It was a year of big headlines that had immense local impact. MetroFocus covered it all in its fifth season as a daily show, and viewers tuned in for its coverage – episode streams of the program were up 20% over last year. Since 2015, MetroFocus has produced more than 1,000 shows with co-hosts Rafael Pi Roman, Jenna Flanagan and Jack Ford, complemented by “MetroFocus: The Podcast” and the “MetroFocus Minute” on social channels, which offered viewers a closer look at some of the biggest news stories impacting the tri-state area.
In November, as part of The WNET Group’s new multi-platform initiative Exploring Hate, the program examined Holocaust deniers, the importance of remembrance, and the Museum of Jewish Heritage’s groundbreaking exhibition “Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away.” Under the same initiative, New York Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou discussed the troubling rise in racist incidents against the Asian American community since the coronavirus outbreak.
The program also focused on community unrest, race, racism and the police, delivering a powerful interview from Emerald Garner, the late Eric Garner’s youngest daughter, who described her fight to outlaw chokeholds and police brutality. MetroFocus also brought viewers inside life “behind the badge” and on the streets with former New York Police Department officers. In a special two-night virtual Town Hall, outspoken and esteemed group of community leaders took an in-depth look at police brutality and systemic racism in the United States.
Additional issues covered on MetroFocus in FY20 included poor education, inadequate health care, the disparate impacts of COVID-19 on communities of color, the disappearing job market and more.