War Briefing, The

FRONTLINE takes viewers to the deadliest front in Afghanistan and across the border to the insurgent safe havens deep inside Pakistan’s tribal areas. This is where the next battles will be fought – and may be lost.

“… Rigorously reported and somberly produced, “The War Briefing” is both a diagrammatic explanation of everything that has gone wrong [in Afghanistan] over the past few years and a grim visual tour of a landscape that nature itself seems to have made impervious to the ambitions of outside occupiers. Factually the film reprises recent news reports … but at the same time it palpably delivers a sense of our narrowing options…”
– Ginia Bellafante, The New York Times

“… Has anyone done better long-form TV journalism during this election cycle than PBS’ Frontline? … “The War Briefing” looks at the complicated and troubled military legacy left behind by Bush and Cheney that the new president will have to deal with as soon as he takes office …
– David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun

“… “Briefing” brings together journalists, diplomats and others, along with film from a cameraman embedded with U.S. Army troops in the Korengal River Valley, a major Taliban smuggling route. The result is persuasive and scary.”
– Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times

“Frontline is consistently one of the most watchable and informative newsmagazines, thanks to its literal documentary style and its reluctance to stage phoney dramatized re-creations. … The result is a tough, hard-hitting, frequently compelling program that’s well worth an hour of your time.”
– Alex Strachan, Canwest News Service

“… a sobering look at the foreign policy challenges for the next president …”
– Kevin McDonough, United Features Syndicate



FRONTLINE reports from inside America’s largest companies on how the risk of climate change legislation is rattling big business and on their struggle for survival.

“It’s too bad weasely answers can’t somehow be converted into clean energy, because Martin Smith, the “Frontline” producer and reporter, elicits a lot of them in “Heat,” his savvy investigation of global warming and our chances of stopping it…”
– Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times

“… Thorough and wide-ranging, “Heat” takes us from India’s cement factories … and the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Bali to the international empire that is Exxon and the chambers of the Congress. …

“It’s enough to make a person turn off all the lights, pull the covers over her head and weep. But that, of course, is the problem. This is exactly what Americans have done for far too long. Or at least this is what “Heat” argues, and it does so quite persuasively…”
– Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times

“Nobody watches “Frontline” for the comedy, but I found it amusing to see publicists squirm under vigilant grilling. … Students of evasion, double talk and nondenial denials should not miss this.”
– Kevin McDonough, United Features Syndicate

… [P]eerless Martin Smith looks into the main issues of global pollution, the ambivalent role of the U.S. industry and the prospects of environmental change given a new administration. Its typically clear delineations of the issues, it turns out, makes it a perfect choice for pre-election consideration.
– Roger Catlin, Hartford Courant

“”Heat” won’t stop money from talking. Chances are, nothing will. But understanding the complex issues behind all those talking points might at least move more of us to demand a say in the future that seems to be coming, whether we’re ready or not.”
– Ellen Gray, Philadelphia Daily News

“When it comes to climate change, the official word on the campaign trail is optimism. … “Heat,” the “Frontline” documentary that premieres tonight, … functions as a big wet blanket, a sad reminder that, in this country and many others, the sort of change the planet needs has never come easily. This is an in-depth look at the impediments to climate change solutions, with a focus on the political system that has, so far, resisted anything more than tiny, piecemeal efforts…”
– Joanna Weiss, The Boston Globe


Living on the Edge

Reporter Martin Smith shares some devastating field notes from the melting Himalayas, drought-stricken Africa and the warming waters of the South East Atlantic. Smith came across these stories while working on Heat, a two-hour FRONTLINE documentary on climate change that aired on PBS in October 2008.

Telling the Truth (2008)

Telling the Truth: The Best in Broadcast Journalism, a one-hour documentary hosted by CNN’s chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, will feature this year’s 13 duPont-Columbia baton winners.

Medicated Child, The

Over the last fifteen years, there’s been a 4000% increase in the number of kids diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Four-year-old DJ was diagnosed six months ago and is now on four psychiatric medications. But the drugs he takes are largely untested in children and can cause serious side effects. Is this good medicine? Or is it an uncontrolled experiment? FRONTLINE investigates.

“FRONTLINE’s ‘The Medicated Child’ … is about as harrowing a look at the burgeoning use of drugs to treat psychological conditions in children as you can imagine…”
– Heather Havrilesky, Salon.com

“… ‘The Medicated Child’ revisits territory FRONTLINE first examined in 2001, raising some familiar warning flags and some new ones. But it’s not a knee-jerk treatment. As the program points out, there are pros as well as cons to the increased use of prescription drugs on children.”
– Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times

“… Writer/producer Marcela Gaviria and co-producer Will Cohen portray a growing medical establishment that is grappling with crises in the lives of children while establishing its own boundaries, protocols and body of certain knowledge. …

“‘Child’ reveals a world of paradox, contradiction and anecdotes that could bolster almost any viewpoint. …

“‘Child’ is far from an anti-drug diatribe. … What Gaviria and Cohen stress is that suddenly (in terms of establishing protocols) drugs are becoming integral to the lives of grade-schoolers and preschoolers — in numbers growing exponentially. How will this affect their later life — their teens, their early working years and so on? … ”
– Ted Mahar, The Oregonian

Indonesia: After the Wave

On December 26, 2004, the Indonesian province of Aceh was hit by the massive Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 170,000 people and devastated villages and towns. In the wake of the catastrophe, the Indonesian army and local separatist rebels, the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) ended their decades-long war, which took 15,000 lives. In After the Wave, FRONTLINE/World correspondent Orlando de Guzman returns to Aceh, where he had first covered the war, to explore the prospects for continued peace.

