On Runaway Street

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Advertisement for 48 Hours in USA Today, January 19, 1988. Goldin (Marion) Papers, e_goldi_00028_002, Briscoe Center for American History.

 48 Hours "On Runaway Street," which aired in March 1988, looked at America's "lost generation" of runaway children (an estimated 300,000) and efforts to bring them home. The show examined the problem from different perspectives: the runaways themselves, the parents looking for them with great anguish, a former streetwalker who had become a "streetworker." Produced by Andrew Heyward and Cathy Lasiewicz and directed by Eric Shapiro, the show featured reports by Dan Rather, Harold Dow, Victoria Corderi, and John Blackstone. Victoria Corderi for example was in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where a father searched for his 15-year-old daughter, and Dan Rather walked through the street of New York with caseworkers from the Covenant House, a safe haven for runaways.

As the Christian Science Monitor noted, the show "pursues hard news with compassion, empathy, and on-the-spot human reaction. It is not content to point out the problem; it seems to want to find solutions," in this case to persuade potential runaways to stay home.

Together with “Abortion Battle,” the show earned a Peabody Award with the following praises: "It is not difficult to tackle sensitive, complex and often divisive issues with the expectation that you will end up with balanced, informative, well-thought-out results. What is difficult is to succeed. In the opinion of members of the Peabody Board the CBS News program 48 Hours did succeed in two exceptional reports: 'Abortion Battle' and 'On Runaway Street.' In 'Abortion Battle' viewers were presented with an exploration of several aspects of this controversial issue that provided a dimension often missing from conventional news coverage. In 'On Runaway Street' the team achieved a notable public service contribution by highlighting the dangerous and lonely world of America’s teenage runaways. To executive producer Andrew Heyward and to producers Al Briganti ('Abortion Battle') and Catherine Lasiewicz ('On Runaway Street') a hearty 'Well Done!' from the Peabody Board."