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Need to Know

Episode #208

JEFF GREENFIELD ANCHORS. HELP WANTED: CREATING OPPORTUNITY - Need to Know travels from one coast to the other to highlight two statewide initiatives that have helped curb unemployment. The show also launches a new series, "American Voices," featuring essayists from diverse backgrounds with diverse points of view.

SEGMENTS INCLUDE: JOB SHARE - Rhode Island is using unemployment insurance to keep workers on the job. The so-called "workshare plan" enables businesses thinking of firing workers to reduce their hours instead. The state makes up most of the difference in pay. This means the state pays out less than if the workers had been fired, employees get to keep their jobs, and companies keep their workforces essentially intact.

SELF STARTERS - Oregon encourages workers who have been fired to use their unemployment benefits to start new businesses. The idea is that if the new businesses succeed -- and they do at an unusually high rate -- these new employers will hire workers of their own.

AMERICAN VOICES: REIHAN SALAM - An essay by Reihan Salam of The National Review. He says private initiatives, not federal subsidies, are the way to get the country back on track [26 minutes] Closed Captioning

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PBS Video

Series Description: NEED TO KNOW is an integrated broadcast and online current affairs project, uniting broadcast and web in an innovative approach to newsgathering and reporting. It breaks through the limitations of the broadcast schedule by means of a web-based production model that empowers audiences to "tune in" anytime and anywhere. A cross-media initiative built around a wide community of journalists and producers, with input from an engaged audience, NEED TO KNOW covers five primary beats: the economy; the environment and energy; health; security; and culture. Stories, interviews, blogs and photo features are continually added to and updated online, with the production teams inviting interaction and input from online readers and users who are on the lookout for the latest information on a given subject. Each week's online story development culminates in the weekly broadcast, curated from the week's reporting by the various beat teams. The broadcast features documentary-style field reports, both domestic and international, short features and studio-based interviews and conversation to complement and advance the produced reports.

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