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Blueprint America

In the above video Rachel Maddow speaks with PBS’ David Brancaccio about Thirteen/WNET’s new project Blueprint America.

Blueprint America is a precedent-setting multi-platform initiative - developed and produced by Thirteen/WNET, and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation – that will harness the power of public broadcasting’s most prestigious programs, primetime documentaries, community and educational outreach, and the web to shine an unyielding spotlight on one of the most critical issues facing our country, yet one that has been under-reported by the traditional news media: America’s decaying and neglected infrastructure. We hear about infrastructure only when it results in a catastrophic bridge collapse or levee failure, but in fact, it is placing our quality of life and our ability to compete in a global economy at risk.

Over the next year, we at the Blueprint America team at Thirteen/WNET hope to create a unique portfolio of dramatic and compelling programming on this critical subject, including:

  • Individual reports produced in partnership with PBS’s most prestigious and most-watched news and public affairs programs, as well as public radio
  • Original, high profile documentaries produced for national broadcast on PBS
  • Educational and community outreach to integrate study and debate on this subject into schools and community groups

Here’s what we have scheduled so far:

  • The NewsHour will present a five-part series on how infrastructure issues affect every region of country, reported by Senior Correspondent Ray Suarez, beginning the week of September 22nd.
  • NOW on PBS will present a report on how transportation infrastructure impacts working families with David Brancaccio as correspondent, currently scheduled for October 10th.
  • Worldfocus: Our new internationally-focused nightly newscast will air a series of segments on how our global competitors treat infrastructure. Likely air dates are shortly after its launch, in October.

Looks to be an interesting project, and there is already a lot on the Blueprint America website. I’m sure we will be discussing some of these programs in months to come.

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