This year marks the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington, DC, and the crash of United Flight 93 in Shanksville, PA. In observance of this solemn moment in our nation's history, public broadcasting — on-air, online and on the ground — is telling the stories of 9/11.
Public television and public radio stations around the country are embracing this opportunity to reflect and remember the events of the day through programming that explores how 9/11 has impacted every aspect of American life and the ways in which it continues to affect us all, even a decade later. As the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting, as well as the only entity that represents the breadth of the industry — public television, public radio, producers, local stations — the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) is pleased to share this summary with you.
CPB funds, which are provided through the annual appropriations process, support many of the programs and projects listed below, including PBS NewsHour, FRONTLINE, StoryCorps, as well as local station efforts. None of these efforts, at the national level or in every community across the country, would be possible without your support for federal funding for public broadcasting.
All programming is Eastern Standard Time.
PBS will provide programming leading up to and during September 11, covering various genres, from news coverage to science and performance. The PBS Video Portal will highlight video content from the past ten years, and new 9/11-related programming in a special collection.
Monday, August 29
Objects and Memory (10:00 p.m.) examines the response to items recovered or offered after 9/11 and other national tragedies. Taken together, images of these objects, the memories they evoke and the accounts of their collection lead viewers on a path where the commonplace is transformed into the remarkable and the stuff of history is highly personalized. Objects and Memory repeats on Sunday, September 11 at 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday, August 30
FRONTLINE "The Man Who Knew" repeats (9:00 p.m.). Among the thousands killed when the Twin Towers fell was the one man who may have known more about Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda than any other person in America: the FBI's former top counterterrorism agent, John O'Neill. This story of O'Neill's life and death provides a rare glimpse inside the FBI. FRONTLINE "The Man Who Knew" will also air on Sunday, September 11 at 10:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 3 — Sunday, September 4
Religion & Ethics Newsweekly will explore interfaith relations ten years later and sacred places, including the memorials at Ground Zero and the Pentagon.
Tuesday, September 6
FRONTLINE "Top Secret America" premieres (9:00 p.m.). FRONTLINE and Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post journalist Dana Priest ask how a decade of fighting terrorism has reshaped the country and whether it has made us safer. FRONTLINE "Top Secret America" repeats on Sunday, September 11 at 11:30 p.m.
- September 6: "Always a Family"
- September 7: "She Was the One"
- September 8: "John and Joe"
Wednesday, September 7
NOVA "Engineering Ground Zero" premieres (9:00 p.m.). On the tenth anniversary of 9/11, NOVA presents an epic story of engineering, innovation, and the perseverance of the human spirit. With extraordinary access granted by The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, "Engineering Ground Zero" follows the five-year construction of One World Trade Center (1 WTC) and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. NOVA captures the behind-the-scenes struggle of architects and engineers to make the buildings safe and highly secure under the pressures of a tight schedule, the demands of practical office space and efficient, "green" architecture, and the public's expectations of a fitting site for national remembrance. NOVA "Engineering Ground Zero" repeats on Sunday, September 11 at 7:00 p.m.
FRONTLINE "Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero" (10:00 p.m.) explores how peoples' beliefs have been challenged since September 11, and how they are coping with difficult questions of good and evil, God's culpability and the potential for darkness within religion itself. FRONTLINE "Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero" repeats on Sunday, September 11 at 5:00 p.m.
Friday, September 9
Nightly Business Report will examine how the financial world has changed, how the airline industry has changed and how the neighborhood around the World Trade Center has changed. The show will also examine the development of the Department of Homeland Security and related industries.
Washington Week's "Remembering 9/11: 10 Years Later" is a special multimedia project from Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal. Washington Week looks back on the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 through the eyes of reporters who covered the grim events of that day. Hear their reflections of how the unspeakable tragedy ten years ago continues to impact America and the world. Includes video from the Washington Week Vault, new content with journalists' reflections, and a 9/11 Anniversary-focused broadcast on Friday, September 9.
A new video will be uploaded to Washington Week’s Remembering 9/11 Online Page every day, starting Tuesday, September 6 through to the Friday, September 9 broadcast.
