John Martin served as an ABC News national correspondent based in Washington and New York (1975-2002). He covered events in the United States, Europe. China, Central and South America, the Middle East and South Africa. His reports appeared on Nightline with Ted Koppel, This Week with David Brinkley, 20/20, and World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. Upon retiring, he taught national affairs reporting at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism (2002-2010). Martin began his journalism career as a reporter, photo editor, and copy editor at The San Diego Union-Tribune, Augusta (GA) Chronicle, and The New York Times International Edition (1956-66). Martin entered television journalism at the NBC News affiliate, KCRA TV, in Sacramento, CA, where he covered local, state and national issues and organized and conducted reporting trips to Africa and the Middle East (1966-75) His reports, analysis and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, and Washington Monthly.

Project Summary

Over the past decade, the major network television news organizations have suffered severe economic, ethical, and technological disruptions. Skilled reporters, producers, and technicians have been laid off to achieve financial objectives aimed at sustaining vital corporate revenues. Facing budget imperatives, news executives have elected to conserve resources. Stories vital to public policy discussions have languished in an atmosphere of austerity. Still the largest single source of daily news for Americans, network news stands at a tipping point. This research study examines television’s role in fostering informed public understanding of key issues. The study aims to document the reality of current practices and examine ways television journalists and elected officials, playing separate roles, can foster vital, informed public awareness of key policy questions and visions.

Major Publications