Jim Lehrer

News Anchor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his nearly three-hour Archive interview, Jim Lehrer talks about his early years as a newspaper reporter and his transition to broadcast journalist. He describes being in Dallas on the day of President Kennedy's assassination in 1963 - Lehrer asked the Secret Service if the protective bubble would be on the President's car and ponders how that may have affected the day's events. He talks about becoming a news anchor for PBS in its formative years, and the challenges that came along with it. Lehrer recalls covering the Watergate hearings, where he was first partnered with Robert MacNeil - the man who would act as his co-anchor for several years thereafter. He speaks of NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, aka PBS NewsHour, the groundbreaking and award-winning newscast he first hosted with Robert MacNeil, and later solo. He concludes by discussing how the industry has changed and offers advice to aspiring journalists. Don Carleton conducted the interview on May 21, 2001 in Arlington, VA. 

"It is not a journalist's job to change the world. A journalist's job is to see what's happening in the world and report that to others, who will then change it." 

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Jim Lehrer on covering the assassination of John F. Kennedy
Jim Lehrer on covering the Vietnam War
Jim Lehrer on his favorite memories of NewsHour with Jim Lehrer aka PBS NewsHour
Jim Lehrer on what makes a good interview
Jim Lehrer on advice to aspiring broadcast journalists
Jim Lehrer on NewsHour with Jim Lehrer aka PBS NewsHour competing with the networks
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his early life and influences; on his experience growing up during World War II; on radio programs he enjoyed growing up
On going to work for "The Dallas Morning News"; on meeting his wife; on reporting for "The Times Dallas Herald" 

Chapter 2

On covering the assassination of John F. Kennedy; on the JFK Memorial in Dallas
On joining the public television station KERA in Dallas and making the transition from print to television journalism

Chapter 3

On why he moved over to television; on producing the news for KERA; on PBS's VD Blues program
On going to PBS; on drafting a new code of Standards and Practices for PBS news; on teaming up with Robert MacNeil to cover Watergate

Chapter 4

On meeting Robert MacNeil; on interviewing; on covering Vietnam
On the formation of NewsHour with Jim Lehrer  aka PBS NewsHour; on expanding the show to an hour; on his and Robert MacNeil's strengths

Chapter 5

On NewsHour with Jim Lehrer aka PBS NewsHour; on the program competing with the networks; on what makes a good interview
On advice to aspiring broadcast journalists; on changes in broadcast journalism since he began; on Robert MacNeil leaving NewsHour with Jim Lehrer aka PBS NewsHour
Shows

NewsHour with Jim Lehrer aka PBS NewsHour

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Jim Lehrer on the formation of NewsHour with Jim Lehrer aka PBS NewsHour
Jim Lehrer on his and Robert MacNeil's strengths and his audience
Jim Lehrer on his favorite memories of NewsHour with Jim Lehrer aka PBS NewsHour
Jim Lehrer on NewsHour with Jim Lehrer aka PBS NewsHour competing with the networks
Jim Lehrer on the underwriting of NewsHour with Jim Lehrer aka PBS NewsHour
Jim Lehrer on Robert MacNeil leaving NewsHour with Jim Lehrer aka PBS NewsHour
Topics

Advice

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Jim Lehrer on advice to aspiring broadcast journalists

Censorship / Standards & Practices

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Jim Lehrer on drafting a new code of Standards and Practices for PBS news

Historic Events and Social Change

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Jim Lehrer on his experience growing up during World War II
Jim Lehrer on covering the assassination of John F. Kennedy
Jim Lehrer on the JFK Memorial in Dallas
Jim Lehrer on joining up with Robert MacNeil and covering the Watergate hearings
Jim Lehrer on covering the Vietnam War

JFK Assassination and Funeral

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Jim Lehrer on covering the assassination of John F. Kennedy
Jim Lehrer on the JFK Memorial in Dallas

John F. Kennedy

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Jim Lehrer on covering the assassination of John F. Kennedy
Jim Lehrer on the JFK Memorial in Dallas

Richard M. Nixon

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Jim Lehrer on joining up with Robert MacNeil and covering the Watergate hearings

Television Industry

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Jim Lehrer on drafting a new code of Standards and Practices for PBS news
Jim Lehrer on advice to aspiring broadcast journalists

Television and the Presidency

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Jim Lehrer on covering the assassination of John F. Kennedy
Jim Lehrer on the JFK Memorial in Dallas
Jim Lehrer on joining up with Robert MacNeil and covering the Watergate hearings

Vietnam War

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Jim Lehrer on covering the Vietnam War

War

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Jim Lehrer on his experience growing up during World War II
Jim Lehrer on covering the Vietnam War

World War II

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Jim Lehrer on his experience growing up during World War II
Professions

Anchor

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Jim Lehrer on interviewing
Jim Lehrer on what makes a good interview
Jim Lehrer on advice to aspiring broadcast journalists

Journalists & News Producers

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Jim Lehrer on interviewing
Jim Lehrer on what makes a good interview
Jim Lehrer on advice to aspiring broadcast journalists
People

Fred Friendly

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Jim Lehrer on joining the public television station KERA in Dallas and making the transition from print to television journalism

John F. Kennedy

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Jim Lehrer on covering the assassination of John F. Kennedy

Robert MacNeil

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Jim Lehrer on joining up with Robert MacNeil and covering the Watergate hearings
Jim Lehrer on his and Robert MacNeil's strengths and his audience
Jim Lehrer on his favorite memories of NewsHour with Jim Lehrer aka PBS NewsHour
Jim Lehrer on Robert MacNeil leaving NewsHour with Jim Lehrer aka PBS NewsHour

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