Peter W. Klein

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Peter W. Klein
Education Columbia University (M.S. in Journalism, 1993)
Pennsylvania State University (B.A. in Philosophy, Honors Degree in Economics, Honors Degree in Science Technology and Society, 1991)
Occupation Journalist, television and documentary film producer, professor
Known for Investigative and global reporting (earning three Emmys, and numerous other awards)
Website Peter W. Klein

Peter W. Klein (born in Cincinnati, Ohio) is a journalist, writer and documentary filmmaker. He had been a producer for the CBS newsmagazine 60 Minutes since 1999, produces video projects for The New York Times and writes columns regularly for The Globe and Mail. He is the founder of the Global Reporting Centre,[1] a non-profit organization dedicated to reporting on neglected global issues and innovating the practice of global journalism.

From 2009 to 2010 Klein was the host of the national Canadian current affairs interview program The Standard.[2] From 2010 to 2015 he was the Director of the University of British Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism, where he continues to serve as a professor and runs the International Reporting Program,[3] in which he produces projects with his students for major media outlets. In 2010 Klein, co-teacher Sarah Carter and their students won the Emmy Award for Best Investigation for a Frontline documentary, the first time journalism students in North America earned the top national broadcast award.

Early life[edit]

Klein was born to Hungarian immigrants who fled the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. His father Fred was a knife sharpener and burr hand at the Ford automotive plant in Sharonville, Ohio.[4] His mother Alice was a bookkeeper at a bank. The family spoke Hungarian at home, and Klein maintains dual American and Hungarian citizenship. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and grew up in Miami Beach, Florida.

Career Highlight[edit]

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 co-created a documentary series called I Witness, where video journalists spent months covering one topic.

In 1996 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.[5] In a project entitled "Life & Death",[6] 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.[7] 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.

In 1999, Klein joined 60 Minutes as a staff producer.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11]

In 2006, Klein launched an investigative series for the History Channel called Beyond Top Secret. The series received two Emmy nominations in 2007[12] and was featured on a segment of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.[13] He was the director and producer of the Emmy-nominated documentary Over a Barrel, an ABC News special project about the business of the oil industry. Klein has also contributed business reporting and documentaries to CNBC and CBS News, and earned several Business News Emmy Award nominations, including for a 60 Minutes investigation into market timing in the mutual fund industry.

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,[14] son of the radical anti-gay preacher Fred Phelps.

Klein has written for The New York Times,[15] The Globe and Mail, The Miami Herald, The Christian Science Monitor, and numerous other publications during his career.


In addition to his professional work, Klein has been teaching journalism since 1998, initially at New York University[16] and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.[17] In 2005 Klein became an associate professor at the University of British Columbia's School of Journalism, where he teaches investigative reporting, documentary production and global reporting.[18] In 2009, with the support of a $1 million donation from Mindset Foundation,[19] 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. Other International Reporting Program projects have earned three Edward R. Murrow Awards, two Sigma Delta Chi Awards, a Webby honor, an Online News Association Award nomination, a Canadian Association of Journalists Award and numerous Canadian Online Publishing Awards.

Personal life[edit]

Klein currently lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with his wife Melody and four children. He has a Simian crease on both his hands.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Globe & Mail,  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ The Standard, "The Host - Peter Klein". Archived from the original on 2010-02-11. 
  3. ^ "UBC Graduate School of Journalism faculty biography". 
  4. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ "The Survivor".  Nightline. Aired January 28, 1999.
  6. ^ "A Public Death".  The Province Journal Company. 1997.
  7. ^ "Sex offender next door".  Nightline. Aired in 1999.
  8. ^ "60 Minutes - show description, cast and crew".  1968-present.
  9. ^ "The 23rd Annual News and Documentary Emmy Award Nominees Announced By The National Academy of Television Arts And Sciences". 
  10. ^ Connolly, Ceci "Senators Criticize HHS Chief On Readiness; Bio-Terrorism Comments 'Will Not Really Help'".  The Washington Post. October 4, 2001.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ "Nominees for the News and Documentary Emmy Awards in 32 categories announced by NATAS". Archived from the original on 2007-12-02. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ Richards, Jennifer "Background: Peter Klein". Bullpen
  17. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  18. ^ "UBC Graduate School of Journalism Faculty Bio". 
  19. ^ "$1m gift creates groundbreaking International Reporting course".  UBC Graduate School of Journalism News & Events. April 6, 2009.

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