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In the Newsroom

September 15, 2009
Daljit Dhaliwal on the importance of international news

Daljit Dhaliwal

Worldfocus anchor Daljit Dhaliwal offers her take on the importance of international news to Americans.

What’s happening to international news? American viewers need quality information and analysis so that they can get a better handle on how the world is changing — and at the same time, changing their lives. But instead, mainstream international coverage is hemorrhaging and the shutters are coming down on overseas bureaus.

Over and over again, I read or hear that most Americans have no interest in what’s happening overseas, as if this is supposed to be some kind of justification for not telling them. Not that long along, I was invited to speak to a group of several hundred PBS viewers in Portland, Oregon. While nobody there doubted the importance of global news, several people talked about how the world is often presented to Americans — full of insurmountable problems and at times even frightening. With better information, it doesn’t have to seem that way.

I believe that if most Americans don’t care, its partly because they’ve been short-changed into thinking that what happens in the far-flung corners of the globe has no bearing on their lives. Well, we are in the middle of a global economic meltdown that sent shockwaves throughout the world, as well as fighting wars in two foreign lands, trying to broker peace in the Middle East and looking to ”reset” the button with a former superpower.

The U.S. has a leadership role, whether we like it or not. Americans need to be more engaged with the world than ever, but to do that there has to be some a level of public understanding about global events.

That’s what we try to do every weeknight on Worldfocus. As a journalist and a consumer of international news, it’s gratifying to be a part of program that is shining a light on global events — not just the day’s big stories, but those that are under-reported or ignored because they are deemed too complex or not ”sexy” enough. In my view these stories are the real gems because they surprise and enlighten.

Enjoy the program, tell your friends and colleagues and please join the discussion on the “How You See It” section on our home page.

– Daljit Dhaliwal

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You are so correct in your above editorial. I am not sure if the source of the problem is the american public at large, or the major broadcast networks here in the US. We have not had a decent no fluff international news broadcast from a US network in at least 20 years. That is why your ITN World News became so popular here in the states. In 30 minutes you would tell us what was going on in the world without comment, hollywood fluff, and in an intelligent and informed manor. I ceased watching the major network and local news casts long ago, because I am not interested in who won American Idol last night. The article in the 1999 issue of Vogue that featured you said it best. In a a world of Broadcast Blondes, you stand out as Serious, committed and no-nonsence, That sums it up well! If it were not for PBS and the BBC we would be in very sad shape indeed! One has to look no further than what has happened to the Weather Channel since NBC purchased it last summer to see that Disney Style now rules the US broadcast market! Thank you for letting me vent!


Ahhh … so good to see Daljit on a regular basis on PBS: “World Focus” by far the best on International News! I dare say, pleasing for the eyes and ears makes for good serious reporting! You have brought life to World Focus. Thanks and bless you Daljit for your fascinating topics around the globe.


So happy to see that Martin is back in his rightful spot. Sorry, but you just don’t have what it takes to make a good anchor. Stopped watching while he was gone. The producers really need to take another look at their decision to let you fill in for him. Not sure what they were thinking…


Thanks for your great program! – I think that viewers who otherwise are not used to watching foreign news might eventually become more interested if you would relate foreign issues to ours, especially how they might affect our pocket book. Cost-benefit analyses of their ways of solving problems versus ours could make it more relevant for even the “isolationist” hold-overs.


ALL of them are airheads – clueless about the world – you only need to look at the bios and the scripts put out on the show to see their ‘”fake” not ’real” news reporting backgrounds.


Only Nutty for those who desire
to remain immersed in the
Quicksand of the Status Quo.

But, I must ask (though, it is obvious):

What happens for those who remain in Quicksand?


Is the Status Quo working well in all Ways
in all Parts of the Great Desert of Life?


Daljit, sorry about these nutty comments. Thanks for your work at BBC and on Worldfocus. The less regional and more internation focus on the news means the world gets smaller and we get more civilized. Thanks for your efforts and your service to the world community.


