Journalist Danny Schechter, a 1978 Nieman Fellow who chronicled the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, advocated for human rights and other causes, and spoke out often about the need for a vigilant and independent press, has died after a battle with cancer at the age of 72.
Known to many as “The News Dissector” from his work at rock station WBCN-FM in Boston, Schechter also was an accomplished television producer who won two Emmys as a producer for ABC’s news magazine 20/20 and was part of the startup team that created CNN.
He served as executive editor of MediaChannel.org and was co-founder and executive producer of the Globalvision production company. He additionally wrote twelve books, including The More You Watch, The Less You Know.
Schechter had a close working relationship with Nelson Mandela, who he profiled in six films, including “Mandela in America.” He also wrote “Madiba A to Z: The Many Faces of Nelson Mandela,” a book published in conjunction with the film, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.”
A Cornell University graduate, he received his master’s degree from the London School of Economics and an honorary doctorate from Fitchburg College.
Schechter was a regular contributor to Nieman Reports. Read a selection of his articles from the past:
Is the Financial Crisis Also a Crime Story?
What happens when reporters pursue the wrong narrative in covering financial news? It is a personal story with deeper implications.
They Blog, I Blog, We All Blog
An Australian blogger interviews dissident bloggers worldwide, and in his book he explains why what they do matters and who is trying to stop them.
Urgent Issues the Press Usually Ignore
A focus on smaller stories ‘too often fails to connect the proverbial dots and avoids too much digging into or interpreting the larger picture.’
Investigating the Nation’s Exploding Credit Squeeze
When I started out, my film was going to be about other people’s economic woes. Soon I realized I was part of this story of how the credit industry targets poor and middle-class Americans.
Are We Reaching Da Youth?
Young adults’ ‘rejection of “the news” might be a reaction to big journalism’s rejection of them.’
Patriotism and Journalism
Edward R. Murrow said, ‘The terror is right here in this room.’
Blogging the War Away
A media critic wages his own media war against the coverage of the war.
Understanding the ‘Why’ of September 11
Using the Web, Globalvision’s world news site helps readers dig deeper and broader for answers.