Scope and Contents
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Source of Acquisition
Accruals and Additions
Special Collections & University Archives
Title: John Martin Television Journalism Collection
Identifier/Call Number: MS-0505
30.00 Linear Feet
Date (inclusive): 1960-2011
Date (bulk): 1965-2002
Language of Material:
Scope and Contents
John Martin Television Journalism Collection documents the career of newspaper and television reporter John Martin from his time as an editor of the San Diego State newspaper
The Aztec in 1960 to his departure from ABC News in 2002. This collection consists of personal documents and mementos, records from
Martin's time as adjunct professor of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, scripts from Sacramento, CA station
KCRA-TV News and ABC News broadcasts Martin reported for, original research for these broadcasts, various publications and
newspapers collected and contributed to by Martin, and audio and visual recordings of news programs. The collection is divided
into six series:
Personal Papers (1960-2010),
Aherne Files (1974-1999),
Publications (1963-2011), and
Audio/Visual Files (1963-2002).
Personal Papers (1960-2010) of John Martin consist of personal notes and goodbyes from former colleagues, mementos, and copies of
The Aztec from Martin's time as editor at San Diego State University. Also available are records from his time as adjunct professor
of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, including copies of the labor-oriented journal
Fault Lines, written by students of Martin's graduate seminar by the same name.
Scripts (1966-2000) series consists of scripts written for Sacramento station KCRA-TV News and ABC News programs Martin reported
for during this time. The scripts are largely from Martin's segment
It's Your Money on
ABC World News Tonight, but scripts from other ABC broadcasts such as
This Week with David Brinkley and
Nightline are also available.
Research (1991-2005) portion of this collection consists of all the original research done by John Martin and his colleagues for ABC
news and the
It's Your Money segment on
World News Tonight. They are arranged according to subject by John Martin.
Aherne Files (1974-1999) consist of all the research done on Reverend John Aherne, a former principal of St. Augustine High School in
San Diego, and the scandal surrounding his departure. Additionally, there are rough drafts and copies of Martin's piece on
Men in Black, as well as volumes of poems written by Aherne, and photographs of Aherne and the small Massachusetts town where he was installed
as Vice President of Merrimack College.
Publications (1963-2011) portion of this collection consists of magazine and newspapers collected by John Martin, some of which Martin
contributed to himself. There are issues of
The New York Times,
The Washington Post,
TIME Magazine and many others, as well as original news prints from historical events such as the moon landing in 1963, and the aftermath
of September 11, 2001.
Audio/Visual Materials (1963-2002) contain audio and visual recordings of news segments and broadcasts such as
This Week with David Brinkley,
ABC World News Tonight, and
It's Your Money. Some of these recordings document famous stories such as the post-World War II U.S. Army assistance to Nazi fugitive Klaus
Barbie (1983), the international search for Nazi fugitive Josef Mengele (1985), a Gulf War incubator atrocity hoax perpetrated
by the Kuwaiti government (1991), the Los Angeles riots stemming from the Rodney King beating (1992), the tobacco industry's
manipulation of nicotine (1994) and many others. A [url=https://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/nas/streaming/dept/scuastaf/collections/MartinJohnVideo/JohnMartinNetworkTVNewsVideo.pdf]catalogue
of the video contents[/url] in this series is available @ https://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/nas/streaming/dept/scuastaf/collections/MartinJohnVideo/JohnMartinNetworkTVNewsVideo.pdf
I. Personal Papers
IV. Aherne Files
VI. Audio/Visual Files
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
NOTE: Series 6: Audio / Visual Materials
Most of these items have been digitized but they are currently unavailable
because of copyright restrictions. To view these materials, please visit the Special Collections' Reading Room or contact
us at 619-594-6791 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Conditions Governing Use
The copyright interests in some of these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. The nature of
historical archival and manuscript collections means that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.
Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. Requests for permission to publish
must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted,
permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply
permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are
made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the
materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.
Source of Acquisition
Accruals and Additions
2012-005, 2012-011, 2012-016, 2012-032
Identification of item, folder title, box number,
John Martin Television Journalism Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, San Diego State University Library.
John Martin was born on December 3, 1938 in New York City. He worked as a newspaper and television reporter for 46 years and
reported and wrote dozens of newspaper stories. He reported more than 1,400 television stories between 1966 and 2002.
Among the stories Martin covered were the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas (1963), the rise of Idi Amin
in Uganda (1971), the trial of Daniel Ellsberg (1972), Patricia Hearst's kidnapping (1974), Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's
visit to Jerusalem (1977), the Israeli invasion of Southern Lebanon (1978), post-World War II U.S. Army assistance to Nazi
fugitive Klaus Barbie (1983), U.S. President Ronald Reagan's visit to China (1984), the international search for Nazi fugitive
Josef Mengele (1985), a Gulf War incubator atrocity hoax perpetrated by the Kuwaiti government (1991), the Los Angeles riots
stemming from the Rodney King beating(1992), and the tobacco industry's manipulation of nicotine (1994).
