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In the Newsroom

September 15, 2008
Martin Savidge stresses the need for global news

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 Hope to hear from you. Hope to see you.




Martin Savitch is everything compiling the perfect anchor TV’s “Mary Tyler Moore’s-Ted Baxter alway’s strived so hard to equal!!!!!



Martin will return to the broadcast on January 18th.

Thanks for watching.


Mr Savage on CNN? Will we see him on PBS? I hope so. Very good reporting on Worldfocus, like Peter Jennings on ABC. I hope he will be back


Thanks to Martin Savage etal – what a great end of
the year. Glad I found this! Thanks.



Martin Savidge will be anchoring Worldfocus periodically. He will also be reporting from the field for Worldfocus.

Thanks for watching and reading.


Where in the world is Martin Savitch? I leave for a while and come back to another person.
I was so pleased and looked forward to good news presentation, someone who is not vain, was succinct, had excellent command of the American English and he is my favorite newscaster. Where did he go and WHAT HAPPENED? Thank you for your kind and prompt reply.


Martin was the glue that made World Focus the great program it is. He will be hard to replace. The best to his successor!


What a killer to find out that Martin Savidge has abandoned us. If you are reading this, why did you stop? Will you come back?


We were shocked and dismayed to read in the NYTimes that you are no longer going to be the “Voice” of Worldfocus. We have been most impressed with your direction and comments on the world news. We have recommended the program to many friends and always mention that you are one of the reasons that we watch it.CAN THIS CHANGE BE REVERSED??!!


Mr. Savidge, if you are brutally honest and care passionately about relating the news accurately even to the pointing of risking your career, then try focusing on this report regarding the theft of organs from the corpses of Palestinians murdered by Israeli soldiers:


Every day I watch World Focus, France 24, BBC and Nightly News on ABC.

World Focus is #1 rated news show in my book!


Awesome show! Unlike anything in the US. Way to go — only news show that doesn’t embarrass me as an American. Congrats for using Al Jezeera, too!


Love your show, me and my wife watch your show every night, it blows CNN, FOX, and the BBC out of the water. You give the news like Walter Cronkite the king of news casters. Keep up the good work.


You are all full of crap. You are one sided,your story on the ” poor: people of Gaza was pathetic. You must have you friggin head up your arse. Get real, wake up,smell the blanking coffee. You are on the dark side. Why do you support murderous terrorists. You are getting blanked by Sammy Kuntar and Mohamed Dura. Are these your friends?? Watch PMW and see with your own eyes the truth..I doubt any of you have the balls to do so. F U all of you mofos.


One more thought: I see that you do not edit out the negative and nutty comments. This indicates to me that Worldfocus if the real thing. We need you. Thanks Thanks Thanks


Dear Martin, we cannot thank you enough for your efforts to bring the news to us in such a sentient form. Thanks again for your service.


Mr. Savage, I initially thought you were a breath of fresh air but then after listening to your 2nd or 3rd programme, I realised you are just a mouthpiece for US propaganda to support its madness in Afghanistan and Iraq. Here is an example. You very aggressively suggested many a time to kill Taliban and force them to conform to our standards because they, in your own words (1) Flog criminals and cut off the hands of thieves (2) kill criminals for capital crimes by chopping off their heads and (3) deny women an education. Well Mr. Savage Saudi Arabia does #1 and #2, so what are your plans for Saudi Arabia ? You want the US drones to go and massacre “suspects” for not conforming to US norms? I suspect you won’t be suggesting attacking Saudi Arabia because of the “O-I-L”. Weapons of mass destruction – the A Bomb was first used by the US on Japan and then again “mini-nukes” in Iraq & Afghanistan. Recently the only other country to use “mini-nukes” (courtesy of the American taxpayers) was Israel when it bombed Lebanon and Syria using these cute little nukes. Mr. Savage offend us with brutal honesty but please do not patronise us with disingenuous reporting on the assumption most Americans are dumb, because believe me there are in fact many Americans with some power left yet to think independently.


