On the Media
On the Media
WNYC Studios
The Peabody Award-winning On the Media podcast is your guide to examining how the media sausage is made. Hosts Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield examine threats to free speech and government transparency, cast a skeptical eye on media coverage of the week’s big stories and unravel hidden political narratives in everything we read, watch and hear. WNYC Studios is a listener-supported producer of other leading podcasts including Radiolab, Snap Judgment, Death, Sex & Money, Nancy and Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin. © WNYC Studios
Well, That Was Some Weird Sh*t
On this week’s show, we take a deep breath. Plus, journalists reflect on the deep damage done to our information ecosystem and how we can begin to repair it. And, Brooke and Bob take a journey through 20 years of OTM. 1. Brooke and Bob on the (short-lived) reprieve following the 45th president's departure, and McKay Coppins [@mckaycoppins], staff writer at The Atlantic, on how the environment for "elite" journalists has changed in the past four years. Listen. 2. Yamiche Alcindor [@Yamiche], White House correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, Jay Rosen [@jayrosen_nyu], media critic and journalism professor at New York University, and Karen Attiah [@KarenAttiah], global opinions editor at the Washington Post, on what they've learned as journalists from the Trump era, and what comes next. Listen. 3. Bob and Brooke reflect on more than a thousand shows together, and twenty years of On the Media. Listen. Music from the show:Misterioso — Kronos Quartet Passing Time — John Renbourn Newsreel — Randy NewmanA Ride with Polly Jean — Jenny ScheinmanYou're Getting to be a Habit with Me — Bing Crosby & Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians  
Jan 22
50 min
The Trump Inc. Podcast Made a Time Capsule
This story was co-published with ProPublica. A birth certificate, a bar receipt, a newspaper ad, a board game, a Ziploc bag of shredded paper, a pair of museum tickets, some checks, and a USB drive. The series finale of Trump, Inc. This episode was reported by Andrea Bernstein, Meg Cramer, Anjali Kamat, Ilya Marritz, Katherine Sullivan, Eric Umansky, and Heather Vogell. We assembled our time capsule at Donald J. Trump State Park; it will be stored until 2031 with WNYC's archives department. This is the last episode of Trump, Inc. But it's not the end of our reporting: subscribe to our newsletter for updates on what we're doing next. Show your support with a donation to New York Public Radio.
Jan 20
48 min
You Missed a Spot
Evidence shows that insurrectionists used the walkie-talkie app Zello to help organize the riot at the capitol. On this week’s On the Media, a look at how the platform has resisted oversight, despite warnings that it was enabling right-wing extremism. Plus, how to sniff out the real corporate boycotts from the PR facades. And, how to build social media that doesn't exploit users for profit.  1. OTM reporter Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger] on Zello's role in last week's insurrection, and what the app is finally doing about its militia members. Listen. 2. Casey Newton [@CaseyNewton], writer for Platformer, on why this wave of social media scrubbing might not be such a bad thing. Listen. 3. Siva Vaidhyanathan [@sivavaid], professor of media studies at the University of Virginia, and Americus Reed II [@amreed2], professor of marketing at the Wharton School of Business, on the true costs of corporate boycotts. Listen. 4. Eli Pariser [@elipariser], co-director of Civic Signals, on how to build digital spaces that do not monetize our social activity or spy on us for profit. Listen. Music from the show:Fallen Leaves — Marcos Ciscar The Hammer of Loss — John Zorn — A Vision in Blakelight Hard Times — Nashville Sessions — Songs of the Civil WarWhat’s that Sound? — Michael AndrewsIn the Bath — Randy NewmanBoy Moves the Sun — Michael AndrewsAin’t Misbehavin’ — Hank Jones
Jan 15
50 min
How the School Transmission Conversation Became So Muddled
Over the past 10 months, debates have raged over how to keep the coronavirus in check. What to open? What to close? Where does the virus spread, and where are we relatively safe? Through it all, one kind of space in particular has been the subject of vigorous debate — and, starting a few months into the virus, a kind of unexpected conventional wisdom emerged: that schools were relatively safe. In the midst of the darkness, it brought some welcome light: kids are safe! They can go to school! While other institutions closed, countries around the world — particularly in Europe and the UK — kept their schools open. And yet, in response to rising rates and a new, more contagious variant, many of those same countries have since closed their school doors. It turns out that, if you believe the epidemiologists, schools do, in fact, bring risk of transmission. How could we ever have thought otherwise? Rachel Cohen has been covering the debates around school closings and openings, most recently at The Intercept. In this week's podcast extra, she tells Brooke about how the school transmission narrative has evolved since the beginning of the pandemic, and how our understanding of the issue came to be so muddled.
