Roberta Baskin became executive director of the Center for Public Integrity in January 2005, taking over from founder Charles Lewis, whose leadership laid the groundwork for a new kind of non-partisan, not-for-profit watchdog journalism.
In her long journalism career, Baskin has won 75 journalism awards, including two duPont-Columbia University Awards and two George Foster Peabody Awards for her investigative reporting. Most recently she was senior Washington correspondent for Now with Bill Moyers, where she reported primarily on money and influence peddling in the federal government. Previously, as senior producer for the ABC news magazine 20/20, Baskin directed all of the program’s consumer investigative reports. She also managed the Washington bureau staff of 20/20 and Primetime, supervising producers, correspondents, editors and photographers. Baskin joined ABC from CBS News where she was chief investigative correspondent for the news magazine 48 Hours and contributed special reports to CBS Evening News. She began her journalism career as an investigative reporter on local news in Chicago and Washington, DC where her investigations led to changes in state and federal laws, business practices and public policy. Baskin has been honored with a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University and an Ethics Fellowship at the Poynter Institute in 2002. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Fund for Investigative Journalism and Investigative Reporters and Editors. She now serves on the Boards of the Center for Public Integrity, the Fund for Independence in Journalism and the Nieman Foundation’s Advisory Board chairing the strategy committee.
Brad Belote is the executive producer for KY3, the NBC affiliate in Springfield, MO. Belote oversees KY3’s top-rated newscasts and is involved in long-term and strategic planning. Previously, he produced the 10 p.m. newscast at KY3. He also has worked at stations in Kingsport, TN, and Columbia, MO. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
Kathy Bissen has been the Executive Producer of News and Public Affairs at Wisconsin Public Television since October 1998. She is responsible for overseeing all news and documentary production for the statewide network. Under her leadership, the N&PA unit has won numerous awards including three regional Emmys for documentary production, and two prestigious USC Annenberg Walter Cronkite Awards for Excellence in Television Political Journalism for coverage of the 2002 and 2004 election seasons. Prior to assuming her current position, Bissen co-produced The 30-Second Candidate, an hour-long PBS documentary on political advertising, which won a national Emmy Award. She was also the executive producer of State of the Union, a series of PBS specials, and Citizens '96, a national PBS civic journalism project focused on getting citizen voices and concerns into the public dialogue during the 1996 election year. She was co-founder and executive producer of GET REAL!, a unique children's series broadcast on both commercial and public television throughout the Midwest. Under her guidance GET REAL! won three national Parents' Choice Awards as well as awards from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Central Educational Network and three regional Emmys. Prior to coming to WPT, Bissen worked as a commercial news reporter and anchor at an NBC affiliate. She has reported extensively on political, educational and environmental issues.
Aaron Brown brings more than 25 years of journalism experience to his role as a lead anchor during breaking news and special events as well as anchor of NewsNight With Aaron Brown, CNN's flagship evening newscast. Brown also serves as host of CNN Presents, CNN's documentary series. Brown is based in the network's New York bureau.
Less than an hour after the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York on Sept. 11, Brown began covering the unparalleled event from a rooftop in New York City. His continuing live coverage from several points in New York City, including Ground Zero, provided CNN audiences with constant updates and insight as the crisis turned into a search-and-rescue mission then evolved into a war on terrorism. Since then, he has covered numerous news events for CNN, including the ongoing war on terrorism, Election 2002, the D.C.-area sniper and the aftermath of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. During 2003's war in Iraq, Brown anchored from the network's headquarters in Atlanta, providing viewers with the latest information from frontlines' reports as well as from Central Command in Doha, Qatar, and Washington, D.C. Previously, Brown was the anchor of ABC's World News Tonight Saturday and reported for World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, Nightline and other ABC news broadcasts. He was the founding anchor of ABC's World News Now. Brown played a lead role in covering many news stories and spent a year reporting and covering the tobacco industry. As an essayist for ABC News, Brown covered subjects ranging from the impeachment of President Bill Clinton to the life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Before joining ABC News, Brown anchored the evening newscast for KIRO-TV in Seattle. Before that, he spent 10 years at Seattle's KING-TV as a reporter and anchor. Brown has garnered a number of awards including three Emmy awards, a duPont-Columbia Award, a New York Film Festival World Medal and several Sigma Delta Chi awards for political, general and sports news reporting as well as in the category of Outstanding Documentary. Brown is a native of Hopkins, MN, and began his broadcasting career as a radio talk show host in Minneapolis and later in Los Angeles.
