Education Week, ‘PBS NewsHour’ Form Content Partnership

By Mark Walsh — October 14, 2015 2 min read
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Education Week and the “PBS NewsHour” on Thursday announced a content partnership that will involve the education news organization contributing story segments to the nightly news show on public television.

The announcement came after the two news organizations ironed out details of a partnership formed when Education Week in August took over Learning Matters TV, a New York City production company that has contributed education journalism to the “NewsHour” and some other PBS shows for years. Learning Matters founder and chief correspondent John Merrow retired over the summer, and he helped facilitate the acquisition of his company by Education Week.

The unit now known as Education Week Video will contribute at least 12 segments to the “NewsHour” in the first year of the agreement, on education topics ranging from the early years through higher education and careers.

“I’m very excited and optimistic that we will produce more than what we agreed to,” said Virginia B. Edwards, the editor-in-chief of Education Week and the president of its parent, Editorial Projects in Education Inc.

She said both news organizations have a tradition of providing serious, explanatory journalism about education, and that the partnership would provide more opportunities for that.

“It’s really important for our outlets to take on this range of education issues, not superficially but in-depth and with great expertise,” Edwards said.

Sara Just, the executive producer and senior vice president of the “NewsHour,” said in a statement that education has been a critical topical area for the news show.

“We are committed to shining a light on the many challenges facing our education system and the impact it has on the lives of all Americans,” Just said. “Partnering with Education Week and its experienced team of K-12 reporters enables us to bring even more depth and insight to our broadcast and online audiences, and help families, citizens and policymakers make smarter decisions for every child.”

Edwards said that besides the 6- to 8-minute news stories produced by the former Learning Matters staff members, which have been a staple of the “NewsHour,” the partnership would involve other arrangements such as appearances by Education Week reporters on the show or, perhaps for example, a less-slick video report from the floor of a teachers’ union convention.

“We are wanting to be partners with the ‘NewsHour’ on much more quick-turnaround content,” she said.

Editorial Projects in Education said it has secured commitments of $4.6 million in funding from four philanthropies to support the expansion of Education Week‘s video-production efforts over the next three years. The philanthropies are the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, and the Wallace Foundation.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Education and the Media blog.