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Media College eNews

4 Oct
famous_kearns In the 1950’s and 60’s, Frank Kearns was the “go-­to guy” at CBS News for dangerous stories in Africa and the Middle East. A native of Morgantown, West Virginia, he came face-­to-­face with death 114 times in his career.    

Like many American reporters in the 1950’s, Kearns was a World War II-­era patriot who believed that   Egypt and the Middle East’s pro-­Arab movement was being influenced by the Soviet Union. He won major journalism awards when he risked his life to report on the real intentions of Algerian rebels. He was the first broadcast journalist to discover the insurgents weren’t communists or Arab extremists but were instead nationalists who believed in their country’s freedom.  

Following an 18-­year, award-­winning  career  at  CBS News, Kearns was named a Benedum Professor of   Journalism at West Virginia University where he taught from 1971 to 1983.  In 1976, CBS told a Congressional hearing that Kearns also worked for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency while in Egypt in the 1950’s. He denied it until his death in 1986.

This documentary is a joint production of Greenbriar Group Films and West Virginia Public Broadcasting. Frank Kearns: American Correspondent establishes this native son’s place in the birth of television news and his evolution as a decorated soldier to an award-winning journalist-turned-college-professor who may, or may not, have worked with the CIA.

“Frank Kearns: American Correspondent premieres Monday, October 15 at 10pm, rebroadcast Friday, October 26 at 9pm on WV PBS.

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