FRONTLINE

Obama Administration's Covert Operations to Find Bin Laden

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This video adapted from FRONTLINE reviews the decision to assassinate Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. The mission, approved by President Barack Obama despite inconclusive intelligence and disagreement among his closest advisers, reflected both the president’s aggressive approach to combating terrorism and the ways in which new technologies had changed the United States’ options in foreign policy. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE collection.

Generation Like: Social Media and Self-Promotion

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Go behind the scenes to discover how a Hollywood celebrity uses millions of “likes” each month to promote his career and build it into something of value to other companies in this video from FRONTLINE: Generation Like. Ian Somerhalder is the star of the television series, The Vampire Diaries. Working with Oliver Luckett, head of the social media content publisher theAudience, Somerhalder reaches millions of people a month through content posted on channels like Facebook. Analyzing online activity, Luckett can tell how many people Somerhalder reaches every time he posts new content. He also can tell what kinds of products or brands Somerhalder’s followers like. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

Syrian War—Tale of Two Villages

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This video from a 2013 FRONTLINE documentary considers the civil war in Syria from opposite sides of the Orontes River. In Kansafra, where the population is primarily Sunni Muslim, Ahmad talks of leaving his post in the local police force to join rebel fighters in the Free Syrian Army. Across the river in Aziziya, where the dominant ethnic group represents the Alawite sect of Shi’ite Islam, high school students proclaim their loyalty to President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian Arab Army. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE collection.

The Trouble with Chicken | Deadly Bacteria and Food Safety

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Discover how an outbreak of the deadly bacteria E. coli in 1993 led to a public health crisis and controversy about food safety, in these videos excerpted from FRONTLINE: The Trouble with Chicken. When four children died after eating undercooked hamburger at a fast food restaurant, food safety regulations were overhauled. E. coli was declared an “adulterant” and banned from food. Yet salmonella, another foodborne bacterium which sickens and kills, was not. This has led to conflicts among the meat and poultry industries, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the legal system, and Congress as to who is responsible for ensuring food safety. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

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Teaching Tips  |  Student Handout  |  Background Essay  |  Vocabulary and Terms  |  Video Transcript

The 2008 Wall Street Bailout

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The federal bailout of the largest Wall Street banks during the 2008 financial crisis is explored in this video adapted from FRONTLINE: "Money, Power and Wall Street." Prior to this unprecedented bailout, the Federal Reserve Bank in March 2008 had bailed out the first major bank on the verge of collapse—Bear Sterns. However, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulsen then informed the banks that it would be up to them to resolve the problem when Lehman Brothers was next to collapse. With no federal bailout or support from other banks, Lehman Brothers soon failed. Fearful of further collapse, Paulsen bailed out the next financial institution in trouble—AIG. Yet the crisis only deepened, leading Paulson to ask Congress to approve a massive bailout. Lawmakers were furious, but eventually approved $700 billion. The chairmen of nine major banks were forced to take funds from the bailout, which gave the federal government an ownership share in the banks, but did not force the banks to make any changes to their policies. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE collection.

The Causes of the 2008 Financial Crisis

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The new Wall Street practice of dispersing credit risk among multiple financial institutions, which led to the financial crises of 2008, is the focus of this video segment adapted from FRONTLINE: "Money, Power and Wall Street." Typically, when a bank makes a loan, it needs to set aside reserves of capital for that loan. However, Wall Street bank JP Morgan found a London bank, EBRD, to take on its loan risk. This allowed EBRD to get compensated for taking on the risk while JP Morgan was free to do more business with its available capital. Other banks followed suit, and, in this way, risk was dispersed across financial institutions worldwide and a new financial market was born. However, a wave of lending abuses in the mortgage industry and the reality that the risk still remained within the banking system, no matter where it was moved, ultimately led to the failure of a bank in Germany, followed by the failure of the U.S. bank Bear Stearns, and the start of the 2008 financial crisis. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE collection.

FRONTLINE: A Short History of Liberia

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Find out how African Americans came to settle in Liberia in the 1800s, and cause tensions that ultimately led to a civil war in 1989, in this video short from FRONTLINE. Because of their race, many free blacks in 1820s America couldn’t grow a business, find work, or vote, and were always in danger of being kidnapped and sold into slavery. A plan was developed to colonize a part of West Africa and create a new country that free blacks could move to and call their own. While some African Americans, including Frederick Douglass, thought this plan was a scheme to deny blacks a place in American society, thousands agreed to emigrate to this West African location. In 1847, the new independent republic of Liberia was formed. However, tensions between original inhabitants and the colonists persisted. The colonists set up plantation-style agriculture, much like they had left behind in the American South. They also allowed American companies to exploit natural resources. The tensions ultimately played a big role in the civil war that erupted in 1989. While it continues to hold close ties with the U.S., Liberia remains a very poor country. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

The Impact of Deportation

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The struggles of a family facing an uncertain future after their mother is deported to Mexico is profiled in this video excerpt from FRONTLINE: "Lost in Detention." Undocumented immigrant Antonio Arceo, his wife Roxanna, and their five American-born children live in Illinois. When Roxana is deported after a routine traffic stop, Antonio is left with the task of working and caring for the children on his own. In addition to his physical struggles caring for the children, he feels emotional stress and considers moving the family back to Mexico. However, interviews with the children show their concern about leaving their country for a place they have never seen.

Southern Africa: Troubled Water

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In 2005, FRONTLINE/World featured the PlayPump, a promising new technology that pumped fresh water when children played on a merry-go-round. The story appealed to the good intentions of politicians, celebrities and funders, who gave support to installing thousands of these devices in Africa.

Now, in Troubled Water, reporter Amy Costello continues her investigation into what happened to those communities as the promise of the PlayPump fell short, villages were left with non-working PlayPumps for months, and the device’s biggest American boosters began to back away from a technology they had once championed.

 

Generation Like: "Trending" and Advertising

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From television shows built around Twitter feeds to YouTube-branded promotions, learn how social media “trending” is changing the way advertisers reach teens in this video from FRONTLINE: Generation Like. Trending 10, a TV program on the Fuse Network, produces shows throughout the day based on conversations it monitors on social media, particularly among teens and around music. Its programming, which is sponsored by commercial brands, exemplifies an endless feedback loop that has emerged between broadcast and social media: teens are coming up with the content and then helping promote it back to themselves. This resource is part of the FRONTLINE Collection.

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