Saturday, September 10
Religion & Ethics Newsweekly will feature updates on the personal stories of individuals interviewed ten years ago and, in a separate segment, examine the cost of war.
Sunday, September 11
PBS NewsHour will present a special, America Remembers 9/11 (8:00 p.m.), which will include highlights from the day's memorial events marking the sites of the attacks at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania. The special will travel across the country to get the personal perspectives of Americans as they look back on the events of 9/11 and the effect on their lives over the past decade.
Currently, PBS NewsHour is collecting user-generated pieces to form an online "video quilt" of personal remembrances for the anniversary of 9/11. Some of these pieces may be included in America Remembers 9/11.
Great Performances (9:00 p.m.) presents "A Concert for New York." The New York Philharmonic performs Mahler's Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection," in honor of the victims of September 11, 2001, in a free concert for the people of New York.
Tuesday, September 13
FRONTLINE "The Mosque at Ground Zero" premieres. FRONTLINE tells the inside stories of Sharif El-Gamal, a real estate developer, and of the victims’ relatives and anti-Islam activists who helped turn his project into a continuing battle over faith, values, and the meaning of being American.
On the Radio
All programming is Eastern Standard Time.
Public radio will air coverage leading up to and on September 11, reporting on everything from national security to politics to our culture, and reflecting on the impact of September 11 on individual lives and our country. The coverage aims to provide the audience with meaningful ways of looking back, taking stock, and gaining a better understanding of how as a nation and as a people the U.S. and its citizens have changed.
PRX is presenting the “Sonic Memorial Project” from The Kitchen Sisters, an iconic remembrance of the World Trade Center and all that was lost. PRX and NPR are jointly distributing an updated version that includes archival audio from listeners about the Twin Towers and the lower Manhattan neighborhood, plus poignant recordings by those who died. Narrator and writer Paul Auster presents a fresh essay to close the special. PRX made it possible for this special to be reformatted and updated with Auster's essay.
PRX has also created a playlist dedicated to 9/11 that includes:
- “All Available Boats” This documentary is based on a series of interviews conducted by David Tarnow in the early fall of 2001. Tarnow spoke with members of New York's maritime community, who recounted the events of the morning of September 11th and their role in the subsequent evacuation of Lower Manhattan. Since the authorities closed off all the bridges, tunnels and subways, the water became the only way out.
- “We Were on Duty,” from Richard Paul, is a first-person oral history of the September 11th attack on the Pentagon. One hundred eighty-four people died at the Pentagon, but because the Pentagon attack was dwarfed by the tragedy at the World Trade Center, much of America has yet to hear the stories of the valiance and tenaciousness of the Pentagon employees.
In Washington, DC, Classical WETA's (90.9 FM) on-air hosts interview prominent classical music performers, composers and artists in a series of intimate audio conversations recorded for ClassicalWETA.org.
In remembrance of 9/11, Classical WETA is airing several of these Classical Conversations interview features (and presenting longer versions online) related to the 10th anniversary of 9/11 commemorative events in Washington and New York City.
- David Ginderspeaks with Robert Moran about the world premiere of his Trinity Requiem, to be performed at Trinity Wall Street (the "Ground Zero Church") on Sept 7. The station will broadcast a just-released recording of that work on Sunday's Choral Showcase (9:00 p.m.).
- Deb Lamberton speaks with Julian Wachner, who is music director of The Washington Chorus and of Trinity Wall Street, on the weeklong series of concerts commemorating 9/11, for which The Washington Chorus is the representative from DC (joining others from New York, Pennsylvania, and Boston).
- Deb Lamberton speaks with Gretchen Kuhrmann, director of Choralis, on their September 11 concert "In Search of Peace: A Concert of Remembrance and Hope" at National Presbyterian at 4:00 p.m., featuring Barber, Lauridsen, Bach, and a commission from local composer Gary Davidson.
- Deb Lamberton speaks with Ed Maclary, director of the University of Maryland Chorus, on their September 11 performance of Mozart's Requiem at Clarice Smith Center at 7:00 p.m. (with the University of Maryland Orchestra).
