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Election 2012: What stories do you want to see?

Photo: AP/Ron Edmonds

From income inequality to immigration, the environment, America’s ongoing jobs crisis and the inner workings of Congress, we’ve brought you the most important stories facing Americans in the lead-up to next year’s presidential race. The year is coming to a close, but politics will hit the ground running in 2012. The Iowa caucuses are set for January 3, and will set the stage for the months leading up to the final showdown for the presidency in November.

As NTK gears up to bring you more stories of how Election 2012 will affect communities all around the nation, tell us: What issues do you want to see covered? What stories are most important to you? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below.


  • Don Sly

    The biggest business in America:  Americans going out the door each morning to sell their knowledge, experience, enthusiasm, effort and time.  In a word, their work lives.

      Yet, this biggest business is a secret to major media. 

    NPR could highlight the difficulties Americans face in selling their work lives by detailing the role of unions and professional associations in bargaining with employers for dignity, compensation, and working conditions.  

    NPR could, for instance, investigate the coming death of the AFA (Association of Flight Attendants) union as a pro-employer faction kills efforts to improve cabin air quality for both crews and the public. 

    Or, NPR could detail the anti-union stances of each of the major parties, and of the candidates in particular. 

    NPR could detail the roles of education and unions in building the American middle class of the 60′s and 70′s.

    Working people would appreciate some light shed on the difficulties of their work lives. 

  • Danny Clarke

    I really enjoyed your segment on municipal government budgets.  I would like to see this segment expanded to include the flow of money from federal to state, county and city.  The impact this money trail has on both federal, state and local elections has become important, especially in a money-starved state such as Nevada, where many jobs are either directly or indirectly dependent on grant-funding.  This dependency greatly affects voting decisions.

  • Ernest

    Effect of money in a post Citizens United world now that the big guns will be blazing to influence the direction of the country in 2012.  Also, the need for fact checking.  Do we live in a “post-truth” environment as Paul Krugman claims?

  • Day1

    How about a segment
    on the failed War on Drugs and how this modern day Prohibition has
    created a criminal underground that is adversely affecting society in
    the U.S. and our neighbors in Latin America. Maybe using Ron Paul’s
    philosophy on this subject as an outline. Discussing how other
    countries have successfully dealt with the social problems of drug
    use by their citizens.

  • Miran Anderson

    Actually both side are very strong and we can’t say the result for go the which way but still now it’s totally confused situation.

  • Bhuguley

    1. The size if the armed forces vs. the current budget. If we are OUT of Iraq the savings should be significant?
    2. How are social security payments protected from the lower revenue collections? Is it really a tax or a forced savings program?

  • Mike

    Ron Paul, as radical as he may seem, is what this country really needs.  The Need To Know show said something like ‘the two parties don’t care and don’t want to change…’.  Paul has the solution, as radical as it may seem to most.  We need radical to save the country.  End the IRS, Federal Reserve, cut 90% of the federal government, and most importantly to bring our troops back home…all of them.  Those ‘solutions he has will work.  Cover that story if you dare. 
    I have been a Republican forever and at 56, realize what I’m tring to get across is it. If you at PBS don’t, I feel your a part of the problem we have.  The Mainstream media is controled by the other parties…that have thier own agenda.  What is yours there at PBS?

  • Jobs

    Where do the candidates and the President stand on all of the jobs being shipped overseas?  The loss of manufacturing jobs is a joke, and a greedy secret kept by both sides.  The American economy will never recover until the jobs are brought home.  And yes, Americans will pay more if they have a job and the goods are made here.

  • Bernie

    I’d like to see more media attention dedicated to the plague that mental illness has become in the U.S., e.g. government program funding, marketing efforts by pharmaceutical companies, treatment methods.

    Refer to this article in the NY Review of Books for more detail –

  • steve

    how about an in depth report on the rapid de-industrialization that has occurred in the USA the last 20 years.  Over two thirds of the economy is consumer spending and we manufacture very little of what we consume.  How many middle class jobs have been lost due to our collapse in manufacturing.  Americans scream about a 5 dollar fee from Bank of America or a 2 dollar fee from Verizon but seem so passive about the fact that nearly all manufactured consumables are made someplace else.  Our 200 billion trade deficit with China, our largest economic, political and military foe, is alarming and seems to get so little attention. 

