Eight, Arizona PBS celebrates 50 years

January 31, 2011

Before Big Bird and Elmo walked onto Sesame Street – even before there was a public broadcasting service – Eight, Arizona PBS signed on from a small trailer on the campus of Arizona State University.

The date was Jan. 30, 1961. The fledging station’s very first broadcast day included a Community Bulletin Board, an audio-visual telecourse, two children’s programs (Magic Doorways and Young World), the evening newscast, a film on television, and a film on the scientific method. The staff totaled five, and the broadcast hours were from 4 p.m. to 
9:30 p.m. The transmitter signal reached homes only in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Download Full Image

In 1967, Congress gave its mandate to the newly created Corporation for Public Broadcasting and its imprimatur for annual federal appropriations. Eight continued to develop its own productions. (The station was honored with its first Emmy Award for 400 hours of local programming in 1964.) And viewers soon began to enjoy PBS’ signature programs.

"Washington Week in Review" debuted in 1967. "Evening at Pops’" first broadcast was in 1970. A new drama series called "Masterpiece Theatre" began in 1971, and Eight had its highest audience to date with “Upstairs, Downstairs.” 

In 1975, viewers saw "The Ascent of Man," "The MacNeil/Lehrer Report" and the first National Geographic Special "The Incredible Machine."

Today, the broadcast schedule features PBS shows such as: "Nova," "Nature," "Great Performances," "Sesame Street," "Live from Lincoln Center," "Austin City Limits," "Frontline," "Antiques Roadshow," "PBS NewsHour," and so many more.

(Eight, Arizona PBS wants to hear from 'viewers like you' – share your favorite http://www.azpbs.org/50years/memories.php" target="_blank">public television memory.)

As Eight prepares to celebrate the station’s 50th anniversary, local productions also are hitting milestones. (Follow Eight's journey with a http://www.azpbs.org/50years/" target="_blank">timeline of milestones over the last 50 years.) "HORIZON," now a program of record for the state’s decision-makers, will mark its 30th year in 2011. For "HORIZONTE," the public affairs program that offers a Hispanic perspective on Arizona issues, it will be eight years of broadcasting. And the "Arizona Collection," the series that has become a video anthology of Arizona's history, completes two decades of production in 2011.

Now after a half-century, Eight is one of the most watched PBS stations per capita in the country. The content is available on multiple channels and streamed online.

“Over the course of five decades, Eight, Arizona PBS, has become a resource for lifelong learning, provided a platform for information and ideas, a gateway to culture and the arts, and a place to share the adventure of learning with curious young minds,” said Kelly McCullough, general manager of Eight.

Media contact:
Susan">mailto:susan.soto@asu.edu">Susan Soto
Eight, Arizona PBS

Britt Lewis

Communications Specialist, ASU Library

Law students present ideas to Congress

February 1, 2011

Imagine if your course culminated not in a written exam but rather in an oral presentation of your own ideas to members of Congress. That is exactly what happened to students who participated last semester in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law’s Washington, D.C., semester program.

Second-year">http://www.law.asu.edu/programs/Programs/TheWashingtonDCLegalExternshipP... law student Leah Schachar, a student in the program, called this experience “a very special opportunity to as a student research and develop your own bill idea on an issue of your choice and then share that idea directly with Members of Congress.” Download Full Image

Students in the College of Law’s Washington, D.C., program presented their ideas for new laws to both the incoming Congressman from the Tempe area, U.S. Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), and the outgoing Congressman from the Tempe area, U.S. Rep. Harry Mitchell (D-Ariz.).

The presentations took place as part of the program’s course, Legislative Advocacy and the Law, taught by Professor Orde Kittrie. As part of the course, each student was assigned to come up with an idea for a change to U.S. law and write a draft bill, testimony in support of the bill, and a legislative strategy paper analyzing the problem their bill was designed to solve, how their bill would solve it, and setting forth coalition-building and media strategies for getting their bill passed.

The various student bills included legislation that would: amend the Federal Arbitration Act to increase consumer protections, increase regulation of the fur industry, strengthen firearms purchase restrictions, revise restrictions on federal student loan funding for borrowers with non-violent drug offenses, amend the No Child Left Behind Act, and reform laws governing interrogations of terrorists.

As a capstone for the course, Schweikert and Mitchell addressed the class and heard short presentations from each of the students on their legislative ideas. The separate sessions with the two members of Congress occurred in a hearing room of the Rayburn Office Building of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Schweikert told the class that he was looking for great ideas for legislative initiatives and hoped they wouldn’t mind if he borrowed some of their ideas and introduced them as bills. He responded to each student’s presentation with at least one question or suggestion, raising questions about the constitutionality of some of the bills, asking what provisions of existing law a student was planning to amend and how much the proposals would cost. Schweikert also emphasized that students should be careful to avoid the risk of unintended consequences of well-meaning regulation, noting how Arizona’s pollution control incentives for cars nearly bankrupted the state.

Schweikert seemed impressed with several of the student proposals. For example, after one student presented his proposal for a change to current law in the financial arena, Schweikert said, “If you write this up, I know a member who might love to sponsor it.” The student responded with a smile: “As soon as I’ve finished writing it up for this class, I’ll send a copy to you.”

Hadley Berryhill, a second-year law student, said her grilling by Schweikert was “slightly intimidating but a really good learning experience.”

“It was clear that Congressman Schweikert was listening very carefully and took our ideas very seriously,” Berryhill said. “We’re just law students, but thanks to this class we became experts on our bill topics. We now have the research, writing and advocacy tools to make a difference on those and other issues we care about.”

Other highlights of the course included visits by former Congresswoman Connie Morella and various other legislative advocacy experts including senior Congressional staff members and the director of government affairs for a professional association. Each guest described his or her own experiences advancing legislation from idea to enactment and shared with the class the lessons they learned along the way.

Also during the semester, each student presented testimony in favor of their draft legislation before a committee of their classmates which then questioned them about their bill.

Kirill Tarasenko, a second-year law student from ASU, described the course as a semester-long lesson in “how to make a difference on issues we care about.”

Schachar said “the advocacy skills we learned in this course will be valuable to us no matter what we do in our legal careers.”

In addition to taking the Legislative Advocacy course and a course on executive branch lawyering, students in the D.C. program have externships for 4½ days a week at government and non-profit legal offices. Students in the fall semester had externships at legal offices in 10 different federal agencies, including the Departments of State, Justice, Defense, and Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Securities & Exchange Commission, and several Congressional offices and non-profit organizations.

Students in the fall also attended special activities, including a visit with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a visit to the Israeli Embassy and a tour of the Pentagon with Charles Blanchard, general counsel for the U.S. Air Force.

http://www.law.asu.edu/programs/Programs/TheWashingtonDCLegalExternshipP... href="The">http://www.law.asu.edu/programs/Programs/TheWashingtonDCLegalExternshipP... program, which welcomes applications from students at ABA-accredited law schools across the United States, is offered in partnership with the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, a non-profit educational organization that has ongoing relationships with 500 American colleges and universities and provides internships and academic seminars for over 1,500 students each year.

Judy Nichols, judith.nichols">mailto:judith.nichols@asu.net">judith.nichols@asu.net
Office of Communications, College of Law