Jan 12
17 min
Breaking the Myth
On this week’s On The Media, journalists struggle to find the words to describe what happened at the capitol on Wednesday. Was it a riot? A mob? An insurrection? Plus, why supporters of the president’s baseless election fraud theories keep invoking the “lost cause” myth of the confederacy. And, taking a second look at "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." 1. Brooke [@OTMBrooke] and Bob [@bobosphere] on the events at the Capitol on Wednesday. Listen. 2. Caroline Janney [@CarrieJanney], historian of the Civil War at University of Virginia, on the evolution of the post-Civil War Lost Cause mythology. Listen. 3. Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw [@sandylocks], professor of law at UCLA and Columbia Law School, on how post-Civil War appeasement allowed for the perpetuation of white supremacy in the United States. Listen. 4. Jack Hamilton [@jack_hamilton], associate professor of American studies and media studies at the University of Virginia, on the mixed and missed messages in the rock anthem "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" by The Band. Listen. Music from this week's show:Invitation to a Suicide — John ZornSneaky Adventure — Kevin MacLeodGlass House/Curtains — David BergeaudThe Last Bird — Zoe KeatingLost, Night — Bill FrisellUsing the Apostate Tyrant as His Tool — Kronos QuartetThe Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down — The BandThe Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down — Richie Havens
Jan 8
50 min
The World, Remade
With vaccinations underway, we’re edging closer and closer to the end of the pandemic. This week, On The Media looks at how the pandemic has shaped what’s possible for the future — from the built environment to the way we work to the way we learn.  1. Sam Kling [@SamKling2], American Council of Learned Societies public fellow, on whether cities like New York were bound to become hubs for disease. Listen. 2.  Vanessa Chang [@vxchang], lecturer at California College of the Arts, explains how pandemics of the past have been instrumental in shaping architecture; Mik Scarlet [@MikScarlet] delineates the social model of disability; and Sara Hendren [@ablerism], author of What Can A Body Do?: How We Meet the Built World, describes how the wisdom of people with disabilities can inform the redesign our post-pandemic world. Listen. 3. OTM reporter Micah Loewinger [@micahloewinger] tells the story of how distance learning saved his friend's life. Listen.  
Jan 1
49 min
A Brief History of Timekeeping
We spend our lives bound to a clock and calendar that tell us what to do and what to expect. But now, millions of Americans are newly jobless, untethered from structure and predictability. Hundreds of of thousands fight a virus that could cut their time on earth dramatically short. And all of us wait out a life-stoppage of unknown duration. And so, we may find ourselves outside of time. Passing it, but no longer marking it. Anthony F. Aveni, professor emeritus of astronomy, anthropology, and Native American studies at Colgate University, says that to understand our current time consciousness, we have to return to a land before time — or at least, time as we know it. Aveni and Bob talk about the history of timekeeping, and how we might find our orientation during this collective time-out. This is a segment from our April 24th, 2020 program, On Matters of Time and Space.
Dec 30, 2020
19 min
What Just Happened?!
The new year approaches, marking an end to a truly unexpected trip around the sun. This week, On the Media reflects on our 2020 coverage, from the pandemic to the global uprising to the rise of the anti-majoritarian right.  With excerpts from: The Virality of Virality, January 31, 2020 Epidemic Voyeurs No More, February 28, 2020 Infectious Diseases Show Societies Who They Really Are, March 6, 2020 Why The Toilet Paper Shortage Makes More Sense Than You Think, April 10, 2020 Is The Pandemic Making Us Numb To One Another's Pain?, December 11, 2020 Is This 'Unrest' or an 'Uprising'?, June 5, 2020 Why Activists Are Demanding That Cities "Defund the Police", June 12, 2020 Movements, Sanitized In Hindsight, June 19, 2020 Imprecision 2020, November 5, 2020 They Prepared for War With Antifa. Antifa Never Came., June 12, 2020 With #SaveTheChildren Rallies, QAnon Sneaks Into The Offline World, August 26, 2020 The Ancient Heresy That Helps Us Understand QAnon, November 20, 2020 The Right's Long History of Ignoring the Will of the People, November 6, 2020 Against Democracy, October 9, 2020
Dec 25, 2020
51 min
Unlearning White Jesus
In a time where monuments are being toppled, institutions and icons reconsidered, we turn to a portrait encountered by every American: "White Jesus." You know, that guy with sandy blond hair and upcast blue eyes. For On the Media, Eloise Blondiau traces the history of how the historically inaccurate image became canon, and why it matters. In this segment, Eloise talks to Mbiyu Chui, pastor at the Shrine of the Black Madonna in Detroit, about unlearning Jesus's whiteness. She also hears from Edward Blum, author of The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America, about how the image came dominate in the U.S., and psychologist Simon Howard on how White Jesus has infiltrated our subconsciouses. Lastly, Eloise speaks to Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas, womanist theologian and Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary, about the theology of the Black Christ. This is a segment from our October 1st, 2020 program, God Bless.
Dec 23, 2020
20 min
Who Owns the Future?
Facebook has already been accused of spreading lies and polarizing society. Now, the federal government says it illegally crushed competition. On this week’s On the Media, how to roll back a global power that has transformed our economy and warped our democracy.  1. Dina Srinivasan [@DinaSrinivasan], author of the 2019 paper, “The Antitrust Case Against Facebook,” on digital-age interpretations of the Sherman Antitrust Act. Listen. 2. Carole Cadwalladr [@carolecadwalla], journalist for The Guardian and The Observer, on the harms of Facebook unaddressed by both antitrust law and the company's own attempts at self-regulation. Listen.  3. Shoshana Zuboff [@shoshanazuboff], professor emeritus at Harvard Business School and author of The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, on the data extraction and human futures markets that comprise much of our economy. Listen.    Music: Joeira by Kurup Capernaum by Khaled Mouzanar Okami by Nicola Cruz Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 by Edvard Grieg
Dec 18, 2020
50 min
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