Having served as a regular human rights commentator on Worldview for many years, I can testify that the show has a unique value. As I travel around the country, I invariably tune in to the local NPR station. Nowhere else have I heard a locally produced international affairs program regularly bridging the gap between “world news” and “local news and insight” — which in Chicago emanate from vibrant activist, immigrant and academic communities generally overlooked by the national press centered in New York and Washington.
I have always understood that one of the singular values of NPR and WBEZ is that they are freed from the constraints of Nielsen ratings and are able to narrowcast on issues of public importance. It would be a great loss if an invaluable program like Worldview were to be sacrificed on the altar of numbers maximization. Substituting a general local program which includes some global segments would lose the benefit of the expertise on world affairs and their connections to Chicago which Jerome and his producers have built up over the years, and which future hosts of the program could surely accumulate as well.
The informational value of interviews depends, not only on the answers given by an interviewee, but also on the depth of understanding of the issues by the interviewer, which enables him or her to formulate well-informed questions and pursue insights missed by other media. Even before an interview, Jerome’s knowledge base and contacts add value in the selection of persons to be interviewed and topics to be addressed. Far from cancelling the show, WBEZ should view Worldview as one of its proudest assets and services to the Chicago community.Doug Cassel, Emeritus Professor, Notre Dame Law School
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