On July 1st, WIDE ANGLE returns to television for another season of thought-provoking, in-depth international news coverage that you won’t see anywhere else. WIDE ANGLE is anchored by former CNN and ABC journalist Aaron Brown, and for this edition of Inside Thirteen, he writes about what we can expect in the upcoming season.
I am sitting in my office at home, the jet lag from a two week WIDE ANGLE trip to Africa finally clearing. I am so excited about the season ahead and the nature of the films we have. I should write here how they are important pieces of international reporting and that WIDE ANGLE is the only program devoted to exploring international issues in long form pieces on TV. I could go on and write about the shrinking world we live in which makes our attention to international issues all that more important. The events in Iran this week, I could add, make that point so clearly. And all of that is true. WIDE ANGLE takes great pride in the fact that long form international journalism pretty much belongs to us alone. There may be the odd piece here or there on American TV, but no program so thoughtfully and carefully looks at the world beyond our borders. The film makers we work with come from across the globe — we worked with a young British filmmaker in Ethiopia and a Swede in Mozambique; a South Korean team will begin our season. It is the combination of their perspective and that of the WIDE ANGLE staff — a pretty varied group as well — that makes the program what it is. I could go on about that, about the importance of the season that begins July 1st in this changing and complicated world and it would all be true. But it would miss the real point of my excitement about the season ahead and why I think you will fall in love with the pieces as well.
They are simply great stories. The season opens with a thriller about the escape from North Korea to the South through China. Setting aside all the “big issues,” it is a great story of perseverance and risk with a bit of daring journalism thrown in for good measure.
And there are others like it. In truth — and I hope this doesn’t disappoint any regular viewers — there isn’t a wonkish piece on the list. Which isn’t to say that they aren’t substantive. They are. But you could easily miss “importance” for the depth of the characters, their hearts or courage and often their sacrifice. It is going to be a fabulous season.
And I can’t tell you how excited and blessed I feel to be a part of it again this year. And I hope we can find new and better ways to use this space this season as well. See you July 1st.
Watch a preview of “Crossing Heaven’s Border”, premiering July 1st on Thirteen.