Kens Burns Documentary and IdahoPTV Specials Revisit Vietnam War

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s 10-part, 18-hour documentary series The Vietnam War tells the epic story of one of the most consequential, divisive and controversial events in American history as it has never before been told on film.

The series airs over two weeks, Sundays-Thursdays, September 17-28, at 8 PM on Idaho Public Television.

Visceral and immersive, the series explores the human dimensions of the war through revelatory testimony of nearly 80 witnesses from all sides — Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as combatants and civilians from North and South Vietnam.

“The Vietnam War was a decade of agony that took the lives of more than 58,000 Americans,” says co-director Ken Burns. “Not since the Civil War have we as a country been so torn apart. There wasn’t an American alive then who wasn’t affected in some way — from those who fought and sacrificed in the war, to families of service members and POWs, to those who protested the war in open conflict with their government and fellow citizens. More than 40 years after it ended, we can’t forget Vietnam, and we are still arguing about why it went wrong, who was to blame and whether it was all worth it.”

“We are all searching for some meaning in this terrible tragedy. Ken and I have tried to shed new light on the war by looking at it from the bottom up, the top down and from all sides,” says co-director Lynn Novick. “In addition to dozens of Americans who shared their stories, we interviewed many Vietnamese on both the winning and losing sides, and were surprised to learn that the war remains as painful and unresolved for them as it is for us. Within this almost incomprehensibly destructive event, we discovered profound, universal human truths, as well as uncanny resonances with recent events.”

Ten years in the making, the series includes rarely seen and digitally remastered archival footage from sources around the globe, photographs taken by some of the most celebrated photojournalists of the 20th century, historic television broadcasts, evocative home movies, and secret audio recordings from inside the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations.

The Vietnam War features more than 100 iconic musical recordings from artists of the era and haunting original music from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, as well as the Silk Road Ensemble featuring Yo-Yo Ma.

IdahoPTV Passport members can stream the entire series (all 10 episodes) beginning September 17. The series will also be available in Spanish and Vietnamese on streaming. To learn more about becoming a Passport member, visit the IdahoPTV Passport page.

‘The Vietnam War’ is locally sponsored by Idaho Humanities Council and Intermountain Gas Company.


During the two-week airing of The Vietnam War, Idaho Public Television presents additional programs that explore the experiences and legacies of those who were affected by the war.

Dialogue encores an interview with author Tim O’Brien (Sunday, September 17, at 7:30 PM), whose novel about a soldier gone AWOL in Vietnam, Going After Cacciato, won the 1979 National Book Award for Fiction.

Into Harm’s Way (Monday, September 18, at 9:30 PM) takes an unflinching look at the shadow the Vietnam War continues to cast on surviving members of the West Point Class of 1967. The soldiers share stories about the carnage of war, the war’s impact on their lives and beliefs, and their enduring bonds of brotherhood.

Nothing Left to Lose (Tuesday, September 19, at 10 PM) tells the story of approximately 100 Vietnamese refugees who lived in hiding in Thailand for 25 years and who are still searching for a place to call home.

An encore of Bravo! Common Men, Uncommon Valor (Thursday, September 21, at 9:30 PM) explores the 77-day siege of Khe Sanh and introduces the soldiers of Bravo Company, who were trapped in one of the worst sieges in the history of American warfare. On Tuesday, September 26, at 10 and 10:30 PM, Dialogue encores two interviews with Idaho filmmakers Ken and Betty Rodgers, the producers of Bravo!

Dialogue encores an interview with historian Fredrik Logevall (Sunday, September 24, at 7:30 PM), who discusses how decisions made by American leaders before and during the Vietnam War still affect our country’s foreign policy.

Long Road Home (Thursday, September 28, at 10 PM) explores the impact of wartime post-traumatic stress disorder and examines the promising research underway at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where doctors study the sleep and brain patterns of PTSD sufferers and examine the reasons why women are twice as likely as men to develop the disorder.

‘NOVA’ Reports on Solar Eclipse From Idaho

The popular PBS science program NOVA will report on the August 21 solar eclipse live from the city of Irwin, Idaho. The event will stream live on NOVA’s Facebook page beginning August 21 at 10/9 AM MT/PT.

