Foreign-born workers in the UK share their fears for the future

This report aired on PBS NewsHour Weekend on June 26, 2016.

Uncertainty prevails in Britain after Brexit has left immigrants feeling vulnerable. The service sector, a large part of the British economy, is also a big employer of foreigners, which means these workers may be hit hard.
Producer: Saskia de Melker
Associate Producer: Melanie Saltzman
Camera:  Saskia de Melker and Melanie Saltzman
Editor: Michael Pilgrim
Correspondent: Hari Sreenivasan

Why thousands of students are seeing Broadway smash ‘Hamilton’

This report aired on PBS NewsHour Weekend on May 8, 2016

This spring, 20,000 public high school students from low-income neighborhoods in New York City will get the opportunity to see “Hamilton,” the Broadway smash hit nominated this week for a record 16 Tony Awards. Students can see the show as part of a new classroom curriculum designed around the show to encourage creativity and foster student interest in history.

Producer/Writer: Saskia de Melker
Associate Producer: Saskia de Melker
Camera:  Saskia de Melker and Melanie Saltzman
Editor: Judith Wolff
Correspondent: Saskia de Melker


Rethinking wages for tipped workers

This report aired on PBS NewsHour Weekend on March 26, 2016.

Due to low federal minimum wages for tipped workers, many grapple with poverty rates. Seven states, however, pay tipped workers full minimum wage before tips. And with minimum-wage hikes looming, some restaurants are pioneering no-tipping policies, eliminating gratuities in favor of higher hourly wages for workers.

Producer: Saskia de Melker
Associate Producer: Melanie Saltzman
Camera:  Saskia de Melker and Melanie Saltzman
Editor: David Kreger
Correspondent: Alison Stewart

Exonerated but not free: What do we owe the wrongfully convicted?

This report aired on PBS NewsHour Weekend on November 9, 2014.

In the US, state laws governing compensation for wrongfully convicted people vary significantly. While some states offer sizable packages for the exonerated, at least 20 offer nothing. And even for those that do, it may not be enough to make up for the emotional damage on those who’ve been wrongfully convicted.

Producer/Writer: Saskia de Melker
Correspondent: Hari Sreenivasan
Camera:  Saskia de Melker and Sam Weber
Editor: Saskia de Melker and David Kreger


Carrie Mae Weems on using photography to peel back the image of power

 This segment aired on PBS NewsHour on May 9 2014.

Artist Carrie Mae Weems has used photography to explore national and personal history, using herself and her family as stand-ins to explore common narratives, and using the medium as a tool to challenge stereotypes. Chief arts correspondent Jeffrey Brown talks to the renowned artist about her career as a visual storyteller.

Producer: Saskia de Melker
Correspondent: Jeffrey Brown
Camera: Saskia de Melker, Meghan Thompson
Editor: Saskia de Melker, Judith Wolff

Western Sahara: the world’s forgotten refugees


Located in the sweltering desert of south-west Algeria, the refugee camps of the Sahawari are home to more than 200,000 people, displaced from Western Sahara in 1979 when Morocco annexed the disputed territory in a conflict the world has long since forgotten. A new generation is growing up in the camps – eager to return to their homeland by whatever means, and frustrated by the Polisaro movement’s slow dealings with Morocco and the UN.