New Mexico in Focus begins its 14th season with a look back at the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic since it first hit the state in March, and a look forward from the time women won the right to vote 100 years ago.

As part of an online preview screening this week of the PBS program “American Experience: The Vote,” correspondent Megan Kamerick led a conversation about the history of women’s suffrage in New Mexico. Kamerick is hosting a new podcast series on the topic. NMiF excerpts a portion of that discussion. More information on both the national program (airing July 6 and 7 on NMPBS) and the local podcast can be found here.

For the rest of the show, NMiF highlights noteworthy segments from the past four months, including a May 8 conversation with Sec. Kathyleen Kunkel of the Department of Health on the state’s efforts to ramp up and maintain COVID-19 testing. Two months later, similar questions remain about whom to test and how often.

Throughout the pandemic, correspondent Laura Paskus has been interviewing journalists around the state as they cover COVID-19 in their communities. On May 22, she spoke with two veteran border journalists, Bob Moore of the website El Paso Matters and Lauren Villagran of the El Paso Times, about the impact of the virus in El Paso, which is in the midst of a major outbreak just across New Mexico’s southern border.

Correspondent Antonia Gonzales has been examining the pandemic’s effect on Native communities, which have been among the hardest hit by the virus. On May 15, she spoke with journalist Sunnie Clahchischiligi and Lewis Joe, a Navajo COVID-19 survivor. 

Gene Grant and The Line opinion panelists have been discussing and debating public health reactions to the pandemic crisis since the first case hit the state in March. Key excerpts from panel conversations on March 13 and March 27 are shown.

New Mexico in Focus is involved, informed, in-depth media airing weekly on New Mexico PBS. The program debuts Friday nights at 7 p.m. on NMPBS 5.1 (KNME-HD) and appears online shortly thereafter. The show rebroadcasts on NMPBS 5.1 (KNME-HD) Sundays at 7 a.m. and on NMPBS 9.1 (WORLD) on Saturdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.      

In Focus Interviews

“American Experience: The Vote” / Local Leaders on Women Winning Voting Rights  (New!) 

Megan Kamerick

Dr. Sylvia Ramos Cruz, women’s suffrage historian

Martha Burk, political psychologist and author of “Your Voice, Your Vote”

Pamelya Herndon, attorney and CEO of the KWH Law Center for Social Justice and Change

Meredith R. Machen, director, League of Women Voters of New Mexico    

Testing New Mexicans for COVID-19 (May 8)

Matt Grubs

Sec. Kathyleen Kunkel, New Mexico Department of Health

COVID-19 in El Paso  (May 22)

Laura Paskus  

Bob Moore, president and CEO, 

Lauren Villagran, reporter, El Paso Times 

COVID-19 Survival and Recovery on the Navajo Nation (May 15)

Antonia Gonzales 

Lewis Joe, Navajo citizen, COVID-19 survivor 
Sunnie Clahchischiligi, Navajo journalist and UNM doctoral student

The Line Opinion Panel 

The Line Look Back (March 13)

Merritt Allen, Vox Optima 
Andy Lyman, reporter, New Mexico Political Report 

Sophie Martin, attorney 

Dan McKay, reporter, Albuquerque Journal 

The Line Look Back (March 27)

Tom Garrity, The Garrity Group PR
Laura Sanchez, attorney              

New Mexico in Focus is the New Mexico PBS prime-time news magazine show covering the events, issues, and people that are shaping life in New Mexico and the Southwest. NMiF takes a multi-layered look at social, political, economic health, education, and art issues, and explores them in-depth with a critical eye to give them context beyond the “news of the moment.”

The producer of New Mexico in Focus is Matt Grubs, with Kathy Wimmer, associate producer. The NM PBS Public Affairs executive producer is Kevin McDonald.

The McCune Charitable Foundation provides NMiF funding, along with viewers like you.

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