“PBS American Portrait,” a storytelling project aligned with PBS’ 50th anniversary celebration, is presenting a coronavirus special that will be broadcast Friday, May 8.
“In This Together: A PBS American Portrait Story,” will begin streaming May 8 on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video App.
A news release about the project said that, since early January, the “PBS American Portrait” website has captured thousands of stories by Americans that may lead to an answer to this question: What does it really mean to be an American today?
Throughout the special, which is being produced by PBS and RadicalMedia, participants from across the country will use self-shot video, photos and text to share how the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting their lives, their communities and their understanding of what it means to live in our country at this unique moment in time.
“We’ll blend collages of user-generated content from around the country with deeper dives into several main stories in which participants will record themselves each day for three weeks, creating a chronology of their experiences as they cope with this new reality,” said Bill Margol, the PBS executive in charge of “PBS American Portrait.” “We’ll weave in and out of those main stories with ‘chorus’ montages from all types of people around the country, across age, race, gender identity, income, ability and geography.”
PBS LearningMedia will also provide teachers and students with educational materials around the special focused on media and storytelling, drawing on PBS Newshour Student Reporting Labs’ curriculum.
More details about the participants and their stories will be shared closer to the broadcast date. You can visit the “PBS American Portrait” site at pbs.org/americanportrait and follow the conversation at #AmericanPortraitPBS on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to view the thousands of stories already submitted.