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Danny Schechter is a television producer, independent filmmaker, blogger, and media critic who writes and lectures frequently about the media in the United States and worldwide. He specializes in investigative journalism and producing programming about the interfaces among human rights, journalism, popular music and society. In all, Schechter has reported from 49 countries. He was the recipient of the Society of Professional Journalists' 2001 Award for Excellence in Documentary Journalism.
Schechter graduated in 1964 from Cornell University, where he wrote for the Cornell Daily Sun and was a member of the Quill and Dagger society. He later received a Master's degree from the London School of Economics and an honorary doctorate from Fitchburg State University. He was a Nieman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard University, where he taught in 1969, and an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University.
Schechter was a civil rights worker and the communications director of the Northern Student Movement, and served as a "community organizer" in a War on Poverty program. Schechter also worked as an assistant to the Mayor of Detroit in 1966.
His media career began at Boston radio station WBCN where he was styled the "News Dissector." Later, Schechter was a producer for the ABC newsmagazine 20/20, responsible for 50 segments of the program; he won two Emmy Awards and was nominated for two others for this work. Schechter joined the start-up staff at CNN as a producer.
After that he branched out on his own. He helped found and served as the executive producer of Globalvision, a New York City-based television and film production company. Schechter created and executive-produced the series South Africa Now and co-produced Rights & Wrongs: Human Rights Television. From 1999–2010, Schechter was also the executive editor and "blogger-in-chief" at the now-defunct MediaChannel.org, for which he wrote a nearly-3000-word daily blog on media and society.
In December 2010 Schecter wrote an article for Aljazeera.com in which he defended Helen Thomas for her remarks in May 2010 on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which other commentators have claimed were anti-semitic.
Film and television
Schechter has produced and directed many television specials and documentary films, including:
- Plunder: The Crime Of Our Time (2010)
- In Debt We Trust (2006)
- WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception (2004)
- Counting on Democracy, about the 2000 Florida election recount, narrated by Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee
- We Are Family (2002), about a benefit recording of the Sister Sledge song following the September 11, 2001 attacks; shown at the Sundance Film Festival
- "Nkosi: A Voice of Africa's AIDS Orphans" (2001), narrated by Danny Glover
- "A Hero for All: Nelson Mandela's Farewell" (1999)
- "Beyond Life: Timothy Leary Lives" (1997)
- "Sowing Seeds/Reaping Peace: The World of Seeds of Peace" (1996)
- "Prisoners of Hope: Reunion on Robben Island" (1995, co-directed by Barbara Kopple
- "Countdown to Freedom: Ten Days that Changed South Africa" (1994), narrated by James Earl Jones and Alfre Woodard
- "Sarajevo Ground Zero" (1993)
- "The Living Canvas" (1992), narrated by Billy Dee Williams
- "Beyond JFK: The Question of Conspiracy" (1992, co-directed by Marc Levin and Barbara Kopple
- "Give Peace a Chance" (1991)
- "Mandela in America" (1990)
- "The Making of Sun City" (1987)
- "Student Power" (1968)
Schechter's books include:
- The More You Watch, The Less You Know (Seven Stories Press, 1997) ISBN 978-1888363807
- Falun Gong's Challenge to China: Spiritual Practice or 'Evil Cult'? (Akashic Books, 2000) ISBN 978-1888451139
- News Dissector: Passions, Pieces and Polemics (Akashic Books, 2001) ISBN 978-1888451207
- Embedded: Weapons of Mass Deception: How the Media Failed to Cover the Iraq War (Prometheus Books, 2003) ISBN 978-1591021735
- Media Wars: News At A Time of Terror (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003) ISBN 978-0742531093
- The Death of Media (and the Fight to Save Democracy) (Melville House Publishing, 2005). ISBN 978-0-9766583-6-8
- When News Lies (Select Books, 2006) ISBN 978-1590790731
- Plunder: Investigating Our Economic Calamity and the Subprime Scandal (Cosimobooks, 2008) ISBN 978-1-60520-351-5
- The Crime Of Our Time: Why Wall Street is Not Too Big To Jail (Disinformation Books, 2010) ISBN 978-1934708552
- Blogothon: Reflections and Revelations from the News Dissector (Cosimo Books, 2012) ISBN 978-1616406691
- Madiba A to Z: The Many Faces of Nelson Mandela (Seven Stories Press, November 2013). ISBN 978-1609805593
- "Plunder bio". Retrieved November 1, 2012.
- Danny Schechter's Home Page
- Interview with Danny Schechter by JK Fowler for The Mantle March 20, 2011
- Danny Schechter at the Internet Movie Database