On The Media

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Sinopsis

The smartest, wittiest, most incisive media analysis show in the universe. The weekly one-hour podcast of NPRs On the Media is your guide to how the media sausage is made. Hosts Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield examine threats to free speech and government transparency, criticize media coverage of the weeks big stories, examine new technology, and unravel hidden political narratives in the media. In an age of information overload, OTM helps you dig your way out. The Peabody Award winning show is produced by WNYC Radio.

Episodios

  • Aftershocks

    10/09/2021 Duración: 50min

    Twenty years after the Twin Towers came down, we’re still wrestling over how to make sense of what happened. On this week’s On the Media, how the conspiracies birthed in the aftermath of 9/11 set the stage for the paranoia to come. Plus, how Afghanistan’s thriving new media scene hopes to survive Taliban rule. And, how Ivermectin became politicized. 1. Tolo founder Saad Mohseni [@saadmohseni] on the mounting threat to journalism in Afghanistan. Listen. 2. NYTimes television critic James Poniewozik [@poniewozik] on the documentary styles used to remember 9/11. Listen. 3. OTM's Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger] reports on the legacy of Loose Change. Listen. 4. Mother Jones senior editor Kiera Butler [@kieraevebutler] on how Ivermectin became so politicized. Listen.  

  • Hey Everyone, Meet Sacha Pfeiffer!

    08/09/2021 Duración: 16min

    By way of introduction to the person who will be sitting in for Brooke for a few weeks, we are revisiting our interview about "Spotlight." The 2015 movie depicts the Boston Globe's Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation that uncovered the systemic sexual abuse and widespread cover up in the Catholic church. Brooke spoke with Walter Robinson, who headed the investigation and is played by Michael Keaton in the film, and Sacha Pfeiffer, who was one of the four reporters on the team and is played by Rachel McAdams and who is.....drumroll, going to guest-host OTM! You're in safe hands, listeners. 

  • Organizing Chaos

    03/09/2021 Duración: 49min

    A debate has been raging among the librarians of the world, and it's all about order. The Dewey Decimal System became our way of managing information long ago, but it may be time to reassess. Plus, how one man’s obsession with ordering the natural world took a very dark turn. 1. Lulu Miller [@lmillernpr], author of Why Fish Don't Exist and co-host of WNYC's Radiolab, charts the quest of taxonomist David Starr Jordan to categorize the world. Listen. 2. On the Media producer Molly Scwartz [@mollyfication] takes a deep dive into one imposition of human order so commonplace most of us never notice: the library. But the famed Dewey Decimal System is not an unbiased ordering machine. Featuring: Jess deCourcy Hinds [@HindsJess] librarian at the Bard High School, Early College library in Queens, New York, Wayne A. Wiegand a library historian and author of Irrepressible Reformer: A Biography of Melvil Dewey, Caroline Saccucci, the former Dewey Program Manager at the Library of Congress, and Emily Drabinski [@edrabinsk

  • Biased Algorithms, Biased World

    01/09/2021 Duración: 16min

    Algorithms are everywhere, making crucial decisions at almost every juncture of our lives. But, while we may believe in the objectivity of these mathematical models, they're made from and produce far more bias than we think. Mathematician and former Wall Street quant, Cathy O'Neil wants us to question our unexamined faith in predictive algorithms. Her book, Weapons of Math Destruction, calls out an urgent need to investigate these black box constructions that govern so much of our lives, from going to college and getting a job, to online advertising and criminal sentencing. She and Brooke discuss the science behind predictive algorithms and how they can go terribly wrong. This segment originally aired on our November 22, 2019 program, The Disagreement is the Point.

  • Constitutionally Speaking

    27/08/2021 Duración: 50min

    “The right to throw a punch ends at the tip of someone’s nose.” It’s the idea that underlies American liberties — but does it still fit in 2021? We look back at our country’s radical — and radically inconsistent — tradition of free speech. Plus, a prophetic philosopher predicts America 75 years after Trump. 1. Andrew Marantz [@andrewmarantz], author of Anti-Social: Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation — and our guest host for this hour — explains what he sees as the problem with free speech absolutism. Listen.  2. John Powell [@profjohnapowell], law professor at UC Berkeley, P.E. Moskowitz [@_pem_pem], author of The Case Against Free Speech: The First Amendment, Fascism, and the Future of Dissent, and Susan Benesch [@SusanBenesch], Director of the Dangerous Speech Project, on our complicated legal right to speak. Listen.  3. Andrew and Brooke discuss the philosopher Richard Rorty, whose work can teach us much about where the present approach to speech migh