NOVA Facebook Live

PBS NewsHour science correspondent Miles O’Brien, who will host the live event, says, “I can’t think of a better place to be in general than your beautiful state. But the combination of the earthly beauty of Idaho with the celestial spectacle of the earth-moon ballet is pegging my ‘awesome meter.’ I am a lucky guy to be able to put this time and place on my bucket list.”

Irwin, Idaho — with an estimated population of 228 residents — is a city in Bonneville County and part of the Idaho Falls metropolitan area. It is in the path of totality for the August 21 eclipse.

Allison Eck, digital editor for NOVA, says, “This part of Idaho is one of the country’s prime eclipse-viewing locations, so we’re really excited to be in the thick of the event. We’ll be talking about everything from Baily’s beads — a feature of many solar eclipses — to the cultural and historical significance of eclipses. Fingers crossed that the weather is good and that the clouds are minimal!”

Eclipse Over America

PBS eclipse coverage continues that night when NOVA broadcasts Eclipse Over America at 8 PM on Idaho Public Television. The program recaps the day’s events — featuring footage from Idaho and other locations along the path of totality — as citizens gather to take in the spectacle, and scientists investigate the secrets of the sun’s elusive atmosphere as they can only do during the eclipse’s precious few moments of darkness.

Experts will shed light on how our sun works, how it can produce deadly solar storms, and why its atmosphere is so hot. NOVA: Eclipse Over America investigates the storied history of solar eclipse science and joins both seasoned and citizen-scientists alike as they don their eclipse glasses and tune their telescopes for the eclipse.

Chris Schmidt, senior producer for NOVA say, “NOVA is incredibly excited not only for the opportunity to share the excitement and science of the eclipse with the entire nation, but also to be able to bring together so many member stations to create a truly national experience.”

IdahoPTV Collaboration Supports Symposium on Aging

Idaho Public Television may be known for high-quality children’s programs like Curious George and Science Trek — but we also want to focus on other viewers along the age spectrum with programs that feed the spirit, educate and inform, and keep the mind sharp. That’s why we’re collaborating with Idaho State University’s Kasiska Division of Health Sciences and Honoring Choices Idaho to promote the 10th annual Thomas Geriatric Symposium.

The purpose of this collaboration is to provide greater public awareness of aging in Idaho and America, broaden the public’s perspective of the aging process, and provide pathways to improved health and well-being through special programming, news articles and sharing of statewide resources.

As part of the partnership, IdahoPTV will present three weeks of special programming, September 17 through October 6, focused on longevity, health care, protecting seniors online, and other issues related to aging (see our list of programs below).

Thomas Geriatric Symposium

The Thomas Geriatric Symposium is an annual conference that educates people about aging, health care choices and wellness. It provides greater awareness of the needs of older adults and educates people about their health care choices as well as the impact of eldercare on their lives and their communities.

The symposium will take place on the Idaho State University campuses at the Pond Student Union Ballroom in Pocatello and the ISU Meridian Health Science Center in Meridian on Friday, October 6. Registration begins at 8:30 AM and sessions will be held from 9 AM to 1 PM. The symposium is free to the public.

This year’s keynote theme is Healthy Aging and Nutrition: What’s on Your Plate? The sessions consist of a keynote address and breakout sessions that focus on a variety of health related, financial and life planning topics. The keynote address will be given by Dr. SeAnne Safaii-Waite, Associate Professor of Foods and Nutrition at the University of Idaho. Speakers’ presentations will occur at both the Meridian and Pocatello campuses and will be connected via video teleconference so all session can be viewed at both sites.  IdahoPTV’s Bruce Reichert will be among those presenting. Experiential activities will occur at both sites independently.

Through this collaboration we are able to discover and share resources that assist people in navigating the best possible means to improve or maintain their health as well as prepare health care directives. Honoring Choices Idaho, for instance, promotes advanced care planning conversations to ensure individuals get the care they choose at the end of life. They’ve also compiled this list of Idaho resources on aging, wellness, lifelong learning, and end-of-life preparation.

“Collaboration around a shared vision can result in great change,” says Stephanie Bender-Kitz from Honoring Choices Idaho. “We are proud to collaborate with Idaho Public Television and Idaho State University to catalyze conversations about the opportunities and challenges of longevity. Having conversations about what matters is what Honoring Choices Idaho is all about — and we hope that many individual and community conversations about living and aging are started as a result of IdahoPTV programs and the ISU symposium!”