- David Ginder has also composed a feature about another work that will be presented in Sunday's Choral Showcase -- On the Transmigration of Souls by John Adams, commissioned by the New York Philharmonic in memory of the victims of 9/11.
Week of September 5
In investigations and in-depth reports from correspondents based around the country and world, NPR focuses on how life has been affected and in some cases forever changed by September 11.
During the week of September 5, Marketplace and Marketplace Morning Report each plan to air 3-4 stories focused on the economic legacy of 9/11 and the impact of specific-post-9/11 regulations, including shipping security, business travel, banking and giving to Muslim charities. On Friday, September 9, Marketplace Tech Report will focus on developments in communications for emergency responders since 9/11.
PRI programming in the week leading up to the 9/11 anniversary includes:
Here & Now will feature several interviews related to 9/11, such as: a rescuer’s view of the disaster; music composed for 9/11; a conversation about treating firefighters for PTSD; the future of the skyscraper, post 9/11; from Pakistan to Kansas, how is 9/11 taught?; and the view of the New Yorker: how life has, or hasn’t, changed since 9/11.
To the Point will have segments related to the attacks throughout the week leading up to the anniversary, with a special program devoted to the topic on Friday, September 9. Guests may include experts such as Jane Mayer of the New Yorker and Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid, and important figures like White House Counterterrorism Advisor Richard Clarke and FBI whistleblower Coleen Rowley. The program will try to reconnect with some of the people it heard from on September 11, 2001 and in the days immediately following the tragedy 10 years ago.
The World revisits that sunny Tuesday morning ten years ago, and speaks with people who appeared on the program the day of and in the aftermath of the tragedy. In addition, The World takes a deeper look at the evolution of international terrorist attacks post 9-11, and how children around the world are being taught about the impact and legacy of the 9/11 attacks.
Tuesday, September 6
PRX and WNYC present “Our 9/11: Growing Up In the Aftermath,” hosted by Brooke Gladstone of On the Media.
To mark the 10th Anniversary, RADIO ROOKIES, WNYC's Peabody Award-winning youth journalism initiative, has partnered with the 9/11 Museum and Memorial to present stories by six Rookies from New York City, New Jersey and Long Island who are part of the last generation of young people who remember 9/11 as a lived experience, rather than as a historic event.
The stories give voice to grief, pain, and loss, but also resilience, altruism and courage. Eric's big brother Paul worked in Tower 1 and he never made it home. Jillian lost her father, a New York City police officer. Norhan suddenly found herself the target of other kids' hatred and fear because she is Muslim. Brendan and Joey feel called to service, in the military and police respectively. And Erin, whose father was a New York City fire fighter, spent the months after 9/11 attending funerals and watching her father struggle to recover from devastating injuries he sustained from falling debris.
Wednesday, September 7 — Thursday, September 8
Under Suspicion: An Investigation from NPR News and Center for Investigative Reporting: Ever since 9/11, the nation's leaders have warned that government agencies like the CIA and FBI cannot protect the country on their own — private businesses and ordinary citizens have to look out for terrorists too. Popular sites from shopping malls to sports stadiums have hired private counterterrorism firms to identify and then report "suspicious persons" to law enforcement agencies. A two-part investigation by NPR News and the Center for Investigative Reporting suggests that these kinds of programs are disrupting innocent people's lives.
Thursday, September 8 — Friday, September 9
Video Profile: In Colorado, Outdoor Rehab for Injured Soldiers (airing September 8 on Rocky Mountain Public Television; available September 9 at NPR.org): This video from NPR photojournalist David Gilkey, produced in collaboration with Colorado Public Radio and Rocky Mountain Public Television, profiles injured soldiers who joined the military after 9/11, and a Colorado organization working to give them a new lease on life. Gilkey documents the work by "LifeQuest," a non-profit organization out of Colorado Springs that uses outdoor adventure courses to empower veterans with brain injuries and PTSD to take ownership over their lives. One participant is Tyler Daly, an Iraq war veteran who participated in the program after suffering from a traumatic brain injury in the line of duty.
