Ken Burns, the Emmy-Award winning documentarian, is known for illuminating American life through renowned films including “Country Music,” “The Civil War,” “Jazz,” “The Statue of Liberty,” “The Vietnam War,” and “Baseball.” By chronicling seminal moments in our country’s past, he has provided context and perspective on many of the unprecedented cultural, political and racial challenges we face today. Burns has also created a web page – UNUM – to explore the intersection of current events and history.
Does Ken Burns believe our nation is at a societal inflection point? And how much time must pass to reflect objectively on this tumultuous year?
Join moderator Marvin Kalb in a conversation with Ken Burns via a live stream special event that will be presented on Monday, July 27 at 1 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Evan Barlow
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April 15, 2019
In 1865, Jules Verne wrote the science fiction novel “From the Earth to the Moon and a Trip Around it.” Nearly 105 years later, Michael Collins “lived” what Jules Verne could only imagine.
In July of 1969, against the backdrop of the raging war in Vietnam and the social upheaval in American society, the eyes of the world turned skyward as three American astronauts roared their way toward history. In what has been described as the greatest technological achievement of the 20th century, Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin fulfilled President John F. Kennedy’s commitment to “achieving the goal, before the end of the decade, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.”
On April 15, 2019, Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins joins moderator Marvin Kalb to discuss the impact of his historic mission on the nation, the world and humankind.
Having spent more than 40 years in broadcast journalism, having grown up in a family dedicated to public service, and having been named a “living legend” by the Library of Congress, Cokie Roberts is uniquely qualified to provide context and perspective on today’s hyper-partisan politics, the current media landscape, and their combined impact on the state of our democracy.
On April 1, 2019, Roberts, who has been a mainstay of NPR since 1978 and ABC News since 1988, joins moderator Marvin Kalb at the National Press Club as part of the 25th anniversary season of the multi-award winning Kalb Report public broadcasting series.
October 1, 2018
From the introduction of so-called “alternative facts” to charges of “fake news,” the Trump Administration has engaged in a relentless assault on the press. Journalists have responded with their own relentless coverage of an administration brimming with controversy and leaks.
How are journalists holding up under withering criticism from this administration -- criticism that has been linked to death threats and physical assaults? How are news organizations responding? Are journalists "raising the bar” in the quality of their reporting or further blurring the lines between fact, speculation and opinion?
Legendary journalist Ted Koppel, and media correspondents Brian Stelter of CNN, David Folkenflik of NPR / WBUR and Emily Rooney of WGBH Television in Boston join moderator Marvin Kalb for a conversation on the roles and responsibilities of the press in covering a White House that consistently attempts to undermine its legitimacy.
April 16, 2018
Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election may be just the tip of the iceberg for a former world power that is dealing with a crumbling economy and diminished reputation on the world stage.
With Vladimir Putin’s reelection to another six-year term as president, what is the Russian leader’s end game? Is Moscow trying to destabilize democracies around the world, including the mid-term elections in the U.S., in order to bolster its own self-importance? And what role is the Trump administration wittingly or unwittingly playing in Putin’s plans.
On April 16, 2018, at the National Press Club, New York Times Chief White House Correspondent Peter Baker, Brookings Institution President Gen. John Allen, NPR All Things Considered host Mary Louise Kelly and American Enterprise Institute Scholar Leon Aron join moderator Marvin Kalb to discuss Russia, Putin and his possible trump card.
October 16, 2017
The President of the United States has challenged the legitimacy of journalism. What is his intent and can he succeed? What is the proper response from the journalistic community? Are some news organizations “out to get him” as backers of the president have alleged? Is President Trump actually good for the news business that he routinely assails?
While the president has riled up his base by repeatedly accusing venerable news organizations of peddling “fake news” and being “enemies of the American people,” two of nation’s most respected newspapers — The New York Times and The Washington Post — are experiencing record numbers of digital subscriptions.
On October 16, at the National Press Club, New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet and Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron will join moderator Marvin Kalb to discuss the administration’s threats to press freedom and the extraordinary relationship between the president of the United States and the media.
April 8, 2017
The White House has launched an all-out war against the press terming several news organizations, including CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, and The New York Times, the “enemy of the American people,” and their work, “fake news.” The president’s chief strategist has called the press “the opposition party” and has said the media should “keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while.”
On Saturday, April 8, CNN anchor Jake Tapper and Washington Post political reporter David Fahrenthold join Marvin Kalb to discuss coverage of the new administration, the responsibility of the press in a democracy, and life in the crosshairs of Donald Trump’s tweets.
December 5, 2016
The Commission on Presidential Debates once again brought the candidates together in 2016 to face tough questions on critical issues while providing a level of substance, dignity and decorum to the presidential campaign.
Did it work?
