Need to Know starts 5/7

Peabody Award-winning broadcast journalist Alison Stewart and Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer and Newsweek editor Jon Meacham will co-anchor Need To Know, a new weekly primetime news and public affairs series slated to debut nationally on PBS May 7th.

A cross-media initiative built around a wide community of journalists and producers, with input from a savvy engaged audience, Need To Know on PBS will cover five primary beats: the economy, the environment and energy, health, national security and culture. Stories, interviews, blogs, video and photo features will offer ongoing updates online, with the production teams inviting interaction and input from users who are on the lookout for the latest information on a given subject.

Each week’s online story development will culminate in the weekly one-hour broadcast, curated from the week’s reporting by the various beat teams and co-anchored by Stewart and Meacham. The broadcast will feature documentary-style field reports, from both domestic and international locales, short features and studio-based interviews and conversation to complement and advance the produced reports.


Alison Stewart
Most recently Alison Stewart was the founding host of NPR’s breakthrough multiplatform news program, “The Bryant Park Project,” the first public radio news program to seamlessly incorporate audio, video and social media.  She also guest hosted the network’s flagship programs “Weekend Edition” and “Talk of the Nation.
Stewart began her career as a political reporter and producer for MTV’s critically acclaimed and influential “Choose or Lose” coverage of the 1992 and 1996 Presidential elections, receiving a Peabody Award for her work.
Today, Stewart is an accomplished, award-winning broadcast journalist with credentials from CBS News, ABC News, and NBC News. While at MSNBC, she created and hosted the show “The Most,” a news program based on the most popular news on the web. During her six years at MSNBC, Alison anchored major news events including Hurricane Katrina, the Hezbollah/Israel conflict, and reported live from the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy. Stewart also contributed to “NBC Nightly News,” “The Today Show” and “Weekend Today,” where she was also a newsreader.

While at ABC, Stewart served as anchor for ABC News’ “World News Now.” She reported live from the World Trade Center and received an Emmy as part of ABC News’ coverage of September 11th terrorist attacks.  Prior to working for ABC News, Stewart was a correspondent for CBS News’ “Sunday Morning” and “48 Hours.”

In 2009, Stewart was named one of “The Root 100,” recognizing emerging and established African American leaders. Alison is working on a book about the first high school for African Americans in the United States.

Jon Meacham
Jon Meacham is a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer and the editor of Newsweek. He arrived at the magazine as a writer in 1995, became national affairs editor that year, was named managing editor in 1998 and was appointed to his current position in 2006.

His book American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House was published by Random House in November 2008.  It debuted at #2 on The New York Times bestseller list and became a Times Notable Book. On April 20, 2009, American Lion was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

Meacham is also the author of two other New York Times bestsellers—American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation and Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship, about the wartime relationship between Roosevelt and Churchill.  In 2009, Meacham was elected to the Society of American Historians and serves on its executive board.

He has written for The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, Slate, and The Los Angeles Times Book Review. In 2001, he edited Voices in Our Blood: America’s Best on the Civil Rights Movement (Random House), a collection of distinguished nonfiction about the mid-century struggle against Jim Crow.  He has served as a judge for the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award and was awarded the Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize by the Anti-Defamation League.

A member of the Council on Foreign Relations,  he received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University in 2005 and holds three other honorary doctorates.