The Tavis Smiley Radio Show on PRI will air its first segment on 9/11 on September 9 with Kip Hawley, former head of the TSA. Under his lead, the TSA devised the “3-1-1” restrictions on liquids and lotions. Hawley will be interviewed about his thoughts on how safe we truly are on airplanes (and on the ground) 10 years after 9/11.
Throughout the day, Classical WETA 90.9 FM in Washington, DC will present music featured in commemorative concerts, including a concert taking place at Washington National Cathedral, featuring the Brahms Requiem at 7:30 p.m. This is also the day that will mark the reopening of the cathedral, which has been closed due to earthquake damage.
Sunday, September 11
On NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday, live coverage (8:00 a.m. — 2:00 p.m.) will capture the day's events from Ground Zero to the Pentagon, to Shanksville, Pa., and far beyond, with correspondents deployed across the U.S. and around the world.
NPR will also air the names of victims as they are read in New York.
Talk of the Nation (2:00 p.m.) host Neal Conan will follow the day's events and reprise the ceremonies held in the morning. Voices of people touched by 9/11 are included in the coverage, and listeners are invited to call in and share their thoughts and reflections.
All Things Considered (5:00 p.m.) host, Guy Raz, and NPR correspondents in Washington, at the Pentagon, in Pennsylvania, and in New York report and reflect on the day.
On PRI’s Bob Edwards Weekend, Bob Edwards will likely speak with the architect of the 9/11 memorial, Michael Arad. The “This I Believe” segment will be 9/11 related.
Studio 360 will mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11 by examining how our culture has changed in the last decade and talking with artists who responded to the attacks and its aftermath. Kurt Andersen's guests include: contemporary composer Steve Reich, who will talk about his controversial new piece of music "WTC 9/11;" author and illustrator Maira Kalman on her children's book "Fireboat" and her New Yorker cover "New Yorkistan;" Pakistani novelist Mohsin Hamid on his book "The Reluctant Fundamentalist;" sociologist Isabel Pinedo on the TV show "24" and its connection to the American public's acceptance of torture; 9/11 Memorial designer and architect Michael Arad will be in studio and will show Kurt around the memorial site in the final month of construction.
Other stories on Studio 360 include: a first-person story from a sculptor in Tampa, FL who has spent the last decade getting commissions for 9/11 memorials; a feature on comedy after 9/11 featuring a roundtable of comedians, reported and produced by WNYC's Jim O'Grady; a story on how the hip-hop community responded after 9/11, produced by Simon Rentner.
PRI also commissioned an original work from playwright-performer Sarah Jones. In a new piece based on characters from her Tony Award-winning show "Bridge and Tunnel," Jones gives her own perspective on 9/11. A Pakistani accountant, Jewish grandmother, teenage blogger and other New York personalities explain how their worlds have changed in the past decade.
This American Life will re-air several segments from its original 9/11 show.
Echoes will feature a requiem show, including music written for Echoes on the one-month anniversary of 9/11.
Classical 24 will air appropriate contemplative pieces throughout the day, with an hour dedicated to the memorial at the hour when the Twin Towers were hit.
Composers Datebook will air a 9/11-themed broadcast featuring composer Richard Danielpour's "An American Requiem," written 1998-2001.
Pipedreams will also feature a two-hour program with music dedicated to the 9/11 anniversary.
In partnership with StoryCorps and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, NPR is producing We Remember: StoryCorps Stories from 9/11, a one-hour special hosted by Audie Cornish for public radio stations nationwide.
In New York, WNYC public radio will present live coverage of the World Trade Center Ceremony from 8:00 a.m. — 1:00 p.m. ET
The Brian Lehrer Show (9:00 a.m.) will provide New Yorkers with an opportunity to share and reflect on the anniversary.
The Selected Shorts 9/11 Anniversary Special (1:00 p.m.) will offer Colson Whitehead's essay, "Lost and Found" in a reading by Alec Baldwin, paired with an arresting story by the Japanese writer Haruki Murakami, "U.F.O. in Kushiro," read by Ken Leung. The piece was originally published in The New York Times Magazine on November 11, 2001 as part of a series of special commissions asking writers to celebrate the city in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Living Nine Eleven (4:00 p.m.), presented by PRX, explores New Yorkers' most visceral and immediate emotional reactions to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and how they are — and are not — still with us today. WNYC's award-winning news team spent days, months, and then years reporting on the attacks and their aftermath. Through a mix of their recordings at the time and interviews with people ten years later, WNYC reporter Marianne McCune guides us through the stories of people who were directly impacted by what happened and have been struggling for a decade to make sense of it.
