CBC Newsworld: The Big Picture with Avi Lewis

CBC Newsworld: The Big Picture with Avi Lewis

When I first started to see the ads for this series, I thought it was an interesting idea, but I truly wondered how it would work in action. I managed to catch the first broadcast of the show this past Wednesday, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

The premise behind the series is that good documentaries are meant to be discussed and explored, with other people. So, in a 2 hour format, the first half of the show is the TV audience, and a large studio audience, watching a particular documentary, followed by an hour of discussion. The studio audience includes ‘average’ people, as well as specifically invited guests who are experts in the particular subject.

Wednesday’s show (repeated this Sunday, the 17th) showed “The Human Behaviour Experiments” and discussed it afterward with guests such as retired General Janice Karpinski, former head of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, surely an ‘expert’ on the subject. It made for some excellent discussion in the aftermath, and a look at upcoming topics tells me future shows have some definite potential as well.

Next week, he is showing Richard Dawkins’ “The Root of All Evil” an epic attack on creationism and religion in the age of reason. Later, discussions of global warming and environmental disaster, and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict all look to provide fertile ground for fascinating discussion afterward. Its definitely a show that I will look for again, when I can, and its something I’d love to participate in as an actual audience member, if I am ever in Toronto when its being taped.

The link above is for the CBC page for the show. It says Sunday Sept 17th for the Human Behaviour show, although I’ve already seen that one this past Wednesday. Not sure if Wednesday or Sunday is the normal night for the show, but its worth a look if you get Newsworld where you are. Its a fascinating concept, and I hope it survives long enough to gain an audience.


One Response

  1. Well Avi just made an ass of himself in his interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, it’s all over the web. What a twit.

    Editors Note: I saw the interview in question and Avi did it with the same passion he does everything else. He is a journalist with a position, of that there is no question … but in that particular interview, both sides were advancing extreme positions neither of which were very grounded in reality. There were no twits on the screen … there were two people taking highly extreme, opposing positions, and then arguing over them. Neither were twits, but neither was particularly well grounded in actual historical fact either IMO. For readers who haven’t seen the interview in question, it was from Avi’s new show, On the Map recently, and it can be seen in its entirety at

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