ISU Clinical Professor Beth Ann Guzi says, “Idaho State University’s Kasiska Division of Health Sciences and the Thomas Geriatric Symposium partnership with Idaho Public Television and Honoring Choices Idaho is essential for providing greater awareness of the needs of older adults and educating people about their health care choices as well as the impact on their lives and their communities. Through this collaboration, we are able to discover and share resources that assist people in navigating the best possible means to improve or maintain their health as well as prepare health care directives. We are enthusiastic about the positive impact this partnership will have on the quality of life for people in our communities.”

Idaho Public Television is proud to enrich this collaboration with three weeks of programming on our Idaho and Plus Channels. Tune in September 17 through October 6 for the following specials:

Age Wise – An empowering look at issues facing today’’s seniors, this series examines what can and should be done to help older adults age better with insight from experts and everyday older adults who’ share their personal stories of success. Airs in five parts, September 18-22 and October 2-6 at 4:30/3:30 PM MT/PT on the Plus Channel.

Alzheimer’s: Every Minute Counts – An urgent wake-up call about the national threat posed by Alzheimer’s that illuminates the social and economic consequences for the country unless a medical breakthrough is discovered for this currently incurable disease. Airs September 26 at 7 PM on the Idaho Channel.

Alzheimer’s: The Caregiver’s Perspective – A variety of caregivers, family members and many others explain how they creatively navigate the frustrations, sorrows, and complications of caring for a loved one who can no longer function safely on their own. Airs September 24 at 6/5 PM and 10/9 PM MT/PT on the Plus Channel.

Capturing Grace – Reveals the hopes, fears and triumphs of a newly-forged community of world-renowned dancers and people with Parkinson’s disease as they work together to create a unique, life-changing performance. Airs October 1 at 6/5 PM and 10:30/9:30 PM MT/PT on the Plus Channel.

Coming of Age in Aging America – Grapples with questions raised by increased longevity and suggests that America’s social and economic institutions must adapt to a staggering demographic transformation where more than half of the world’s population will eventually be over the age of 50. Airs September 19 at 7 PM on the Idaho Channel, and September 26 at 6/5 PM and 10/9 PM MT/PT on the Plus Channel.

Cyber-Seniors – Follows the extraordinary journey of a group of senior citizens who take their first steps into cyberspace under the tutelage of teenage mentors. Airs September 23 at 5/4 PM and October 3 at 6/5 PM MT/PT on the Plus Channel.

Elder Abuse and Exploitation – Examines the causes behind geriatric mistreatment, neglect and exploitation, which is often underreported, lacks clear legal definition, and is complicated by ethical challenges. Airs September 29 at 8:30 PM on the Idaho Channel, and October 3 at 10:30/9:30 PM MT/PT on the Plus Channel.

Fleeced: Speaking Out Against Senior Financial Abuse – Examines the timely topic of elder financial exploitation including scams and predatory lending practices, identity theft, reverse mortgages, pyramid schemes, sweepstakes and “good-faith” payments. Airs September 18 at 9/8 PM and October 3 at 10/9 PM MT/PT on the Plus Channel.

Grey Ambition – An inspirational documentary about Canadian seniors who are taking their brain power to new levels long after retirement by being involved in the arts, volunteerism, education, entrepreneurship, and working in the business world. Airs October 1 at 5/4 PM MT/PT on the Plus Channel.

Grey Glory – An inspirational documentary about three Canadian seniors — a track-and-field star, a triathlete and a bodybuilder — who are pushing their bodies to the limit, redefining our perceptions of aging. Airs October 1 at 5:30/4:30 PM MT/PT on the Plus Channel.

How to Stay Young – Investigates new research that could put the brakes on aging: foods that add years to your life, Alzheimer’s sufferers injected with young people’s blood, and a boy with Laron syndrome who could hold the key to curing aging. Airs in two parts: September 20 and 27 at 7 PM on the Idaho Channel, and September 22 and 29 at 6/5 PM MT/PT on the Plus Channel.

