VPM NEWS FOCAL POINT returns tonight to report on Virginia’s most pressing issues
With a mission to redefine community-centered news programming, VPM NEWS FOCAL POINT returns for a second broadcast season on February 23 at 8 p.m. on VPM PBS.
Hosted by journalist Angie Miles, FOCAL POINT brings compelling stories to light by amplifying new voices and diverse perspectives from across the Commonwealth. Each week, the show offers a balanced, nuanced and in-depth exploration of issues concerning politics, business, the environment, science, race, health, education and the arts.
Season 2 of FOCAL POINT kicks off with a wrap-up of the 2023 General Assembly session that will feature reporting from VPM News and an examination of gun culture in Virginia. The first episode investigates what guns mean to different Virginians, the controversy over Red Flag laws aimed at preventing gun violence and a gun club that teaches firearm safety and training to Black women who are carrying guns for self-defense.
The new season will also cover concerns about student privacy in public schools, law enforcement’s use of facial recognition technology and how a legal crusader is fighting to protect intimate privacy online. Later episodes will explore the increase in the number of people identifying as LGBTQ+, the joys and struggles of parenting transgender children and the Richmond Triangle Players’ celebration of queer artistry.
“Our FOCAL POINT team is prepared to deliver excellent journalism in the second season of our award-winning news program,” said Miles. “We're producing a diverse array of stories that reveal the many ways social issues and public policy impact the lives of Virginians, and we remain grateful for the opportunity to listen to our neighbors and to help connect all parts of our Commonwealth for our viewers.”
An overarching goal of the program is to inspire a deeper understanding of Virginia and Virginians via stories about historically underreported communities. Season 1 saw this mission carried out as the FOCAL POINT team travelled across the state and covered inflation and its effect on communities in Virginia; the significance of election integrity and voting rights in Virginia’s 2022 midterm elections; and the educational needs and development of young children in the Commonwealth. In its first season, FOCAL POINT earned the top honor in the News and Public Affairs category in the Public Media Awards from the National Educational Telecommunications Association.
“FOCAL POINT makes it possible for people across the Commonwealth to establish bonds, empathy and connection through personal perspectives that create shared understanding,” said executive producer Shawn Freude. “While the series presents stories rooted in Virginia, they often have a connection to national and international news.”