“Nothing could illustrate more clearly the extent of television news management that The World Is Watching.”
“At last we have a film that is unique in its ability to dissect the news industry, while at the same time helping those who receive the news, the viewers and readers, to understand the practical, political and editorial pressures under which journalists in the field operate. The scenes shot inside ABC newsrooms and in the correspondent’s booth in Managua are simply superb. The World Is Watching is a brilliant piece of work, documentary-making of the highest order.”
“The distinction between news-making events and making events into news is the vital subject of Peter Raymont’s The World Is Watching. More than a documentary on Nicaragua it is a fascinating account of how events in that country are recorded, interpreted and transmitted for global consumption. The World Is Watching not only lays bare the machinations of the news-making process, it blows the doors of the myth of objectivity.”
“A rare insight into the world of the television journalist. By recording events simultaneously in the field and in the central newsroom – ABC in New York in this case – the film provides a unique glimpse in the way foreign news is processed for the North American audience. An eye-opener for those who believe that TV journalism portrays the real world.”
The World is Watching is a political film about the moral issues surrounding news gathering and newsmaking in the electronic age. Who decides what constitutes the news? How do they decide? How much of what we see and read is fact or fiction?
And what about the men and women who report from the field. Are foreign correspondents allowed to tell all that they see? Or is their first loyalty to their employers? Do they merely serve as mouth-pieces for an invisible editorial line?
The World is Watching examines these complex issues by focusing on several international journalists in Nicaragua as they cover the negotiations surrounding the Arias Peace Plan in November 1987. With unprecedented access to the inner workings of ABC News, what follows is a unique portrait of a news crew in the field, as it interacts with the editorial process in the newsroom in New York City.
The film features ABC TV’s Peter Jennings and John Quiones, as well as Newsweekphotographer Bill Gentile, The Boston Globe’s Randolph Ryan, Paris-based Liberationjournalist Edith Coron and British ITN TV News correspondent Jon Snow.
Produced by Investigative Productions, in association with TV Ontario, Channel 4, Great Britain, Ikon TV, Holland, Sveriges, Sweden, with the participation of Telefilm Canada, the Ontario Film Development Corporation, the Canadian Institute For International, Peace and Security, the National Film Board of Canada, the Fund For Investigative Journalism, Oxfam Canada, Cuso Canada, the United Church of Canada