Living With Alzheimer’s and Dementia – Explores the effects these diseases have on individuals, families and communities by revealing the myths and stigmas that have hindered better living and caretaking and examining the heavy burden of costs associated with the diseases. Airs September 30 at 5/4 PM MT/PT on the Plus Channel.

Music for Life: The Story of New Horizons – What started as a 30-member band in Rochester, New York, more than 20 years ago has grown to a program that includes 10,000 senior musicians in 215 New Horizons bands across the world. Airs September 19 at 8/7 PM MT/PT on the Plus Channel.

Nine to Ninety – The story of 89-year-old Phyllis Sabatini who lives with her daughter’s family, but when she sees the strain it puts on her daughter to care for everyone from nine to 90, she makes a radical decision to move into assisted living. Airs September 22 at 8:30 PM on the Idaho Channel.

Passing On – Explores the end of life through a series of compelling and sensitive stories that will engage viewers emotionally and provide valuable information about passing along dying wishes and planning for death. Airs September 26 at 8/7 PM on the Plus Channel, and October 3 at 7 PM on the Idaho Channel.

When I’m 65 – Challenges longstanding myths about retirement and living longer, and explores changing attitudes toward work, debt, housing and the financial realities of the 21st century. Airs September 24 at 5/4 PM and September 27 at 7/6 PM MT/PT on the Plus Channel.

PBS Kids Provides Fun and Learning for Idaho Students

This summer our education outreach team — with an assist from PBS Kids — has been busy bringing creativity and learning to students throughout Idaho.

Scratch Jr

Our teacher ambassador, Kari Wardle, has been leading PBS Kids ScratchJr coding camps for teachers and summer school students. ScratchJr is a coding app designed for children in grades K-3. Wardle’s camps allow kids (and teachers) to take on the roles of programmer, editor, and background, sound and character designers — creating stories and games using their favorite PBS Kids characters.

Meanwhile, our education specialist, Cindy Lunte, has been traveling the state leading STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities for children at public libraries. Kids build and race wooden spool racers and run Slinkys down towers built of empty boxes, among other hands-on activities.

Lunte has also given away 75 PBS Kids Playtime Pads to public libraries around the state. The devices are loaded with PBS Kids educational content including ScratchJr, educational games, and PBS Kids video clips.


April Blankenship, branch manager at Kamiah Community Library, says of their new Playtime Pads: “The kids who have used them here really love them, including asking for them specifically when they come in. We appreciate not only your items but also your time and enthusiasm!”

Linda Henderson, children’s librarian at Buhl Public Library, says children in her community love playing on the tablets. The library has added a barcode to each tablet (and available headphones) so kids can check them out for in-library use. “This has worked well for us since we don’t let them go outside of the building,” Henderson says. “People put their children on them while they are on computers or engaging in other library activities. Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity!”

‘Science Trek’ Evolves to Meet Changing Needs of Teachers, Students

Big changes are coming to Science Trek beginning in September.

In 1999, Science Trek (originally titled Dialogue for Kids or D4K) began as a 30-minute live call-in show with a companion website. The mission of the effort was to provide teachers and K-6th grade students with video tools and educational material to excite an interest in science.

Science Trek banner

As technology advanced, teachers and students preferred sending in questions (as email and video files) to faxes and phone calls, so the broadcast show changed. Today, educators find it easier to use video shorts in their classrooms than to play the 30-minute show, so Science Trek is adapting its focus.

“The trend in education to use digital material over traditional broadcast television is undeniable,” says Science Trek producer/host Joan Cartan-Hansen. Some surveys show 94 percent of classroom teachers use video as part of their lessons and younger viewers watch 2.5 times more internet video than TV. “If we are to meet our mission, we need to go where our educators and students already are,” Cartan-Hansen says.

Science Trek starts its 19th season in September with a new digital content focus. Instead of producing new 30-minute broadcast shows, Cartan-Hansen and the Science Trek team will deliver more online-first content. “Each month, we’ll explore a scientific subject with digital shorts available on the Science Trek website, on a new Facebook page for parents and teachers, on YouTube, and on PBS Learning Media, a free, online media-on-demand service developed for PreK-12 educators,” says Cartan-Hansen. The Science Trek team is even experimenting with 360-degree immersive video production.

