HBO’s “Vice News Tonight,” visual journalism at its finest

Christopher Walker, Editor-in-Chief

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Vice Media, founded by Canadian billionaire Shane Smith, has, time and time again, tried to become the primary news source for millennials, a generation raised on technology, whose primary news source is Facebook.

Other than being fantastically social-media savvy, they have never fully realized their one-stop-news-shop dream for a new generation until now.

“Vice News Tonight” premiered on Oct. 10, and this date may very well go down in history as a defining moment in journalism history. This program is in-depth, comprehensive and intelligent on a level that puts every other news program in existence to shame.

As the name suggests, “Vice News Tonight” premieres every weeknight, and it is structured as a collection of miniature documentaries covering global and domestic events. Some of these documentaries have all-encompassing, large-scale topics (Syrian refugee crises), while others focus on more specific, smaller events.

This program doesn’t just go over the day’s highlights, though. “Vice News Tonight” covers a specific topic from an angle that is truly original, making the viewer think about something familiar in a different light.

“Vice News Tonight” is not the news, it is world-class journalism. It is the finest visual journalism on the planet.

Although Vice’s coverage of domestic issues is unparalleled, what makes “Vice News Tonight” truly in a league of its own is its in-depth coverage of foreign affairs. As important as American policy, culture and politics are, there are incredibly important things happening overseas that we hear virtually nothing about.

“Vice News Tonight” held an interview with the first lady of Syria, who, while on the program, lamented that people only recognize the internationally displaced citizens of Syria, even though a majority of her nation is displaced inside their own country. The Syrian government offers hundreds of refugee camps inside its own border.

This is a prime example of the journalistic integrity of the program, taking a topic most people thought they were well acquainted with and giving it a new angle while casting the issue in an entirely new light.

In fact, this may very well be the first serious news program that millennials tune into on a regular basis. “The Daily Show” and “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” are somewhat entertaining, but rarely do they shed new light on a topic or say much more than what their viewers already know.

“Vice News Tonight” may fundamentally change the way we get our news. This show, without question, makes the viewer more informed, well-rounded, compassionate, and intelligent. The bar has not only been raised, the entire field of journalism might be changed – for the better.

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