Gangs of Iraq

Day after day scores of bodies litter the streets of Baghdad. To staunch the violence, the US has poured billions into standing up Iraq’s security forces. FRONTLINE takes a hard look at how the four-year training effort has fared and how these forces have themselves been infiltrated by various sectarian militias. It remains to be seen if America can build a truly national Iraqi army and police in the midst of a civil war.

“Gangs of Iraq pulls back the veil on what viewers might already have gleaned from the nightly news: the coalition effort to train Iraqi forces to stand up for themselves has been largely disastrous, thanks to infiltration by sectarian militias.”
– Alex Strachan, CanWest News Service

“Gangs of Iraq, the third installment in the ”America at a Crossroads” series on PBS and airing tonight, is valuable because it shows viewers something of what American forces really face in trying to train an Iraqi army and police force. … It is to the credit of this program that viewers will better understand [officials’] anxiety [about Iraq’s security], and the difficulties facing the United States in Iraq.”
– Sreenath Sreenivasan, The New York Times

” … in harrowing detail reveals, among other things, that the administration’s goal of handing over the reins of war and peacekeeping to Iraqi soldiers and police officers is elusive at best.”
– Alessandra Stanley, The New York Times

“… on flighty matters like international terrorism … PBS’ long-running ‘Frontline’ series remains the gold standard … ”
– Eric Mink, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“… portray[s] the seldom-seen life of everyday Iraqis … ”
– Joe Garofoli, San Francisco Chronicle


At a time when fair and accurate news coverage is more essential than ever, 2006 marked one of the deadliest years on record for journalists. In Requiem, FRONTLINE/World essayist Sheila Coronel looks at the dangers journalists confront as they try to tell their stories and pays special tribute to reporters working in the Philippines, Russia, Turkey, Zimbabwe, China and Iraq who have been killed, jailed, or exiled for daring to speak truth to power.

Telling the Truth (2007)

Telling the Truth: The Best in Broadcast Journalism, a one-hour documentary hosted by CNN’s chief international correspondent, .duPont-Columbia University Awards, including Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill for Baghdad ER, Brian Williams for NBC’s Hurricane Katrina coverage, Renata Simone for FRONTLINE’s The Age of AIDS.

Return of the Taliban

Long suspected of harboring bin Laden, the lawless tribal areas of Pakistan are now under the control of a resurgent Taliban. FRONTLINE investigates a secret front in America’s war on terror.

“… FRONTLINE opens the new season tonight with an excellent piece on this terrifying story. The timing couldn’t be better… Martin Smith, a superb reporter who has done great work in this area as well as Iraq, exposes the extent to which Pakistanis in the ungovernable tribal lands along the border give succor to the Taliban while the Pakistani military looks the other way. His interviews and film footage produce an indelible picture of the situation that no policy story out of Washington can match.”
– Sam Aillis, The Boston Globe

“… an unprecedented view of a terrorist breeding ground that has apparently replaced Taliban-run Afghanistan. ‘Return of the Taliban’ is a frightening look into the medieval madness and violence of the tribal areas — where disloyal elders are beheaded in the public square and thieves are hanged in the streets with money stuffed in their gaping mouths for all to see — should serve as a wakeup call to anyone who thinks America’s enemies are in retreat. … Incorporating vividly unsettling video footage and in-depth interviews with key players in the region, Smith paints a grim picture of a situation that seems to be slipping further from America’s grasp. …”
– Christian Lowe, The Weekly Standard

“… fascinating… compelling viewing — a must-see for anyone with a loved one fighting in Afghanistan, and mandatory viewing for anyone even remotely curious about what’s happening in the literal frontlines of the war on terror. … Veteran Frontline correspondent Martin Smith’s film is truth-telling at its best: straightforward, informative and thoughtful, but not judgmental. …
– Alex Strachan, CanWest News Service

“… a disquieting reminder of what the world is up against when taking on a Muslim holy war.”
– Alessandra Stanley, The New York Times

“… One of the numerous strengths of FRONTLINE through the years has been its ability to provide a historical context in complicated international situations. … So it is with ‘Return of the Taliban,’ as Smith, aided by notable geopolitical experts, explains the complex military and political webs that have been spun in this barren, complex part of the world.”
– Dusty Saunders, Rocky Mountain News

“… The report once again shows why there are no easy answers in this war.”
– Tom Dorsey, Courier-Journal

“… It’s an understatement to call this FRONTLINE an eye-opener.”
– John Doyle, The Globe and Mail

“Frontline” (PBS) unearths the original cut of George Lucas’ least popular Star Wars film, “The Return of the Taliban.”
– Aaron Barnhart, Kansas City Star

“… hard-hitting…”
– Paul Brownfield, Los Angeles Times

“… powerful…”
– Kevin McDonough, United Feature Syndicate