  • David Guilbault
  • Brill Galt

    What about the right of individuals to dissolve their relationship with the U.S. government?

    Like many, I was born in the U.S. and am a proud American…but I reject being considered a citizen of the U.S. government.  I was never given a choice to “opt out”. Legally, I would be required to swear allegiance with ANOTHER government before the U.S. gov’t would grant me non-citizenship.  But I swear no allegiance to ANY government.  Period.

  • KathyK29

    I want to see more stories like Need to Know “Main Street.” you tell the truth; we are in DEEP trouble. This country was betrayed to deregulate the banking industry and to finance two wars “off budget.” Our Congress is bought and paid for by the 1 percent who paid the most expensive attorneys in America to undermine our Democracy and our economy by buying and paying for our politicians through the Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United. These are not citizens at all; this is the ruination of our country. It is us, the ordinary citizens, who NEED to unite to wrest our country from their clutches. Open our collective eyes Need to Know; show the courage to show us how and why we are rapidly becoming a third-world economy.

  • Pcblaney

    The NDAA.The effect of the scotus citizens united decision on the election

  • Vote

    I would like to see a story on the media blackout of Ron Paul.  It’s almost humorous to see the lengths the media goes to exclude any mention or publicity of Ron Paul.  Many people, both democrats and republicans support Ron Paul.  Many online polls, including on this site, reflect this.  Despite this, the media does its best to sweep him under the rug.

  • Greg

    I would like to know what there going to do with Banking and Wall Street Industry Regulations along with holding them accountable? And the president put in a consumer watch dog to protect us, and the senate wants him out they think they can do a better job seeings that there elected, I think the past years have been a good example how well they have done.  Next. Oil companies raising prices and killing our economy at the same time bigger than ever profits and gas exports hitting number 1 on our Export list for the USA. Maybe Keep it here and Just maybe the abundance will force prices down and help kick start our country and move job’s back here. And with all those profits may we can stop the subsidies to oil companies

  • Theron417

    I would like to see more stories about solutions to poverty, energy, and ecology.  Why are countries like Germany leading the way in Green technology, infrastructure, and collaboration between government and business while the U.S. lags behind?   Why aren’t we modeling our policies after countries that are succeeding with innovative programs that are good for the environment, good for the economy and good for job growth? Thank you for all your efforts at bringing information that is allowing a new generation to engage in dialogue and action to meet the challenges of these trying times. 

  • Theron417

    I’d like to see more stories on innovative education developments both nationally and on the world stage.  How will our nation’s approach to education evolve to meet the challenges of the modern age. 

  • Lei

    How about a story about how Single-Payer Health Care (medicare for all) will save consumers and businesses billions of dollars. This would free businesses to allow for more spending for hiring.

  • Lei

    How is it that a country like Germany (or Canada for that matter) can have very strict environmental laws, tight labor market regulations, make more energy from renewable resources, have government run universal healthcare system, excellent public transportation infrastructure and very strong social safety net – all of the things that Republicans and corporate America say kill business – and still have a manufacturing and export sector that is the envy of the world?

    How about reporting on this..

  • runi

    What we need to see is a presentation about population growth in the U.S.  Our population was 180 million in 1960, is nearly 313 million today, and is projected to reach 423 million by 2050 and half a BILLION by 2060.  We are already experiencing the adverse effects in employment, environmental sustainability, education, law enforcement, social services, quality of governance and more.

    The sources of population growth are:  fertility (U.S. births exceeded U.S. deaths by 1.56 million in 2010, “down” from 2008);  immigration (less than 50% of those who obtain permanent residency visas ultimately fulfill the requirements for citizenship); and illegal residency.

  • LynnHeckert

    I would like to see a story done about President Obama’s health care plan.  Specifically, how do people without health care feel about it?  The only people we ever seem to hear from on this topic are people who are against it (probably because they have health care coverage).  I would like stories from people who have been financially devastated because of the lack of health insurance.  