As part of its "Decade 9/11" coverage, WNYC will broadcast, Music of Reflection and Resilience: The Cathedral Choir of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine (6:00 p.m.). Kent Tritle leads the Cathedral Choir of the Cathedral Church of St John the Divine in its first public performance under his direction. The Cathedral Choir will perform a program of works that explore the power of music to offer solace as well as renewal, including a capella works by Bach, Mendelssohn and Tallis, and The Best Beloved, by longtime Trinity Church choir member Chris Deblasio.
Throughout the day, Classical WETA 90.9 FM will feature works that reflect the spirit of the 9/11 commemorations, ranging from chamber and orchestral to choral music. It will include a full performance of Mahler's Resurrection Symphony at 9:00 a.m. and conclude with Choral Showcase at 9:00 p.m., which features Robert Moran’s Trinity Requiem and John Adams’ On the Transmigration of Souls, as well as Barber's Agnus Dei.
Washington D.C.'s WAMU will begin the day with Latitudes Afghanistan Special (6:00 a.m.), part of the station's new program, Latitudes, which will feature voices and sounds from Afghanistan.
On Weekend Edition Sunday (8:00 a.m.), the schedule of live events will include moments of silence, reading of names, and a speech by President Obama.
The Kojo Nnamdi Show (11:00 a.m.) will take an in-depth look at security issues prior to and after 9/11.
Couscous and Cultural Diplomacy (12:00 p.m.) focuses on Elkader, Iowa (population 1,500), a town with an unusual namesake — American settlers named it after the Algerian jihadist and anti-colonialism fighter Abd al-Qader in 1846. This story charts the efforts of an openly gay Algerian man and his partner as they create an Algerian-American restaurant on Main Street — and wrestle with cultural adaptation, American identity, and small town politics.
A Shortcut Back to 9/11 (12:30 p.m.) features sounds from the street, eyewitness news reports and actualities from September 11, mixed with music.
Interfaith Voices (4:00 p.m.) takes a compassionate look at strengthening relationships between Christians and Muslims.
The StoryCorps Special (6:00 p.m.) looks at the day's events of the day using 9/11 stories from their archives.
Classical WETA 90.9 FM will present the performance of Mahler's Resurrection Symphony by The World Doctors Orchestra at Strathmore Music Hall at 7:00 p.m.
All programming is Eastern Standard Time.
Tuesday, September 6 at 6:00 p.m.
On Being plans a major live event in collaboration with Trinity Wall Street/Ground Zero. Krista Tippett speaks with: Hendrik Hertzberg, The New Yorker; Pankaj Mishra, author and journalist; and Serene Jones, President of Union Theological Seminary at St. Paul's Chapel in Lower Manhattan, where Ground Zero first responders took shelter. They offer diverse perspective on what 9/11 meant, how it changed us, and who we want to be for the next decade.
Wednesday, September 7 — Thursday, September 8 at 7:00 p.m.
A City Re-imagined — Within days of 9/11, interviewers were deployed across the city by Columbia's Oral History Research Office to begin collecting the accounts and observations of hundreds of people from a diverse mix of New York neighborhoods and backgrounds. Over the last ten years, follow-up interviews reveal how individuals, and the city as a whole, have had to re-imagine their own narratives. Carl Hancock Rux, award-winning writer and performer, whose work has been produced and or commissioned at The Joseph Papp Public Theater, Lincoln Center, and BAM, weaves in and out of these complex narratives with an original spoken word piece commissioned by WNYC's The Greene Space to collaborate with cellist, Dana Leong who has been described as the "hi-def Yo-Yo Ma." These first-hand accounts will be read by noted New York actors. A City Re-imagined: New Yorkers Remember September 2001 and the Years that Followed, is a selection of fascinating testimonies, with heartbreaking and enlightening stories that propel us into the future and beg the question: who are we — ten years later — as a city, a nation, a globe?
