Jeffrey Brown (journalist)

Jeffrey Brown (born 1956)[1] is an American journalist, who is a senior correspondent for the PBS NewsHour.[2] His reports focus on arts and literature, and he has interviewed numerous writers, poets, and musicians. Brown has worked most of his professional career at PBS and has written a poetry collection called The News.

Jeffrey Brown
Jeffrey Brown 2015.jpg
Brown at the 2015 Texas Book Festival
Born1956 (age 65–66)
Alma materUC Berkeley (BA)
Columbia University (MS)
Spouse(s)Paula Crawford
Parent(s)Morton Brown
Mirriam "Micki" Brown (née Decter)

Early life and educationEdit

Brown was born in 1956 to Morton Brown and Mirriam "Micki" Brown (née Decter).[1][3] He has four siblings, and grew up in Belmont, Massachusetts.[3][4] He graduated from high school in 1974.[5]

Brown studied Classics at the University of California, Berkeley, earning a bachelor's degree. He planned to pursue a PhD subsequently in order to become an academic, but finally decided he wanted to be a law journalist. Brown did a joint program at Berkeley Law and the Columbia Journalism School. He first studied law for two years and then studied journalism for one year. Brown received a master's degree in journalism, but did not finish law school.[6] In 2010, Brown received an honorary degree (D.H.L.) from Wesley College after giving a commencement speech there.[7]


While studying at Columbia, Brown met television executive Fred W. Friendly, who worked as a professor at the university.[6] After he graduated, Brown became Friendly's teaching assistant and a producer for the Columbia University Seminars on Media & Society, a television production company directed by Friendly.[8] For a few years, Brown helped produce and write the seminars that were aired on public television about, among other things, ethics, law, foreign policy, and the Constitution.[9]

Thereafter, in 1988, Brown joined the PBS NewsHour, which was at that time called The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.[10] He was hired as an off-camera economics reporter, and was initially based in New York City, but moved to Washington, D.C. eight years later.[10][11] At first, Brown worked as a reporter and a producer, before being promoted to the position of senior producer for national affairs.[12] He became an on-camera correspondent in 1998, covering both general events and arts.[13]

Brown was named the NewsHour's arts correspondent, when that position was created, in March 2002.[9] Brown was promoted to senior correspondent three years later.[10] In December 2008, the NewsHour launched a blog called "Art Beat", covering arts and culture, which is written by Brown and other NewsHour reporters.[14]

Brown became part of the anchor team, when The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer was renamed PBS NewsHour in December 2009; Jim Lehrer was joined every broadcast by either Judy Woodruff, Gwen Ifill, or Brown.[15] After Lehrer stepped down in June 2012, the program was hosted by Woodruff, Ifill, Brown, Ray Suarez, and Margaret Warner on a rotating basis.[16] That situation ended in September 2013, when Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff became the sole anchors. Simultaneously, Brown was named "chief correspondent for arts, culture, and society".[17]

Between September 2012 and May 2014, Brown presented the series "Where Poetry Lives" on the NewsHour together with Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey.[18] They travelled through the US to report on societal issues through the lens of poetry.[19] In 2014, Brown started presenting the NewsHour series "Culture at Risk" about threatened heritage in the United States and abroad.[20] For that series, he has reported from numerous countries, including Myanmar, Peru, Mali, Nepal (after the April 2015 earthquake), Cuba, Italy, Spain, Tunisia, and South Africa.[21] When the PBS NewsHour launched a monthly book club in collaboration with The New York Times called "Now Read This" in 2018, Brown became its host, interviewing the writers.[22]

Besides covering arts, culture, and society, Brown has during his years as an arts correspondent for the NewsHour also occasionally reported on other subjects including science and politics.[10] For example, he co-anchored coverage of President Obama's second inauguration, and has participated in election night coverage during the 2008, 2012, and 2016 presidential elections.[23][24][25][26]

Brown has also released a poetry collection called The News, that contains 45 poems about reporting on television, things he encountered while reporting, and personal events in his life.[27][28] It was published by Copper Canyon Press in May 2015, and has a foreword written by poet Robert Pinsky.[1] Elizabeth Lund wrote the following about the collection in a review in The Washington Post: "[Brown] knows how to tell a story, and The News does a wonderful job of balancing the language of journalism and the power of poetry."[29]


Brown has won a number of awards, including a News & Documentary Emmy Award, a Peabody Award, and multiple CINE Golden Eagle Awards. The Emmy was awarded in the category "Outstanding Background/Analysis of a Single Current Story - (Segments)" to a segment about an antitrust case against Microsoft in 1999 and the Peabody Award to a segment about the unemployment rate in 2003. Brown produced both segments.[30][31]

In 2002, Brown won a CINE Golden Eagle Award for his arts coverage on the NewsHour.[32] In the following years, a number of segments, of which Brown he was the correspondent, won Golden Eagles including "Intelligent Design v. Evolution" (2005), "Doubt" (2005), "Blues Master: B.B. King" (2006), "Death is on Hold/Connecting with Kids" (2007), "Haitian Artists Create Poetry Amid Rubble" (2011), and "Musical Legend Herbie Hancock" (2011).[33][34][35][36]