Michael Cate has produced Up Front with Robert Mak, a weekly public affairs program with a focus on politics and elections, for KING TV in Seattle, WA, since 2001. He joined the NBC affiliate in 1985. For eight years, he produced The Compton Report, an issues-oriented public affairs program hosted by former NBC correspondent Jim Compton. Cate has also produced special programming including election night coverage, documentaries and candidate debates. Cate received the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism for KING TV's Ad Watch campaign in 2000, examining claims in political commercials. He also has received nine regional Emmy awards, the Excellence in Legal Journalism Award from the Washington State Bar Association, as well as awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press and the Association of Religious Broadcasters. Cate holds a master's degree in communications from New York University and a bachelor's degree in history from Carleton College in Northfield, MN.
Walter Cronkite has covered virtually every news event during his more than 60 years in journalism – the last 50 affiliated with CBS News. He became a special correspondent for CBS News when he stepped down on March 6, 1981, after 19 years as anchorman and managing editor of the CBS Evening News. Mr. Cronkite's accomplishments have won him acclaim and trust from journalism colleagues and the American public alike.
As a United Press correspondent, Mr. Cronkite covered World War II – landing with the invading Allied troops in North Africa, covering the battle of the North Atlantic in 1942 and taking part in the Normandy beachhead assaults in 1944. After reporting the German surrender, Mr. Cronkite established United Press bureaus in Europe, was named United Press bureau chief in Brussels and covered the Nuremberg trials of Goering, Hess and other high-level Nazis.
In July 1950, Mr. Cronkite joined CBS News in Washington as a correspondent and was anchorman for their political convention and election coverage from 1952 to 1980. On April 16, 1962, he assumed his duties on the CBS Evening News, which began as a 15-minute broadcast. On September 2, 1963, it debuted as network television's first half-hour weeknight news broadcast with Mr. Cronkite's headline-making interview with President John F. Kennedy.
Mr. Cronkite was the only journalist to be voted among the top 10 "most influential decision-makers in America" in surveys conducted by U.S. News and World Report and also was named the "most influential person" in broadcasting. In a nationwide viewer opinion survey conducted as recently as 1995, more than a decade after leaving the CBS anchor desk, he again was voted "Most Trusted Man in Television News."
Currently Mr. Cronkite maintains a demanding, international lecture and public appearance schedule and hosts many public affairs and cultural programs. In 1993 he co-founded The Cronkite Ward Company, which has produced more than 60 award-winning documentary hours for The Discovery Channel, PBS and other networks.
His first book, Eye on the World (Cowles, 1971), is an edited compendium of CBS News reporting on the major trends and stories of 1970. In 1996, Mr. Cronkite completed his autobiography, A Reporter's Life, published by Knopf. Mr. Cronkite lives in New York City.
Pat Dean is the associate director of the School of Journalism, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California. She also teaches television news reporting classes. Her research interests focus on local television news and reporting on public policy issues. Dean joined USC in 2003 from Northwestern University where she taught at the Medill School of Journalism for 16 years. She also served as Chair of the Broadcast News sequence for six years. Dean taught television news writing, reporting and producing, as well as a seminar on ethical issues facing decision makers in television newsrooms. Dean was honored for her teaching in 1999 with the prestigious Northwestern Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award.
