CINCINNATI — Reading local history is one common way to learn about an area’s past. But what if you could also see and hear the leaders and community members who made the news?
That is now possible. More than 600 episodes of "Local 12 Newsmakers," a Cincinnati-based public affairs program that aired on WKRC-TV from 1997 through 2017, and other related videos, are now available to stream on the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library’s (CHPL) website in an online exhibit platform with topics curated by CHPL staff, and the CHPL YouTube channel.
Dan Hurley, a local historian, served as the executive producer and host for the program that featured citizens across the political spectrum from multiple sides of many issues. Hurley's approach allowed viewers to gain perspectives often too complex to glean from a sound bite or news story alone.
"With 20 years of interviews about the demographics, census data, redistricting and partisan swings, ‘Newsmakers’ documents a sweeping period of change in southwestern Ohio politics," Hurley said. "Having this available to future citizens and historians of the Greater Cincinnati area will help us all the better understand our past so we can best plan for our future."
Having this collection stored at the CHPL is critical to its preservation and availability to everyone.
“We are very pleased to have this collection of local news videos freely available for researchers and the curious to enjoy,” said Paula Brehm-Heeger, the Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Library Director. “Dan Hurley demonstrates in these ‘Newsmakers’ episodes his unique way of getting to the essence of an issue in an interesting and approachable way.”
Direct link: https://bit.ly/3VZN6Cf
Including more than 300 hours, “Newsmakers” spans a critical era in Cincinnati’s recent history, including a community relations crisis, a changing demography, civil unrest in 2001, and the public's response. The Sunday morning show also explored various efforts over 20 years to amend the City Charter—essentially the city's constitution—from its historic Council-manager format to give the directly-elected mayor more significant influence over the workings of the Council.
Digitization and the online exhibit platform were funded through the generosity of the Murray & Agnes Seasongood Good Government Foundation, The Library Foundation, and the State Library of Ohio through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.