Personal lifeEdit

Brown is married to Paula Crawford, an artist, professor, and author.[9] They met while they were both studying at UC Berkeley, and have two children. Brown lives in Arlington, Virginia.[13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "The news: poems". Library of Congress. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  2. ^ "About Us". PBS. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  3. ^ a b "MORTON BERNARD BROWN". The Boston Globe. 19 January 2014. Retrieved 19 March 2018 – via
  4. ^ Sasaki, Fred; Share, Don, eds. (2017). Who Reads Poetry: 50 Views from "Poetry" Magazine. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 204. ISBN 9780226504766. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Jeffrey Brown public address, part 1". Furman University. 25 September 2012. Retrieved 24 March 2018 – via YouTube.
  6. ^ a b "Jeffrey Brown: "The News: Poems"". Politics and Prose. 4 June 2015. Retrieved 22 March 2018 – via YouTube.
  7. ^ "Commencement Weekend 2010". Wesley College. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  8. ^ Brown, Jeffrey (4 December 2015). "Dialogue Extra: Journalist and Poet Jeffrey Brown". Idaho Public Television (Interview). Interviewed by Marcia Franklin. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  9. ^ a b c "JEFFREY BROWN". PBS. 22 October 2002. Archived from the original on 22 October 2002. Retrieved 19 March 2018 – via Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ a b c d "JEFFREY BROWN". PBS. 10 January 2006. Archived from the original on 10 January 2006. Retrieved 19 March 2018 – via Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Brown, Jeffrey (18 May 2015). "Jeffrey Brown: "The News: Poems"". The Diane Rehm Show (Interview). Interviewed by Susan Page. Retrieved 24 March 2018.
  12. ^ Brown, Jeffrey (2 November 2012). "Jeffrey Brown - Wyoming Chronicle". Wyoming PBS (Interview). Interviewed by Geoffrey O'Gara – via YouTube.
  13. ^ a b "The Public Voice: Speaking to and of the Culture". Bates College. 13 March 2008. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  14. ^ "Jeffrey Brown Unveils Art Beat on the Program". PBS. 16 December 2008. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  15. ^ "Leading Media Executive Bo Jones to join MacNeil/Lehrer Productions as President and CEO". PBS. 27 October 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  16. ^ "Jim Lehrer Stepping Down from Regular Anchor Role on PBS NewsHour". PBS. 12 May 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  17. ^ "PBS NewsHour Names Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff Co-Anchors and Managing Editors". PBS. 6 August 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  18. ^ "Where Poetry Lives". PBS. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  19. ^ "Poet's Notebook: Beginning the Journey by Remembering the Past". PBS. 12 September 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  20. ^ "PBS NewsHour examines how development will impact Myanmar's architectural and archeological heritage in the first of a new series: "Culture at Risk"". PBS. 14 April 2014. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  21. ^ "Culture At Risk". PBS. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  22. ^ "Introducing the PBS NewsHour-New York Times book club". PBS NewsHour. 3 January 2018. Retrieved 23 March 2018 – via YouTube.
  23. ^ "** REVISED**PBS NEWSHOUR offers live coverage of President Obama's Inauguration on air and online". PBS. 18 January 2018.
  24. ^ "PBS and The NewsHour to provide complete coverage and analysis of the 2008 National Election". PBS. 29 October 2008. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  25. ^ "PBS NEWSHOUR Special Election Day coverage extends throughout the day, across multiple platforms". PBS. 18 October 2012. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  26. ^ "PBS NewsHour Announces Election Night 2016 Special Coverage Plans". PBS. 2 November 2016. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  27. ^ Brown, Jeffrey (13 May 2015). "Jeffrey Brown translates his reporting life into a new book of poetry". PBS (Interview). Interviewed by Gwen Ifill. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  28. ^ Brown, Jeffrey (4 December 2015). "Dialogue: Journalist and Poet Jeffrey Brown". Idaho Public Television (Interview). Interviewed by Marcia Franklin. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  29. ^ Lund, Elizabeth (12 May 2015). "Three best poetry books of May". The Washington Post. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  31. ^ "Jobless Recovery: Non-Working Numbers". Peabody Awards. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  32. ^ "CINE GOLDEN EAGLE FILM & VIDEO COMPETITION: 2002 WINNER DIRECTORY" (PDF). CINE. p. 10. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 April 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2018 – via Wayback Machine.
  33. ^ "CINE GOLDEN EAGLE FILM & VIDEO COMPETITION: 2005 WINNER DIRECTORY" (PDF). CINE. pp. 11 and 15. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2018 – via Wayback Machine.
  34. ^ "CINE GOLDEN EAGLE FILM & VIDEO COMPETITION: 2006 WINNER DIRECTORY" (PDF). CINE. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2018 – via Wayback Machine.
  35. ^ "CINE GOLDEN EAGLE FILM & VIDEO COMPETITION: 2007 WINNER DIRECTORY" (PDF). CINE. p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2018 – via Wayback Machine.
  36. ^ "Awards". PBS. Retrieved 23 March 2018.