WILL Highlights

WILL - WILL Highlights - October 17, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

U of I history prof in PBS’ ‘How We Got to Now: Light’

9 pm Wed., Oct. 29, on WILL-TV: Sitting on a bed with host Steven Johnson, Craig Koslofsky talks about sleep patterns and artificial light.

Craif Koslofsky and Steven Johnson

University of Illinois history professor Craig Koslofsky is featured in the PBS series, How We Got to Now, at 9 pm Wednesday, Oct. 29, on WILL-TV. In the episode on "Light," Koslofsky talks with host Steven Johnson about sleep patterns, artificial light, and waking up int he middle of the night. Perched on a bed in which Johnson is lying, he spends several minutes on screen. Koslofsky's participation was based on his 2011 book, Evening's Empire: A History of the Night in Early Modern Europe.

Johnson relates the story of people who take us out of the dark and into the light. Hear about Edison’s light bulb, which he didn’t actually invent, and learn how an 18th-century ship’s skipper discovered a source of illumination by putting a kid inside a whale’s head. See how a French scientist accidentally discovered how to create neon light, leading to a revolution in advertising. Dispelling the myth of the individual “eureka” moment, Johnson reveals that teamwork and collaboration led the way to the most transformative ideas. Whether changing our genetic make-up, altering the world’s sleeping patterns, transforming architecture, taking us into space or triggering one of the great social reforms in American history, the pioneers of light have made themselves indispensable throughout human history.

WILL - WILL Highlights - October 17, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

Frontline: The Rise of ISIS

9 pm Tuesday, Oct. 28, on WILL-TV: Frontline investigates the miscalculations and mistakes behind the brutal rise of ISIS.


A year ago, few people had heard of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) — the brutal jihadist group that President Obama calls a “network of death.”

How did ISIS become a major force so quickly? And what does it mean for the U.S. to be back in Iraq, fighting a new war on terror, less than three years after American troops pulled out of the country?

On October 28,Frontline presents The Rise of ISIS — a major, in-depth investigation of the brutal terrorist group’s ascent, from veteran producer and journalist Martin Smith.

“This documentary lays out, in chilling detail, the buildup of unheeded warnings, failures, and missed opportunities that allowed Al Qaeda in Iraq to become ISIS,” says Smith, who was on the ground in Iraq when the U.S. began airstrikes this summer, and who has been documenting the Iraq conflict for Frontline since 2003.

In The Rise of ISIS, Smith draws on in-depth interviews with Iraqi politicians, and American policymakers and military leaders (including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes and former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta) to explore and explain how ISIS developed into what one interviewee calls “the Al Qaeda that Osama bin Laden only dreamed of building.”

Along the way, Smith delivers a revelatory look at how ISIS grew out of the disaffection of Iraqi Sunnis who were sidelined and targeted by Shia Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki after the American withdrawal. 

“By the time Americans left Iraq in 2011, al Qaeda in Iraq had been almost completely destroyed,” Smith says. “But the ISIS of 2014 is reborn out of Sunni fears, and by the people the U.S. couldn’t manage to kill during the war — described to me as ‘a collection of killers very good at surviving’: the most battle-hardened Al Qaeda militants, a few embittered tribesmen, and some remnants of Saddam's Baathist military hoping to regain power.”

The Rise of ISIS traces how they gained strength in Syria, how they're funded, how they operate, and how, city by city, from Ramadi to Fallujah to Mosul, ISIS swept across Iraq — seizing territory, recording and broadcasting mass executions, and drawing recruits from an estimated 80 countries.

“[ISIS] became a movement by manipulation of the information space, and by playing on the fears of Sunnis, and by confronting the tribes,” Gen. Dempsey tells Frontline.

“This is one of the first terrorist groups saying, ‘You know what? We're not going to hit and run, and we're never going to participate in politics as you know it. We actually want to kill everyone who disagrees with us,’” says counterterrorism expert Ali Soufan, whose The Soufan Group will issue a special report on ISIS’s leadership in tandem with Frontline’s broadcast.

With ISIS continuing to take and hold territory in Iraq and Syria despite U.S. and coalition airstrikes, and President Obama’s foreign policy legacy hanging in the balance, The Rise of ISIS is the definitive account of how we reached this point.

Watch a preview:


WILL - WILL Highlights - October 16, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

Watch a video of WILL’s 13th Congressional District Debate

Rodney Davis and Ann Callis met on Oct. 16 in the WILL-TV studio.

Panelists Tom Kacich and Hannah Meisel, with moderator Jennifer Roscoe and candidates Rodney Davis and Ann Callis

Republican Rodney Davis (Taylorville) and Democrat Ann Callis (Edwardsville) debated the issues of the 13th Congressional District before a live studio audience at WILL-TV on October 16, 2014. WCIA¹s Jennifer Roscoe moderated and candidates answered questions from Tom Kacich, reporter/columnist for The News-Gazette and Hannah Meisel, reporter for WILL radio. #IL13th2014.

The League of Women Voters, NAACP, News-Gazette and WCIA3/WCIX49 also sponsored the debate.

WILL - WILL Highlights - October 08, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

Illinois Gubernatorial Downstate Debate

8 pm Thursday, Oct. 9, on WILL-TV

Bruce Rauner and Pat Quinn

Candidates for governor Republican Bruce Rauner and Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn will meet for the Illinois Gubernatorial Downstate Debate in Peoria at 8 pm Thursday, Oct. 9. It will be hosted by Illinois Public Media and three other Illinois public broadcasters along with the League of Women Voters of Illinois.

Public TV and radio stations throughout the state will broadcast the 60-minute debate. The debate will take place at WTVP (Peoria), which will sponsor and broadcast the debate along with WILL-TV and WILL-AM-FM (Urbana), WSIU-FM-TV (Carbondale) and WUIS-FM (Springfield).

Jak Tichenor, host of Illinois Lawmakers, from WSIU will moderate with questioning by Amanda Vinicky, statehouse bureau chief from WUIS; H. Wayne Wilson, host/producer of WTVP’s At Issue; and Jamey Dunn, executive editor of Illinois Issues magazine.

Chad Grimm, Libertarian candidate for governor, did not meet all of the candidate eligibility requirements to appear in the debate. Those requirements are contained in the debate agreements posted below. See Illinois Public Media News stories about Grimm's candidacy.

Additional TV stations carrying the debate are WEIU (Charleston), WQPT (Quad Cities), WSEC (Springfield), WMEC (Macomb), WTTW (Chicago), and WQEC (Quincy). Other radio stations broadcasting the debate are WBEZ-FM (Chicago), WCBU-FM (Peoria), WVIK-FM (Quad Cities) and WNIJ-FM (DeKalb).

WTVP-TV, WILL AM-FM-TV, WSIU-FM-TV and WUIS-FM will stream the debate live on their station websites.

WILL-TV will re-air the debate at 10:30 pm Friday, Oct. 10, and 1 pm Sunday, Oct. 12.

Join the conversation online during the debate: #ILGov2014

WILL - WILL Highlights - October 07, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

Three quick lessons from Joshua Bell

From NPR Classical: Bell leads nine young musicians in the HBO documentary Masterclass. Here, the violinist gives advice on finding yourself in the music.

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