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National Security Archive Wins 2005 Emmy Award

"Declassified: Nixon in China" Cited by Television Academy for Outstanding Achievement in News & Documentary Research

September 19 Awards Ceremony Honors Archive Partnership With ABC News Productions & Discovery Times Channel

September 20, 2005

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New Documentary Reveals Secret U.S., Chinese Diplomacy Behind Nixon's Trip
Originally Posted
December 21, 2004


Description of documentary from the program.
Washington, D.C., September 20, 2005 - The National Security Archive won the 2005 Emmy Award for outstanding achievement in news and documentary research, presented by the National Television Academy at the 26th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards ceremony in New York City last night.

The Emmy recognized the Archive for its work on the documentary "Declassified: Nixon in China," produced by ABC News Productions for the Discovery Times Channel, which premiered the show on December 21, 2004.

The program for the Emmy Awards ceremony described the show's nomination as follows: "President Nixon's historic 1972 trip to China was one of the greatest diplomatic coups in history. This heavily-researched documentary reveals an unknown story behind the one most journalists and historians think they know. To tell it, the producers had to find, sift, evaluate and codify thousands of declassified documents, both from the U.S. government and the secretive Chinese government too. Working in cooperation with the National Security Archive, the program's researchers brought dry government files to life, revealing details that would have rattled the world at the time - including the United States' provision to China of military intelligence and an unspoken agreement on Taiwan."

Listed personally on the award were Archive executive director Tom Blanton, independent film researcher Polly Pettit, and the show's producer, Kathleen Toner of ABC News Productions. The lead researcher for the Archive on the show was senior analyst Dr. William Burr, author of The Kissinger Transcripts (New York: The New Press, 1999) and editor of a forthcoming comprehensive collection of Kissinger memoranda of conversations (to be published by ProQuest). Dr. Burr was present at the New York ceremony to accept the award. Also contributing significantly to the Archive's research efforts were Cornell University professor Dr. Chen Jian (who provided extraordinary Chinese source material), and Archive research assistant Rachel Bradsell.

Archive senior analyst Peter Kornbluh, who writes the "Los Desclasificados" column for the Santiago, Chile newspaper Diario Siete, originally proposed the idea for a television documentary series called "Declassified"; and Archive director Blanton proposed the idea and treatment of the Nixon in China show in a June 3, 2004 meeting with ABC News Productions and Discovery Times Channel executives.

Vivian Schiller, the CEO of Discovery Times Channel and the Senior Vice President for Television and Video of the New York Times Company, green-lighted the production and oversaw its development together with Discovery Times executive Bill Smee. The ABC News Productions team, in addition to the show's producer Kathleen Toner, included executive producer Pete Simmons and CEO Lisa Zeff.

The 2005 Emmy is the third major journalism award won or shared by the National Security Archive. In April 2000, the Archive won the George Polk Award for "piercing self-serving veils of government secrecy, guiding journalists in search of the truth, and informing us all." In 1998, the George Foster Peabody Award in Broadcast Journalism to the landmark 24-hour documentary series "Cold War" produced by CNN and Jeremy Isaacs Productions specifically recognized the Archive's research work for the series, remarking that "each hour is rife with new information, much of it only recently made available under the Freedom of Information Act in America…."

The Archive's film unit has provided research, production and other media services to network news programs and documentary film makers from around the world, including CNN, BBC, NHK, the History Channel, PBS Frontline, ABC, and "60 Minutes" at CBS. Film and TV news credits include "JFK and Castro: The Secret History," for Discovery Times Channel, which was based on an article by Peter Kornbluh and used Kornbluh as Consulting Producer on the film; "Bay of Pigs Declassified" for the History Channel, based on an Archive book by the same name edited by Kornbluh; "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" for PBS Frontline on the Iran-contra scandal; "The Cuban Missile Crisis" for Peter Jennings and ABC News; and "Kissinger v. Schneider" for 60 Minutes.

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