The Melancholy Poet has a point or two I can agree with


Lastly, let not the Frescoes merely be on
a TV screen (as now) but across the Entire Wall
of your backdrop.

Immersion is Everything!


When I mentioned picturesque backdrop scenery
to be showing behind Daljit, I meant for the Scenery to be Large and Panoramic; breathtaking, perhaps…and, perhaps, overwhelming…as if the
Anchor were, actually, reporting the News from
a specific foreign location…though still in
the Studio here in the U.S.

The Drama must be Monumental.

Otherwise? You, simply, have another professionally done
News Program like all the rest.

Let the Sistine Frescoes of Michelangelo
help you in your lifting up your eyes
to the…

Monumentality of the Possibilities
involved in the Vibrant Colors.

News will, definitely, be heard when the Set
is utterly, completely, and devastatingly


Isolationist America.

An aspect of this country
which I have never liked.

Try bringing in more foreign speaking
people to comment on your on-air program
but let them do it in their own languages
and let either those people, themselves,
translate what they say into English onscreen
(as you do now with translated stories)
or have a translator do the translating
(still onscreen in English words not spoken
but written scrolling across the screen while
the person speaking is still talking in
his/her own language).
This will jar many Americans awake.
Many might think we are being invaded by

At the very least, to hear many different
languages and to show dramatic scenes
might jar some interest.

Why do I think this might work?
I lived 17 years with a foreign wife
listening to a foreign language trying
to learn how to chop up my English just
enough so I could be understood by my wife
and still cause my wife to understand me.

On this program, everything would be done
professionally…and hearing many different
languages might cause unique “flavors”
or “aromas” to come forth.

Culture Immersion is what I did when I was
19 (this was when I went overseas…till age 22).

Immersion is not yet what is occuring on most
news programs. Everything is being filtered
through American lenses even thouugh the stories
are from elsewhere.

Bring the World to your Place there.
Bring it till you saturate the Set
with scenery of Foreign Places…maybe
even changing your backdrop to present
Scenes from exotic places in the World
on a daily &/or nightly basis.

Such as showing sunrises (behind the Anchor)
and sunsets. Perhaps, mosques.

Make us feel as if we were in a mosque
when the News is being presented.

Make us feel as if we were on an Ocean
(by Special Effects) when you do ocean stories.

If on a battlefield, make us feel we are there.

And so on.

The more Graphic you make the News, the more
Eyes will be watching. Not a promise…
but see what comes of this if you decide to
Try It.

Your News Program is already more interesting,
technically as well as dramatically, in many other ways…
since Daljit Dhaliwal has arrived.

The Great Work is just beginning.
I hope at least one of you there will agree.

forth which have


I am soory WF, but your new anchor Daljit is an airehead. She knows very littel about the world and it shows


I haven’t been aware of American indifference toward internat’l news in many years. “Globalization” and “global economy” and “global warming” are just three of the internat’l phrases that are being thrown around all the time, and that has certainly been with some basis. Many people are out to learn all they can to keep up. Protests against “foreign aide” were loud enough for me to pick up back in the late 60s and early 70s when I was only in high school, but that’s the last I’ve heard of any similar mentality. Perhaps the “indifferent” only gravitate toward people like Daljit, b/c in a sense, newscasters can be seen as “holding your hand” through the news, and not everyone else is going to do that for them. Not that the more concerned don’t ever need hand-holding too, but it’s not as much the priority or requirement as the news itself.


International news is not in the programming because there is no money in it, no advertising buck to be made

Most of the old skool US leaders would prefer the average American remain uninformed so it is easier to bend a point of view

An informed decision is a better decision and keeping a global perspective in an uneasy economy is just smart especially if your gambling your life savings on any market like most Americans that can do

The Average American gets an eye full of crap reality shows because there is an advertising dollar to be made, it’s a sad fact. It would seem the Advertisers take the side of old skool politicians, it there is a buck in it their all in

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