VisibleDeficits: News and Education

A year ago I started a venture dedicated to one goal:  Producing news  that is also educationally sound.  Or, if you like, producing educational materials that also have real news value. 

News is typically fast-paced, timely, and engaging—but not always consistent or well-explained.  Education is systematic, consistent, and well-explained—but not always timely or engaging. We—myself and colleagues Damian Ghigliotty, James Fair, Charli James, and Judy Scherer—believe that combining the best features of news and education can create an innovative and compelling view on the world.

Most of our output up until now has been nonpublic–news/education videos for textbook companies and nonprofits (feel free to contact me at if you are interested and want to hear more).  

But in our spare moments,  as it were, we put together our first public site, VisibleDeficits (  VisibleDeficits is a prototype site that shows, I hope, one way of combining the best features of news and education. We picked state and local budget deficits as our opening topic–the ‘seed’ –because of the broadness and relevance of the issue. We will regularly update and expand the material on the site. 

Going forward, we intend to roll out other ‘seeds,’  under the general rubric of News and Education TV.  Seeds can either be news topics, like innovation, unemployment or immigration; or educational topics, like political science, sociology or how to find a job.

We’re very interested in hearing comments, negative or positive, about VisibleDeficits.   And if anyone would like to contribute either news or educational pieces on state and local budget deficits, or suggest potential seeds, that would be great as well.

Finally, great thanks to Damian, James, Charli, and Judy, the people who have actually done the hard work of putting together VisibleDeficits, as well as reporting and producing many other news/educational videos over the past year. They have all done great innovative and original work, breaking new ground in journalism and education.


  1. Not on this topic but this will make your head explode, via Bloomberg this AM:

    “Underemployment also affects consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the world’s largest economy, according to economist Scott Brown at Raymond James & Associates Inc. in St. Petersburg, Florida.”

  2. Chris Mitchell says:

    The videos could use some capsule text summaries immediately below. Scanning full stories for context may be too much to expect.

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