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Need to Know, October 15, 2010: Alaska native corporations, schools

This week on Need to Know: Has a program intended by Congress to help native Alaskans delivered on its promise? A report in cooperation with the Washington Post. Then: Need to Know asks Nate Silver, founder of the blog, why political polls can often be so hard to interpret. Alison Stewart talks to director Davis Guggenheim about his new documentary on the public education system, “Waiting for Superman.”

Plus: Jon Meacham compares the modern struggle for gay rights to the civil rights movement. Need to Know profiles an international investment banker-turned-food-truck-driver, looking at a new trend of entrepreneurship in the recession. And Jon and Alison respond to some of your comments on our special hour-long report last week on the jobs crisis.

Watch the individual segments:
The watch list: In Alaska, a promise unkept?

Has a program intended by Congress to help native Alaskans delivered on its promise? A report in cooperation with the Washington Post.
Fixing public schools

Davis Guggenheim, director of the new documentary “Waiting for “Superman,” discusses the American education system, its problems and some solutions.
Nate Silver on why the polls don’t always add up

As the midterms approach, political junkies can’t help checking the polls every morning. But interpreting them can be tricky. So we asked Nate Silver, founder of, to help us out.
In perspective: A culture of anti-gay hatred

Jon Meacham on the historical comparisons between the civil rights movement of the 1960s and the gay rights movement today.
Street smarts

Since the recession, many entrepreneurs have found success by selling gourmet food on streets across the country. One of these businessmen is Oleg Voss, who lost his job as an investment banker, and now sells Schnitzel from a truck.

And if you’re looking for the online stories Jon and Alison mentioned this week, you can find them here:

Karr on Culture: A new number one

The Daily Need: Want to lose weight fast? Try breastfeeding!

Among Asian-American women, a little-known battle with depression



  • chimpsville

    Where is the “car on culture” link?

  • chimpsville

    Correction “carr on culture”…

  • jan

    That would appear to be Karr on Culture. Look on the right side of the first page or home page and scroll down to the box titled podcasts.

  • jan

    Guys. Here is the biggest problem with your website that appears to rely heavily on video and why not having a transcript is a mistake. Not everyone has internet that is capable of allowing a person to hear more than 3 or 4 words at a time before it going into that little circle thingie. Eventually a person gets tired and gives up.

    I have the fastest internet I can get through a national phone company. At first I was told I couldn’t get high speed. Eventually I was told that I lived in a “doughnut hole”. An area that was deemed to poor or too remote to deserve internet. Satellite had a delayed action, for lack of a better description, that made it extremely difficult for online work purposes. As a result, I have to pay a lot extra for slower service. I doubt I’m alone in these problems which takes me back to the central issue that you really need to have transcripts of these articles somewhere because if I miss the show when it airs, I’m basically out of luck.

  • jan

    I should probably add that I tried just letting it load like I do with other websites and then starting it after its loaded or almost loaded but that doesn’t appear to work for your system.

  • Charles Branch

    Cordova, Alaska still has a satellite relay for long distance so throughput is barely above 200 kbps, and a transcript is better than video at that speed. Thanks for the Alaska Native Corporation report, for we see and hear little from those organizations. I live but a block away from the Eyak Corporation office building, and know a number of their shareholders.

  • Anonymous

    Well, it looks like you may be out of luck for this show, but Democracy Now has full transcripts available of its incredible daily reporting (M-F) at and no, you don’t have to thank me. Your luck hasn’t entirely run out.
    Democracy Now – The Exception To The Rulers!!!
    -Good Stuff!!! – like a Bill Moyers Journal EVERYDAY.