started and why it continues, CBS News gives life to the statistics through intimate portraits of young black adults facing the emotional and financial difficulties of single parenthood. With its candor and openness, "The Vanishing Family" may very well be the most important documentary in recent memory.
CREDITS: Ruth C. Streeter, Kate Roth Knull, Arthur Bloom, Walter Leiding, Carolyn M. Cook, Michael Christian, Jeffrey A. Kay, Alan Mack, Alicia Tanz, Anthony D. Sturniolo, Mark Ganguzza, Vernon Cook, Jim Ryan, Myron Bleam, Gil Miller, Jim Rose, Frank Florio, Bill White, Ilene Rosenberg, Kevin Bailey, Mike English, Herman Lang, Neil McCaffrey, Keith Morris, Jeff Pollack, Joe Schwartz, Stan Seiller, Anthony Mirante, Perry Wolff
This half-hour documentary picks up the saga of a small midwestern working-class town that has historically had problems with race relations and, since the days of Al Capone, with organized crime. This report concentrates on the recent problem with all-night bars that sell sex along with beer. The opposition of an enraged local citizenry to these seemingly authorized businesses encouraged WMAQ investigators to look into suspected mob and municipal government collusion. The investigation resulted in the closing of three of the all-night taverns as well as other overdue reforms.
CREDITS: Carol Marin, Don Moseley, Ed Bartlett, Grant Light, Sandy Bonnell-Malatia, Wendy Frame, Mary Walton, Peg Dwyer, Ken Weisberg, Michael Gamble, Todd Powelson, Irene Ostap, Linda Todhunter, Dennis Wood, Hal Bernstein, Jim MacDonald, Paul Nagaro, John Crispe, Howie Salzman, Ed Cradick, Jerry Ongaro, Robert Wiener
NBC Nightly News meets the challenges and takes the risks involved in assigning reporters to take a closer look at what lies behind and beyond the otherwise everyday story. Even more impressive is the courage shown by its investigative reporters and producers, who face untold dangers in their frontline news gathering for these revelational pieces. The enterprise of reporters like Brian Ross and Mark Nykanen, who regularly uncover corruption and misconduct, is applauded as is NBC News’s commitment to serious, continuing investigative journalism.
CREDITS: William Wheatley, Jr., Ron Bonn, Chuck Collins, Mark Nykanen