'Frontline': The Best News Program on Television
[I]n my view, the best news program on television is Frontline, the PBS series that has been on the air since 1983 and has produced 530 documentaries (a total of 640 hours of programming) with consistent quality, technical skill, and provocative intent. And yet compared to programs that offer much less of substance, Frontline, with a weekly audience of 2.7 million, seems far less visible than it deserves. Aside from its regular slots on virtually all PBS stations, Frontline maintains one of the outstanding websites on the Internet. Right now, you can watch 107 full hours of Frontline programs, each supplemented with additional material intended to provide context and depth to what is on the air.
Frontline was created in 1983 by David Fanning, who as executive producer has led a small Boston-based team (housed at WGBH) that has won more awards than any other program staff in television history. Okay, I can’t prove that to be the case, but it takes nine pages to print out the prizes, including, uniquely, a 2003 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Public Service in recognition of its collaboration with the New York Times on a devastating portrait of workplace hazards. The full roster includes 45 Emmys, 24 duPont-Columbia University Awards (including two Gold Batons for its “total contribution to the world of exceptional television”), 13 Peabody Awards, and 11 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism awards, as well as scores of others.
Continue reading… Peter Osnos, TheAtlantic