Rick Fredericksen

Biography

Rick is an American writer and journalist who lived in the Asia-Pacific region for more than 14 years before returning home to the Midwest. He is a Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War. Rick covered stories throughout Southeast Asia for multiple news agencies during a decade of residence in Thailand. Rick's latest book, "Broadcasters: Untold Chaos," is part memoir and part history as he re-tells major stories from an insider perspective. Few journalists can boast Rick's diverse experience, which encompasses radio, TV, print and online journalism, practiced during a career with commercial, public and military broadcasters. He is the last Bangkok Bureau Chief for CBS News.

Smashwords Interview

Tell us about your latest book, "Broadcasters: Untold Chaos."
It's part memoir and part history. It opens as the U.S. armed forces introduces television to Vietnam. A group of military broadcasters fight for their TV station, and for their lives, in the city of Hue. A Vietnamese cameraman emerges as a legendary photojournalist for CBS News and his life falls apart in the tragic aftermath of the war. I share the chaotic last visit to Vietnam by General Schwarzkopf, and tell the inside story of the gutsiest military protest during the Vietnam War, over censorship of the news. The drama would lead to a congressional investigation. Multiple other chapters go beyond Vietnam: the defusing of a terrorist bomb in Bangkok, the Iowa National Guard pilots who ended up protecting Air Force One on 9-11, and my lunch with Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos.
Was your Vietnam unit the same one we see in the movie "Good Morning, Vietnam?"
Yes, Robin Williams portrayed a very real broadcaster at AFVN, the American Forces Vietnam Network. I go behind the scenes of both the movie (made in Thailand) and the actual network during the war. I was a newsman in Saigon. There were so many colorful characters, incidents and war stories at AFVN that it shapes the background through the first half of "Broadcasters." Ho Chi Minh City is a pulsating Asian city today. For very different reasons, it was just as exciting when the southern metropolis was called Saigon. It's a nostalgic look back for Vietnam veterans who were there.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Rick Fredericksen online


Videos

Author Interview
In early 2013, for the 40th anniversary of Operation Homecoming, the CBS affiliate KCCI-TV questioned the author about the heartbreaking mystery surrounding the many Americans who did not come home after the war.

Books

Broadcasters: Untold Chaos
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 63,280. Language: English. Published: April 21, 2017. Categories: Nonfiction » History » American, Nonfiction » History » Asian
(5.00)
Tantalizing details of news stories are often never told. That changes in "Broadcasters," where a veteran journalist sheds light on a career reaching from Saigon to Sioux City. These insider accounts—little-known or never told—include threats against CBS News, lunch with Ferdinand Marcos, a shocking on-air protest ignited by censorship and a military TV station destroyed with 100% casualties.
Lusitania Diary
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,200. Language: English. Published: April 13, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » History » American, Nonfiction » History » Expeditions & Discoveries
(5.00)
100 years after the Lusitania was torpedoed, a passenger’s diary was translated into English, revealing the story of an earlier journey aboard the doomed ocean liner. The author was a 33 year old Danish photographer, who describes his safe voyage to America; the hardships, joys and social life aboard the magnificent ship, seven years before disaster killed nearly 1,200 men, women and children.
Turning Point: Michael Jackson
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,220. Language: English. Published: July 22, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Music, Nonfiction » Entertainment » Celebrity culture
The shocking, public downfall of pop idol Michael Jackson can be traced back to one night in Bangkok, in 1993. Soon after he arrived in the Thai capital on his Dangerous World Tour, shocking allegations were revealed involving a teenage boy in California. Two news reporters, one Thai and one American, share their story in an exposé, commemorating the 20th anniversary of MJ’s turning point.
After the Hanoi Hilton, an Accounting
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 22,010. Language: English. Published: May 31, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » History » American, Nonfiction » History » Military
(5.00)
When combat ceased across Vietnam, it signaled the start of a cold war over the Americans left behind. As family members agonized, nearly 2,500 POWs and MIAs had become human pieces in a diplomatic chess match that outlasted the war itself. Historic accounts, as they happened, are told by a former Vietnam Marine and CBS News correspondent who covered the complex issue for more than a decade.

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