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Biography and background
Werman is the host of Public Radio International's The World. He took over as full-time host of the program on January 1, 2013 after years as fill-in host and producer of the Global Hit music segment. Werman has been working in journalism since he was 16 when he worked as a copy boy at the News and Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina. His journalism experience includes documentary photography, print, radio and television. A returned Peace Corps volunteer, Werman got his start in radio while freelancing in Burkina Faso, West Africa, for the BBC World Service, where he later worked as a producer. "Radio impressed me in Africa," says Werman. "Everyone had one, broadcasts happened in many languages, and in the two coups I witnessed, the radio station was important booty: it and the electrical generator were always the first targets."
In 1990, he started up a new public radio station in the Adirondacks in New York and hosted a daily two-hour news and public affairs show there for four years. This was followed by a half year stint in Rome, Italy where he was the correspondent for Monitor Radio. In 1995, he was invited to assist in creating the format for The World, where he has worked since. In 1997, he began producing the Global Hit segment, in which musicians and musical trends around the globe are linked and used as a lens to understand the news. This segment has also become a popular podcast as part of the PRI News podcasts.
Werman has been the recipient of awards from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters for an original radio drama that he wrote; the Sony Awards for an exposé on child labor in West African gold mines; from the New York Festivals for a BBC documentary on the 1987 assassination of Burkina Faso's president; and the first annual Unity award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association for coverage of diversity issues.
In 2007, he won an Emmy for his story "Libya: Out of the Shadow" on the PBS program Frontline/World, about the 2006 total solar eclipse that brought thousands of tourists to Libya just after it had rejoined the community of nations. Werman was the first American television and radio journalist to go to Libya after Muammar al-Gaddafi renounced weapons of mass destruction in December 2003, a move that would lead to Libya losing its pariah state status.
Werman is also the host and a reporter for a new music series for PBS called "Sound Tracks: Music Without Borders," which he co-created with PBS producer Stephen Talbot. The pilot aired in 2010. A new episode was broadcast on PBS in October 2012. He is also a presenter and interviewer for the PBS Arts online series, "Sound Tracks presents Quick Hits" where he has interviewed Jovanotti, Seu Jorge, Charles Bradley, Milos Karadaglic and Levon Helm.