Prior to joining Northwestern in 1987, Dean was a professional broadcast journalist for more than 18 years. She worked for three network owned stations in Chicago: WMAQ-TV (NBC), WLS-TV (ABC) and WBBM-TV (CBS). She was a news show producer, executive producer, writer/producer for two award winning investigative units and director of programming. Her work has been honored with numerous awards, including two George Foster Peabody Awards, two Chicago Television Academy Emmy Awards, the Gavel Award of the American Bar Association, and the National Press Club Award for Best Consumer Journalism. Dean a member of the Radio Television News Directors Association, the National Association of Television Arts & Sciences, the Association for Women Journalists, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the International Communication Association and the Academy of Political Science. Dean holds a master's degree in communication studies from the School of Speech at Northwestern University.
Betsy Fischer has been executive producer of NBC’s number one-rated Sunday morning public affairs program, “Meet the Press with Tim Russert,” since July 2002.
As executive producer, Fischer has produced interviews with such key figures as President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, First Lady Laura Bush and all nine 2004 Democratic presidential candidates. In addition, she created and produced an award- winning series of special “Meet the Press” debates with the candidates from key 2002 and 2004 Senate races. She has served as Tim Russert’s producer for NBC News’ coverage of the 2000 and 2004 Presidential election, including the presidential primaries, party conventions, debates and election night coverage. She also produced NBC’s highly acclaimed “Decision 2000” New York Senatorial debate between former First Lady Hillary Clinton and Representative Rick Lazio. Prior to being promoted to executive producer, Fischer was the senior producer of “Meet the Press” and the NBC News Political/Polling Unit for five years. Fischer came to “Meet the Press” in 1992, starting as a researcher. She became the associate producer in 1995 and a producer in 1997. Fischer also contributed to the production and political research for NBC News’ 1992, 1994 and 1996 election coverage. Her career at NBC News began with an internship at “Meet the Press” while in college. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Press Club and the Radio & Television News Directors Association.
A native of New Orleans, Fischer did her undergraduate and graduate work at American University in Washington, DC. She is a Cum Laude graduate of the School of Public Affairs and earned an M.A. degree in broadcast journalism from the School of Communications.
Chris Heinbaugh has been a reporter for Channel 8 WFAA-TV in Dallas, TX, since November 2000. He covers Dallas City Hall, politics and downtown Dallas. Heinbaugh came to Channel 8 after spending three years with KOMO-TV in Seattle, where he was an investigative reporter and also covered technology. He has also worked as a reporter for stations in Phoenix, Richmond, El Paso and Orange County, CA. Heinbaugh has received numerous awards, including 11 Emmy Awards, two regional Edward R. Murrow/RTNDA Awards, a Katie Award and several awards from the Associated Press, including best reporter, while in Texas and Arizona. He is the former president and a founding member of the Lone Star Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He also served a term on the national Board of Directors for Investigative Reporters and Editors and has been a visiting faculty member at the Poynter Institute. Heinbaugh graduated with honors from California State University-Northridge in 1989, majoring in both journalism and political science.
Cody Howard has been news director at 6News in Lawrence, KS since December 2000. He oversees a staff of 15 and works closely with a team of print and on-line reporters and editors from the Lawrence Journal-World in one of the most converged newsrooms in the country. Before joining 6News, he worked as a beat reporter and later as news director at KLWN/KLZR Radio from 1997-2000. Howard is a native Kansan and a graduate of Baker University in Baldwin City, KS.