  • Dbrock 77

    I’d like to see a story about how to keep jobs here. As an under-employed teacher, I’m tired of seeing ads that only bi-lingual teachers need apply, and hearing that we have to hire people for tech jobs from overseas because our students here aren’t good in enough in math and science. Where are the stats to prove this is true? I read a story in a local paper in Silicon Valley, CA that said the high schools align their math/science curriculum to the needs of what the tech companies say they want, and there’s still high unemployment among the college grads there. It’s very possible that tech companies hire foreigners on work visas because they can pay them less and owe less in employee taxes. If people woke up to this realization, they would demand that we take care of jobs for our citizens first, then we can reach out to others if and when we have an abundance of jobs. Americans should not have to compete with immigrants in an economic ‘race to the bottom’ just to boost profits of big business.

  • Danper

    Common people asking unprepared and direct questions to presidential candidates  in including Obama in TV.

  • Drgifford

    I would like to see a story on what is fueling our “Economic Recovery”. The headlines scream that finally we are out of the recessionary slump, the jobless rate is decreasing, and the economy is making a comeback. The other day I heard a commentator state that we are headed for a “Jobless Economic” recovery, which to me seems like unprecedented

    tax hikes for employers and  those of us who have employment. All of this is very confusing as I have a Master’s degree in Counseling and over twenty-five years experience in my field and I currently work in a call center for a credit card company because I cannot find work.

  • Larrym

    I would like to see a story about how much companies and corporations receive in government subsidies and if there are any proposals to cut them. They talk about cutting Social Security, Medicare and other entitlements. Are they going to cut all entitlements.

  • Charles Broam

    With this year’s NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act for 2012) signed into law, What happens to all those Occupy protesters who are arressted by local authorities? Maybe a follow-up story of some of the people that were in Youtube videos getting arrested.

    Maybe you could answer this question for Americans: Is protesting enough of a belligerent act to warrant being labeled a terrorist and an Enemy of the State?

  • D. Camp

    Thanks for looking into the fear and uncertainty about employment, retirement and healthcare costs. Do more of that, please.

  • Darley1234

    the truth about what the president has to deal with when he took office back in 2008 with the high unemployment rate and so on and on.  How many people now are not even being counted on unemployment!!

  • Sydne

    Our top priority must be raising our children, and they’re all “our” children.  How does each candidates’ and the President’s plans/programs impact children, especially those considered “at risk” for negelct, and abuse?

  • Mtmurzyn

    Please do a story which details how the residents of Massachusetts feel about their universal health care law.  Do they like it, hate it, how has it effected them, are the better off with it or without it, what benefits, costs/savings have resulted from its implementation. We keep hearing the Republicans say they will get rid of Obama ‘s  health care plan, which was supposedly patterned after the Massachusetts one, so how is the Mass plan actually working from the peoples’ perspective.  Excellent story on Main Street, please keep doing what you are doing.  Thanks from an Illinois resident

  • Theron417

    That’s a good question. If it’s doing well and helping people it might help gather momentum toward effective solutions to the problems of national heath care. 

  • Elbebe

    Tax subsidies for companies making mucho dinero.
    How much influence do corporations have on our government?

  • scot walqer

    Explain the different from collective bargaining to what lobbyists do.

  • Salvatore

    I suggest that *Need to Know* present:

    1. A series that addresses the question: Why is so much of the electorate dissatisfied and disaffected election after election?

    2. A series on poverty in America

    3. A series on the American prison system, and its need for reform.

  • MOlson Maine

    I would like to see a segment on the shrinking separation between church and state.  As a non-religious person, I feel very strongly that organized religion is playing a bigger role in the political realm than it should.  Christianity seems to have become more and more accepted as a fact of  civic life, while other religions, or the lack of any religion at all, are being acceptably ridiculed, or actively discriminated against.     

  • David Rygalski

    Please do a piece on Jill Stein, 2012 Presidential candidate for the Green Party. 

  • J.D.