Thanks martin, I love world focus, I watch every night i can. Please do more shows on the caribbean, There is 200 million people living their and it is not so far away, thanks for the story on Haiti and the people eating dirt cookies, I have not seen that any where else in the media;That is how interested i find your program. keep up the good work and god bless.


Dear Reader of this Blog:

Please inform you family/friends about this excellent news program on PBS. World Focus is a news show worth watching every day of the week.

Got any got news tips in your area. posted it on this other Blogs on World Focus. After all, you need to inform us about what the public need to know that is not being told or written in the news.

Thank you very, M. Matthews of Sunnyside, NY USA


At first I found it a bit disconcerting (and to be honest, slightly creepy) that this news program lacks the overt biases of other “news” (propaganda) shows. This is serious news, no silly bells and whistles. Perhaps you have a hidden agenda (not that I’ve encountered anyway), but the spectrum of coverage and perspectives taken by World Focus makes me confident that the information I receive is, for the most part, fair, accurate and relevant. I wish major media outlets (and their viewers) would pull their heads out of the trough for a moment to take a cue from your fine show. Thank you and keep up the outstanding work.


Mr. George the Plumb:

If you don’t like the way Mr. Savidge conduct himself on World Focus, I suggest that you watch another news program from now on.

Your opinion is unfounded in my humble opinion!


Dear Mr. Savidge,

Let me inform you Sir, that World Focus is a well respected news show among my friends. When BBC World News was taken off the air at Channel 13 NY/NJ (PBS station), many of my friends were skeptical at first about switching to World Focus. But now they watch World Focus every night on Channel 13/21 in New York.

Mr.Savidge, you are well respected newsman in my book! I do remain

Michael Matthews
Loyal Viewer


I challenge you not to discard my comment, and give it viewing chance like the rest of this shmooze..
I first was intrigued to see you program, Martin’s that is. It only took me couple of nights to see right thru his Clark Gable’s ( as one your fans called it) smile and see the real Martin Savidge. I find your suddle but ever present slant against middle easterns in general and muslims in particular. Specially on the night of Feb 3rd how you ask questions from your interviewees about Iran’s successful launch of a satellite in orbit…How you consistantly steer the questions toward your narrow point of view..I call you on it here. your posters think your program is great, but don’t forget their frame of reference..(Fox and the likes..)I gladly stop watching you and I am sorry you are associated with public broadcasting,because I hold them to higher standards.


Thank God there are still real news sources out there. I was losing hope that journalism was a thing of the past(now lets just see if we can get you guys more popular than than those crazies that think they are somehow unbiased and worthy of American undivided attention).
Your news coverage is wonderfully refreshing in a world of hazy eyed media where truth with opinion has corrupted masses into ignorance. The unfortunate side effects can hardly be understood by many. Even just today the government here in Il voted a Governor out due to media maniputlation. And although he tried to use it to his advantage (with little other choice), the vote was cast before the trial. We live in a day in age where people think news is free. Unfortunately there secretly is a larger price to pay. Thank You truely for bringing the world into my house with real stories so that I don’t remain uniformed like many sources try to keep me.


Just watched the story on Canadian healthcare. Not a word about the cost to the tax payers for this coverage. I would like to know the percentage of their income for health insurance – a grave ommission from your story.


Hi Martin,
great idea, great show. I think, you hit an important point there. With a “flat” world starting to form, it is of utmost importance to understand the world affairs and what makes people in other regions tick on a global scale.
It is important to get the view of an insider living in the country.

Congratulations, you’ve come a long way – keep it up.


World Focus is such a welcome change from the “Newstainment” we’ve grown accustomed to. Americans are capable of being interested in more than just ourselves, Thank you World Focus for trusting us to be able to handle the truth! Martin Savidge has reminded me that journalists and news anchors are supposed to be unbiased.