Liisa K. Hyvarinen is an Emmy Award-winning journalist based in Tampa, FL, working both in broadcast and print at WFLA-TV and its newspaper partner The Tampa Tribune as a special projects producer focusing on multi-platform, long-term stories. One key focus of her many assignments is to head up the political coverage of Florida's highest rated TV station. She is also an adjunct at University of South Florida where she teaches print journalism. She has also served as Dart Fellow for Journalism and Trauma with the Dart Center at the University of Washington and in Rwanda, Africa. Hyvarinen was selected in 1999 to serve as a Rosalynn Carter Fellow for Mental Health Journalism at the Carter Center in Atlanta. Hyvarinen started her career as a magazine writer in San Francisco but has also worked extensively in television; her work has appeared on NBC, CNN, ABC and CBS. Her most recent print work has appeared in The Tampa Tribune, Marie Claire magazine, The Denver Post, Chicago Tribune, Atlanta Journal Constitution and St. Petersburg Times. Hyvarinen’s previous investigative work on public safety issues earned her a regional Emmy Award in 1997 from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Her work has also been honored by such prestigious journalism organizations as the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. Hyvarinen’s hour-long documentary, Silent Screams, which focused on mental health issues, was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2001 and was included in the archives of the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago in 2002. Born in Baltimore, MD, Hyvarinen grew up in Helsinki, Finland, and graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in communications from the University of San Francisco and earned a master’s degree in journalism from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York.
Marty Kaplan is associate dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and director of the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center. He has been a White House speechwriter; a Washington journalist; a deputy presidential campaign manager; a Disney studio executive; a motion picture and television producer and screenwriter; and a radio host. He was a program officer at the Aspen Institute; executive assistant to U.S. Commissioner of Education Ernest L. Boyer; chief speechwriter to Vice President Walter F. Mondale; deputy op-ed editor and columnist for the Washington Star; visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution; and a regular commentator on National Public Radio's All Things Considered and on the CBS Morning News. As deputy campaign manager of the Mondale presidential race, he was in charge of policy, speechwriting, issues, and research. He was host of So What Else Is News?, a nationally-syndicated program on Air America Radio, which examines media, politics and pop culture. He has also been a regular commentator on the business of entertainment on the public radio program Marketplace. At USC he has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Media & Politics, Campaign Communication, and Entertainment, and Communication & Society. He is principal investigator of a project monitoring television news coverage of political campaigns. He graduated from Harvard College summa cum laude in molecular biology. As a Marshall Scholar, he received a First in English from Cambridge University in England and as a Danforth Fellow, he received a Ph.D. in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University.
Rosemary Lappin is a senior producer at WCVB-TV, Boston, MA. Lappin's passion for politics and expertise in the area has shaped her 15-year career at WCVB. She has produced political coverage, debates, half-hour political shows, election night coverage and extensive programming for the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. Prior to coming to WCVB, she was managing editor at the former CBS all-news radio station in Boston, WEEI. A recipient of many journalism awards, Lappin has also worked as a radio and newspaper reporter. She holds a master's degree in broadcast journalism from Boston University.
Daniel Lathrop is the database editor at the Center for Public Integrity, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit investigative news outlet that focuses on public policy issues in the United States and around the world. He first joined CPI in 2003 as a senior researcher on Charles Lewis’ New York Times best-selling expose "The Buying of the President 2004." He has contributed to dozens of investigative reports at the Center and currently heads up a team that uses computer technology to track campaign finances, government contracts, lobbying and a variety of other topics for Center projects. Lathrop is a former reporter at The Daytona Beach News-Journal and The Ames Tribune, mid-Iowa's Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper. At those papers he covered major stories including the 2000 election and the 2000 recount. At the Center he has been interviewed by major newspapers, network and local reporters and has appeared on air.
George Lewis is one of NBC News' most-honored correspondents. The winner of three Emmys, the George Foster Peabody and Edward R. Murrow awards, he is no stranger to world crises. Lewis is based in Los Angeles. His current assignment includes coverage of the revolution in information technology. Most recently, Lewis was one of NBC’s reporters during the Iraq war. He was dispatched to Turkey, reporting from the capital and the Turkish-Iraqi border as Turkey turned down a U.S. request to use Turkish soil for an invasion of northern Iraq. Twelve years earlier, Lewis was part of the NBC team that covered Operation Desert Storm, spending nine weeks in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait. Lewis was also present in Iran during the early days of the 444-day hostage crisis in 1979 and in Lebanon for the 1982 Israeli invasion. His major domestic assignments have included covering the O.J. Simpson criminal and civil trials, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, major earthquakes in California and the Los Angeles and the Atlanta Olympics. Lewis began his career with NBC News as a war correspondent in Vietnam in 1970. He spent a year and a half there, returning in 1975 to cover the fall of Saigon to the North Vietnamese. He has been back four times since the end of the war to report on the legacy of Vietnam. In more peaceful times, Lewis has done stints in NBC's Washington, Los Angeles, Houston and London bureaus. During his assignment in California, Lewis covered the California recall election of Gov. Gray Davis.