A mural exhibit also opens in The Greene Space. WNYC invites the public to send their photographs, sketches and painted images as well as quotes or words that speak to how we have re-imagined our city over the ten years since September 11. Artist Cey Adams will design a bigger-than-life collage in The Greene Space to include selections from those submitted.
Additional Local Station Activities
Nine Network of Public Media (St. Louis, MO): Channel Nine is partnering with the Jewish Federation of St. Louis and their numerous inter-faith partners to produce a broadcast of a memorial concert on Sunday, September 11. The station has also shot footage of community members responding to questions for the NewsHour's 9/11 video wall.
WTIU-TV (Bloomington, IN): Former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-IN), Vice Chair of the 9/11 Commission, is bringing together a majority of the 9/11 commissioners for a discussion of their 2004 report as well as how they look at the events of 9/11 with a decade behind them. This will be a live show with a radio simulcast and then a rebroadcast during primetime on TV.
WGCU Public Media (Fort Myers, FL): WGCU will host a live studio audience for its call-in talk show that will air on the radio on Sept. 7 at noon. It will incorporate audience participation, interviews, call-in, Facebook, blog, photos and video clips.
KLRN Public Television (San Antonio, TX): Community commemoration at the Alamo with military, religious and civic participation. KLRN will participate in recording the entire event (in "real time" from 7:30-9:15a.m.) with a live stream. Interstitials will be edited from the ceremony and aired in the evening around the PBS programming on 9/11.
Arizona Public Media (Tucson, AZ): AZPM's mission is to bring people and ideas together, and that is what they hope to accomplish with their 9/11 events. The station will commemorate the anniversary across all its platforms — radio, TV, online, and in the community. We will carry the NPR programming, PBS evening programming, and host a web page where people can share their experiences. The station is also the media sponsor for a classical music concert, "The Remembrance and Renewal Concert on 9/11," which includes an original composition by Stephen Paulus.
WAMC-FM (Albany, NY): As a media partner with the New York Council for the Humanities, surrounding the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance, and in collaboration with several local entities, WAMC plans to feature radio stories covering community conversations in 5-6 locations throughout WAMC's radio broadcast area. The conversations will be held at a library, a church, a cafe and two other locations still to be determined. The stories will include coverage of each event coupled with interviews with participants. WAMC will also produce programming over three days before 9/11 on its morning talk show, The Roundtable, including a conversation with the director and board members of the Humanities Council regarding the goals and expected outcomes of the 9/11 Day of Service and interviews with various members of the 9/11 Day of Service Board of Advisors coupled with call-in conversations with radio listeners.
NET Television and Radio (Lincoln, NE): NET is producing an upcoming documentary, "Stratcom 9/11 Another Doomsday," which tells the story of the role that the Strategic Air Command (SAC Air Force based) in Omaha played on 9/11. Among a number of things, it housed President Bush. The show will air statewide on 9/11 and will also be shown as part of a film festival in McCook, NE the same day. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the producer.
KBYU-TV (Provo, UT): KBYU's staff will participate in the United Way of Utah County Day of Caring — an opportunity to improve the community through service. During the day, groups of volunteers provide service at various nonprofit organizations including landscaping, painting, repairing and cleaning. The station has provided media support to the United Way for this event. KBYU will also air special commemorative programs during the evening of September 11, including a local production, "Utah Voices After 9/11," all with the intent of joining with others in its community to honor those who lost their lives and to reaffirm our commitment to unity through service.
Nashville Public Television (Nashville, TN): NPT is participating in the "Not In Our Town" initiative, which marks an opportunity for Nashville to show the world how they thrive in their diversity. Starting on September 11, the station will embark on 10 Days of Peace events leading up to International Day of Peace Party on September 21. The station is hosting screenings and events with community partners and schools fostering interaction and unity. NPT is also adding to its Next Door Neighbors Storytelling project by collecting user-generated videos of immigrants and refugees standing up for the community.
All programming is Eastern Standard Time.