NBC Nightly News Anchor Lester Holt reads a script.
Our Values In Action

Using Our Storytelling Platforms for Social Good

Using Our Storytelling Platforms for Social Good

At Comcast NBCUniversal, we use our news and entertainment platforms every day to educate, spark important conversations, celebrate inclusiveness, and shine a light on the issues that shape our world.

At our core, we believe in the power of in-depth news reporting to create an informed citizenry, which is the foundation of democracy. We know millions of people rely on our news programming to understand what’s going on in the world. NBC Nightly News is the most-watched evening newscast in America among the key 25- to 54-year-old demographic, providing the day’s top stories and going beyond the headlines to add context and analysis to the most pressing issues of our times. In 2018, NBC Nightly News Anchor Lester Holt was ranked as the most trusted news personality in America, according to The Hollywood Reporter/Morning Consult survey.

Holt, who serves on the board of directors of the Committee to Protect Journalists, recently partnered with the Poynter Institute to promote a program that teaches fact-checking skills to students. As the first official ambassador of the MediaWise program, Holt is highlighting the importance of truth and accuracy in the media.

Fact-checking and identifying trustworthy sources is something I’ve done every day for over four decades. But in today’s noisy media environment, those skills are just as important for our readers and viewers as they are for those of us doing the reporting.
Lester Holt
Anchor, NBC Nightly News

“Fact-checking and identifying trustworthy sources is something I’ve done every day for over four decades,” Holt says. “But in today’s noisy media environment, those skills are just as important for our readers and viewers as they are for those of us doing the reporting. MediaWise will help instill those values at a young age, and I’m honored to play a small part in educating a new generation of thoughtful and discerning news consumers.”

The Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent of NBC News — Andrea Mitchell — has also been focused on truth and trust for the last four decades. Mitchell, who joined NBC News in 1978, was named a 2019 honoree by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP), which recognizes journalists who demonstrate a deep commitment to the First Amendment and to press freedom.

“Throughout my career, my goal has always been to keep the public informed by asking tough questions and holding our leaders accountable,” Mitchell says. “If I’ve achieved that in some measure, it’s because of NBC News’ commitment to upholding the First Amendment, which is so vital to a free society. Receiving this year’s RCFP Freedom of the Press Award is an enormous honor, and it underscores the support NBC News gives me and all of my colleagues as we report on every administration and issues across the globe, day in and day out.”

Making a Positive Impact

Our commitment to using our platforms to create positive change goes beyond our News division, of course. In 2018, Focus Features acquired the worldwide rights to Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, a new documentary about the life and work of Fred Rogers from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville.

The unassuming Fred Rogers inspired generations of children with his compassion and limitless imagination as he took them on tours of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. His lessons of kindness, inclusiveness, and empathy are as necessary today as they were 30 years ago when he first zipped up his cardigans on TV screens.

The film demonstrates “how Fred Rogers navigated the cultural and social issues of the second half of the 20th century with his own brand of forward-thinking, compassionate wisdom far beyond his time,” said Focus Chairman Peter Kujawski. “Mister Rogers makes us all want to be better people, and we couldn’t be more proud to be part of telling his story today.”  

Exploring Critical Social Issues

We are also dedicated to addressing important social issues. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in 2018, NBC News released a documentary film, narrated by Holt, that examined how Dr. King and other leaders of the civil rights movement used the power of print and visual media — and especially television — to raise consciousness to the realities and injustices of racial inequality. Hope & Fury: MLK, The Movement and The Media offers a gripping account of American history as told by civil rights leaders, pioneering African American reporters who chronicled the movement, journalists from across generations, and present-day activists. 

In 2018, we also hosted our second annual Meet the Press Film Festival, in collaboration with the American Film Institute. The event featured 23 films that highlighted critical issues ahead of the U.S. midterm elections, including gun violence, immigration, voting rights, the changing economy, poverty, and post-traumatic stress disorder. 

NBCUniversal commissioned and submitted our own film, Insecure, a documentary exploring poverty, immigration, and the elusive quest for the American Dream. “The motivation behind this project was to create a short documentary highlighting child poverty in America,” says Cayman Grant, the film’s director. “People think of child poverty as homelessness, but these families are the working poor.”

Almost 13 million children in the United States are at or below the poverty line, Grant notes, highlighting Comcast NBCUniversal’s ongoing support of Red Nose Day, a national fundraising campaign with a mission to end child poverty. The event, which got its start in the United Kingdom, has raised close to $190 million since its launch in the United States in 2015.

Our news and entertainment divisions proudly use their platforms to build awareness and encourage action and engagement around important causes.

© 2018 Comcast