CNN commissions award-winning journos for doc schedule

MUMBAI: CNN International is all set to keep viewers keen on indepth perspective reporting hooked with a series of documentaries.

The broadcaster has roped in award-winning journalists and filmmakers Christiane Amanpour, Thomas L. Friedman and Gerardine Wurzburg among others for the new initiative. The channel has stated that through the new initiative it is strengthening its committment to bring in-depth reporting from all parts of the world to its audience.

One of the special is Blowback: Afghanistan on the Brink. Hosted by Amanpour the show airs on 1 November at 6:30 pm with a repeat on 2 November at 4:30 pm. Two years after America vowed to rid Afghanistan of the Taliban and rebuild a beleaguered nation, CNN’s chief international correspondent Amanpour travels to the country to find out if those promises have been realised. Amanpour finds that warlords have taken control of much of the country, while the there is a resurgence of the Taliban along the Pakistani border.

However, signs of recovery are slowly emerging, some examples being that women are back at work and girls are allowed to attend school. Amanpour exposes a nation that is caught between the ancient feudal system and the hopes for a modern democracy; which is exemplified in interviews with Afghanistan’s appointed leader, Hamid Karzai, and one of the powerful warlords in the country, Ismael Kahn.

Another special will commemorate the 40th anniversary of President John F Kennedy’s death. President Kennedy Has Been Shot will be hosted by Academy award winning producer Gerardine Wurzburg and will air on 15 November at 6:30 pm with a repeat on 16 November at 4:30 pm.

The special uses rarely heard vintage audiotapes assembled for the first time. The documentary will take viewers through the famous four November days. The documentary also includes archival film footage and photographs as well as current-day interviews with journalists who covered the story and were eyewitnesses to the event.

There is also stuff for those interested in the environment. Frontline of Extinction airs on 6 December at 5 pm with a repeat on 7 December at 7 pm. The crisis of mass extinction is only deepening on planet Earth and the island of Madagascar serves as a laboratory for the extinction process. It reveals how and why growing numbers of plant and animal species are quickly becoming extinct.

CNN’s global environmental correspondent Gary Strieker travels across the island, to reveal how habitats are being destroyed by uncontrolled deforestation that condemns countless species to rapid extinction. He meets researchers and conservationists who are desperately working to protect Madagascar's surviving natural wonders. The report also sees him talking to scientists who explain the facts about mass extinction and what has to be done to stop it before it's too late to save the natural processes that sustain all life on earth.

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