Christopher Buchanan Papers
As a freelance documentary producer in both public and commercial television, as well as public radio, Christopher Buchanan has contributed his producing skills to NPR, PBS, ABC, and the BBC. From 1986 to 1988, he produced stories for National Public Radio's news and information programs, and worked as an associate producer for "All Things Considered" for much of 1992. For the Public Broadcasting Service, Buchanan contributed to several programs in the series Frontline as either associate producer or field producer. These programs include the Peabody award-winning examination of the 1988 presidential candidates "The Choice," "Pentagon, Inc.," and "Betrayal of Democracy." In his job capacity, Buchanan conducted preliminary and on-camera interviews, and took care of all field production arrangements. The collection consists of Buchanan's 1974 senior thesis "The Struggle for the Soul of Public Television: A Case Study in Decision Making," interview notes, and newspaper clippings.
Important Information for Users of the Collection
This collection is open for research use.
Christopher Buchanan Papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.
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Christopher Buchanan graduated summa cum laude from Boston University with a bachelor's degree in political science
Before he began his career in film and radio, Buchanan worked as a print reporter on the political desk of Congressional Quarterly's Weekly Report and as a staff reporter for CQ's newsletter, Congressional Insight. He also contributed articles to Politics in America and The Almanac of America Politics.
Calling himself a freelance documentary producer, Buchanan has spent the last thirteen years working for public and commercial media. On the radio side, he worked for National Public Radio from 1986 to 1988, frequently producing stories for all of NPR's news and information programs. For much of 1992, he served as an associate producer for All Things Considered, producing many election-related stories with hosts and senior correspondents.
Meanwhile, Buchanan has contributed to several stories in the PBS series Frontline as either associate producer or field producer. These programs include the Peabody Award-winning examination of the 1988 presidential candidates, "The Choice," "Pentagon, Inc.," and "Betrayal of Democracy." He also worked on the BBC/Frontline co-production "Who was Lee Harvey Oswald?" In his capacity as field producer and associate producer, Buchanan conducted preliminary and some on-camera interviews, and took care of all field production arrangements.
Buchanan's other work in commercial media range from being assistant location manager and production coordinator for the feature film Raising Arizona, to co-producing One Song, Many Hands, an hour-long documentary about the hunger relief and development efforts in Africa that grew out of the song, "We are the World." His most recent independent production, Pictures to an Exhibition: Morris Louis Goes to Milan (1991), won the Bronze Award at the Houston Film Festival. Finally, in 1994, Buchanan produced "Turning Point at Normandy: The Soldiers Stories" for ABC News. His next project is another BBC/Frontline co-production tentatively titled "The Life and Death of Pablo Escobar."
Scope and Contents of the Collection
The Christopher Buchanan Papers cover the years 1971 to 1977 with the bulk of the collection from 1973 to 1974. The collection documents Buchanan's research in writing his 1974 thesis for Boston University entitled "The Struggle for the Soul of Public Television: A Case Study in Decision Making." Newspaper clippings from the time period are also included.
Custodial History and Acquisition Information
The Christopher Buchanan Papers were given to the National Public Broadcasting Archives, University of Maryland Libraries by Christopher Buchanan in December of 1991.
Processed by Karen E. King, March 1993. Revised by Karen E. King, June 1994
EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Karen E. King, November 2004.
Arrangement of Collection
Organized as one series:
Detailed Description of the Collection
Series 1: Public Broadcasting History, 1971-1977 (0.25 linear foot)
This series documents Buchanan's thesis research on the organizational struggle of public television in the 1970s. From October 1973 to February 1974, he interviewed people such as Thomas B. Curtis, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Ralph B. Rogers, Public Broadcasting Service, and Fred W. Friendly, Ford Foundation. These interview notes, typed on recycled paper, became the basis for "The Struggle for the Soul of Public Television: A Case Study in Decision Making," submitted to Boston University, College of Liberal Arts, April 1974. The documents also include newspaper clippings from the 1970s. The interview notes were arranged in chronological orders, and the clippings were placed last as they covered a wider time period.
|Description||Series||Box / Reel||Folder / Frame|
|Interview Notes -- McCandlish Phillips, October 1, 1973||series 1||box 1||folder 1|
|Interview Notes -- Gloria Anderson, November 8, 1973||series 1||box 1||folder 2|
|Interview Notes -- Neal B. Freeman, December 7, 1973||series 1||box 1||folder 3|
|Interview Notes -- Fred W. Friendly, December 7, 1973||series 1||box 1||folder 4|
|Interview Notes -- Greg Knox, December 7, 1973||series 1||box 1||folder 5|
|Interview Notes -- Thomas B. Curtis, January 4, 1974||series 1||box 1||folder 6|
|Interview Notes -- Mrs. Mary Dinota, January 7, 1974||series 1||box 1||folder 7|
|Interview Notes -- John W. Macy, January 8, 1974||series 1||box 1||folder 8|
|Interview Notes -- Norman Sinel, January 8, 1974||series 1||box 1||folder 9|
|Interview Notes -- Iris Acres, January 10, 1974||series 1||box 1||folder 10|
|Interview Notes -- Kenneth Robinson, January 10, 1974||series 1||box 1||folder 11|
|Interview Notes -- Hartford Gunn, January 11, 1974||series 1||box 1||folder 12|
|Interview Notes -- Ward White, January 11, 1974||series 1||box 1||folder 13|
|Interview Notes -- Robert S. Benjamin, January 14, 1974||series 1||box 1||folder 14|
|Interview Notes -- Bill Greeley, January 14, 1974||series 1||box 1||folder 15|
|Interview Notes -- Ward B. Chamberlin, January 15, 1974||series 1||box 1||folder 16|
|Interview Notes -- Ralph B. Rogers, February 6, 1974||series 1||box 1||folder 17|
|Interview Notes -- David O. Ives, February 14, 1974||series 1||box 1||folder 18|
|"The Struggle for the Soul of Public Television: A Case Study in Decision Making." Senior Thesis submitted April 26, 1974 to the College of Liberal Arts, Boston University, April 26, 1974||series 1||box 1||folder 19|
|"The Struggle for the Soul of Public Television: A Case Study in Decision Making." Senior Thesis submitted April 26, 1974 to the College of Liberal Arts, Boston University, April 26, 1974||series 1||box 1||folder 20|
|Newspaper Clippings, 1971-1977||series 1||box 1||folder 21|
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Selected Search Terms
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the University of Maryland Libraries' Catalog. Researchers desiring related materials about these topics, names, or places may search the Catalog using these headings.
- Buchanan, Christopher -- Archives.
- Executives -- United States -- Interviews.
- Ives, David O.
- Public television -- United States -- History -- Sources.
Names (Added Entries)
- Chamberlin, Ward B.
- Curtis, Thomas B.
- Friendly, Fred W.
- Gunn, Hartford N.
- Macy, John W., 1917-
- Rogers, Ralph B., 1909-