Excited to Announce Season 4 of America Reframed on World Channel!

About This Season

Through the lens of independent documentaries, America ReFramed brings to national audiences compelling stories that illuminate the changing contours of an ever-evolving America. The 26-week, social-issue documentary series presents an array of personal voices and experiences through which we learn from our past, understand our present and are challenged to seek new frameworks for America’s future. 

Season four of America ReFramed curates a diverse selection of films highlighting innovative and artistic approaches to storytelling from emerging to veteran filmmakers alike. Viewers will be immersed in personal stories from the streets of towns big and small to the exurbs and country roads that span the spectrum of American life. The documentaries invite audiences to reflect on topics as varied as culture, healthcare, politics, gun violence, religion and more. Several episodes feature a roundtable discussion moderated by host Natasha Del Toro with special guest commentators and filmmakers. 

In 2015, America ReFramed won a GRACIE Outstanding Series award, and was nominated for an EMMY award as well as an Independent Documentary Association award for best curated series. In its first season, America ReFramed received five 2013 CINE Golden Eagle Awards, and one Imagen Awards nomination. 

America ReFramed is a co-production of WORLD Channel and American Documentary, Inc., and is hosted by journalist Natasha Del Toro. Funding for season four of America ReFramed is provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Click here for more information and to see the line up of documentaries. 



American Realities

In 2011, I set out on a cross-country trip with photographer Joakim Eskildsen to document poverty in America on the tails of the Great Recession. Inspired by the work of Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange, we interviewed and photographed dozens of people for whom the American Dream was, as one woman told me, just a dream. Though many of them were hard working people and some of them even had higher level education, they were still struggling to make ends meet. In 2012, I launched a website featuring photographs, text and audio recordings. And finally, now, I'm proud to announce that our book American Realities is about to be published by the reputable German publisher Steidl.

I hope you will spend some time on the American Realities website and buy a copy of the  book. 

Chiquita: Corporate Terrorism Gone Bananas!

This is the teaser to my latest investigative report at Fusion about Chiquita's dealings with terrorists and other things they don't want you to know. 

To watch the full investigation, go to Fusion and click on the YouTube video

Drivers Wanted

NYC cab drivers have given me some great advice over the years. Watch tonight on World Channel at 8/7 c. 


Mariane Pearl's Reflections on a Journalist's Death

A smart piece on Daniel Pearl's and James Foley's deaths as well as an indictment on the state of journalism, which is " "trapped between business interests and a bizarre flirtation with the entertainment media." The ultimate message of the article--humanism must prevail. 

By Mariana Pearl


When I first met my husband Danny Pearl, he took me on a tour of his earlier life across America. Today, more than ever, I hang on to the memory of a special visit to the Berkshires where Danny had worked as a reporter for The Berkshire Eagle. There, he crafted his art, explored the complexity of most news stories, learned how to dig for facts and to interpret them. The Eagle was conductive to his aspirations. People there seemed to believe in what they were doing.

One late afternoon, before sunset, Glenn Drohan, a veteran journalist, and a few other of Danny's ex-colleagues came together for a passionate, jubilant exchange about what was best practice of journalism and what wasn't. We had scotch and heated conversations. There were no solutions; in fact, the response always was to keep searching. It felt like a time I have never experienced myself but still feel nostalgia for, back when journalists met at bars and argued until the story emerged from their collective, passionate and often idealistic minds. When newsrooms were messy and loud, and yes, smelly too.

I was truly happy then. Danny was smart, handsome and funny. But what made me fall irremediably in love with him was that willful ability he had to resist cynicism -- the sarcasm creeping up as journalists experienced a widening gap between why they wanted to become journalists and their practice of it.

Click here to read the rest of the story. 


Ferguson is about Class not just Race--Read the latest by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Ferguson is not just about systemic racism — it's about class warfare and how America's poor are held back, says Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Will the recent rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, be a tipping point in the struggle against racial injustice, or will it be a minor footnote in some future grad student’s thesis on Civil Unrest in the Early Twenty-First Century?

The answer can be found in May of 1970.

You probably have heard of the Kent State shootings: on May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on student protesters at Kent State University. During those 13 seconds of gunfire, four students were killed and nine were wounded, one of whom was permanently paralyzed. The shock and outcry resulted in a nationwide strike of 4 million students that closed more than 450 campuses. Five days after the shooting, 100,000 protestors gathered in Washington, D.C. And the nation’s youth was energetically mobilized to end the Vietnam War, racism, sexism, and mindless faith in the political establishment.

You probably haven’t heard of the Jackson State shootings.

On May 14th, 10 days after Kent State ignited the nation, at the predominantly black Jackson State University in Mississippi, police killed two black students (one a high school senior, the other the father of an 18-month-old baby) with shotguns and wounded twelve others.

There was no national outcry. The nation was not mobilized to do anything. That heartless leviathan we call History swallowed that event whole, erasing it from the national memory.

And, unless we want the Ferguson atrocity to also be swallowed and become nothing more than an intestinal irritant to history, we have to address the situation not just as another act of systemic racism, but as what else it is: class warfare.

Read the rest of this piece on my former employer's website:  TIME.com

Hunger in the Valley of Plenty

I'm really excited to announce that I was nominated for an Emmy, along with Scott Anger, Sasha Khokha, David Ritsher, Stephen Talbot, Joanne Jennings and the whole team at Center for Investigative Reporting/KQED for our multimedia series on hunger in the California's Central Valley.  Here is a link to the full project: http://www.kqed.org/news/specialcoverage/hungerinthevalleyofplenty/


Rachel Is...

In her first directorial debut, Charlotte Glynn, follows the journey of her younger sister Rachel, a woman with a developmental disability, in her last year of school, as she tries to become an independent adult and move out of her mother's house.  But social services for people like Rachel are limited.  An honest and beautiful film about family and homage to the funny, difficult and mysterious Rachel, who as it turns out, wants the same things as other young people her age. Don't miss it tonight on America Reframed, a documentary series on PBS World Channel. Stick around after the doc for a great discussion on the red couch with New York Times writer Amy Harmon, and author Susan Senator about neurodiversity, and how individuals, families and communities can help adults with developmental disabilities transition into living on their own.  And please tweet me your comments @ndeltoro or @americareframed.