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Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Charlie Whinham
Guest Host of Louisiana Public Square and Managing Editor & Host of Louisiana: The State We're In

Multi-Emmy award winning broadcaster and producer Charlie Whinham joined Louisiana Public Broadcasting in the Fall of 2002. In addition to his duties with Louisiana: The State We’re In, Whinham has produced over twenty separate shows on LPB highlighting Louisiana’s history, traditions, iconic figures and locations (complete list below).

The Suncoast Chapter of the National Television Arts and Sciences recognized Whinham in 2016 for his story on the 25th Anniversary of the movie Steel Magnolias filmed entirely in Natchitoches, Louisiana, and in 2010 for Lost Louisiana: Places of Worship.

In 2008, Whinham’s Louisiana World War Two Stories won the Distinguished Reporting Award from the Military Reporters and Editors Association at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The University of Kentucky graduate has earned a pair of Telly Awards for Lost Louisiana: What’s in a Name? (2007) and Louisiana Travels with Charlie Whinham (2016).

The Detroit native began his television career covering news but also worked as a sportscaster from the late-80’s to mid-90’s in Traverse City, Michigan and Green Bay, Wisconsin. During that time he covered the 1993 NBA Finals and the resurgence of the Green Bay Packers led by quarterback Brett Favre.

Over the years at LPB, Whinham provided in-depth reports on the 2005 Hurricanes of Katrina and Rita, the BP Oil Spill of 2010 and served occasionally as contributing correspondent and commentator for PBS NewsHour.

Whinham has interviewed and profiled many iconic Louisianans including Pulitzer Prize nominated author Ernest J. Gaines (The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman and A Lesson Before Dying), Grammy-winning musicians Aaron Neville and Terrance Simien, Super Bowl XXII MVP Doug Williams, and two-time World Series Champion pitcher Ron Guidry.

Whinham is married to Kris Kimball. Although they have no children, they proudly claim their four-legged rescue beagles Ellis and Gidget as “their kids”.

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LPB Titles produced by Charlie Whinham:
Lost Louisiana: Endangered Sites
Lost Louisiana: What’s in a Name? (Vol. 1 through 5) (Telly Award Winner)
Lost Louisiana: Places of Worship (Suncoast Emmy winner)
Louisiana World War II Stories (Distinguished Reporting Award - Military Reporters and Editors Assoc.)
Louisiana’s Experience: WWII
Katrina & Rita: A Year of Recovery
Louisiana Railways
Castle on the Hill: Louisiana’s Old State Capitol
Louisiana Baseball Stories
A Louisiana Christmas Journey
Behind the Scenes at Antiques Road Show Baton Rouge
Eddie Robinson: A Life Celebrated
Louisiana’s Natural Treasures: Our State Parks
Louisiana’s Natural Treasures: Our National Sites
Natchitoches: A Tri-Centennial (Suncoast Emmy winner)
Louisiana Travels (Vol. 1 & 2) (Telly Award winner)

Current Topic


     08/18 - The Power of Reading

How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?
The ability to read sets the foundation of who we are and what we can be. Through reading we expand our world, learn new things and increase our base of knowledge. In fact, a parent’s reading level is the greatest factor in a child’s academic success. Children who can’t read proficiently by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

In Louisiana, 20 percent of adults are illiterate – five points higher than the national rate. How is Louisiana combatting its illiteracy problem across generational lines? How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

Louisiana Public Square: The Power of Reading looks for answers and explores the value of lifelong reading through the lens of the PBS series The Great American Read Wednesday, August 22 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recorded Tuesday, August 14 in the Magnolia Performing Arts Pavilion at Baton Rouge Community College.)

Our panelists are:
- Linda-Marie Barrett, Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA)
- Rebecca Hamilton, MLIS; Louisiana State Librarian
- Danny Heitman; Journalist and Louisiana author
- Miranda Restovic, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH).
- Gary Robertson; Adult Literacy Advocates

The program features interviews with John Cavalier, owner of Cavalier House Books; Gary Robertson, Executive Director of Adult Literacy Advocates; representatives from the LEH PRIME TIME intergenerational reading program, and Superintendent John White with the Louisiana Department of Education.

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Robyn Merrick, Southern University VP of External Affairs, host the show.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

This episode of Louisiana Public Square is underwritten by Community Coffee’s Cash for Schools Program, the Louisiana Forestry Association, LSU Press and the Southern Independent Booksellers’ Authors Round the South.

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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?

Recent Topics


     07/18 - Preventing Suicide

How is Louisiana addressing its suicide problem?

     06/18 - Louisiana: Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?  (ENCORE)

Is Louisiana a Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?

     05/18 - News About the News

How can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference?

     04/18 - Balancing Eldercare

How much does Louisiana spend on nursing homes versus home and community-based care?
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