A multi-foundation effort to generate support for the PBS NewsHour has resulted in $3.55 million of special funding for the news program, according to MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, which produces the NewsHour. The participants in the initiative are Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
"For many television stations, advertisers are a lifeline. But for PBS, viewers are the lifeline," explained Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation of New York. "Today, as harsh economic realities continue to take a toll both on the quality and quantity of news sources, the NewsHour remains dedicated to the highest standards of journalism around both national and global issues and events. Carnegie Corporation, which helped to create public television, is proud to continue its tradition of supporting excellence in the public realm by joining with other foundations in funding the invaluable and irreplaceable NewsHour."
"The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to support The NewsHour," said Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. "During such a critical time – filled with civil unrest, economic uncertainty and political elections - high quality, in-depth reporting is more important than ever to educate and engage the public."
"It’s especially encouraging to have this special general support from some of the nation’s leading foundations," said Bo Jones, President of MacNeil/Lehrer Productions. "It is key to supporting the program’s infrastructure and ability to grow."
Together, the grants will help support PBS NewsHour’s ongoing commitment to in-depth coverage on-air and online of the 2012 presidential election, the economy, international developments, and health, science, education, and arts news.
In particular, the funds will enable NewsHour reporters and correspondents to travel across the country to report from the field on issues critical in the election and to America’s democracy, such as jobs, the economy, immigration, education, the environment, and foreign policy, as well as reports examining the changing nature and reality of the American electorate itself. It will also support the PBS NewsHour Digital Election Data Center, which will give web viewers following the election campaign the same professional tools that the NewsHour’s political unit will use on a daily basis. PBS NewsHour has developed several innovative and interactive tools, such as crowd-sourced translation of key political speeches in collaboration with Google+ and Mozilla; "Listen to Me," a YouTube-based platform where voters can share their views on the issues driving the election;,and electoral maps that feature live election results.