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November 21, 2012 at 4:23 PM

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Say it ain't so! KING 5 is canceling 'Up Front with Robert Mak'

Check this one off as another loss for political journalism in western Washington.

It's rare to find a long-form, local program dedicated to exploring and decoding the political process.

That's why it's a punch in the gut to see this news report confirming that Seattle's NBC affiliate plans to cancel its long-running Sunday political show, "Up Front with Robert Mak."

Though this has been characterized as a business decision, it doesn't diminish the need and hunger for meaningful analysis of Washington politics. We just experienced a historic election in this state and the Legislature is preparing for a tough session. Sporadic news reports will help viewers to know what's happening in the capitol, but I can't imagine learning more from these 90-second reports compared to Mak's 30-minute programs.

From Seattle Times reporter Jim Brunner:

The Emmy-award winning show will air its final segment Dec. 2, ending an 11-year run as one of the region’s best known and most in-depth TV programs covering politics and government. Mak regularly interviewed top elected leaders and other newsmakers, moderated candidate debates and showed a deft touch in explaining some of the region’s thorniest political and social issues.

Don't think I could sum it up any better.

Among journalists,Mak has been an enduring example of success and credibility. He's also a long-time Asian American Journalists Association member who has inspired minority journalists (including myself) to pursue serious, public interest news.

Since returning from Texas a couple months ago, I've viewed "Up Front" a few times in efforts to re-familiarize myself with the political scene here. I was looking forward to watching more regularly in the coming months.

Brunner reports that Mak has been offered the position of chief political reporter at KING. I hope he accepts that job. There's no doubt he would do well. Perhaps he could even position himself for the day the show comes back on the air.

Sometimes, you don't know what you're missing till it's gone.

Here's last Sunday's program:




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