PBS Relaunches NewsHour
December 7, 2009
ARLINGTON, VA.: PBS relaunched
its long-time news franchise last night as the “PBS Newshour,” removing iconic
anchor Jim Lehrer’s name after more than three decades. Lehrer, sole anchor of
the program since Robert MacNeil left in 1995, will be joined by senior
correspondents Judy Woodruff, Gwen Ifill and Jeffrey Brown at the helm of the
show. It will feature a new graphics package, more field reports, the addition
of Hari Sreenivasan, formerly of CBS News, who will post “The Rundown,” the
show’s new daily blog.
The changes are being done in part to extend the franchise further on the Web.
The graphics package will carry over on the redesigned Web site, relaunched
Dec. 3. In addition to the news blog, the site features video news summaries and
verticals “created to capitalize on the personalities and strengths of various
correspondents,” PBS said. E.g., economic correspondent Paul Solman’s business
Desk and Jeff Brown’s Art Beat--as well as other correspondents and reporting
Producers will also collaborate more with other public broadcasting
contributors, including the makers of “Frontline,” National Public Radio and
local public media creators. Collaborations have also been announced with the Christian Science Monitor and GlobalPost, the news site founded by the
former president of the New England Cable News Network and a veteran foreign
correspondent for The Boston Globe.
Lehrer emphasized the NewsHour’s journalistic commitment when he signed off
of the show on Friday.
“People often ask me if there are guidelines in our practice of what I like to
call MacNeil/Lehrer journalism. Well, yes, there are. And here they are:
--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
--Do not use anonymous sources or blind quotes, except on rare and monumental
--No one should ever be allowed to attack another anonymously.
--And, finally, I am not in the entertainment business.”
Lehrer’s comments and reaction to them is available at the new “NewsHour”