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Convocation Discusses the Significant Role of Public News Broadcasting

January 24, 2014

Marco Werman, host and senior producer of Public Radio International’s “The World” will present Carleton’s weekly convocation on Friday, Jan. 31 from 10:50 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel. Entitled “Stories, Not Punditry,” Werman’s presentation is free and open to the public. Convocations are also streamed live and can be viewed online at

Werman has been working in journalism since the age of 16, when he got his first job as a copy-boy for the News and Observer in Raleigh, N.C. After a three-year stint as a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, Werman began his radio career with the BBC World Service in Burkina Faso, West Africa. From there he moved to London to produce the BBC’s flagship breakfast program for Africa, “Network Africa.” “Radio impressed me in Africa,” says Werman. “Everyone had one, broadcasts happened in many languages, and in the two coups I witnessed, the radio station was important booty: it and the electrical generator were always the first targets.”

After his stint in London, he moved back to the United States to help launch a new public radio station in upstate New York, where he reported, produced and hosted a daily two-hour news and current affairs show. Four years later, he moved to Rome, Italy, where he served as a correspondent for Monitor Radio. And, in 1995, he joined “The World,” a weekly radio news program whose mission is “to bring international news to American ears in a compelling way that would make the world more relevant to them.”

In 1997, Werman also began producing “The World’s” Global Hit segment, in which musicians and musical trends around the globe are linked and used as a lens to understand the news. Werman is also the host and a reporter for a new music series for PBS called "Sound Tracks: Music Without Borders," which he co-created with PBS producer Stephen Talbot.

Werman is the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Federation of Community Broadcasters for an original radio drama; a Sony Award for an exposé on child labor in West African gold mines; the New York Festivals for a BBC documentary on the 1987 assassination of Thomas Sankara, a former president of Burkina Faso; and the first annual Unity Award from the Radio and Television News Director’s Association for coverage of diversity issues. Werman won an Emmy Award in 2007 for his story, “Libya: Out of the Shadow,” broadcast on the PBS series, “Frontline.”

Among his many honors, Werman notes that the most important are “the emails I get from listeners thanking us for the coverage we give to often little-known stories and voices from around the globe.”

For more information about this event, including disability accommodations, contact the Carleton College Office of College Relations at(507) 222-4308. The Skinner Memorial Chapel is located on First Street between College and Winona Streets in Northfield.