Why We Turned to PBS: WGBH Programs and Captioning

The New York Times: We asked our writers to reflect on PBS’s lasting imprint on our culture, while Rachael Ray, Gary Clark Jr., Damon Lindelof, Kal Penn and others share first-person reminiscences about the television that changed their lives.

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Why has WGBH had such an impact? Five views

Fred Barzyk: “I have asked several long time producers at WGBH to take a crack at the question of ‘Why does WGBH, a local public TV station in Boston, have such an impressive impact on media, culture and innovation?’ What follows are several responses to the question.”

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Brian Dowley, 67, director of photography

As a director of photography for over 35 years, Brian shot dozens of documentaries and narrative films for “NOVA,” “American Experience,” “Frontline,” and independent documentaries on subjects close to his heart.

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Barbara Gullahorn Holecek, 74, Nova Producer

Barbara was a member of the small group that gathered in the latter half of 1973 in the less than inviting environment of 475 Western Avenue to start production of the new (as yet unnamed) Nova science series.

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NOVA digitally recreates the invasion of Normandy

Among the show’s highlights: three-dimensional simulations of the landing craft that brought troops ashore, the gliders that dropped American commandos deep inside Nazi-occupied France, and a pair of vast portable harbors used to unload thousands of tons of supplies onto the beaches

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Creating NOVA (1971-76)

From Michael Ambrosino: Science is a part of our heritage, our present culture, and a major force in determining our future. Its absence from television [in the 1970s], spoke to the ignorance of many of its gatekeepers…. Science, medicine, technology, engineering, architecture all impact our culture by determining how we live our lives!

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Still connected over the years

From Steve Rabin — 10/18/2008 I am not really a WGBH alum, although I spent many days during four years at the station working as Director of Programming at EEN with a number of the producer/directors on programming for the EEN member stations. Beyond that, as Media Program Director for NEH from 1974-1982 I was…

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40 years with ‘GBH

From Michael Ambrosino — 2000 My first visit to WGBH was in the fall of 1955, just after TV had gone on the air at 84 Mass Ave. in Cambridge. I was at work developing a TV master plan for the University of Connecticut at the time, and wanted a tour of one of the…

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NOVA: From the beginning (1970s)

By Ben Shedd I’m part of the group from the 1970s at ‘GBH, when NOVA was in some ways almost a separate unit at the station. It’s wonderful to learn about the history of WGBH and see why such grand programming has come from the people who worked there through the decades. I’m glad to…

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