WKSU and Western Reserve PBS Examine Vietnam’s Legacy 40 Years Later

Collaboration includes radio reports and documentary film

The WKSU newsroom looks back at two significant historical events, presented in collaboration with Western Reserve PBS. As the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War approaches, Western Reserve PBS (WNEO/WEAO) joins with a national PBS effort to examine ramifications that are still being felt today of that deadly conflict. A focal point of the public television station’s coverage is a broadcast on April 28 of the Oscar-nominated documentary The Last Days of Vietnam, directed by Rory Kennedy and part of PBS’ American Experience program. 

Beginning on April 13, WKSU will broadcast Looking Back at Vietnam, a series that includes reports on Vietnam vets, Hmong immigrants, the media’s reaction to the war and a deeper look into the PBS documentary. WKSU’s effort continues with stories related to the 45th anniversary of the shootings at Kent State University on May 4, 1970. The clash between protesting college students and National Guard troops left four dead and nine wounded and is credited for building anti-war sentiment in the U.S.

In tandem with the WKSU broadcasts, Western Reserve PBS will air topically related 90-second vignettes during prime time. The vignettes are the work of Kent State student Daniel Henderson, who is a sophomore in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. 

Scheduled broadcasts include:  
April 13

  • WKSU: Vietnam Vets at 40: The Lives of Local Vets, Now and Then – Tim Rudell (Morning Edition)
  • Western Reserve PBS: A look at why Vietnam veterans continue to gather and examples of their brotherhood
  • WKSU: Learning From Vietnam: The lessons learned from the U.S. involvement in Vietnam and how that has affected U.S. military involvement in other conflicts since then – Kevin Niedermier (Here and Now and All Things Considered)
  • Western Reserve PBS: The impact of the Vietnam War and the subsequent changes in training at the college level

April 20

  • WKSU: The Immigrants: Immigrant Hmong communities in Northeast Ohio and the lasting impact of the war along with the challenges they faced/continue to face in becoming Americans – M.L. Schultze (Morning Edition)
  • Western Reserve PBS: Discussions with the children and grandchildren of Vietnam-era refugees living in Northeast Ohio
  • WKSU: The Lens of the Media, Then and Now: Local reporters who covered both Vietnam and May 4 at Kent State reflect on past and present events – Kabir Bhatia (All Things Considered)
  • Western Reserve PBS: A comparison between the impact of social media today on news gathering and media delivery methods during the Vietnam era

April 27

  • WKSU: Last Days in Vietnam: A two-part interview with the documentary’s producer and writer, Keven McAlester – Amanda Rabinowitz (Part 1 during Morning Edition, Part 2 during Here and Now and All Things Considered)
  • Western Reserve PBS: An interview with a local documentary filmmaker who has had a project in the works for over 20 years

May 4

  • WKSU: May 4 – A Lens on History: Examining a newly released video of the burning of the Kent State ROTC building on May 2, 1970, and a discussion with the person behind the camera – Jeff St. Clair (Morning Edition)
  • Western Reserve PBS: Current students at Kent State share their impressions of May 4, 1970
  • WKSU: The Lasting Impact on the Arts: A look at the impression the war made and continues to make on all forms of art through a local and national lens – Vivian Goodman (Here and Now and All Things Considered)
  • Western Reserve PBS: Vietnam-era Photographers: Where Are They Now?

Both public broadcasters support on-air programming with additional information online. WKSU’s audio reports will be posted as they air along with support materials at www.wksu.org/rememberingvietnam. Western Reserve PBS coverage will be posted at www.westernreservepublicmedia.org/vietnam. WKSU airs Northeast Ohio-based and statewide news reports daily during station broadcasts of NPR’s Morning Edition (Monday-Friday, 5-9 a.m.), Here and Now (Monday-Friday, noon-2 p.m.) and All Things Considered (Monday-Friday, 4-6 p.m. and 6:30-7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 5-6 p.m.)

WKSU’s reports on Vietnam and May 4 are made possible in part with support from Kent State’s May 4 Visitors Center, County of Summit – ADM Board and the Cleveland Public Library.

For more information about WKSU, visit www.wksu.org.

For more information about Western Reserve PBS, visit www.WesternReservePublicMedia.org or call 1-800-554-4549.

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Media Contacts:
Ann VerWiebe, WKSU, verwiebe@wksu.org, 330-672-9153
Diane Steinert, Western Reserve Public Media, dsteinert@westernreservepublicmedia.org, 330-677-4549

POSTED: Friday, April 10, 2015 - 2:46pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 1:10pm
Ann VerWiebe