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Coming Soon: An International Newscast for Americans

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008
  • comments (21)

Inside Thirteen blogger: Neal Shapiro, President

Today we announced plans for a new half-hour broadcast concentrating on international news that will launch on public television in this fall. It’s called Your World Tonight. (Like any production in development, the title is subject to change.)

As a bit of a news junkie myself, I think there is a huge gap in the area of international coverage on television. On 9/11, we were reminded in a graphic and tragic way how what happens halfway around the world can have devastating consequences for us here at home. But world affairs are not always so spectacular. From immigration to the spread of free markets, from climate change to the rising price of commodities, we can see how the world economy and globalization affect our economy, our society and our politics on a daily basis.

For more than a year, we’ve been thinking about what shape this new program should take. Marc Rosenwasser, who will executive produce the program, has worked at three network news divisions. And, just as importantly, he is a former foreign correspondent himself, having worked for more than seven years at The Associated Press, including more than two years as a correspondent in Moscow. Marc has a passion for international news and he’s been meeting with news organizations, reporters, analysts and experts to get this newscast off the ground.

There’s a lot of passion out there for international affairs, and we aim to deliver an innovative and compelling program to the millions of viewers who turn to public television for news coverage they can trust and public affairs programming they won’t find anywhere else.

We’ll be making more announcements about Your World Tonight in the coming weeks, and I’ll be sure to keep readers of this blog up-to-date on the latest developments as we approach the launch date.

Read our announcement on the subject.

The New York Times also covered the story this morning, so the word is already out.

  • Jude

    I really like the BBC News, it provides a perspective on how others view international affairs, which can be quite different than through an American lens.

  • mae west

    BBC news and its journalists are the best – covers a variety of subjects as well as state side news and they are not afraid to ask the hard questions that American journalists seem to ignore or avoid. If “Your World Tonight” develops into the usual commercial network junk (even though the article sites important issues of the day will be covered ) – I hesitate to think since both you Mr. Shapiro, and Mr. Rosenwasser former commercial networks executives can live up to the current standards ….don’t disappoint. Furthermore, its was nice while it lasted to get another point of view – it will be missed.

  • Denise

    Access to accurate, complete and unbiased news is essential for our understanding of the world in which we live and for our ability to act with responsibility and maturity as members of the international community. BBC News is the best news service available in this regard. If you want to add an additional news program, I think that that is fine but to remove BBC NEWS would a serious mistake.

  • Denise

    Access to accurate, complete and unbiased news is essential for our understanding of the world in which we live and for our ability to act with responsibility and maturity as members of the international community, BBC NEWS is the best news service available in this regard. If you want to add an additional news program, that’s great, but to remove BBC NEWS would be a serious mistake.

  • Connie Knapp

    This is great BUT can’t we have both? I agree with the other responders that dropping the BBC News would be a mistake. The only place that I can watch the BBC News is on public television.

  • Daisy Chen

    I think people watch PBS for unbiased news. why take away the only source of that other than the News Hour? It seems you are trying to attract people who watch the network news, which probably won’t happen, but i think you will lose loyal PBS viewers. how very disappointing.

  • Mario Rios Pinot

    I like the BBC news. I watch it three times a week. Its a different viewpoint. Why not take a half hour away from the News Hour and have the BBC NEWS and your new program? Why not eliminate Tavis at midnight? How about Expose? Now? Thats a lot of news. Whats his name? Charlie Rose, cut him half an hour. Thank you.

  • Denise

    BBC NEWS is not only an outstanding news service, the best that is currently available for international news, it is also the news that is watched all over the world. One of the greatest problems America has is its insularity made much more serious through the fact of the majority of Americans having inadequate access to complete and unbiased news of what’s going on around the world. jWNET and WLIR have always stood out as oases giving us a much needed window on the world through many of their outstanding programs, but the backbone has always been your airing of the BBC NEWS. I ask you as a long time member, please do not deprive us of this invaluable resource.

  • Robin Paul

    I agree with your other viewers. BBC World News gives us a different perspective on current events and covers news items that are not touched upon by commercial or even PBS news services. Starting our own International News service is a good idea and I support it. But BBC World News will alway be special; it is not targetted for just American viewers. Let’s find 30 minutes for PBS International Newscast from another programming and not by dropping BBC World News.

  • karl b. holtzschue

    Keep BBC news and start your new program. BBC gives a different perspective. In our current Bush World, we need that.

  • Carol

    It’s really important to keep the BBC perspective. Who else is going to tell us how we are perceived by the rest of the world?

  • Sheila

    I’m extremely upset that you are dropping BBC world news. We watch it religiously every night we are home. I agree that there is not enough world news on television, and I’m sure the new program will be good, but the BBC gives a world view that can’t be found anywhere else, it’s watched not just by American audiences but audiences around the world. I’m a long time member, and although this is not enough to cause me to drop my membership, I’m very disappointed – please give us back the BBC somewhere else.

  • Chris

    I was excited by the news of the new PBS world news program. I am now extremely concerned in learning that it will take the place of the BBC World broadcasts. While I am sure that the new show will add a unique American take on international news, the benefit of viewing world news from another perspective, and particularly the global perspective of the BBC, is immeasurable to New Yorkers in today’s world. I don’t see why these programs would not compliment each other. While I initially applauded the idea of PBS taking on a world news program, I am deeply disappointed that it comes at the expense of the BBC world news and will look for their broadcasts elsewhere. I am certain that once members/viewers realize that the BBC World is no longer carried by WNET/WLIW, there will be many more messages of disappointment and concern.

  • EE

    Just watched “Worldfocus”. Please bring back the BBC World News broadcast!

  • Rachel Kofinas

    I was deeply disappointed to find out that you have dropped BBC World News in favor of another news program, although an International one. I watch the BBC program every evening and rely on it for another perspective on both the US and the rest of the world. Although I applaud the introduction of International News I would hope you will find a way to return the BBC World News program. With the global marketplace it is imperative to see how others view us and why, what current events are unfolding in the world around us and what issues are important to citizens of other countries.

  • Tom

    Is this just a cash saving measure? Why else get rid of the BBC? When you strip away your best assets you become less valuable overall. Don’t be penny wise and dollar foolish. Bring back BBC.
    Thank you PBS.

  • Linda

    I greatly miss the scope of world news on BBC News. I have watched the new program, but it’s limited number of stories omits important world events. BBC News offers great coverage of the US as well as world events. Please bring it back.

  • Jane

    Agree with those who miss BBC World News. The new program just does not and will not be able to offer same take as BBC World News. Initially BBC World News did not cater to American tastes & was superior to the product it became when American tastes were added to it’s choices & it contained more fluff. But even as it changed BBC World News offered a broader perspective than one gets anywhere else on broadcast television, which is still the choice of millions. Please try to reinstate it.

  • m

    What was the justification for dropping BBC? It is so much better than Worldfocus. Please reinstate BBC ASAP.

  • marco

    I agree with the other comments that World Focus is a horrible replacement for the BBC. At first I thought it was some kind of joke as it seems to be a random collection of non-headlining stories from around the world. Dropping the BBC was a horrible decision. My esteem for your station has diminished greatly.

  • susan

    The new news program is not as good as the BBC news, please bring back the BBC world coverage!