We have lived in many different countries and like to know what’s going on around the world. Worldfocus is one of the best ways to receive objective and informative international news. The personal stories make us relate to other people. We applaud the use of other local resources such as ABC Australia, Deutsche Welle, etc.
Keep up the good work!!!!


It’s nice to have an evening news that really covers the world..thanks and keep it up….tom gitchoff


Hi Martin,
I am very happy to have discovered World Focus. I enjoy the news very much. I have been watching the show at 12: 30 Am a bit late, but I make my self awake for that.
And thank you for showing the suffering of palestinian people on the hands of isreali aggresion. Truth shall be known.
Job well done


Dear Worldfocus crew – how nice it is to be informed with a slight cynicism from time to time in the corner of the mouth – I feel like Martin Savage always has this ‘Clark Gable’-all knowing smile – which makes me feel comfortable and smile. After this – Anderson Cooper looks like a hunk with a microphone trying his best not to look too gay while we focus on his muscular body in front of missiles… So Thank You Worldfocus. I feel like I always know what you mean.




Martin, I am watching quite a few impartial & unbiased news media & happily informing you that your media is among them, specially reporting on the conflict in Middle East issues. Thanks for maintaining a true an honest journalism…
I appreciate if you can show the following news clip in WorldFocus that was shown once in CNN and was never repeated.
Who really started the current conflict? Please watch immediately before CNN remove from their website…

And also watch this…
Senseless violence & a brave Palestinian girl against world’s ruthless solders…

Tahir A. Syed


After at least twent years, some real news. THANK YOU.


Martin, I have watched your news for some time now and I had the feeling that you were doing a good job till you began reporting on the conflict between Hamas and Isreal. As I watched what you air very closely, I am becoming more uncomfortable becasue I have a very strong feeling that your news is one sided; more in favor of Hamas and in demonizing Isreal which from my pespective is an unbalanced, partial journalism. Why can’t your crew interview Hamas to know why they continued to fire rockets into Isreal. Dosen’t it sound stupid for one to begin a war they can’t win. Disproportionality of deaths from my pespective is not the issue but the provocation and the intentional use of human shields on the side of the Hamas group The cry for humanitarian crisis your world focus talks about dosen’t make much sense. There are far worse humanitarian crisis in Darfur of Sudan and in Congo in East Africa and other parts of the world and they get little or no attention compared with the amount of air time you give to Gaza. Talk to the Iranians and the Syrians, for them to explain why they should be supporting these terrorist groups in Palestine and Lebanon. Is it a Moslem or Arab agenda? Many people will like to see the news footage of how the Isrealis are taking care of the wounded Palestinians in their own hospitals, the food and medical supplies they send and so on. I am not a Jew nor an Arab. Middle East is not the only area human beings live and they are not superior to other human beings in the continent of Africa, in East Asia or other parts of the world. I am a concerned citizen of this planet. I have to go now I just got an emergency call. I will love to continue the conversation later. Thank you.


Your news program has become a crashing bore. The Middle East is important, but so is Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. One would never know that from your constant dwelling on the Israeli military offensive,important but not to the exclusion of all that is happening elsewhere.. I wonder whether others are not equally bored. Unless you change your ways, I am sure that your program will lose viewers. By comparison, other news programs are clearly superior. A pity — you have an opportunity that you are squandering.


Thank you! We love “World Focus!” Love reporting from worldwide sources, including even AlJezzera! Americans are sheltered from the world’s bitter truths and achievements by infomercials that pass as news. You are helping to make Americans better informed. Thanks!


The BBC World News was recently removed from my New York cable system and I was upset considering that I now had to watch other “unbiased” news reporting.

Enter World Focus. I must commend you all on the informative, unbiased and objective news that is presented with every show. You present what other media sources try to hide. Keep up the outstanding work!!


Thank you, thank you, for presenting us with at least a glimmer of the Palestinean perspective. It is like a breath of fresh air!!!


