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For analysis on Obama's announcement on immigration watch Evening Edition on KPBS TV at 6:30.

Need To Know

Airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on KPBS TV - CANCELLED (last broadcast June 21, 2013)

Above: Peabody Award-winning broadcast journalist Alison Stewart (left) and Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer and Newsweek editor Jon Meacham co-anchor this weekly primetime news and public affairs series.

This program is no longer airing Friday nights on KPBS - the last broadcast was June 21, 2013.

Maria Hinojosa, host and managing editor of NPR’s “Latino USA” and former Senior Correspondent at NOW on PBS.
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Above: Maria Hinojosa, host and managing editor of NPR’s “Latino USA” and former Senior Correspondent at NOW on PBS.

Jeff Greenfield, seasoned political, media and culture reporter and commentator, who has worked for CNN, CBS, NBC, and was host of PBS’s CEO EXCHANGE.
Enlarge this image

Above: Jeff Greenfield, seasoned political, media and culture reporter and commentator, who has worked for CNN, CBS, NBC, and was host of PBS’s CEO EXCHANGE.

Slideshow: Steinbeck’s Salinas

John Steinbeck’s hometown came to worldwide notice through "The Grapes of Wrath." Not all city fathers were pleased by the portrait. Explore what has changed and what remains the same in Salinas.

This weekly current affairs series covers the issues being considered by candidates and voters — from immigration to education to health care, environment, jobs and economy — from Main Street’s point of view.

The program also profiles up-and-coming political leaders and will report regularly from the road, hosting the program from key states whose issues are important to the national election. Essays, many from Jon Meacham and from a diverse group of other journalists and big thinkers, are a weekly feature.

A rotation of respected and experienced media professionals will both anchor the program and report from the field.

They include: Scott Simon, longtime host of NPR’s “Weekend Edition;” Maria Hinojosa, host and managing editor of NPR’s “Latino USA” and former senior correspondent of NOW ON PBS; Ray Suarez, co-anchor of the PBS NEWSHOUR; and Jeff Greenfield, a seasoned political, media and culture reporter and commentator who has worked for CNN, CBS, NBC, and was host of PBS’ CEO EXCHANGE.

Topics for May 24, 2013:

As the debate over immigration reform continues in Washington D.C., NEED TO KNOW offers an inside look at the lives of Latino farm workers. With the continuation of our “Main Street” series, correspondent John Larson reports from Salinas, California — home to John Steinbeck and some of the richest farmlands in the world. This episode was originally broadcast on March 1, 2013.

This episode will be available for online viewing after the broadcast.

NEED TO KNOW is on Facebook, and you can follow @PBSNeedToKnow on Twitter.

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Full Show: Need To Know: Down in the Salinas Valley

Above: As the debate over immigration reform continues in Washington D.C., NEED TO KNOW offers an inside look at the lives of Latino farm workers. With the continuation of our “Main Street” series, correspondent John Larson reports from Salinas, California — home to John Steinbeck and some of the richest farmlands in the world. This episode was originally broadcast on March 1, 2013.

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Preview: Need To Know: Border Patrol, Part 3 - May 17, 2013

Above: While the number of illegal crossings at the border has plummeted dramatically — roughly half the number than during peak years — just as many people are dying. Meaning for those coming into the country illegally, it is now more deadly, more lethal, than at any time in recent U.S. immigration history. For years the age of those dying has been constant — they have been young — but today, these statistics are changing. According to two recent studies, what may be compelling older immigrants to risk death in the desert is this: more and more often, they are mothers and fathers who have long had homes in the United States, with American children who depend on them. Catch up on NEED TO KNOW’s Border Patrol series.

Certifiably Employable

NEED TO KNOW correspondent Rick Karr travels to the state of Washington to report on The National STEM Consortium – a program designed to target this type of structural unemployment by improving the scientific, technical and mathematical know-how of American workers.

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Preview: Need To Know: American Gun Debate

Above: With the gun control debate raging after the mass school shooting in Newtown, Conn., NEED TO KNOW examines the history of the Second Amendment and how it shapes the discussion today. Ray Suarez anchors a panel including: George Mason Law School professor Joyce Lee Malcolm, former New York Times foreign correspondent and editor Craig Whitney, and Fordham University history professor Saul Cornell.

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Need To Know: April 5, 2013: Working Bridges

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Watch Behavioral economics at work on PBS. See more from Need To Know.

Above: This week, NEED TO KNOW examines how behavioral economics is being used to encourage low-income workers to save for the future. Correspondent William Brangham reports from Vermont how workers who have repaid emergency loans through automatic paycheck deductions continue to take the lower amount in their paychecks and save the difference after the loan is paid off. Then, correspondent Brian Epstein reports about a plan put forth by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, which offers incentives to low-wage earners who save their tax refunds. Finally, Dan Ariely, professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University speaks on how we think about money.

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Need To Know: March 29, 2013: Economic Inequality and Mobility

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Watch Economic inequality and mobility on PBS. See more from Need To Know.

Above: On this week’s NEED TO KNOW, Jeff Greenfield leads a round table discussion on economic inequality, mobility, debt, and the state of the American economy four years after the official end of the recession. We’ve invited three highly-respected economic thinkers from different perspectives, to see if there is some common economic ground, and whether that common ground tells us anything about how we can improve our economic health.

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Preview: Need To Know: Medical Devices: March 22, 2013

Above: This week, NEED TO KNOW medical correspondent Dr. Emily Senay examines whether the Food and Drug Administration’s medical device review process is adequately protecting the public. Plus, anchor Jeff Greenfield interviews Dr. Josh Rising, project director of the Medical Device Initiative at The Pew Charitable Trusts.

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Need To Know: How will we pay for Medicare in 2050?

Above: In this episode, Anchor Ray Suarez hosts a panel of experts to explore how to save Medicare.

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Need To Know: February 1, 2013: The Skills Gap

Above: The nation’s unemployment rate has been hovering just below eight percent for months — that means about twelve million Americans are jobless and looking for work. Yet at the same time, firms nationwide say they’re having a hard time filling nearly four million job openings. The mismatch is known as the “skills gap”: Would-be employers say they can’t find workers who have the specific skills they’re looking for. Correspondent Rick Karr traveled to Mobile, Alabama to look at one effort to close that gap.

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Need To Know: January 25, 2013: A Broken System?

Above: Every year, one in 14 doctors in America will be sued for malpractice. Most lawsuits will be dismissed, or resolved in favor of the doctor; but the cost of insuring against such suits can be huge. In Denmark, the country has taking litigation out of the medical malpractice equation completely. Supporters of the system say it makes it easier for doctors to practice medicine, and for injured patients to get compensated quickly.

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Need To Know: January 11, 2013: A Tale of Four Tax Returns

Above: Need To Know: January 2013: A Tale of Four Tax Returns

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Need To Know: January 4, 2013: What to do about long-term care?

Above: On this episode of NEED TO KNOW, Karla Murthy reports from California about one family dealing with the emotional and financial stresses of caring for a chronically ill parent.