Category Archives: Civic Forums

Teacher Town Hall with Melinda Gates

Teacher Town Hall

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s American Graduate initiative seeks to help communities find and carry out solutions to the nation’s high school dropout crisis. As part of this initiative, 11 town hall events were held across the country. In each location, over 100 teachers met to discuss and overcome the challenges in their classrooms.

MacNeil/Lehrer Productions provided support to each local station involved in producing the town hall events for television. In addition, NewsHour correspondents including Ray Suarez and Gwen Ifill moderated several of the discussions.


The Innovation Economy

The Innovation Economy (“Aspen/Intel events”)

In partnership with Intel and the Aspen Institute, MLP and the PBS NewsHour have hosted a series of events designed to generate ideas on how to build “The Innovation Economy” – described by Intel as “a future where American innovation is cultivated at every level of government, business, and society.”

Since 2009, The Innovation Economy events have gathered leading educators, scientists, legislators and business leaders to discuss topics such as how American students measure up globally, using technology to reinvent teaching and American innovation in the global marketplace. MacNeil/Lehrer Productions has played a vital role in these events, including hosting roles by NewsHour correspondents such as Gwen Ifill and Hari Sreenivasan, and a Jim Lehrer interview with Hillary Clinton at 2011’s event.


The Miller Center Debates

MacNeil/Lehrer Productions partnered with the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia to produce the first three seasons of the National Discussion and Debate Series. These discussions and debates focused on major issues facing the United States such as immigration, energy independence and affirmative action. Miller Center Director Gerald L. Baliles described the debates as “a genuine, thoughtful give-and-take that will both inform people and provoke dialogue” – a goal that coincides perfectly with MLP’s mission to educate the public and promote civil participation.

In addition to producing the series, several of MLP’s NewsHour correspondents – Margaret Warner, Ray Suarez and Paul Solmon – have joined Robert MacNeil in serving as moderators for one or more of the programs.

Full video of the Miller Center Debates along with supplemental materials is available on the Miller Center website.


By the People

The By the People project gathers diverse groups of citizens not normally involved in civic and policy issues to discuss and learn about just those topics. By the People works with a network of local organizations, community colleges and PBS stations to host local events ranging from dialogues to panel presentations and film screenings.

The cornerstone of By the People are “Citizen Deliberations” around the country. These events bring together a random sampling of citizens for discussions centered around a Deliberative Opinion Poll®. lSince 2002, By the People has supported over 200 such Deliberations as well as over 100 PBS broadcasts on these issues vital to life in America.

One such event,“What’s Next California?” brought together 400 Californians for a weekend-long discussion on legislative representation, taxation and local government. Moderated by the NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff, the event was recorded for a documentary to be broadcast on PBS stations across the state and nationwide.