Broadcasting Panel featuring panelists Jeff Fager, 60 Minutes; David Fanning, PBS Frontline; Brian Ross, ABC News; Daniel Zwerdling, NPR; Anna Werner, KPIX, San Francisco; Mark Feldstein moderated.
This event was a part of a conference titled The Crisis in News: Is There a Future for Investigative Journalism? sponsored by the Investigative Reporting Program, Graduate School of Journalism, University of California Berkeley.
Jeffrey Fager has been the executive producer of 60 Minutes since June 2004. In his first three seasons at the helm, Fager led 60 Minutes to a number-one finish among news magazines, more than five million viewers ahead of its nearest competitor. For his work on the broadcast, the Producers Guild of America voted him the best producer in non-fiction television two years in a row.
Before taking over 60 Minutes, Fager is credited with guiding 60 Minutes II to overwhelming critical acclaim as its executive producer. In just seven seasons, the broadcast garnered nine Emmy Awards, two RTNDA/Edward R. Murrow Awards, two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Peabody Awards, a Delta Sigma Chi Award and two Investigative Reporting and Editing Awards.
David Fanning has been Executive Producer of PBS Frontline since its first season in 1983. After more than 530 films, Frontline remains America’s longest-running investigative documentary series on television. The series has won all of the major awards for broadcast journalism: 45 Emmys; 23 duPont-Columbia University Awards, 13 Peabody Awards,and 10 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards. In 1990 and in 1996, Frontline was recognized with the Gold Baton — the highest duPont-Columbia Award — for its “total contribution to the world of exceptional television.” In 2002, the series was honored with an unprecedented third Gold Baton for its post-Sept. 11 coverage, a series of seven hour-long documentaries on the origins and impact of terrorism. In 2003, A Dangerous Business, a Frontline/New York Times joint investigation of the cast-iron pipe-making industry was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.
Mark Feldstein is an Associate Professor of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. Feldstein is the author of Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson and the Rise of Washington's Scandal Culture. For two decades, he worked as an investigative reporter for newspapers, magazines, and television, including as an on-air correspondent at CNN and ABC News. On assignment, Feldstein was beaten up in the U.S., censored in Egypt, and escorted out of Haiti under armed guard, earning dozens of journalism's top honors, from the Edward R. Murrow prize to two George Foster Peabody medallions.
A graduate of Harvard who received his doctorate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Feldstein has also won awards for his scholarship from the American Journalism Historians Association and other academic organizations. He is widely quoted as a media analyst by leading news outlets in the United States and abroad, and has testified as an expert witness on First Amendment issues in court and before Congress.
As the chief investigative correspondent for ABC News, Brian Ross reports extensively for World News with Diane Sawyer, Nightline, Good Morning America, 20/20 and Primetime, as well as for ABC News Radio and ABCNews.com. Ross joined ABC News in July 1994. Ross's investigative reports have exposed corruption at all levels of government, led to changes in domestic laws and prompted reforms abroad. Over the past few years, his exclusive investigative reports on the Times Square Bomber, Ft. Hood Shooter, the Underwear Bomber and the Printer Bomb plot led the network's coverage. Most recently his 20/20 investigation of sexual abuse of Peace Corps volunteers won the 2012 George Polk Award for television reporting and has led to congressional hearings, and his expose of a "pay-to-play" grading system by the Better Business Bureau has led to major changes within that organization. Ross’ investigative reports have won six duPont awards, five Peabody awards, six Polk awards, five awards from the Overseas Press Club, twelve Emmys and three Edward R. Murrow Awards and many more.
Anna Werner is the chief of CBS 5's investigative unit.
Since joining CBS 5 in late 2004, she has conducted investigations throughout the Bay Area, ranging from her 2006 Emmy-award winning story on housing fraud in the East Bay to toxic contamination in the South and North Bay to dangerous risks posed by Kaiser's San Francisco kidney transplant program. Her series of stories on the Kaiser transplant unit resulted in the entire unit being shutdown and over 2,000 patients being sent to other hospitals for their care.
Anna's investigative abilities first gained nationwide acclaim when she initiated the national investigation of defective Firestone tires on Ford Explorers, breaking a story which resulted in the largest worldwide tire recall in history. After winning Dupont and Peabody awards for her Firestone stories, she won both of these awards again when she uncovered a pattern of poorly performed DNA analysis by the Houston police crime lab which resulted in a pardon for one wrongfully convicted teenager, the crime lab closing, the chief of police resigning, and 1500 DNA samples being reexamined.
Anna's work has won numerous other awards, including three Society of Professional Journalists awards, two national Edward R. Murrow awards, two Investigative Reporters and Editors awards, a George R. Polk Award, a National Headliner award, and a total of seventeen Emmy Awards. She has also been named "Television Journalist of the Year" by the Houston Press Club.
A Chicago area native, before coming to CBS 5 Anna worked at the CBS affiliate in Houston, in Indianapolis, and in several cities in Illinois.
Daniel Zwerdling is a correspondent in NPR’s Investigations Unit. His stories have repeatedly attracted national attention and generated national action. Over the past few years, Zwerdling’s series on the domestic impact of the wars has revealed that many military commanders, from the Pentagon to platoons, have neglected and mistreated troops who come home with serious mental health disorders such as post traumatic stress disorder. Zwerdling has won the most prestigious awards in broadcasting, including the DuPont, Peabody, Polk, Edward R. Murrow, Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Robert F. Kennedy and DART awards for investigative reporting. He won the Overseas Press Club Foundation award for live coverage of breaking international news, the American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism Award, the National Press Club Award for consumer reporting, the Ohio State awards for international reporting, the James Beard award for reporting on the food industry, and the Champion-Tuck Award for economic reporting.
The panel explains the failings and complications that ensue when "journalists" become police, as with the hidden camera investigations by the television newsmagazine Dateline NBC on To Catch a Predator.