Library of Congress requests interview footage of Bataan veterans from KNME

This item has been updated and reposted with additional information. The Library of Congress has asked New Mexico PBS to contribute unedited footage of interviews from its program Bataan: A 70th Anniversary Commemoration, which recalls the horrors of the Bataan Death March, for inclusion in the library’s archives in Washington, D.C.

In April 1942, following World War II’s Battle of Bataan in the Philippines, the Japanese Army forced some 60,000 Filipino and 15,000 American prisoners of war to march more than 60 miles between internment camps. Along the way, thousands of Filipino and up to 650 American soldiers died due to physical abuse and atrocities at the hands of their captors. New Mexico PBS recorded 90 minutes of interviews with Pedro “Pete” Gonzalez, a survivor of the Bataan Death March, and Bill Overmier, survivor of both the battles of Bataan and the related Battle of Corregidor. Also participating was retired Lt. Gen. Edward D. Baca, former head of the New Mexico National Guard and the National Guard Bureau in the Pentagon, and longtime spokesman for Bataan survivors.

StoryCorps launches newest project – Military Voices Initiative

For the next year StoryCorps, the public radio group collecting and presenting life stories told between family members and friends, will undertake a new initiative to record oral histories of veterans and active-duty members of the armed forces serving in  Iraq and Afghanistan. The Military Voices Initiative, or MVI, plans interviews of more than 2,000 people, enough to produce more than 700 stories. Funded by CPB and the Boeing Company, MVI is StoryCorps’ eighth initiative focused on a specific ethnic community or news event.  The Griot initiative, for example, collected stories of African-American family life. Some of interviews conducted for MVI will be broadcast on NPR’s Weekend Edition while the entire collection will be housed at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. CPB and StoryCorps, a nonprofit founded by indie radio producer David Isay, officially launched the initiative Dec.

Unvetted war story slips past producers

A commentary created through an experimental radio project of the New America Foundation turned a harsh spotlight on the editorial vetting process at Marketplace, which broadcast a first-person account Jan. 30 [2012] of a man who falsely claimed to be a heroic Army sniper. Whatever the editorial process at Marketplace missed, there were similar shortcomings at San Francisco’s KQED-FM, which also aired the piece, and at the big liberal foundation, whose media project was focused on inclusivity rather than excluding fakers. The two-minute piece by a man named Leo Webb, part of a commentary series titled “My Life Is True,” turned out to be largely untrue. As soon as it aired, the first-person commentary sounded like a load of bull to readers of This Ain’t Hell, a blog that critiques media coverage of the military and takes special glee in exposing phony war stories.  It took only some basic fact-checking and a sharply worded blog post to set off an online spanking for producers of Marketplace, American Public Media’s flagship drivetime broadcast, and KQED, one of pubcasting’s top news stations.