Into the Fray (HB)
How NBC's Washington Documentary Unit Reinvented the News
From 1961 to 1989, a committed group of documentary journalists from the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) reported the stories of America's overseas conflicts. Stuart Schulberg supplied film evidence to prosecute Nazi war criminals and established documentary units in postwar Berlin and Paris. NBC newsman David Brinkley created the template for prime-time news in 1961 and bore the scars to prove it. In 1964 Ted Yates and Bob Rogers produced a documentary warning of the pitfalls in Vietnam. Yates was later shot and killed in Jerusalem on the first day of the Six-Day War while producing a documentary for NBC News.
In Into the Fray, Tom Mascaro vividly recounts the characters and experiences that helped create a unique, colorful documentary film crew based at the Washington bureau of NBC News. From the Kennedy era through the Reagan years, the journalists covered wars, rebellions, the Central Intelligence Agency, covert actions, the Pentagon, military preparedness, and world and American cultures. They braved conflicts and crises to tell the stories that Americans needed to see and hear, and in the process they changed the face of journalism. Mascaro also looks at the social changes in and around the unit itself, including the struggles and triumphs of women and African Americans in the field of television documentary.
Into the Fray is the story of adventure, loyalty to reason, and life and death in the service of broadcast journalism.
About the Author
Tom Mascaro is the founder of the documentary division of the Broadcast Education Association. He teaches documentary studies, television production, history, and criticism at Bowling Green State University. From 2006 to 2007, he was a visiting associate professor at Georgetown University. Mascaro's writings have appeared in Journalism History, American Journalism, the Journal of Popular Film and Television, and The Essential HBO Reader. He lives in Livonia, Michigan.