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NOW on PBS

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Called "one of the last bastions of serious journalism on TV," PBS's weekly news show NOW engages viewers with documentary segments and insightful interviews that probe today's most important issues, including media policy, corporate accountability, civil liberties, the environment, money in politics, and foreign affairs. In an era when commercial journalism risks overwhelming democratic values, NOW continues to stand apart as the "one program going against the grain."
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NOW on PBS goes off the air with not just a look back at our most memorable moments, but a mission to leverage these eight years of investigation and insight into lasting inspiration. In the special, NOW examines economic hardships and innovative solutions, the human faces behind the health care fight and other political battles, environmental crises both here and around the world, and more 21st century issues that defined and changed us. NOW on PBS dedicates this last show, as it has every show, to the issues that matter. Because -- now, more than ever -- they still do.
The Best of NOW: The Wars

The Best of NOW: The Wars

2010-04-2300:24:15

NOW on PBS has been covering the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for as long as we've been on the air. In that time, we've recognized that there's much to these conflicts than be covered by short segments and passionate punditry. In fact, our body of work -- which includes being embedded with U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan, meeting soldiers' families in Texas, taking fire in Iraq's Anbar Province, and seeing how we treat wounded veterans back home -- shines a new light on human costs of war, and the price we pay going forward. In NOW on PBS' second-to-last show ever -- we take a look back at Iraq and Afghanistan to hopefully reveal insight about the dangerous and tricky road ahead, and how our leaders and soldiers should be traveling it.
The NOW broadcast series is ending -- the show will go off the air in just three weeks. NOW looks back on eight years of in-depth investigative reporting to examine what's been uncovered and accomplished, as well as what still needs to be done to preserve and enhance our democracy. Is true investigative journalism disappearing just when we need it most? Compare past to present through our NOW on PBS lens, and decide for yourselves.
A Town Revitalized?

A Town Revitalized?

2010-04-0900:24:09

The national economic disaster hit the city of Braddock Pennsylvania like a wrecking ball. But Braddock Mayor John Fetterman -- dubbed "America's Coolest Mayor" by The New York Times -- is taking very unconventional approaches to reinventing the town and re-inspiring its residents. Home to the nation's first A&P supermarket and Andrew Carnegie's first steel mill, Braddock is being revitalized with new youth and art programs, renovations of abandoned real estate, and bold plans to attract artists and green industries.NOW sits down with Mayor Fetterman to learn how the 6'8" 370-pound political novice is trying to turn his town around, and if other devastated communities can and should follow his large footsteps.
Maximum Capacity

Maximum Capacity

2010-04-0200:22:48

The number of inmates in American prisons is outpacing the system's ability to hold them all. In one startling example, California prisons hold well over 50,000 more inmates than they're designed for, even though the state has built a dozen new prisons in the last 15 years. One of the biggest reasons is rampant recidivism.NOW goes inside an Illinois prison that may have the answer to California's problems. With its innovative plan to keep released inmates from coming back, the Sheridan Correctional Center is trying to redefine "tough on crime" by being the largest fully dedicated drug prison in the country. The approach involves aggressive counseling, job training, and following the convicts after they get out. Can their novel approach keep convicts out of jail for good?
"Gasland"

"Gasland"

2010-03-2600:22:48

In the debate over energy resources, natural gas is often considered a "lesser-of-evils". While it does release some greenhouse gases, natural gas burns cleaner than coal and oil, and is in plentiful supply -- parts of the U.S. sit above some of the largest natural gas reserves on Earth. But a new boom in natural gas drilling, a process called "fracking", raises concerns about health and environmental risks. NOW talks with filmmaker Josh Fox about "Gasland", his Sundance award-winning documentary on the surprising consequences of natural gas drilling. Fox's film -- inspired when the gas company came to his hometown -- alleges chronic illness, animal-killing toxic waste, disastrous explosions, and regulatory missteps.
There are places in the world where the success of a soap opera is measured not just in TV ratings, but in human lives. NOW travels to Kenya, where ambitious producers and actors hope one such TV show, "The Team", can help foster peace amongst the country's 42 official tribes. During presidential elections two years ago, tribalism-influenced protests in Kenya left almost 1,500 dead and nearly 300,000 displaced. Tensions continue today over issues including extreme poverty and widespread corruption.In "The Team", soccer players from different tribes work together to overcome historic rivalries and form a common bond. The hope is that commonalities portrayed in fiction can inspire harmony in the real world. Early reaction to the show's inaugural season is promising. "I was very surprised to see how Kenyans want change, how they want to live in peace and the way the responded to us," Milly Mugadi, one of the show's stars, noted during a local screening. "There were people from different tribes talking about peace and how to reconcile with each other... they opened up their hearts."John Marks, whose organization Common Ground produces versions of "The Team" in 12 different countries, is cautiously hopeful. "You don't watch one of our television shows and drop your submachine gun," explains Marks, who says he was inspired by the influence of "All in the Family" on American culture. "But you can change the environment so it becomes more and more difficult to be in violent conflict."Can this soap opera for social change really make a difference in stopping violence?
In 1995 and 1996, 66 gray wolves were relocated from Canada to Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho to help recover a wolf population that had been exterminated in the northern Rockies. The gray wolf relocation is considered one of the most successful wildlife recovery projects ever attempted under the Endangered Species Act; today there are more than 1,600 wolves in the region. But a debate has erupted between conservationists and ranchers over the question: how many wolves are too many? Last year, the Obama Administration entered the fray by removing federal protection for some of these wolves, paving the way for controversial state-regulated wolf hunts. The move has wolf advocates fuming, with more than a dozen conservation groups suing the Interior Department to restore federal protections. NOW reports on this war over wolves and implications for the area.
Angry Voters

Angry Voters

2010-02-1900:22:39

From the raucous tea party rallies to the painful sacrifices families are making behind closed doors, voter angst and anger are sweeping the country like a storm. Directly in its path: the 2010 midterm elections. NOW examines the strong impact this groundswell has already had on electoral politics, and what we can expect in November. Our investigation uncovers what motivates people who've come together under the tea party banner, and how a larger dissatisfaction among voters spells trouble for incumbents in both parties, some of whom have decided to avert the storm by leaving Congress altogether.
Caring About Congo

Caring About Congo

2010-02-1200:22:39

Even with the recent outpouring of support for earthquake victims in Haiti, Americans' attention span for global crises is usually very short. But is there a way to keep American audiences from tuning out important global issues of violence, poverty, and catastrophe far beyond their backyards? NOW talks with filmmaker Eric Metzgar about "Reporter," his documentary about the international reporting trips of New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. In the film, Metzgar provides fascinating insight into how Kristof breaks through and gets us to think deeply about people and issues half a world away.
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