New Season of Thirteen's METROFOCUS to Launch 9/19 & 20

METROFOCUS returns with a new half-hour program and original Web content spotlighting New Yorkers making a difference in people's lives from gun control to women's issues.  The premiere episode airs Wednesday, September 19 at 7:30 p.m. on WLIW21, Thursday, September 20 at 8:30p.m. on THIRTEEN, and Tuesday, September 25 at 10:30 p.m. on NJTV.

After broadcast, the program will be available to national audiences on with integrated online stories and extended conversations with headliners making an impact in New York and beyond.

Hosted by Rafael Pi Roman, the latest episode of MetroFocus explores five stories ranging from politics to education.  Featured interviews include Jarrett Murphy, editor-in-chief of City Limits; Adrian Benepe, former New York City parks commissioner and senior vice president of City Park Development at The Trust for Public Land; Ido Aharoni, Consul General of Israel; Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists and activists.

The segments are as follows:

In the aftermath of the recent shootings at the Empire State Building and in Aurora, Colorado, Mayor Michael Bloomberg advocates for gun reform, turning New York City into an epicenter of the national debate on gun policies.  Jarrett Murphy's investigative reporting sheds light on this provocative issue and how gun laws may affect gun violence in the Big Apple.
Discover the history of Central Park and how it transformed the city with former parks commissioner Adrian Benepe who wrote the introduction to Central Park: An Anthology (Bloomsbury) by Andrew Blauner.

Prior to the annual United Nations' General Assembly sessions where diplomats gather to discuss international issues, ambassador Ido Aharoni, Consul General of Israel in New York, speaks with MetroFocus about improving cultural and commercial exchange between the U.S. and Israel and about the growing emigration to Israel from New York's Jewish population which is larger than that of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv combined.

Inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn's eye-opening expose of women's plight around the world in their book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, Half the Sky Movement is a passionate call to arms against what the authors' believe is this century's moral issue: the oppression of women and girls in the developing world. PBS has adapted the book into a documentary series airing on October 1 and 2, 2012.
MetroFocus presents The New York Times reporter Kirk Semple's story about a summer academy for newly arrived refugee children.  Since 1999, the International Rescue Committee's Refugee Youth Summer Academy has helped refugee children to learn English and math skills so they can succeed at their grade level in the New York City public system.  Principal Saleish Naidu explains the value of this program.

MetroFocus is a production of WLIW21 in association with WNET, parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21.  For 50 years, THIRTEEN has been making the most of the rich resources and passionate people of New York and the world, reaching millions of people with on-air and online programming that celebrates arts and culture, offers insightful commentary on the news of the day, explores the worlds of science and nature, and invites students of all ages to have fun while learning.

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Jody and John Arnhold, and The Nissan Foundation. Corporate funding is provided by Mutual of America.

About MetroFocus
MetroFocus is a multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. The MetroFocus television program features interviews, in-depth reporting, content from many partners and solutions-oriented reports from the community. Major areas of coverage include sustainability, education, science and technology, the environment, transportation, poverty and underserved communities. amplifies that reporting with daily updates and original stories that also cover culture, government and politics, the economy, urban development and other news in the metropolitan region.  More information at:

About WNET
In 2012, WNET is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of THIRTEEN, New York's flagship public media provider. As the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Need to Know, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children's programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah!  and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state's unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJ Today and the new online newsmagazine MetroFocus.

Contact: Donald Lee /212.560.3005 / 

Press Materials: / 
Social Media: / @MetroFocus


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