This month, the center opened a new exhibit on the history of the news media, The Pioneers Who Changed TV News. The exhibit focuses on the CBS show 60 Minutes, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Conceived as a “a kind of magazine for television,” it has become one of the most important, and at times controversial, news programs. The exhibit draws from the archives of the show’s individual producers and correspondents that are housed at the center. While they give visitors a backstage pass to the show’s inner workings, the primary value of these archives lies in what they reveal about American history. They allow us to track the events, personalities, and trends of the past through the critical eyes of the professionals who documented and researched them at the time. I hope you can come by the center and view The Pioneers Who Changed TV News before it closes at the end of the semester.
I would be remiss not to pay tribute to Marion Goldin, a producer for 60 Minutes, who donated her archives to the center last year, shortly before she died. Marion started at CBS as a research assistant for national correspondent Eric Sevareid. In 1972 she joined 60 Minutes, and over the course of the next 15 years she helped bring to the screen a broad array of reports covering topics such as Watergate, mafia bosses, child abduction, and civil rights. Awarded four Emmys for her work, Marion battled against sexism and chauvinism to become one of the industry’s most respected producers.
The Pioneers Who Changed TV News was made possible by the generosity of the Marion Goldin Charitable Gift Fund, which she established before she died. I’m grateful to Marion for making the exhibit possible and for her inspiring example of determination and diligence. I was proud to honor Marion and her legacy at the opening reception for the exhibit earlier this month. We were joined that night by Sharyn Alfonsi, a current correspondent with 60 Minutes. Thank you for joining us, Sharyn. I look forward to collaborating with you in the future.
Thanks are also due to Paul Stekler, Doug Sloan, and Alison Owings, all of whom have generously contributed their time, efforts, and energies to the Briscoe Center’s public programming over the past six weeks. In September Paul spoke to us about George Wallace’s 1968 presidential campaign. Paul is a filmmaker whose archives are housed at the center. He covered the clamor and color of the Wallace campaign inhis 2000 film George Wallace: Settin’ the Woods on Fire, a portion of which he shared with our audience. On October 9, Doug kindly shared a preview of his documentary film in progress, The Moment of Truth, which uses photojournalist Eddie Adams’s Pulitzer Prize–winning image “Saigon Execution” to explore the ways that photographs capture and present the past. Finally, on October 17 Alison, a former news writer and now an oral historian, spoke to us about gender discrimination in the news media, an issue that has affected her personally and is covered extensively in a collection she donated to the center last year. Alison also spoke to students at the School of Journalism taking Dr. Mary Bock’s class “Gender and the News.” To Paul, Doug, and Alison: thank you so much for your indispensable contributions to the center’s programming.
The center’s fall programming concludes on November 1 with “1968: Perspectives from Paris, Prague, and Chicago,” a talk by Dr. James Galbraith. To guarantee a seat, RSVP to: email@example.com or call (512) 495-4609. While Dr. Galbraith’s talk is the last program we have planned for the fall, our current exhibits—including The Pioneers Who Changed TV News and 1968: The Year the Dream Died—will be on display through December 21.
Don Carleton, Ph.D.
J. R. Parten Chair in the Archives of American History