  • A New First Amendment

    25/08/2021 Duración: 10min

    Nearly six decades ago, the Supreme Court made a decision in the case New York Times v. Sullivan that would forever alter the way journalists practiced journalism. Brooke spoke with Andrew Cohen, senior editor at The Marshall Project and fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, about the decision's impact on the First Amendment. Supreme Court audio courtesy of Oyez®, a multimedia judicial archive at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.

  • Maligned Women

    20/08/2021 Duración: 50min

    Cries to free Britney Spears from her conservatorship this summer have prompted a reevaluation of how the pop star was covered by the press decades ago. This week, On the Media looks at how the maligned women of the 90s and 2000s help us understand our media — and ourselves.  1. Joshua Rofé [@joshua_rofe], filmmaker, and Lorena Gallo (FKA Lorena Bobbitt) on the documentary "Lorena." Listen. 2. Sarah Marshall [@Remember_Sarah] and Michael Hobbes [@RottenInDenmark], hosts of the You're Wrong About podcast, on how coverage of maligned women in the 1990s fueled lasting and harmful myths. Listen. Music: Okami — Nicola CruzRiver Man — Brad Mehldaw TrioFellini’s Waltz — Nino RotaLa Vie En Rose — Toots Thielemans  

  • How Radio Makes Female Voices Sound Shrill

    18/08/2021 Duración: 16min

    "Shrill" popped back up in the national lexicon in the coverage of Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential bid, and again, in a 2020 race filled with female candidates. "This spike in usage is hardly a revelation," writes University of Florida professor Tina Tallon, in a piece for The New Yorker. "Women who speak publicly and challenge authority have long been dismissed as 'shrill' or 'grating.'" But these slurs are not just the product of age-old misogynistic stereotypes. Biases against female voices were perniciously exacerbated by the broadcast technology that powers radio and audio recording technology. They're designed to thin higher frequency voices and enrich lower ones. In this interview from 2019, she and Brooke revisit the proliferation of radio in the 1920's and 1930's, when our ears were trained to prefer listening to men talk, and reflect on how societal gender standards have been shaped since.

  • A 40 Acre Promise

    13/08/2021 Duración: 49min

    Last week, the federal government, in a limited way, extended the eviction moratorium in place since the start of the pandemic. It's a temporary solution to a long-looming crisis — a crisis we explored in our series "The Scarlet E: Unmasking America’s Eviction Crisis" back in 2019. In this excerpt from that series, we catalog the long line of thefts and schemes — most of which were perfectly legal at the time — that led to where we are today: a system, purpose-built, that extracts what it can, turning black and brown renters into debtors and evictees.  Matthew Desmond [@just_shelter], founder of The Eviction Lab and our partner in this series, and Marty Wegbreit, director of litigation for the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, point us toward the legal and historical developments that evolved into the present crisis. And WBEZ’s Natalie Moore [@natalieymoore], whose grandparents moved to Chicago during the Great Migration, shows us around a high-eviction area on Chicago’s South Side.  

  • I'm Brooke Gladstone and I am a Trekker

    11/08/2021 Duración: 15min

    In September 1966, Gene Roddenberry dispatched the crew of the Starship Enterprise on its maiden voyage through space and time and into the American living room. In a vintage OTM piece, Brooke explores the various television incarnations of the franchise and the infinitely powerful engine behind it all: the fan.

  • Bad Idea Machine

    06/08/2021 Duración: 50min

    With Delta Variant cases surging, public health officials are pleading with Americans to get vaccinated ASAP. This week, we examine at how some journalists are turning anti-vaxxer deaths into COVID-19 fables. Plus, we hear from the reporter who tracked down Jeffrey Epstein’s victims. 1. Rebecca Onion [@rebeccaonion], historian and staff writer at Slate, on her latest article "The Fable of the Sick Anti-Vaxxer," and how stories of remorse may only appeal to the vaccinated. Plus, NBC senior reporter and OTM guest host Brandy Zadrozny [@BrandyZadrozny] traces the roots of anti-vaxx propaganda, from the 1980s to today. Listen. 3. Lois Beckett [@loisbeckett], senior reporter at the Guardian, on how a viral anti-trans Instagram video led to a street brawl, and Julia Serano [@JuliaSerano], author of "Whipping Girl, A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity," on where the anti-trans movement gets its playbook. Listen. 4. Julie K. Brown [@jkbjournalist], investigative reporter at the Miami Heral