    As a follow up to your story on municipal governments, you should investigate the Federal Housing Finance Authority’s lawsuit against the City of Chicago–an attempt to prevent Chicago from holding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac responsible for maintenance of thousands of vacant buildings caused by the foreclosure crisis. If the FHFA wins, it will shift the tremendous cost of dealing with the fallout of the foreclosure crisis to struggling cities like Chicago, or could even prevent cities from dealing with these problem buildings at all.

  • JT

    What happened to compromising in Congess?
    One idea:
    Democrats should offer  a compromise to the republicans. Open up areas for drilling (the gulf, ANWR, of shore in the Arctic and other federal lands), approve coal gasification projects and approve the Keystone pipeline in return royalties and taxes collected will go to green technology research.We are going to use oil and energy any way you look at it. The most dangerous way for the environment is shipping the oil half way around the world in oil tankers, like we are doing now. Right now we are at a stalemate and nothing positive is being done.

  • Private Private

    Hmmmmmm….here’s a novel idea, discuss how money is created in the first place, and the flaw in the design that garauntees forclosures and monetary shortages.

    It’s like a group of kids who build a soapbox car without a steering wheel that will not go straight. They complain that the wheels are too big. They complain that the wheels are too small. The size of the wheels to the box is wrong. The weight of the car is too much or too little. What they fail to realize in their bickering and blaming is that it’s the over all concept of a box car without a steering wheel that is flawed. There is no way to execute the building of a car that drives straight without a steering device of some kind. Same is true of our system of money creation. It is flawed at its core and cannot be fixed by changing the tires or reducing weight. you have to go back to the drawing board and design it with a [steering device].

  • Dannycostello

    I’m not really sure of the reach and power of Fox News, in their response to any other news organization going after them, but what I hunger for (and have been hungering for for quite some time) is a headlong assault on the parallel news universe which is propagandist Right Wing media.  I believe all the misinformation disseminated through Fox News (as well as Drudge, Newsmaxx, and World Net Daily) is directly responsible for the situation in Congress.  Were the electorate responsibly and truthfully informed, there would be far less gridlock in the chambers of Congress.  Fox News’s relentless diametrically-opposed stance to every Democratic viewpoint is the direct cause of the dysfunction in Washington.  

    There needs to be a no-holds-barred expose on the dishonesty behind the well-funded propoganda which is purposely disseminated to obfuscate the issues and confuse half the electorate into voting against their best interests.  The players need to be called out by name.  It seems no matter how noble the enterprise (Bill Moyers, MSNBC, you guys), people pussy-foot when it comes to actually pointing the finger, and then backing it up with fact.  Talk about an elephant in the room.  It seems to me it shouldn’t be that hard to simply connect the dots, and defend everything with proven fact.  Rachel Maddow does it intermittently, but it needs to be well-researched and just as unrelenting.  

    Please hold Fox News accountable by name.  The alternate media universe created by big money from the Right will ultimately destroy our democracy.  

  • TG Noonan

    There has been minimal discussion on how the relationship between higher taxes on the rich and corporations, and how the economy thrived during those periods.  Post WWII was a boon for the country and the taxes were much higher then now, and more people had a “living wage” to be able to support their families.  Now we drop the taxes on these individuals and jobs leave the country and we have lowered the “living  wage” of the middle class.  Robert Riecsh, former Clinton administration, did a small spot on NPR regarding this subject, however he and his message is drowned out by the talking heads on the right with the idea that cutting these taxes further is going to help create more jobs.  It is all a crock of lies leading further the class warfare currently being lead by the elite of this country, from the right and the left…..  I do believe that this would greatly help to explain the divide and change the support of the right back to the left and help this country get back to caring about the majority of our population. 

  • Levine1946

    Obama is on target when he said “nobody makes it on their own.  We all depend on infrastructure, laws, law enforcement and other conditions put into place with taxpayer money. People who succeed like to believe they are solely responsible for their good fortune, but they’re not. I wish Obama would point out that even he,the president of the United States cannot take full credit for being elected as he had the help of many donors, advisors and volunteers.  ”Vanity, all is Vanity” - King Soloman