Martin began work as a professional journalist in 1956 as a freshman at San Diego State College. He accepted a job as a stringer
(freelance reporter paid by the inch of published stories) for the
San Diego Evening Tribune. He later worked as a copy boy, then copy editor, assistant photo editor, and reporter for
The San Diego Union. In 1962, Martin was drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to Georgia, where he worked at night as a copy editor for the
Augusta Chronicle. Assigned to Germany, he worked as a reporter for the weekly 4th Armored Division newspaper,
Rolling Review. In late 1963, Martin was recruited to be editor of the weekly VII Corps newspaper,
Accepting an overseas U.S. Army discharge in 1964, Martin joined the copy editing staff of
The New York Times International Edition in Paris, where he wrote occasional features and edited stories for a 16-page daily newspaper distributed in Europe and Asia.
In 1965, Martin moved to Spain, where he wrote a draft manuscript for a low-cost travel guide to Europe by Temple Fielding
("Fielding's Super-Economy Guide to Europe").
In 1966 Martin returned to the United States and joined the staff of KCRA-TV News in Sacramento, California, where he worked
as an education reporter, as the producer, writer, and anchor of a weekly news review program,
Newsbeat Sunday Magazine, and as a general assignment reporter.
In 1971, Martin arranged to spend six weeks in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania compiling more than 25 reports on politics, economics,
tourism, archeology and assorted topics. In 1974, he spent a month traveling as a reporter in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan,
and Israel, gathering reports for a series on the Middle East.
Martin incorporated some of the stories in an hour-long program involving Arabs and Jews living in the Sacramento area, KCRA
Reports the Middle East. In December 1975, Martin joined ABC News in New York, where he was hired to cover stories throughout
the northeastern United States. In eight years based in New York, he also covered events in the Middle East and Europe. In
1979, Martin was assigned to report for
America Held Hostage, a nightly program created to analyze and report events surrounding the capture of American Embassy employees in Iran.
In 1980, Martin was assigned, with Charles Gibson and Ron Miller, as one of the three original correspondents for a new program,
Nightline with Ted Koppel. In 1982, he located evidence that caused the U.S. Attorney General to order an investigation of post-war American support
for Klaus Barbie, the Nazi Butcher of Lyons. The investigation led to a formal apology to the Government of France for harboring
and helping a war criminal escape capture by relocating to South America.
In 1983, Martin assumed the title of national correspondent and was assigned to Washington as the principal field correspondent
This Week with David Brinkley. He reported more than 100 background stories for the Sunday discussion program, traveling in the United States, Central
and South America, Asia and Europe.
In 1985, Martin began reporting as a general correspondent in the Washington bureau. In 1987, he covered the trial and imprisonment
in Nicaragua of Eugene Hasenfus, an American mercenary who was shot down delivering arms and supplies to the contras for the
Central Intelligence Agency.
Between October, 1992 and 2001, Martin was assigned by ABC News to cover government spending in Washington in a series titled
It's Your Money. Working with a producer and a researcher, Martin reported an estimated 400 stories of questionable Congressional projects
Over 25 years at ABC News, Martin researched and wrote more than 30 obituaries of major figures in politics, entertainment,
and sports. The stories appeared on World News Tonight and Nightline. Based on a preliminary search of records, they were,
by year: 1979: Emmett Kelly, John Wayne, Arthur Fiedler, Fulton Sheen; 1980: Jesse Owens, Marshal Tito; 1981: Melvyn Douglas,
Anwar Sadat, Moshe Dayan, Edith Head, Hoagy Carmichael, Terry Fox; 1982: John Belushi, Henry Fonda, Grace Kelly, Leonid Brezhnev,
Artur Rubenstein; 1983: Meyer Lansky, George Cukor, Bear Bryant, Tennessee Williams, Maxie Anderson, David Niven;1986: Admiral
Hyman Rickover, Averill Harriman, William Schroeder; 1987; William Casey; 1990: Armand Hammer; 1991: Lee Atwater.
John Martin was honored for a number of stories, sometimes sharing the award with colleagues: the Emmy Award (shared), the
George Polk Award (shared), the DuPont-Columbia Award (shared), the National Headliner Award, and the National Association
Black Journalists Award.
Martin retired from ABC News in May 2002.
Between 2002 and 2010, Martin taught television news writing (2002-2003) and national affairs reporting (2003-2010) as an
adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Martin currently works as a photographer and editor for the
World Tennis Gazette, an email-only newsletter.