  • "Haiti Needs a New Narrative"

    04/08/2021 Duración: 14min

    In the wake of the assassination of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse on July 7th, international media rushed to cover Haiti’s latest political crisis—painting a familiar picture of a nation in turmoil, Haitians in need, and an international community offering rescue. In this week's podcast extra, Nathalie Cerin, co-founder and lead editor of the online Haitian media project Woy Magazine, argues that news consumers just tuning in after the assassination after may miss the bigger picture. Haiti is a country with strong grassroots, pro-democracy movements. But it simultaneously remains plagued by a past (and present) of United States and United Nations' invasion, occupation, and election meddling.  To understand the whole story, guest host Brandy Zadrozny talks to Gina Athena Ulysse, Professor of Feminist Studies at UC Santa Cruz and author of Why Haiti Needs New Narratives, about how the international media too often spreads dehumanizing narratives of perpetual chaos — setting the stage for intervention — and th

  • Undercover and Over-Exposed

    30/07/2021 Duración: 53min

    This week, we consider whether information should ever be off-limits to journalists. It’s a thorny ethical question raised by FBI informants, hacked sources and shockingly intimate personal data. Plus, why a conservative Catholic publication’s outing of a gay priest has garnered criticism from all sides.  1. Ken Bensinger [@kenbensinger], investigative reporter for Buzzfeed News, on what new evidence surrounding the plot to kidnap Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer says about the how the government defines, and attacks, domestic terrorism. Listen. 2. OTM reporter Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger] and guest host Brandy Zadrozny [@BrandyZadrozny] examine whether or not it's possible to ethically use information from data breaches. Featuring: Kevin Collier [@kevincollier], cybersecurity and privacy reporter for NBC News, Kim Zetter [@KimZetter], a journalist covering cybersecurity  and the author of Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon, and Lorax Horne [@bbhorne], wr

  • Occupational Hazards

    23/07/2021 Duración: 50min

    A look at how journalism selectively judges objectivity and bias… Which produces better reporting: proximity to the community you cover? Or distance? Who gets to decide?  1. Joel Simon [@Joelcpj], outgoing executive director of the The Committee to Protect Journalists, on why it's a dangerous time to be a journalist. Listen.  2. Bruce Shapiro [@dartcenter], executive director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia Journalism School, on why trauma shouldn't disqualify reporters from reporting on topics into which they have insight. Listen.  3. Ernest Owens [@mrernestowens], Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists president, about the double-standards facing journalists who have identities or lived experiences that are different from editors who still determine what constitutes "objectivity." Listen.  4. Steve Friess [@stevefriess], editor at Hour Detroit and contributor for Newsweek, looks back at how he covered gay marriage when his own marriage hung in the balance. Listen.  5. Lewis R

  • How a Nightclub Fire Brought Down a Government

    21/07/2021 Duración: 24min

    In 2015, a tragedy gripped Romanian consciousness when a fire at a popular club in the country's capital killed 27 people, injured nearly 200 more, and sparked national protests about corruption. In the weeks following the fire, 37 of those injured died in hospitals — a statistic that authorities and doctors claimed was simply a result of their injuries.  But the victims' families and a small team of reporters at the Romanian daily paper the Sports Gazette had their doubts — doubts that were confirmed when the Gazette learned that a national supplier of medical disinfectants was diluting their products, nearly ten times over, to reap profits and pad the pockets of its CEO. The burn victims of the fire hadn't died from injuries; they died from preventable bacterial infections, a consequence of malpractice that stemmed from doctors, hospital managers and the highest officials in government.  In 2019, filmmaker Alexander Nanau wrote, produced and directed the film Collective, chronicling this saga. Last year, th

