'NewsHour' gets grant for world health reports

$3.5 million from Gates Foundation to fund 40-50 docs

NEW YORK -- Many journalistic organizations are having to cut back staff, but a huge grant is helping PBS' "The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer" to add more reporting.

"NewsHour" will add a production unit to focus on global health issues in the developing world. The three-year, $3.5 million grant is funded through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. There will be 40 to 50 documentary reports on such issues as HIV/AIDS, measles and tuberculosis in the developing world on the TV program, as well as digitally. There also is an outreach component to the grant.

"In recent years we have seen extraordinary progress against some of the greatest health problems in developing countries, and many compelling stories have yet to be told," Gates Foundation executive Joe Cerrell said. "This new effort will build on 'The NewsHour's' tradition of thoughtful, thorough coverage of critical global health issues."

The Gates grant joins a similar grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for "NewsHour" to report on domestic health issues.
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