Introducing “How the Deck Is Stacked”

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March 14, 2016
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Eight years ago, the country was in financial free fall. Now, with the 2016 presidential election looming, America’s economic landscape is much different: unemployment is below five percent; job growth is rising; and corporate profits and housing prices are booming.

But not far below the surface is a much less glowing economic reality: an America where wages are stagnant, and more work is temporary and part-time. If you’ve been unemployed for a long time, you’re likely to stay that way — and the gap between the rich and everyone else is wider than ever.

We at FRONTLINEAPM’s Marketplace and PBS NewsHour are joining forces to investigate why.

In the run-up to the November elections and continuing through the presidential inauguration in January 2017, we’ll bring you “How the Deck Is Stacked” — a series of collaborative, multiplatform reports with Marketplace’s Kai Ryssdal investigating this new American economy, the forces that are shaping it, and the lives of the people living in it.

Starting today, our collaboration — jointly funded by PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) — will produce stories that will be broadcast on PBS NewsHour, published on FRONTLINE’s website, aired on Marketplace and distributed across each organization’s social media platforms.

These stories will explore different facets of the individual economic unease that persists across the country, despite booming big-picture indicators. We’ll bring our unique strengths to telling these stories together across radio, digital, and broadcast platforms in the coming months. You’ll hear from both the decision makers and institutions that led us here and the citizens who are struggling to get ahead in this new reality of the American economy.  You’ll come away with fresh insights about “How the Deck Is Stacked.”

We’re excited to launch this new series today, with a look at Americans’ economic anxiety, drawn from Marketplace’s companion radio series “My Economy” and the original polling it conducts with Edison Research.

Hear more from Kai today on both APM’s Marketplace and on tonight’s PBS NewsHour (check local listings) in an interview with him and PBS NewsHour co-anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff.

We hope you’ll join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #TheDeck.

—  Raney Aronson-Rath, Executive Producer, FRONTLINE
Deborah Clark, Executive Producer and Vice President, APM’s Marketplace
Sara Just, Executive Producer, PBS NewsHour; Senior Vice President, WETA

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