Expanding the Work of the Health Unit at PBS NewsHour

Supporting PBS NewsHour in providing broadcast and online reporting of medical news, health policy, and health reform implementation

Dates of Project: March 2005 through June 2014

Description: The PBS NewsHour produced exclusive content on health policy, public health, and medical research with a dedicated correspondent-and-producer team for broadcast content and a producer for online material.

“While a high-profile ‘breakthrough’ or health emergency or crisis may receive surface or even saturation treatment, sustained, thoughtful, in-depth reporting of complex health and health policy issues is rare, especially in television—by far the leading source of information for most Americans,” PBS NewsHour producers say.

Key Results

  • PBS Newshour produced the following:

    • More than 200 taped reports on health policy, public health, and medicine on topics such as autism, Alzheimer’s Disease, food insecurity, and the Affordable Care Act.
    • More than 300 in-studio discussions or interviews, usually moderated by one of the NewsHour’s anchors, including many with brief taped stories to introduce a topic. The segments included experts in health policy or medical research as well as newsmakers.
    • More than 1,000 Web-only exclusives, including news stories, blog posts, Q&As, videos, interviews, and infographics posted online in a section of the website devoted to health.
    • More than 40 pieces for Extra, the NewsHour’s online website for students and teachers. The content included stories, interviews with students, and lesson plans.

“Having a website alongside a broadcast allows us to tackle many more angles of a story, not only transmitting more information, but also engaging those who may have missed the original report.”—Patti Parson, PBS NewsHour Managing Producer