  • As You Like It

    16/07/2021 Duración: 49min

    As numbers of the vaccinated rise, theaters around the country are once again opening. In celebration, this week’s show is all about Shakespeare, including how the quintessentially English Bard became an American icon, and what a production in Kabul, Afghanistan meant to the community that produced it. 1. James Shapiro, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, explains how Shakespeare was absorbed into American culture and identity. Listen. 2. Qais Akbar Omar, author of A Fort of Nine Towers, on how a production of Shakespeare resonated in Kabul, Afghanistan. Listen. Music: The Dancing Master: Maiden Lane (John Playford) - The Broadside Band & Jeremy BarlowJohn’s Book of Alleged Dances (John Adams) - Kronos QuartetFife Feature: Lowland’s Away (Roy Watrous) - Gregory S. Balvanz & The US Army Fife and Drum CorpsBallad No. 2 in F, Op. 38 (Chopin) - Ivan MoravecLittle Rose is Gone/Billy in the Lowground - Jim TaylorCollectionFrail As a Breeze - Erik FriedlanderThe De Lesseps

  • Painting for the Future and Talking to the Dead

    14/07/2021 Duración: 24min

    Hilma af Klint was a Swedish painter born in 1862 who painted big, bold canvases suffused with rich, strange colors denoting masculine and feminine, the gush of life and the serenity of cosmic order. She found inspiration in unorthodox places, including the spirit realm. And she had a vision: that her work would one day be displayed in a spiral temple. For decades after her death, her work was hidden away — at first by her request, and then because it couldn't find an audience. Now that it's on display in a building like the one she imagined, her work is a sensation that has invited a radical re-imagining of the history of abstract art. In 2019, Brooke walked through the exhibit with senior curator Tracey Bashkoff, who brought af Klint's work to the Guggenheim after discovering it in a catalogue. Next, Brooke explores Spiritualism — a movement that shaped af Klint's life and work. Broadly defined as a religious movement based on the idea that the living can communicate with spirits dwelling in the afterlife —

  • Blame It On the Booze

    09/07/2021 Duración: 50min

    Nearly a quarter of American adults reported drinking more at home to cope with their pandemic blues. This week, we take a deep dive into the ancient history of booze, how Americans normalized drinking alone, and how the media shaped the shifting reputation of red wine. Plus, can scientists cook up a synthetic alcohol with all its perks, and none of its dangers? 1. Kate Julian [@katejulian], senior editor at the Atlantic, on America's long and fraught history with solitary drinking. Listen. 2. Iain Gately, author of Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol, on the ancient origins of our core beliefs about booze. Listen. 3. Robert Taylor, managing editor at Wine Spectator Video, on red wine's constantly changing reputation as a healthy substance. Listen. 4. David Nutt [@ProfDavidNutt], psychologist at Imperial College London, on his alcohol substitute, once called "alcosynth," now rebranded as "alcarelle." Listen. Music: When I Get Low I Get High - Ella Fitzgerald Tomorrow Never Knows - Quartetto D/Archi Dell'Orc

  • Aaron Copland's Sound of America

    07/07/2021 Duración: 25min

    There are many Americas. Nowadays they barely speak to each other. But during the most perilous years of the last century, one young composer went in search of a sound that melded many of the nation's strains into something singular and new. He was a man of the left, though of no political party: gay, but neither closeted nor out; Jewish, but agnostic, unless you count music as a religion. This independence day (or near enough!), we revisit Sara Fishko's 2017 piece on the story of Aaron Copland.  

  • The Road to Insurrection

    02/07/2021 Duración: 49min

    This week marks six months since January 6th, the day a pro-Trump mob stormed the US Capitol. Over 500 rioters have since been arrested, but the legal consequences of what they did are only just beginning to roll in. In this hour, we revisit reporting by OTM's Micah Loewinger surrounding the organizing tactics, media narratives, and evolution of far-right militias.  1. OTM reporter Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger] on the efforts to shape the media narrative among gun rights activists at Virginia's Lobby Day. Listen. 2. OTM reporter Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger] and Militia Watch founder Hampton Stall [@HamptonStall] investigate how a walkie-talkie app called Zello is enabling armed white supremacist groups to gather and recruit. Featuring: Joan Donovan [@BostonJoan] Research Director of the Shorenstein Center at Harvard University, and Megan Squire [@MeganSquire0] Professor of Computer Science at Elon University. Listen. 3. OTM reporter Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger] on Zello's role in the January 6th

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