Dateline NBC

Reaping what they've sown Preview: Self-righteous, ill-informed NBC news team produces self-righteous, ill-informed documentary on migrant workers.

I sat down in front of the television set wanting to be impressed by "Children of the Fields," an NBC documentary on child migrant workers airing tonight. Honest I did.

On Thanksgiving Day, 1960, CBS aired "Harvest of Shame," a documentary on migrant workers produced by Fred Friendly and reported by Edward R. Murrow. In its understanding of the complex issues involved and willingness to confront the powers-that-be in seeking answers, the report defined network television news as social conscience and set a tone that carried into the exemplary civil rights reporting by CBS and NBC in the 1960s.

In the current climate of wall-to-wall newsmagazines...