Robert Mak is host of Seattle’s KING 5 News Up Front, and a news reporter at KING 5, an NBC affiliate. Since joining KING-TV in 1992, Mak has tackled challenging political issues facing the Northwest. In 2001, he began anchoring a weekly public affairs program, covering elections, government and many of the major news events shaping public policy in Washington state. Mak has won seven regional Emmy awards for investigative reporting and news specials. He has also received first place awards from the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. He received the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism for his Ad Watch campaign in 2000, examining claims in political commercials. Originally from Madison, WI, Mak joined WISC-TV3, Madison's CBS affiliate in 1987 after working in radio and print. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and holds a master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.
Katie Moore is a general assignment reporter and fill-in anchor for KOAA-TV in Colorado Springs, CO. She started her television career as a Washington correspondent for WKYT-TV in Lexington, KY, through the Medill School of Journalism. After studying politics for many years, Moore covers the Colorado Springs and El Paso County governments. She produces a series of “Truth Checks” each election cycle that check the truth of the claims in political advertising. Her background includes internships at WAVE-3 News in Louisville, KY; at WBRZ in Baton Rouge, LA; and at C-SPAN's Washington Journal in Washington, DC. Moore has won numerous awards during her five-and-a-half-year career at KOAA, including Associated Press awards for Feature Reporting and Spot News coverage, and awards from the Colorado Broadcasters Association for Spot News Coverage and Specialty Reporting. Moore earned a B.A. in mass communications from Louisiana State University and an M.S.J. from Northwestern University.
Judy Muller an Emmy Award-winning ABC News correspondent and National Public Radio commentator, joined the faculty of the USC Annenberg School for Communication in August 2003 as an assistant professor of journalism, sharing her vast experience as a radio and television reporter with USC students. She remains a contributing correspondent to ABC News broadcasts, including "Nightline" and "World News Tonight with Peter Jennings." Muller, who went to work for ABC News in 1990, covered the 1992 Rodney King trial and ensuing riots, the 1994 Northridge earthquake and the O.J. Simpson criminal and civil trials, among other stories. As part of a "Nightline" team, she received an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for coverage of the 1992 Los Angeles riots and an Emmy Award for coverage of the Simpson case. A regular contributor to NPR's "Morning Edition," she also wrote a book about her experiences as a journalist titled "Now This? Radio, Television and the Real World." Before joining the ABC News team, Muller was a CBS News correspondent who contributed to "CBS News Sunday Morning" and the "CBS Weekend News." She did double duty on CBS News Radio, anchoring "First Line Report" and "Correspondent's Notebook." Muller was also a summer anchor for "The Osgood File." She joined CBS News in 1981 and, during her nine years with the network, covered the space shuttle program, the 1988 political conventions and George H. W. Bush's presidential campaign. She is a graduate of Mary Washington College and has received numerous journalism honors, including the New Jersey Broadcasters Association Award (1979), the American Bar Association Award (1980) and the Colorado Sigma Delta Chi Award (1981).
Vikki Porter is the director of the Western Knight Center.
Deborah Potter is a journalist and educator who spent 16 years as a network correspondent for CBS and CNN. Since 1998, Potter has been executive director of NewsLab, a non-profit journalism training and research center in Washington, DC.