I caught the Monday night / Tuesday morning show in which Martin Savidge interviewed a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority. His story, of course, was about how tragic the Israeli air strikes are and how Israel must stop these. What I did NOT hear is any question from the interviewer about whether the Palestians – and Hamas in particular – bear any responsibility for this. The real story is that Hamas attacked Israel with hundreds of rockets over many months and Israel is now fighting back. I would have enjoyed seeing the official Palestinean tapdance around the question “didn’t you guys bring this on yourselves?,” but it wasn’t asked. That’s not journalism. That’s being a Palestinian press agent.


World Focus is a great world news program and it is good for New York City. I find the indepth reports from various regions/continents in the world to be informative. World Focus is indeed a great window that enables us to be aware of global events in other parts of the world, especially those of us who may not have the time to read regularly news papers that have global coverage such as The New York Times. I watch the program on Channel 13 (PBS) right here in New York City. Keep up the good work.


Martin, just learned of your program, keep up the good work. Very worthwhile.


World focus is far superior to any BBC world news program. My favorite is the roundtable discussion with Carla Robbins and Gideon Rose. They provide true insight into every topic in a way I can easily understand. I watch World Focus every day with a heavy heart.


Twenty years ago, I believed passionately that there was no substitute for quality indepth international news with diverse views and voices for an informed global citizen and I headed up a service that distributed such stories to grassroots and ethnic media. It’s been a discouraging 20 years as support was negligible or non-existent for this work. Today as I read your comments about the importance of world news, I am thrilled. Let me know if I can be of help!


I watch BBC, World Focus, European Journal and the National news to get a broad perspective of what’s going on in the world and at home. I appreciate World Focus. keep up the good work


Hi Rick always good to hear from the North Coast. Cleveland is still home in many ways. As for the length of Worldfocus we decided to begin with a half hour evening newscast approach. As the popularity and resources of our program grow perhaps we can consider expanding. Turning out a quality program is neither cheap or easy. The Newshour has a budget and staff much greater than our own… Thanks for watching… in your neck of the woods you have to stay up till 11:30pm that’s dedication or DVR.


Hi Martin,
As a Clevelander I remeber well your work here on the local news and was surprised to tune into you on PBS a few weeks ago. Like many others here, I watched the BBS regularly and I still do as it is on another PBS station just before your show. I did find the BBS glaringly and unabashedly left leaning on many issues. I think a news program should be neutral, unless it declares itself partisian, like Tavis Smiley does. I enjoy World Focus because it seems very straight forward and impartial. I just wish it was an hour so your guests could comment in greater detail. Best of Luck with your new endevour.


Bravo! World Focus! BBC had a Brit slant–(especially on Middle East news);
So far, World Focus seems more objective.


1) I was a dedicated Christian Science Monitor reader for 28 years, because I found the even-handed and serious focus on foreign affairs compelling. But World Focus is now my favorite. It’s great to have a new, interesting, and credible source of news. Still needs more partners/coverage in Latin America, but excellent all around. 2) Haven’t heard any of Martin Savidge’s “groaners” (bad puns) for a couple of days. Miss it! Martin, I love ’em! Don’t hold back!


This is a sad not because gw bush is moving on that makes me very happy. What is troubling me today Nov 4 is the last day time warner is carrying pbs II they are dropping it so I will not be able to get a honest news cast in Austin, TX I hope their greed goes to you all know where. I have watched BBC for many years now and will be denied the good/correct facts in the future, the only saving fact is I am now 70 so I will not have long to think about it. Frank Bowers of Austin, TX


martin,the last program i watched about brazil/ethanol said they are changing to machine harvesting which doesn’t involve burning the fields. i also watched this on pbs,i believe


good coverage,keep it up.


