Anchor Martin Savidge explains the mandate and mission behind Worldfocus, a new show on public TV that covers international news. [MEDIA=7]
I’m Martin Savidge with Worldfocus. The landscape of international news coverage has changed dramatically in the last 10 to 15 years. When I first got started in this business, I think news directors would shun the idea of putting international news in their newscasts because they felt that the American audience didn’t care or they didn’t understand. The reason that they didn’t understand was the fact that the stories probably weren’t really told that well. Then came 9/11, and we began to understand that what the rest of the world thinks about America does matter. It not only matters from a point of view, but it also matters for our own safety. And so you saw greatly expanded coverage of international news in the domestic newscasts.
But time’s gone by. Things have changed. We also have a very big political year. And then there is the expense. A lot of news organizations have been cutting back because it is very expensive to go out there and cover stories around the world. At Worldfocus, we’re going the opposite way. We’re growing; we’re expanding. We’re doing that by reaching out to our partners, of which we have many all around the world. Great news organizations – and the beauty of this particular system is that we will be talking to reporters and they will be reporting to us from the regions in which they live. They will report their stories from living the stories. The perspective that they have, unique to the region in which they’re located – that’s something you won’t find on the other networks. And what we’ll do is bring it home to you and say “Alright, well why does this matter to Americans? Why is it important to us?”
And then the other stories are the smaller ones; the things about people. Those commonalities that we share around the world; the unique stories that you don’t get to see perhaps in newspapers or certainly in broadcast programs. These are the little things we’ll be looking for, because they’re big in many ways. That’s what makes that connection – when you see how other people live, when you find out we don’t really think that differently. We’ll begin to realize that the world maybe isn’t as big and mysterious as we think it is, but in fact in a lot of ways is just like the backyard we look out on everyday.
That’s what we’re going to do with Worldfocus. We’ll bring everything back to you after traveling around the world. Foreign news hopefully won’t seem so foreign. It all begins on October 6, and then the beauty of the system is you can reach out and communicate to us at Worldfocus.org. Hope to hear from you. Hope to see you.