Starbucks is launching its own media company that will produce long-form documentaries, focusing on social justice issues.
The news broke late last week when The Columbia Journalism Review reported that The Washington Post’s Rajiv Chandrasekaran would be leaving to help form the new venture.
The startup will produce longform “social-impact content” in the form of non-fiction documentaries — with an initial focus on veterans’ issues. The partnership is rooted in Chandrasekaran’s 2014 book about veterans, For Love of Country, which he co-authored with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.
Chandrasekaran insists the new venture is not a public relations or marketing machine, but is Starbucks and Howard Schultz “recognizing the power of storytelling and wanting to help contribute to the national understanding around a set of key issues.”
The plan is to start small, working with documentarians from film or television on specific projects, and later bring on additional business partners — and branch out to different topics. However, Starbucks has not yet made any official announcements about the project, or its specifics.
In other recent Starbucks news, the coffee company was recently named one of the world ‘Most Admired’ companies by Fortune magazine for its progressive track record in corporate sustainability. Starbucks was one of more than 200 companies to sign on to support the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. In addition, the company last year partnered with Arizona State University to offer employees free college tuition.