FINALLY, a U.S.-based news venue that is as good if not better than BBC World News. It’s nice to finally have a choice. I will be watching both as well as Charlie Rose. Other U.S.-based news programs rarely mention the rest of the world unless it relates to us in some way, and most are such circuses that they’re embarassing to watch.


Thank you, for the added new choice in world news. Your service is right up there with BBC news, the NEWS HOUR, and the CS Monitor. Thanks again.
p.s. I think changing the “music between stories” to something more upbeat in place of the “hopelessness sound” was a good idea.


I very much like this program and congratulate you on bring this to us. The commercial news is so limited I truly enjoy understanding how the rest of the world is doing. I will continue to be an avid fan. /thank you.


This is a most welcomed addition to a spectrum of news coverage that has been shrinking heretofore.


This is just what we need. I can’t get enough. All these great reports that you will never find on mainstream news channels. Please keep supporting this show at all costs. I can’t stress enough how important it is.


Excellent news program!!!
So important to have world news, and
great to have Martin Savage reporting…
Keep it up and let other know. I happened
upon it only by chance.


Hey, there really is a world out there beyond our shores. Brilliant!


Wonderfully insightful world news portal that is concise and without advertisement. Martin Savidge is polished and engaging. Topic changes flow nicely throught each broadcast.

My only gripe is that it is difficult to view this site on my mobile (non windows-based) device. Thanks for a great site.


[…] Channel 13, in New York recently replaced the 6 pm BBC show with a new show called World Focus. I’ve watched two episodes and you can browse through different stories and make comments on […]


This is a long overdue. I hope this is the new beginning of global news and perspective without the clutter of corporate hegemony . Keep up the good work.

By the way, the site is very easy to navigate and wonderful.


It is great to see a news source that is giving us the global perspective that we need. Understanding the world gives us the perspective that we need to understand our own nation.

I love how the website helps you achieve this by giving the insight of the intelligent blogger – the foot soldiers of the world, on the ground in every region, providing a truly international perspective. I always learn something from them. It is like traveling to a country and sitting down with a local at a street side cafe. Those discussions on politics, economics, culture and philosophy always end up teaching me more about the reality of a situation than than my morning newspaper and coffee. Without leaving my desk, you guys are the closest thing to it. Coupled with the synthesis of your experts, you have got a winning combination.

Keep up the great work.



A much needed news source for a Global perspective
and the great information you’ll provide.
Thanks Again !!!


The show is great! I still watch BBC News from time-to-time, but World Focus is better. Keep up the great work.


Five nights a week at 6pm I’d watch the BBC World News, which was great for getting a worldwide perspective. World Focus is even better.

Martin Savidge is great; intelligent, thoughtful, personable, and humorous. Heaven knows he deserves a rest there behind the anchor desk. He’s been there and done it as a field reporter to a remarkably admirable extent.


Thank you for World Focus. It is superb, the best 30 minutes on TV. I have watched BBCWorld and DWTV for many years. World Focus is far better in content and presentation than either. Thanks for giving us a fresh perspective.


Much admire your program — content and delivery. I now have a local outlet (WNYC/21) to add to the BBC World News Ch 104)and Euronews (Ch. 103) which I’ve turned to for a broader perspective in the past. Thanks


I happened to catch a broadcast on Iowa Public last week, and was immediately drawn into your programming. Thanks for expanding our horizons!


I just discovered World Focus on one of our local PBS stations, and was pleasantly surprised. In my early adult years, I was quite fond of the the Christian Science Monitor’s World Monitor, and have struggled between cable and “big three” network news ever since it was taken off the year.

Thank you, World Focus, for bringing all of this back world news in an all the more humane and objective way!


It is unfortunate that the flow of well considered and fair minded journalism is being actively stemmed by the efforts of a few oligarchs, and I am grateful for the labors undertaken by PBS to ensure that the stream of thoughtful, honest, and clear reporting continues unabated, however with the loss of the BBC World News, I feel the available pool of nonpartisan and well informed news has shrunk to a puddle and Worldfocus seems unlikely to do anything to stave off the drought.


