Roger Ailes founded Fox News, kicked off #MeToo, and helped elect Donald Trump. “It was about using Roger's story to try to make sense of where we were as a country...it gave us a point of entry to a difficult, complicated, national moment,” says Producer Will Cohen. In this episode of On Assignment, Cohen discusses navigating Fox News for access, the challenge of profiling a dead man, and how Ailes influenced the current media and political climate.
“RBG” Directors Julie Cohen and Betsy West plus Executive Producer Amy Entelis talk the power of optimism, the challenging rules for filming in the Supreme Court, and how RBG herself reacted to seeing the film for the first time in front of a sold out audience at Sundance.
When you spend 15 years on a story, you tend to get so close to your sources, they sometimes get jealous: “They felt as if I was in some ways cheating on them by talking with other people.” Lukas Prize winning author Isabel Wilkerson talks about how to navigate source relationships in her immersive book “The Warmth of Other Suns”.
“So a kid did scribble on a sidewalk. Is that technically vandalism? Sure. But is the best way to handle it really for the officer to arrest that kid?
As the new school year begins, a new On Assignment episode explores how schools across the country are disciplining students...by arresting them.
“If we think it's vital to the story we'll probably do whatever it takes to make it happen.” ABC15’s Dave Biscobing on his relentless, 2018 duPont-winning series that showed a self-described “advocacy” group was really “advocating” to put millions in their own pockets.
“Our stories in the end are (less) about sports - they're about power or culture or you know triumph over adversity or human rights. It is almost like a Trojan horse to get inside and then ask the human rights questions.”
“Going into Syria itself at the point where we started shooting was basically a suicide mission. Not so much the risks of combat, but the risk of being kidnapped, sold to ISIS and having your head cut off. So we were making a film about the Syrian civil war and we couldn't shoot in the Syrian civil war.”
Zoe Chace of This American Life and Michael Barbaro of The Daily speak about the rewards and challenges of making stories for audio, the "tyranny of the good talker," and the sense of intimacy that comes from the voice alone.
“The solution to this whole fake news crisis is not being sucked into it, and covering the story. What we don't want to do is do 'he said, she said' journalism. It's not very good for clicks though.”
“When we were in the back of a van crossing Hungary to Vienna, the driver was drunk and all the smugglers had AK-47s... and I remember my cousin looking at me like, I hope you're not filming. But I was secretly holding the camera.”
"Some people are like, 'Oh I love This American Life!' Those are usually the worst talkers because they're performing for their idea of what This American Life is."
Brian Knappenberger, director of the Netflix documentary Nobody Speak, came to the Journalism School for Q&A about press freedom, the tabloid industry, and the Hulk Hogan/Gawker scandal.
"There are a lot of people who now appreciate this kind of journalism in a way they took for granted five years ago. They recognize the need for a vital and active press in a time like this."
"It struck me how quickly the facts of a life just start to immediately disappear when someone dies."
"For almost every one of these individuals, they're talking about things that happened yesterday for them, or that they will carry with them for many years to come."
"We always knew he was an absolutely deplorable person who had done horrible things to our nation. That being said, we wanted to really understand him."
On Assignment speaks with Kate Howard, a veteran investigative reporter for WFPL’s Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, who shares her essential tips for doing a 15-minute background check on your sources.
NBC Anchor and Correspondent Kate Snow, who won a 2017 duPont-Columbia Award for her Dateline NBC report, “The Cosby Accusers Speak,” talks with On Assignment about her experience reporting on 27 of the women who accused Bill Cosby of sexual harassment and assault.
"When you do [a story] this big, it's really easy to get swept up into things. It's a rollercoaster that you kind of have to ride. There are really good times and there are really difficult times."
"I had the Portuguese television station on one side, and my mother on another phone crying and begging me not to leave the house. And I had to tell her 'Mom, this is this is my life.'"