PBS NewsHour & Al-Monitor Team Up to Produce Trendlines web specials on the Middle East

Series launches Thursday, February 13, 2014 with “Syria After Geneva 2”

(February 10, 2014 – Arlington, VA)  Beginning in February 2014, MacNeil/Lehrer Productions (producer of the PBS NewsHour) and Al-Monitor.com will begin producing web video specials on the Middle East.

The first, PBS NewsHour/Al-Monitor Trendlines, dealing with “Syria After Geneva 2,” will examine the prospects of ending the country’s bloody civil war after a historic but largely unfruitful meeting of the Syrian government and opposition leaders. The program will be streamed on both organizations websites on Thursday, February 13 at 7 p.m. EST.

The specials will run approximately 15-18 minutes and be hosted by Emmy award winning PBS NewsHour Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Margaret Warner and feature Al-Monitor voices from the region – columnists and writers – as well as other guests.

Viewers can join the conversation about “Syria After Geneva 2” in a live Twitter chat hosted by @NewsHour on Thursday, February 13 at 1 pm ET using #newshourchats

“The PBS NewsHour is the gold standard of broadcast news, and we are very pleased to  begin this partnership with Margaret and her colleagues,” said Andrew Parasiliti, Editor & CEO of Al-Monitor.

“We are extremely excited to partner with Al-Monitor and their wide network of journalists and sharp columnists in one of the most important regions of the world,” said Foreign Editor/Senior Producer Justin Kenny who oversees international coverage for the PBS NewsHour and digital platforms. “Our web audience will get a very smart, substantive, lively, deep dive into some of the most vexing foreign policy issues of our day.”

“We want to  bring our American and worldwide web audiences insights they don’t usually hear, from observers living on the front lines in this tumultuous region,” said host Margaret Warner. “Al-Monitor has shown an ability to get at the trends in the region, and tapping the diverse Al-Monitor family of columnists there, as well as some of America’s top thinkers about the Middle East, will give us that.”

After the episodes are streamed, all specials will be posted on the PBS NewsHour  (www.pbs.org/newshour) and Al-Monitor (www.al-monitor.com) websites and affiliated platforms including Youtube, Facebook and Roku.

In addition to being PBS NewsHour’s Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, Warner is also the lead correspondent on the show’s overseas reporting unit. She earned an Emmy Award in 2008 for her coverage of turmoil in Pakistan. Prior to joining what was then the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour in 1993, she was an award winning correspondent at Newsweek. She spent a decade at the magazine as political and campaign correspondent, White House reporter and chief diplomatic correspondent.

Al-Monitor, launched February 13, 2012, features reporting and analysis by prominent journalists and experts from the Middle East, including through its Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Turkey Pulses, as well as partnerships with two dozen regional publications.   Al-Monitor’s content is regularly referenced in The Wall Street Journal, Time, Reuters, Le Monde, The New York Times, The Economist and many other publications. The Washington Post has called the site “invaluable,” The Huffington Post referred to it as “increasingly a daily must-read for insightful commentary on the Middle East” while The Economist recommended Al-Monitor’s Egypt and Iran coverage in its What To Read section.

According to the 2013 Erdos Morgan Opinion Leaders Survey, the PBS NewsHour is the third most watched news/public affairs program among U.S. based foreign policy decision makers – ahead of ABC and CBS daily newscasts and all cable news programs.  PBS NewsHour is seen by 4.3 million weekly viewers and is also available online, via public radio in select markets and via podcast. The program is produced with WETA Washington, D.C., and in association with WNET in New York. Major corporate funding for PBS NewsHour is provided by BAE Systems, BNSF Railway and Charles Schwab with additional support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Friends of the NewsHour and others.


Anne Bell                                   Walker Gunning

PBS NEWSHOUR                     Al-Monitor

abell@newshour.org           wgunning@al-monitor.com

(703) 998-2175                         202-808-0700