Project Title

Health Coverage on the PBS NewsHour

Grant Amount


Priority Area


Date Awarded

January 7, 2016


Outside New York State






The Greater Washington Telecommunications Association (WETA) is the second-largest producing station in the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) system and the flagship public broadcaster in the nation’s capital.

WETA produces PBS NewsHour—one of the nation’s most trusted and credible television news programs, now in its 40th year. To modernize and strengthen its broadcast, PBS NewsHour is looking to diversify its programming and designate one night of the week to in-depth coverage of health-related issues. Although there are more sources for health news available than ever, much of it is unreliable, politicized, or sensationalized. The challenge is to provide information that is factual, objective, and unbiased, all in a manner that is thoughtful and provides context. In 2016, NYHealth awarded a grant to WETA to support health-related NewsHour programming.

Under this grant, NewsHour covered more of the New York-based and national health stories that need to be told. Specifically, the program expanded its focus beyond commonly covered issues, such as the continuing implementation of the Affordable Care Act, to include community efforts to improve health. The NewsHour examined traditional public health and clinical care issues, but also increasingly reported on themes aligned with the mission of NYHealth, such as how healthy communities are being built and strategies to improve health care services for vulnerable populations. At least three of the in-depth stories produced over the course of the grant focused on New York initiatives and organizations. NYHealth co-funded this project along with many other philanthropy organizations, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.