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Environmental Politics and the Work of Nevada Senator Harry Reid Highlighted in New 90-Minute Documentary from EARTH FOCUS “The New West and the Politics of the Environment” Premieres Sept. 29 on KCET and Sept. 30 on Link TV

Allison Gray

Earth Focus The New West

(Images courtesy of KCET) 

For downloadable artwork, please visit kcet.org/pressroom


Also streaming on YouTube and the free PBS App.

Burbank, Calif. – September 14, 2020 – KCET, Southern California's home for award-winning original public media programming, and Link TV, the national independent non-commercial satellite television network, announced today details regarding the local and national premiere dates for the upcoming 90-minute documentary “The New West and the Politics of the Environment” which explores how iconic Nevada Senator Harry Reid set the foundations for a green new deal in the state using power in new ways to settle water wars with respect for Native Americans, protect endangered species and usher in a just transition to renewable energy. “The New West and the Politics of the Environment” is partially funded and produced by the Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies (LENS) at UCLA. Details for a virtual screening event in collaboration with Vegas PBS and UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law were also announced (see below). 

The feature-length documentary, “The New West and the Politics of the Environment” will premiere in Southern California on Tues. Sept. 29 at 8 p.m. PT on KCET and Thurs. Oct. 1 at 9 p.m. PT on PBS SoCal. National airdates kick off Wed., Sept. 30 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Link TV nationwide (DirecTV 375 and DISH Network 9410)) as well as on Sun., Oct. 4 at 3:30 p.m. ET on WORLD Channel. A special airing in the Las Vegas region will take place on Mon. Nov. 23 at 9 p.m. on KLVX (Vegas PBS) in Las Vegas.

In this special 90-minute documentary from EARTH FOCUS, the story of the new American West is told through the eyes of legendary Nevada Senator Harry Reid, as he forged allegiances between unlikely allies and crafted policy to grow the economy of his home state while protecting its wilderness and in the process, redefined the future of the West. As a Congressman and Senator, Reid created Nevada’s first national park and protected more than 4 million acres of wilderness. He brokered historic pacts to end water wars on the Truckee and Carson Rivers that reframed water in the West, as well as set in place new agreements at Lake Tahoe and other signal public lands and water deals. He also sparked a renewable energy revolution in the Southwest. He accomplished all of this while often getting re-elected by slim margins. 

Reid has been the architect of a Western strategy built on a pragmatic approach to environmental politics that was about getting things done across the aisle. While focusing on his passionate connection to the environment in a state not known as a bastion of green thinking, let alone politics, the documentary explores the political savvy and strategy that enabled Reid’s extraordinary accomplishments, and points the way forward for a pragmatic environmental politics in the American West.

Senator Reid will take part in a special virtual screening premiere and Q&A session on Tues., Sept. 22 from 4 - 5 p.m. PT, ahead of the “The New West and the Politics of the Environment” airdate. The event will be hosted by Tom Axtell (General Manager of Vegas PBS) and will feature panelists Juan Devis (KCET/Link TV Chief Creative Officer), Joe Ely (Stetson Engineers Director of Indian Project Development), Mauricia Baca (Get Outdoors Nevada Executive Director). The panel will be moderated by the documentary’s executive producer Jon Christensen, UCLA Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. A special introduction will be given by Senator Catherine Cortez Masto. To register for the virtual event, please visit:  TheNewWest.eventbrite.com.

The new documentary “The New West and the Politics of the Environment” is part of a programming lineup focused on politics this election season, where PBS SoCal and KCET explore the past, present and future of democracy. KCET and PBS SoCal are committed to bringing viewers a broad array of initiatives as part of a “VOTE 2020” campaign, with both national and locally-produced programming, online content (including the always popular “Props in a Minute”) and virtual local events focused on this election cycle. Programming includes NewsHour's unbiased coverage of the conventions and the debates, FRONTLINE's investigative reports on the candidates and Washington Week's analysis, as well as all-new KCET original documentaries that spotlight California's changing population, values and social movements. Local election coverage both on-air and online deciphers the issues that viewers will find on the ballot and how they will impact the city and state. Finally, a partnership has been formed this year with the nonpartisan organization I Am A Voter to highlight the civic responsibility of voting. For more election-related content and news articles go to kcet.org/vote2020 and pbssocal.org/vote2020
Join the conversation on social media using #EarthFocus and #TheNewWest

is supported by generous institutional funders. The ​EARTH FOCUS​ series was created by ​Raisa Scriabine.

EARTH FOCUS​ is an environmental multimedia news magazine featuring investigative reporting, in-depth stories, features and profiles about the people, places and species affected by our changing environment, and the tools we have to understand, mitigate, and adapt to that change. ​EARTH FOCUS is the longest running environmental series on American TV. In production since 2006, the series features in-depth reports on key issues such as endangered species, climate change, environmental health and sustainable practices, with a library of more than 60 episodes, 35 of which are currently broadcast on KCET, PBS SoCal and Link TV. In 2018, KCET relaunched ​EARTH FOCUS with a new format and a fresh approach focusing on urban biodiversity, transnational migration, endangered species, the impact of climate change and other key environmental threats, as well as energy alternatives and cleantech innovation. The new season of EARTH FOCUS is in partnership with the Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies (LENS) at UCLA and the Thomson Reuters Foundation



On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. KCET offers a wide range of award-winning local programming as well as the finest public television programs from around the world. Throughout its 54-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children's programs, its outreach and community platforms and its website, kcet.org. KCET is a donor-supported community institution. For additional information about KCET productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org. Select original programming from KCET is also available for streaming on Apple TV, Samsung devices, YouTube, Amazon and Roku platforms. For more information please visit kcet.org/apps. KCET is a content channel of the Public Media Group of Southern California.

Founded in 1999, Link TV is an independent viewer-supported media organization dedicated to providing programs that engage and inform its audiences with unique perspectives, and empower them to become involved in the world.  Reaching more than 31 million U.S. satellite households nationally (DIRECTV channel 375 and DISH Network channel 9410), Link TV connects American viewers with people at the heart of breaking events, organizations at the forefront of social change and the vibrant cultures of an increasingly global community. Select programming from Link TV is also available for streaming on Apple TV, YouTube and Roku platforms. For additional information about Link TV productions, web-exclusive content and program schedules, please visit linktv.org.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation is the corporate foundation of Thomson Reuters, the global news and information services company. As an independent charity, registered in the UK and the USA, we work to advance media freedom, foster more inclusive economies, and promote human rights. Through news, media development, free legal assistance and convening initiatives, we combine our unique services to drive systemic change.

The Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies (LENS) is an incubator for new research and collaboration on storytelling, communications, and media. LENS begins with the idea that the environmental, sustainability, and justice challenges that we face are as much cultural and political as they are scientific and technological. At LENS, scholars investigate environmental stories across cultures and contexts, research the impact of environmental media and communications, teach multimedia storytelling, and collaborate to create new environmental narratives.

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