Katie Couric says her new National Geographic series “America Inside Out” tackles issues “that really aren’t being covered adequately in the mainstream media,” the journalist told TheWrap.
The six-part docu-series, which premieres Wednesday, will cover a variety of topics, including political correctness, the impact of the white working class on the 2016 presidential election, controversial monuments and statues, and being Muslim in America. It features interviews with people from across the country, including actors, activists and everyday Americans, and promises to give viewers a thorough look at the issues from every angle.
“The news cycle is so fast and furious now,” Couric said, explaining her desire to do the series to TheWrap’s Sharon Waxman at the Power Women Breakfast Austin last month. “There’s so much obsession — understandably so — over the president’s latest tweet, some of the things that he’s said or drama inside the West Wing.”
“I don’t think enough people are taking a step back and saying, ‘What are some of the pressing issues that are dividing us? What are some of the things that people are reacting to and not thinking about?'”
Couric said the show aims to help people escape their political echo chambers in an era when Americans are getting “affirmation, not information” from their news feeds.
“There’s this instantaneous judgment in our society right now, because of social media, because of our tribalism, because of our silos,” she said. “These conversations aren’t happening.”
The series was inspired by Couric’s personal journey interviewing people and learning from their experiences for her last project with Nat Geo, the two-hour documentary “Gender Revolution.”
“America Inside Out” takes much the same tack, but applies it to a much broader range of topics. It kicks off on Wednesday with an episode called “Re-Righting History” in which Couric returns to her alma mater, the University of Virginia, to explore the sometimes violent battle over removing confederate monuments and renaming buildings in places like Charlottesville, Virginia.
“It was really fun and a great eye-opening experience,” Couric said. “I hope, through everything I’ve learned in the process, that people watching will learn.”