Because of fundraising difficulties, Worldfocus will be going off the air after the April 2 broadcast.
During our nearly 18 months in production, we’ve sought to inform viewers about life around the world — as we said in our very first broadcast, to give you a better idea how the other 6.5 billion live.
Anchor Daljit Dhaliwal explains our decision to go off the air and thanks our many partners, experts and viewers.
Here is a statement issued by Neal Shapiro, President and CEO of WNET.org.
I regret to announce that our nightly international news broadcast Worldfocus will end its run on April 2, 2010.
We are unhappy that the program will be ending but we are also proud that Worldfocus has been an important laboratory for us during these past two years. In a very short time, we have created an entirely new digital production process that is more economical and more efficient; we have brought a wide range of diverse voices to our viewers by cultivating reporters and analysts from around the world and we brought a new generation of adult viewers to public television.
We demonstrated that there is a demand for international news but we had the misfortune of launching a brand new program into the teeth of the recession. Success in the news business is often attributed to being in the right place at the right time; we were in the right place at the wrong time.
Nonetheless, we managed to raise a substantial portion of the required funding but found ourselves a few million dollars short of what we need to sustain the program on air for the long term. Given the economic environment we now face, it is not prudent to continue the broadcast at this time. It is not an easy decision but it is the right decision.
Worldfocus has been a fertile testing ground that has pointed the way forward in a rapidly changing media environment.
I’m proud of the contribution it has made to television journalism during its short time on the air. I thank the stations that supported it and I commend my colleagues, staff and the fantastic team of reporters and producers who worked so hard to meet the highest journalistic standards of public television.
Since announcing our that our last show will be broadcast on April 2, 2010, Worldfocus has received about a thousand emails and comments about the cancellation.
We appreciate all the feedback. Mark Cataldo of the Viewer Relations Department offers this additional statement on Thursday, March 11:
Worldfocus has been an important part of our ongoing commitment to presenting in-depth international news and analysis. Unfortunately, despite the high quality of the newscast, it was unable to attract the sustained financial support necessary for it to continue.
We have tried tirelessly to secure major long-term support from individuals, corporations and foundations, but support has not been as forthcoming as we had hoped. Even though we produce Worldfocus in the most economical way possible, using innovative digital production methods, the series still costs many millions of dollars a year. The challenging economy has forced us to make this difficult decision in the name of maintaining the financial stability of our public television stations. We simply do not have the funds to subsidize the newscast without major sponsors at the seven-figure level.
We join you in lamenting the loss of this award-winning series. If there were some way to keep it alive, we would. Please know how much we appreciate your taking the time to express your opinion and for letting us know that international news is important to you. We thank you for your viewership and your support, and we promise to do everything in our power to continue to bring you programming that is meaningful and informative to you and to everyone in our community.
As always, we welcome your comments, including your thoughts on the news about Worldfocus.
04/09/2010 :: 09:27:57 AM
I’m a 19 year old student at a public college and, something tells me, the youngest spectator here. So much in this country convinced me to change my major from Journalism to a double-major in English and French. There is an absolute lack of international interest among the majority of students I know, and the lack of world culture saddens me.
To whom it may concern, a.k.a. every intellectually-minded person: it behooves you to make your opinions known. For as much as you cared or care about international affairs, I urge you all to continue to voice your thoughts for the sake of learning itself.