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Starbucks to Back Social Issue Storytelling with Washington Post Journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran

Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Riccardo S. Savi/Getty Images

Starbucks has promoted movies, books and music inside its stores, even producing some of it on its own. Now the coffee retailer will co-produce nonfiction TV documentaries and other projects with Washington Post journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran.

Chandrasekaran is leaving the newspaper in order to form a new production company that will be based in Seattle, where Starbucks is headquartered.

The coffee company isn’t investing in Chandrasekaran’s company, but will back select projects that tackle social issues.

The productions are meant to play a positive and constructive role with regard to issues that matter to Americans.

“My initial focus will be to develop television and film projects tied to ‘For Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can Teach Us About Citizenship, Heroism and Sacrifice,’ the book I wrote last year with (Starbucks CEO) Howard Schultz,” Chandrasekaran posted on his Facebook page. “I’m heartbroken to leave the Washington Post, but this is an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

“For Love of Country” focuses on how veterans’ lives have changed before and after their years of service. Chandrasekaran was a former bureau chief in Baghdad for the Post, before becoming a senior correspondent and associate editor for the Washington, D.C.-based newspaper. He has worked there for the past two decades.

Starbucks’ Schultz has long been concerned with how veterans returning from America’s foreign wars are treated, and last year he committed to employ thousands of vets and their spouses at its stores.

Chandrasekaran also has written “Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Baghdad’s Green Zone.”