Science Trek website
The Science Trek website:

Cartan-Hansen says in addition to the video, each month’s topic will have facts, links, reading lists, lesson plans, games, and other educational support material all available on the website. The Science Trek website currently has more than 90 different scientific topics with video and supporting educational material all correlated to Idaho’s science standards and the Common Core science standards.

“No longer producing the 30-minute show is a risk,” Cartan-Hansen says, but she is confident that an audience is out there for the digital content. The Science Trek website had more than two million unique page views for the 2016-2017 school year, up 36 percent from the previous year. The Simple Machines video had more than 24,000 downloads in one month on the PBS Learning Media site.

Science Trek won’t disappear from Idaho Public Television’s airwaves. “We will be airing all the video shorts and our 60 Seconds With Science Trek spots on-air each month, and we will repeat the last several seasons of the 30-minute shows,” Cartan-Hansen says. “While our primary platform has changed, our mission has not. We still hope to provide better tools to help educators, students, and parents explore and learn more about science.”

‘Outdoor Idaho’ Presents Hourlong Encores in August

Enjoy the beauty and wonder of Idaho’s great outdoors from the comfort of your indoor oasis with hourlong encores of Outdoor Idaho in August. Outdoor Idaho airs Thursdays at 8 PM and Sundays at 7 PM. Or stream episodes On Demand the same day.


Idaho Geology, A Convergence of Wonders airs August 3 and 6. The Gem State’s story is written in stone, which reveals the forces that produced a landscape that unites, divides, and binds together Idahoans. Geologists Bill Bonnichsen and Marty Godchaux lead a tour through the complexities of the topic. Outdoor enthusiasts play amid unique formations — they ski on sand dunes, kayak through canyons, raft over waterfalls, climb rocky outcroppings, and dive into fossil water. The special includes videos of geologic events and examples gathered over decades.

Wooden Boats, Wondrous Lakes airs August 10 and 13. Film crews follow the wake of classic boats, with their graceful lines, across Idaho’s big lakes, and meet the people who have made the restoration of wooden boats their passion. The hourlong program visits wooden boat shows in McCall, Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint, and explores the character of these wooden works of art.

Yellowstone’s Cascade Corner airs August 17 and 20. The lush southwestern corner of the park that extends from Wyoming into Idaho is a region of huge meadows, twisting canyons, and countless waterfalls. Reached on foot or by horseback, these 200 square miles of the park are a wonderful wilderness escape for hardy adventurers.

Gold Rush Days and Ghost Towns airs August 24 and 27. Thousands of gold seekers pour into Idaho Territory in the 1860s constructing instant cities in rugged terrain. This look at the past and present of these towns — some only a memory, others active county seats — includes interviews with descendants of the miners of yesteryear.

Idaho’s Scenic Byways airs August 31 and September 3. Cameras capture scenes from the state’s system of more than 2,400 miles of official Scenic, Historic or Backcountry byways. The routes crisscross the state to reveal natural wonders, geologic and historic sites, and the varied topography of Idaho.


IdahoPTV Announces New Internship Opportunities

Idaho Public Television is celebrating our tradition of mentoring students majoring in journalism, mass media, communication, public relations, event planning, marketing, education, new media, nonprofit management, and human resources by announcing a new internship program for college students in their junior to graduate-level years of study.


Work With the Best, Learn From the Best

Idaho Public Television is an agency of the State of Idaho operating under licenses held by the State Board of Education, and is the most watched public television station in the U.S. per capita. Our award-winning, locally produced programming earns accolades and awards from local, state, and national professional media organizations and associations year after year.

Explore and Expand Your Horizons

Internships are mutually beneficial to students and our stations. Many of Idaho’s current broadcast professionals and employees began their careers with Idaho Public Television. Hands-on experience in the industry complements what is learned in the classroom and prepares a new generation of broadcasting specialists from a variety of majors and experiences.

Idaho Public Television is pleased to announce the following internship opportunities:


Development Department Events Coordination Internships

The unpaid, first year Development Department internship allows the selected interns to develop a portfolio that involves completing a variety of event coordination projects for a dynamic member-supported organization.

If the student completes the qualifying internship at the level of expectation, he or she may be invited back for additional internships with Idaho Public Television. Follow-up internships involve paid opportunities to participate in additional or more responsible Development Department activities.