I am very disappointed with the initial offering that is Worldfocus, which has the look, feel and urgency of an informercial. Whereas BBC America provided an interesting alternative to the slick, often over-produced, myopic mishaps that are mainstream American newscasts, Worldfocus is merely more of same. Mr. Savidge is probably a nice man, but he presents as an android. My evening routine for the last couple of years had been Lerher at 6PM on KLIW, followed by BBC. I felt reasonably well-informed. But I now find myself switching off the tube after Lehrer and searching the internet on my own to stay informed, so disagreeable do I find the new production of Worldfocus. While this may ultimately prove to be for the better, I find it disappointing that BBC and WLIW could not come to an agreement on licensing fees, distribution, or whatever the point of contention truly was. In the end, American public television viewers are in a diminished position.


Just want to mention that the word is not MOmentoes but MEmentoes when speaking of the items being sold by the survivor of the Titanic sinking.


Thank you for providing us with another perspective of the world beyond our borders that is clearly more nuanced. I only hope that more people will watch your program and other programs like it. Good luck!


Dear WorldFocus:

Congrats on the broadcast. Looks good thus far! I think you chose a great journalist in Mr. Savidge to be your anchor (commanding, trustworthy). Hope folks will “spread the word” about the program. Best of luck!


Great show – but you need to get the word out to the public – some full page ads in the NYT, WSJ – a blitz. Getting better each time I watch. Love the online version …


This is a magazine format — a welcome addition, but NOT a replacement for a nightly news broadcast. This should not be replacing BBC world news, but supplementing it.



Lets spread the news about WorldFocus!
Recommend your friends, family members and co-workers to watch WorldFocus this week!

Thank you for spreading the News!

Michael Matthews


Dear World Focus Reader:

Breaking news from the Philippines. Over 72 milk and milk products from China were found to be contaminated with melamine in food stores and supermarkets throughout the Republic of the Philippines.

Please urge the producers on World Focus to focus
more on this public health issue that was not reported as it should be in the print media and news media.

Michael Matthews


Greeting Mr. Martin Savidge,

For the past 35 years or so, I have traveled the world just like you did as a news man. As world traveler I like to be informed about what’s going on in the rest of the world!

World Focus is another good international
newscast to watch on WNET Channel 13 in New York City.

Good luck with the show to you and staff members at World Focus. I do remain

Michael Matthews, NYC


This Worldfocus news program does not compare favorably to BBC World News. Worldfocus does not have journalists posted all over the world as the BBC has and therefore the reporting suffers for it. We hear foreign language reports with translations often hardly audible above the original speaker. The world news coverage is anything but complete. I am very disapointed that PBS has opted to use this news service to replace BBC World News.


#5 to harvey williams
Well w eare on the way. the G8 and the iMF set thisin motion in seattle 2000 .they just didnot tell “US” http://www.50years
love your country


Congratulations on the kickoff of this wonderful effort! The partnership with diverse news-gathering organizations is truly the strength of your approach. Knowledge sharing, rather than knowledge hoarding, is key to the future of all of us — individually and collectively. Thank you for putting us in touch with all of the knowledge “out there” in the rest of the world!


What are the chances that nation-states can successfully isolate themselves from the global economic crisis? What are the chances for a world economic regulatory institution?


I am excited.I now listen to BBC news on PBS to get world news.This new initiative ” World focus as elaborated by Martin Savidge is a long overdue .I was particularly interested when Ranjini Srinivasan called me to inform me that she is looking to produce the South Asian segment,as I am a Srilankan American who would very much like to see news from Sri Lanka apparing in the planned broadcast.We have a story to tell


Please consider making some aspect of this needed website geared to middle schoolers. This will help us raise educated voters!


I think it’s about time we get some of this perspective here. Thank you.


I look forward to getting a new perspective on world affairs. Thank you, World Focus!

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