June 28, 2005
Introducing the "Rough Cut" Series
BY Stephen Talbot
Karzan Sherabayani, the subject of our first "Rough Cut" in the series, returns to Kirkuk to vote in historic elections.
This week, FRONTLINE/World launches "Rough Cut," a new weekly series of Web-exclusive videos from around the world.
One of our biggest challenges at FRONTLINE/World has been deciding which stories we will broadcast, among the hundreds of videos and proposals we receive each year.
So far, in 16 episodes, we have aired 41 stories from more than 30 countries. But we have turned down countless documentaries by talented reporters and producers simply because we don't have the air time to broadcast them.
Thanks to the Web, we now have another outlet. Starting June 28, we're launching "Rough Cut," a weekly series of video reports from around the world that will be featured on our Web site. We have always been able to provide streaming video online of all our broadcast stories; now you will be able to see an even wider range of eclectic video reports from the Amazon to Moscow, from Windhoek to Paris.
Our series will debut with "Return to Kirkuk," which follows Karzan Sherabayani, an exiled Iraqi Kurd returning to his home to see for himself if an independent Kurdish state should be created. From there, we'll take Web visitors to Sri Lanka, where two young journalists explore how the twin tragedies of civil war and natural disaster play out in the aftermath of the tsunami. Then the next week, we are on to Bosnia, where veteran video journalist Joe Rubin reports on the legacy of war on the 10th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre. And the following week Xiaoli Zhou takes us into "The Women's Kingdom," a matriarchal society in China with a reputation for "free love."
The idea of "Rough Cut" is to provide more of the "stories from a small planet" we broadcast on FRONTLINE/World, but with an even greater desire to experiment in style. The freedom of the Web allows us to present stories that may be more idiosyncratic, more personal, more unconventional than our television documentaries. Some will be works in progress, others more polished. All of them will transport Web viewers to a less traveled part of the world or tell an unexpected story.
Stay tuned for a new "Rough Cut" every Tuesday for the whole summer, and by all means, let us know what you think.