Date: Fall semester internship begins mid-September. Spring semester internship begins mid-January.

Hrs/Wk: Flexible 8–10 hours per week averaged over 3 days per week. Idaho Public Television will work with class schedule.

Skill Sets: Spreadsheet creation and entry

Organizational expertise

Presentation software (PowerPoint) development

Microsoft Office programs

Strong writing and proofreading skills


Working with confidential information

College Majors: Junior, senior, or graduate-level public relations, communications, marketing, nonprofit management, or related fields of study

Mentors: Director of Membership and Director of Major Gifts

Application Deadlines: Fall semester application deadline is August 31, 2017. Spring semester application deadline is November 30, 2017.

Interviews Schedule: To be determined


Internship Consists of Five Mini Projects

Project 1: IdahoPTV and the Development Function
  • Orientation and onboarding
  • Job shadowing
  • Departments within Development
  • Fundraising 101
Project 2: Event Planning, Execution, and Follow-Up
  • Event time line
  • Invites, e-vites, and RSVPs
  • Publicity platforms (social media, letters, e-blasts, etc.)
  • Sponsorship and Membership events
Project 3: Prospecting
  • Compile and organize donor records and information points from multiple data sources
  • Collect and organize information for staff follow-up
  • Output: streamlined communication plan and strategies for tracking and following up with Planned Giving prospects
Project 4: Solicitation and Appreciation
  • Member/donor renewals
  • Thank-you letters/mail merge projects
  • Segmentation and individualization
Project 5: Event Planning and Execution: On-Air Fundraising Each Year in December and March
  • Executing volunteer management and training
  • Phone bank and other in-kind donations solicitations


Interested?  Here are the relevant details:


  • Currently enrolled in a regionally accredited college or university.
  • Junior to graduate student status; GPA of 2.8 overall, 3.0 or better in major.  Internships can be for academic credit-hours or for building real-world experience.  The first internship is unpaid. Some internships are renewable and may be eligible for a salary or stipend in succeeding years.
  • Student is responsible for travel to and from internship base location (travel to internship city, and to and from work or while on the job), living expenses, and health insurance.
  • Students seeking academic credit for the internship(s) may not be eligible for paid internships. Check with your campus for details.

Application Process:

Please reference the name of the internship in the subject line of all correspondence to ensure proper routing. Interested students should email the following materials to

  • For students requesting academic credit, submit a copy of the internship requirements and guidelines for employers, as well as contact information for the professor or dean who is in charge of internships at your school
  • current resume
  • letter of intent expressing your qualifications and interest in a specific internship, and your goals for the internship
  • school advisor’s contact information
  • copies of transcripts from higher education institutions you have attended
  • letter of recommendation from the department head or a past or current professor who has taught you in a class in your field of study
  • summer or semester (fall or spring) for which you are applying if applicable.


Idaho Public Television Diversity Statement:

It is the policy of Idaho Public Television to create an environment that supports diversity in all aspects of employment and in the daily operation of the enterprise. This diversity policy also carries over to the communities we serve through programming, community outreach, and our involvement in local and national organizations that promote diversity and inclusion.

At Idaho Public Television we value the contributions of each unique individual regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, physical abilities, veteran status, religious or political beliefs or other ideologies. This policy not only applies to our employment practices but is manifested in our culture where we view diversity as a strength to be developed and encouraged.

We choose to take positive actions to promote and encourage diversity and the personal development of each full-time and part-time employee of our organization, and include individuals representing diverse groups in internships to provide a meaningful professional-level experience to represent the diversity of the communities we serve, and to further public broadcasting’s commitment to education.

Idaho Public Television is an equal opportunity employer. We have adopted and will always meet the standards of federal and state law, state statutes, our own Equal Employment Opportunity Policy, and F.C.C. diversity reporting requirements.

In addition, as a State of Idaho agency, we support and abide by the State Board of Education’s Equal Employment Opportunity, Diversity, and Sexual Harassment Policies. Since 2013, Idaho Public Television has held an annual diversity training program for management and staff that underscores our continuing commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout the organization.

Internship Contact:

Susannah Arnim, Human Resource Specialist

(208)  373-7340