Arizona Public Media will debut a new show Friday that promises to dive deeply into the latest local news and public affairs stories, featuring insight from those close to the issues and reporters who cover them.
The show, “Metro Week,” hosted and produced by AZPM reporter Andrea Kelly, a former Arizona Daily Star reporter, airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m on PBS 6.
Kelly answered a few questions about the show’s premiere:
Can you discuss the format of the show and what viewers can expect?
“It’s a 30-minute show on Fridays at 8:30 p.m., and because it falls between ‘Washington Week’ and ‘Arizona Week,’ we’re focusing on news and public affairs government accountability. How we’re doing that in the format of the show is we’ll start each half-hour show with what we call a field package where you’re out of the newsroom, out in the field reporting on a news topic, and then we will have after that an interview in the studio or in the field with somebody affected by that same topic, a different angle on that topic, maybe a decision-maker in that topic. So we’ll continue to stay on that same topic but from a different perspective and go deeper into it. That’s the second element of the show. And the third element of each show is a reporters’ round table, journalists’ round table, where we’ll talk about that same news topic that we started the show with and then everything else that happened, the big news stories of the week. So we’ll kind of analyze those stories and look to what’s next.”
What topics will be discussed in this week’s episode?
“This week our main topic we’re focusing on is the city budget. ... We’ll explore Friday where the money is being spent, also how they filled the deficit, why they repeatedly have a deficit in the city of Tucson, and we’ll also look back historically why these issues are cropping up now that didn’t used to be ... budget issues every year. Our round table will discuss the city budget, but we also plan to talk about the Oro Valley and Marana budget. We’ll talk about Sunnyside and other issues that come up this week.”
Who are guests scheduled for the debut show?
“Dylan Smith, the editor and publisher of Tucsonsentinel.com, and Thelma Grimes — she is the editor of Inside Tucson Business and the Northwest Explorer, but her title is managing editor of Tucson Local Media, that’s the organization that bought the (Tucson) Weekly and Inside Tucson Business recently. And then each week we will have a reporter from Arizona Public Media on in addition.”
How does this differ from previous news-magazine-type shows that Arizona Public Media has aired in the past?
“Right now we also have another show called ‘Arizona Week,’ and that’s staying on the air. That will move to 9 p.m. Fridays. That is a show that looks at statewide issues. It airs in Tucson and in Phoenix. We produce it here out of this office but it’s a statewide show about statewide issues. ‘Metro Week’ will be Tucson metro area regional issues only, regional coverage only. Not statewide. So it differs from that show in that sense. Also we don’t have a reporter round table in any other shows, and the show that we took off the air at the end of last week, ‘AZ Illustrated’ — that looked at one subject per night, and this will be comprehensive of the biggest stories in the week’s news. And we’re trying to go more in depth on those topics, which is why we’re opening each show with one specific topic and kind of carrying that topic through the show so that we can get more depth on that topic than if we were to try to tackle a lot of different issues throughout the show.”
You mentioned it’s the only show that has a reporters round table. What’s unique about that?
“I think it’s a chance to get more of the story. I think in print, in radio and in TV, us reporters often have a lot more information than you can fit into a story, and this allows us to go into those other details or into that analysis or nuance that through time or space limitations we don’t always get to in our other coverage areas in local media.”