Sunday, January 25, 2009

This is How It Should Be Done

Western Reserve Public Media, the Akron/Youngstown PBS affiliate, aired one of the best documentaries today that I've ever seen about a regional subject. Great Erie: Ohio's Great Lake nicely covered the subject from both an historical and contemporary angle, calling upon a wide mix of well-informed talking heads (including my friend Carol Poh) to patiently tell the story. It was produced by the Toledo PBS affiliate, WGTE, with funding from the Ohio Humanities Council. I hope you get to see it in full somewhere (I'll try to check listings and let you know), but even if you only watch the substantial clip in the link I've provided, you may perhaps have the same two reactions I did: what a nice piece of work, and why can't WVIZ, with its larger budget, produce such wonderful programs? For years, the station's local and regional documentaries have inevitably seemed amateurish. I hope the folks at WVIZ have seen this program and reacted by vowing to try to match its quality.


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