Peter W. Klein

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Peter W. Klein
Peter W. Klein at SFU 1.jpg
Born (1970-01-27) January 27, 1970 (age 45)
Cincinnati, OH, USA
Education Pennsylvania State University (B.A. in Philosophy, 1991)
Columbia University (M.S. in Journalism, 1993)
Occupation Journalist, television and documentary film producer, professor
Known for Investigative and international reporting (earning two Emmys, and numerous other awards)
Peter W. Klein

Peter W. Klein (born in Cincinnati, Ohio) is an American television host and producer, writer and documentary filmmaker. Klein had been a producer for the CBS newsmagazine 60 Minutes since 1999. He also produces pieces for other programs, including ABC News, NBC News, PBS, HDNet and the History Channel. From 2009 to 2010 Klein was the host of the national Canadian current affairs interview program The Standard.[1]

He also serves as director and associate professor at the University of British Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism where he runs the International Reporting program.[2] He produces projects with his students for major media outlets and won an Emmy award in 2010 for a Frontline documentary done in collaboration with his graduate students, a first for a Canadian university.

Klein is establishing the new Global Reporting Centre,[3] which focuses on producing major works of journalism on under-covered global stories in partnership with major media outlets.


In the early 1990s, Klein worked as a public radio reporter during the Bosnian War while freelancing print stories for various publications. In 1994, he helped found VNI New York Times Television, which pioneered foreign news reporting using small format Hi-8 cameras. He went from there to become a senior producer for CBS News' cable channel, Eye on People, and created a documentary series called I Witness, where video journalists spent months covering one topic.

ABC News[edit]

Klein left CBS to become a producer at ABC News' Law and Justice Unit. There he conducted investigations for 20/20, Nightline, and World News Tonight. In the late 90s he and correspondent John Miller investigated anti-government militias, as well as Eric Rudolph of the Army of God’s string of abortion clinic attacks. Klein and correspondent Elizabeth Vargas investigated the wrongful conviction of a woman named Betty Tyson and helped overturn her conviction, a project which earned Vargas her first Emmy nomination.

Klein also filmed, edited and produced documentary specials for Nightline, following people over long periods of time, including the abortion clinic bombing victim Emily Lyons as she spent her first year recovering from a near-fatal blast.[4] In a project entitled "Life & Death",[5] Klein shadowed Noel Earley, a Vietnam veteran dying of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, as he fought for the right to use doctor-assisted suicide. In another project, Klein followed a convicted child molester from the day he was released from prison.[6] Over a six-month period, Klein documented his journey moving back into society, showing the police notifications, the community meetings and the pedophile's life at his mother's house.

60 Minutes[edit]

In 1999, Klein joined 60 Minutes as a staff producer.[7] In 2000 he and Mike Wallace reported on the threat posed by unsecured smallpox virus samples, and on September 5, 2001, their report won a News and Documentary Emmy.[8] After 9/11, Klein went on to work with Wallace covering the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. Their interview with Secretary of Health Tommy Thompson, in which Thompson insisted the country was completely safe from any biological attack, led to a Senate hearing about US biowarfare preparedness.[9] Klein was one of the first network magazine producers to travel to Iraq after the invasion and, working with correspondent Bob Simon, he secured the first and to-date, only Western TV interview with the Shiite cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr.[10]

University of British Columbia[edit]

In addition to his professional work, in 2005 Klein became an associate professor at the University of British Columbia's School of Journalism, where he runs the investigative reporting program.[11] In 2009, with the support of a $1 million donation from Mindset Foundation,[12] he founded the International Reporting Program in which he takes graduate students overseas to produce long-form reporting projects. In 2009, his class produced a documentary for PBS Frontline/World called "Digital Dumping Ground" in which they traced the path of electronic waste to three continents. The project won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative in a Newsmagazine, the first time a student journalism project has been honored with a national Emmy. The piece also earned the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi Award.

Prior to teaching at UBC, he taught at Columbia University and New York University.[13]

Other highlights[edit]

In 2006, Klein launched an investigative series for the History Channel called Beyond Top Secret. The series received two Emmy nominations in 2007[14] and was featured on a segment of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.[15]

In 2009, Klein became the host of a nationally aired current affairs program on VisionTV and JoyTV in Canada called The Standard. Some of his notable guests have included former Mossad director Efraim Halevy and Nate Phelps,[16] son of the radical anti-gay preacher Fred Phelps.

Klein has written for The New York Times,[17] The Miami Herald, The Christian Science Monitor, and numerous other publications during his career.


  1. ^ The Standard, "The Host - Peter Klein". 
  2. ^ "UBC Graduate School of Journalism faculty biography". 
  3. ^ Vancouver Sun, "Finding Global Stories in Pain Sight". 
  4. ^ "The Survivor".  Nightline. Aired January 28, 1999.
  5. ^ "A Public Death".  The Province Journal Company. 1997.
  6. ^ "Sex offender next door".  Nightline. Aired in 1999.
  7. ^ "60 Minutes - show description, cast and crew".  1968-present.
  8. ^ "The 23rd Annual News and Documentary Emmy Award Nominees Announced By The National Academy of Television Arts And Sciences". 
  9. ^ Connolly, Ceci "Senators Criticize HHS Chief On Readiness; Bio-Terrorism Comments 'Will Not Really Help'".  The Washington Post. October 4, 2001.
  10. ^ McKay, Mary Jayne "Muqtada Sadr's Battle Against U.S.: Bob Simon Interviews Iraq's Radical Cleric". CBS News. May 28, 2004.  60 Minutes. Aired May 30, 2004.
  11. ^ "UBC Graduate School of Journalism Faculty Bio.". 
  12. ^ "$1m gift creates groundbreaking International Reporting course".  UBC Graduate School of Journalism News & Events. April 6, 2009.
  13. ^ Richards, Jennifer "Background: Peter Klein". Bullpen.
  14. ^ "Nominees for the News and Documentary Emmy Awards in 32 categories announced by NATAS". 
  15. ^
  16. ^ Cutbirth, Joe Cutbirth, Joe (June 10, 2010). "Phelp's Son Says "God Hates Fags" Church Could Turn Violent". Huffington Post.  The Huffington Post. April 11, 2010.
  17. ^ Klein, Peter W. Klein, Peter W. (January 4, 2007). "My Father's Red Scare.". The New York Times.  The New York Times. January 4, 2007.

External links[edit]