From 2003 to 2004, Potter also served as executive director of RTNDF, the research and training arm of the Radio & Television News Directors Association. An experienced journalism trainer, she conducts workshops across the country and around the world. For several years, she has been a featured speaker at the annual conventions of the Radio & Television News Directors Association and the National Press Photographers Association. She has taught journalism at The American University, and as a faculty associate at the Poynter Institute where she led writing, reporting, management and ethics seminars for professionals. Potter is a featured columnist for the American Journalism Review, writing about broadcast news. Her work has been published by RTNDA Communicator and News Photographer. She is the co-author of the Poynter Election Handbook: New Ways to Cover Campaigns (Third Edition, 1999). At CNN, Potter reported on national politics and environmental issues. She joined CNN in 1991 after 13 years at CBS News, where she served as White House, State Department and Congressional Correspondent. She also was a frequent contributor to the prime time CBS News magazine 48 Hours, and hosted the interview program, Nightwatch. Before joining CBS News, Potter worked as a news anchor for KYW Newsradio in Philadelphia; as a reporter for the Voice of America in Washington; and as a news producer for the ABC TV affiliate in Washington. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master's degree from The American University.
Dan Rosenheim is news director of KPIX-TV, the CBS affiliate in San Francisco. He was news director at KRON-TV in San Francisco from 1996 to 2000. Rosenheim joined KRON in 1996 from the San Francisco Chronicle, where he had been managing editor since December 1993. Previously, he was the Chronicle’s city editor from 1987 to 1993, after serving as economics editor from 1985 to 1987. Rosenheim worked for the Chicago Tribune from 1984 to 1985 as a financial writer. He joined the Tribune from the Chicago Sun-Times, where he was special economics writer and financial writer from 1981 to 1984. Before that, he was business/labor editor at the Hammond (Indiana) Times from 1978 to 1981, and a general assignment reporter at the Lansing (Illinois) Sun Journal from 1977 to 1978.
Randy Shandobil has been KTVU-TV's political editor since 1998. In addition to winning two Walter Cronkite Awards for Excellence in Television Political Journalism, Shandobil has also won eight Emmy Awards, Gold and Bronze Medals at the New York International Film and Television Festival, the Freedom of Information Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, and the California Journalism Award for excellence in political reporting four times. In September 2003, Shandobil moderated the first debate for California's historic recall election. In the 2002 Governor's race, he was a panelist for the only debate between California Governor Gray Davis and his Republican challenger, Bill Simon. Shandobil has been a featured speaker or panelist at many political journalism seminars, most recently at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York.
Prior to becoming KTVU's political editor, Shandobil handled general assignment reporting and produced The Ten O’Clock News. He first started at KTVU Channel 2 News in 1978.
Dan Weiser is the news director at KCRA 3 and WB58, Sacramento’s NBC and WB affiliates. He was previously news director at WGAL-TV in Pennsylvania, a sister station in the Hearst-Argyle Television group. During Weiser’s 13 years at WGAL, he served as executive producer, assistant news director and news director. During that time, the station was honored with numerous awards including several Emmys and also achieved the highest ratings and shares of all 6AM, 6PM, and 11PM newscasts of any affiliated station in the top 50 television markets. Weiser joined KCRA 3 a week before Gray Davis was re-elected governor. He was then immersed in what became one of the most tumultuous political periods in the state’s history, with world attention on the improbable rise of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Weiser supervised the station’s coverage of the recall election, Governor Schwarzenegger’s first year in office and is now preparing for the upcoming ballot initiative election and the 2006 gubernatorial race. Weiser emphasizes political coverage that will interest non-political viewers. He has personally received two regional Emmys: one for a program dealing with Missing Children and another for coverage of the implosion of a state-owned building in Pennsylvania. Weiser also has worked at WFSB in Hartford, CT, and at WJKS in Jacksonville, FL. He began his TV journalism career as an editor, writer and video producer at KYW-TV, now the CBS station in Philadelphia. Weiser is a graduate of Drexel University in Philadelphia, with a Bachelor of Science degree in communications. He is a member of the Radio and Television News Directors Association and the Society of Professional Journalists.
What fellows have to say about past seminars:
"Fabulous program. Invaluable in terms of connecting with sources and resources available to journalists interested in criminal justice."
- Nora Lopez, San Antonio Express-News