Frontline demonstrates compelling journalism


What defines thought-provoking and investigative journalism? Take a look at Frontline’s Web site. According to Newsday, Frontline is “television’s last full serious bastion of journalism.”

If you haven’t heard of Frontline, it is a public affairs television program that is distributed through PBS (Public Broadcasting Service network) across America. Known for its impressive and thorough documentaries about several controversial issues since 1983, Frontline has earned many awards. According to its main Web site, Frontline is now partners with ProPublica, the Center for Investigative Reporting, National Public Radio and other news outlets so it can break news and continue to create unique programs.

As a print journalism major, it is important for me to understand how to tell a powerful narrative through broadcast and multimedia. Watching clips from Frontline’s Web site has taught me about what defines a compelling story and what powerful reporting is. Although its documentaries are mostly seen through television, you can also visit its Web site to watch its shows as webcasts.

I highly recommend those who are interested in journalism to browse the Web site and watch the videos. I suggest watching Hedrick Smith’s investigation “Is Wal-Mart Good for America?” or Ofra Bikel’s investigation of “America’s racial divide over the O.J Simpson verdict.”

Not only can you view these videos, but you can “join the discussion” and post your thoughts and opinions. Frontline not only goes beyond journalism, but also serves as an eye-opening tool on how to teach journalists how to improve their reporting skills.

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