The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Dick Weinman Oral History Interviews

Two life history interviews conducted by Janice Dilg.

October 2014 - January 2015


“Memories of Broadcast Media Communications at OSU”  October 25, 2014  Location: Weinman residence, Corvallis, Oregon.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

In his first interview, Weinman discusses the roots of his interest in radio, dating to his youth in New York City, and his arrival in Corvallis. In recalling his early years at OSU, Weinman notes the university's need for an educational curriculum in broadcast media, its rudimentary facilities, and the role that he played in building the Broadcast Media Communications program and KBVR-TV.

Weinman next backtracks to recount an earlier teaching stint at the University of Georgia, commenting on his experience of race relations in the American South and how this influenced his teaching and programming later on. He then reflects on the closure of the Broadcast Media Communications program at OSU in the wake of Ballot Measure 5, and his subsequent engagement with an early form of online teaching.

From there, the interview retraces again to the activities with which Weinman was involved during a time where Broadcast Media Communications was flourishing. He speaks in particular of his work with the Minorities in the Mass Media workshops, his involvement with the Tom McCall Lectureship and other campus events, and his efforts teaching a wide variety of classes, including one on "Isms." The session concludes with Weinman's memories of multiple individuals whom he taught and with whom we worked during his years as an Oregon State faculty member.

“The Thin Edge of Dignity”  January 28, 2015  Location: Weinman residence, Corvallis, Oregon.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

In his second interview, Weinman details the building of a new student broadcast facility in Snell Hall during the 1970s, the genesis of OSU's New Media Communications program, and his involvement with a variety of campus symposia focusing on social issues in the media, many of which resulted in visits to the OSU campus of high profile speakers. He also notes his involvement with the production of a video on sexual harassment, his professional travels in Russia and Eastern Europe, and his participation in a series of workshops sponsored by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

As the session nears it's end, Weinman's reflects on his wife's passing from Alzheimer's disease, and his production of a documentary film titled "You Gotta Start Somewhere." The interview concludes with a discussion of Weinman's current work on a blog and documentary film project titled "The Thin Edge of Dignity," which focuses on his life in assisted living.