Iris Samson

Associate Producer, WQED

After serving as assistant editor of The Jewish Chronicle of Pittsburgh for nearly 18 years, Iris Samson began freelancing for WQED-TV in 2005, following a stint as associate producer on the one hour documentary, “From Pittsburgh To Poland: Lessons of the Holocaust.”  Since then, she has produced dozens of short pieces, and over a dozen half hour programs, including “Stories of the Holocaust,” which focused on three Holocaust survivors living in the Pittsburgh area. This was an excerpt from a two DVD set that she produced for the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh of 18 interviews with different Holocaust survivors and their families.

Some of her other WQED productions include an hour-long historical program, “The Valley that Changed the World,” on the birth of the oil industry; two half hour programs on the achievements of African American men and young men in the Pittsburgh region; two half hour programs focusing on the emergent and changing educational landscape in the region; “Vietnam, Another View,” which explored the Vietnamese community in Pittsburgh and won a Mid-Atlantic Emmy.  Last year’s production, “An Unlikely Refuge: Surviving the Holocaust in Shanghai” also won a Mid-Atlantic Emmy for best documentary. Iris has five Mid-Atlantic Emmys in all and has been nominated over a dozen times; she’s won nine Golden Quill Awards, three PAB (Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters) awards, two for best documentary in the state; she has a Gabriel Award and was part of an Edward R. Murrow Award winning team.

Nationally, Iris was the co-producer of PBS’s production, “Harbor from the Holocaust,” an hour long program that traced the journey of Jews fleeing Austria and German for the open port of Shanghai during the Nazi era.