Award-winning series VPM NEWS FOCAL POINT returns to fall TV lineup September 7
VPM NEWS FOCAL POINT is set to return to the local television news lineup on September 7 with new episodes airing at 8 p.m., Thursdays through November 16.
The season premiere, titled “Crisis in Education,” focuses on pressing matters in Virginia’s education system, which include academic learning loss, teacher attrition and tensions over politics in the classroom. Viewers will hear from teachers, students and administrators as they work to find solutions to educational roadblocks. The team will also visit a capital city bakery staffed by young people with developmental disabilities.
FOCAL POINT will dive into numerous themes, including education, the affordable housing crisis, medical triumphs and challenges, racial disparities, the growth of big tech and artificial intelligence and veterans’ issues. “Virginians have always cared about a diverse array of issues that often reflect a broader trend on a national level,” said executive producer Shawn Freude. “Our fall line-up will showcase these topics with an immersive news experience and spotlight some of the front-line individuals who are advancing solutions.”
FOCAL POINT features hard-hitting reports and cultural stories that dig deeply into critical problems in the Commonwealth. Anchored by Angie Miles, a team of reporters interviews leading experts, professors, community members, government officials and people from across Virginia and the nation. The goal is to provide broader context and offer differing points of view on pressing issues.
“Our highly experienced reporting team travels across Virginia, from Wythe to Martinsville, Roanoke to Charlottesville and Farmville to Fairfax, to seek out original stories and local voices who share their views and innovative ideas,” said FOCAL POINT senior producer Roberta Oster. "FOCAL POINT covers critical sociopolitical topics through visually engaging, documentary-style storytelling with minimal reporter narration, allowing interviewees to share their personal perspectives.”
VPM NEWS FOCAL POINT has been recognized with several awards in 2023. The series won its first Regional Murrow Award for Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, as well as its first Capital Emmy Award for Best Public Affairs Program.
The program also won two Virginias AP Broadcaster Awards for Best Light Feature and Best Old Dominion Heritage. FOCAL POINT also took home two Bronze Tellys, the Virginia Association of Broadcasters (VAB) Award for Outstanding News Series and the Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).
VPM NEWS FOCAL POINT is available on-demand in the PBS App and at vpm.org/focalpoint.