On this edition of The Kalb Report, debate moderators Martha Raddatz and Chris Wallace, as well as Commission co-chairs Frank Fahrenkopf and Mike McCurry join Marvin Kalb to review the remarkable 2016 events that rocked America and the world.
From his Pulitzer-prize winning biographies John Adams and Truman, to his distinctive narration of Ken Burns’ seminal documentaries “The Civil War” and “Baseball,” David McCullough is perhaps America’s most recognized storyteller.
On this special daytime edition of The Kalb Report, moderator Marvin Kalb and McCullough, the renowned author and historian, discuss our founding fathers (and mothers), freedom of the press and the challenges facing our democracy today.
In a distinguished network television career that began with her coverage of Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign for NBC News, Judy Woodruff has remained at the pinnacle of broadcast journalism for 40 years. Having served as chief White House correspondent for NBC and PBS, the host of CNN’s Inside Politics, and now co-anchor and managing editor of PBS NewsHour, Woodruff has had a front row seat to world events, as well as some of the most notable campaigns, elections, and political scandals in American history.
On this edition of The Kalb Report, moderator Marvin Kalb and Judy Woodruff discuss an American presidential campaign that has defied conventional wisdom, coverage of today’s global news, world press freedom, women in journalism, and the challenges public television faces in a perceived partisan media landscape.
November 9, 2015
For more than 60 years, Americans have turned to network television on Sunday morning for intelligent, insightful discourse on issues of politics and public policy. A proud history, however, does not guarantee future success in a digital world and a dramatically changing television landscape. On this edition of The Kalb Report, moderator Marvin Kalb explores the past, present and future of Sunday talk with the hosts of the two highest rated and longest airing public affairs programs -- Chuck Todd of NBC’s “Meet the Press” and John Dickerson of CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
September 28, 2015
On January 25, 2015, Rob Manfred became just the tenth person in history to hold the office of Commissioner of Baseball.
In the 22nd season opener of The Kalb Report, legendary journalist and lifetime baseball fan Marvin Kalb explores the beauty, simplicity, complexity, humor and historical significance of our national pastime with the man now charged with overseeing the sport and maintaining its integrity.
June 1, 2015
From Thomas Jefferson, who maintained that "advertisements" were the "most truthful part of a newspaper," to Jimmy Carter, who lamented that his ancestors included "thieves...and journalists," the relationship between our presidents and the press has been a long and tumultuous affair.
On this edition of The Kalb Report, experts from both sides of the White House gates join moderator Marvin Kalb to discuss the sometimes nasty but always necessary relationship between the President of the United States and the press corps. Guests include former ABC News White House correspondent Ann Compton, Fox News Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry, USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page, former White House press secretary Mike McCurry, and historian Harold Holzer, author of “Lincoln and the Power of the Press.”
March 23, 2015
We live in an age when people "read CNN" and "watch The Wall Street Journal." As venerable news organizations transform themselves to survive and thrive in a digital world, new competitors are attracting huge audiences, unencumbered by old infrastructures and empowered by technology.
This dynamic is driving innovation in the way news is gathered, sorted, reported and consumed. Not since Edward R. Murrow invented broadcast news during World War II has the world seen such a dramatic change in journalism. Just as important, Murrow established a standard of quality that has withstood the test of time.
On this edition of The Kalb Report, moderator Marvin Kalb explores how today's newsrooms can innovate while maintaining quality. Guests include CNN Senior Vice President and Washington Bureau Chief Sam Feist, BuzzFeed White House Reporter Evan McMorris-Santoro, Jon Sawyer, director of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and Wall Street Journal Deputy Managing Editor Gabriella Stern.
December 9, 2014
Each week, an average of more than 27 million people tune in to National Public Radio (NPR) programming, placing listenership at near-record highs. So, in this digital age, what is the secret to the stunning success of America’s original electronic medium?
Join journalist/scholar Marvin Kalb for the next edition of The Kalb Report when NPR icons Steve Inskeep, Mara Liasson, Scott Simon, Susan Stamberg, and Nina Totenberg discuss craft and impact, the art of storytelling, and the magic of radio.
On June 17, 1972 a simple botched break-in at the Democratic National Committee Headquarters in Washington, DC captured the attention of two intrepid reporters who uncovered a trail of corruption that led all the way up to our Commander-in-Chief.
On this edition of The Kalb Report, Pulitzer Prize winning reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein join journalist/scholar Marvin Kalb to recount their coverage of the Watergate scandal and the groundbreaking reporting that ultimately resulted in the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon 40 years ago.
April 17, 2014
One sentence, just 45 words in length, proclaims and promises the freedoms that define American democracy. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and the right to petition one’s government. It is the duty of the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States to interpret the constitution and to rule on the legality of legislation.
On this edition of The Kalb Report, Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg join journalist/scholar Marvin Kalb to offer their views of those 45 words in a rare glimpse behind the gavel and inside one of our nation’s vital branches of government.