While maintaining the civility and fairness that are the hallmarks of public radio, OTM tackles sticky issues with a frankness and transparency that has built trust with listeners and led to more than a tripling of its audience in five years.
Since OTM was re-launched in 2001, it has been one of NPR's fastest growing programs, heard on more than 300 public radio stations. It has won Edward R. Murrow Awards for feature reporting and investigative reporting, the National Press Club's Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism and a Peabody Award for its body of work.
January 21, 2022
It’s been over a year since Donald Trump was defeated fair and square in the 2020 election, but polling shows that belief in the Big Lie is as strong as ever. On this week’s On the Media, hear journalists debate how to interview Americans convinced by this dangerous myth. Plus, find out why one political linguist isn’t sure the press can pull democracy back from the brink.
Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered by Brad Mehldau
Cellar Door by Michael Andrews
Cello Song by Nick Drake
Boy Moves the Sun by Michael Andrews
I’m Not Following You by Michael Andrews
White Man Sleeps I by Kronos Quartet
Love Angel by Marcos Ciscar
Traveling Music by Kronos Quartet
January 19, 2022
This week we are airing another episode from the show "La Brega"a podcast about life in Puerto Rico and hosted by former OTM producer Alana Casanova-Burgess.
During the early 1950s, the children of Puerto Rico were invited to an icy winter spectacle. Mayor Felisa Rincón de Gautier, the charismatic mayor of San Juan, arranged for Eastern Airlines to bring a plane-load of snow for a snowball fight in the city. It was a feat that has become legend for a whole generation. But while this winter wonderland came to San Juan free of charge, it wasn't without a cost.
In this special episode of La Brega, we learn how the snow was actually transported to San Juan from Hilda Jimenez, Doña Fela’s assistant. And we hear from some of the people who experienced it up-close. Ignacio Rivera (of the radio program Fuego Cruzado) was 8 years old and threw snowballs; the artist Antonio Martorell remembers that too, but also sees the event as part of Puerto Rico’s troubling colonial relationship with the United States. Seventy years later – when ice is at an even greater premium – journalist and author Ana Teresa Toro says Puerto Rico is still grappling with how to understand that special delivery.
To learn more about Doña Fela, we recommend a visit to the Casa Museo Felisa Rincón de Gautier.
January 14, 2022
Since the insurrection on January 6, warnings of a second American Civil War have been sounded. This week, On the Media explores whether the civil war talk is an alarmist cry, or actually a sober assessment. Plus, hear how the myth of “the Dark Ages” paints an unfair portrait of medieval times.
1. David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker and host of the New Yorker Radio Hour, on the risk of second civil war. Listen.
Wade in the Water by Hank Jones and Charlie Haden
The Glass House - Marjane’s Inspiration by David Bergeaud
Seinfeld Theme - Jonathan Wolff
Lowland’s Away by Gregory Blavenz - The Us Army Fife And Drum Corps
Harpsichord - Four Tet
Ad summan missam: Santus II by Ensemble Aeolus
January 13, 2022
January 7, 2022
It’s been one year since the armed insurrection at the Capitol, what do we know now about how it happened? On this week’s On the Media, hear about the signs that reveal militia groups were preparing for that day — or something like it — long before January 6th. Plus, how the attack may have transformed the far-right in America.
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 insurrection, and what the app is finally doing about its militia members. Featuring: Marcy Wheeler [@emptywheel] national security reporter for Emptywheel, and Cynthia Miller-Idriss [@milleridriss] Director of Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab at American University, and Jared Holt [@JaredHolt] Resident Fellow at the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab. Listen.
Tick Of The Clock by Chromatics
Cyclic Bit by Raymond Scott
Genocide by Link Wray
Procession Of The Grand Moghul by Korla Pandit
Gormenghast by John Zorn
January 5, 2022
In 2013, 26-year-old software developer and political activist Aaron Swartz died by suicide. He had been indicted on federal charges after illegally downloading 4.8 million articles from JSTOR, a database of academic journals, and potentially faced a million dollar fine and decades in jail. While his death made headline news, Swartz had long been an Internet folk hero and a fierce advocate for the free exchange of information. In his book, The Idealist, writer Justin Peters places Swartz within the fraught, often colorful, history of copyright in America. Brooke talks with Peters about Swartz's legacy and the long line of "data moralists" who came before him.
Music in this podcast extra:
"Moss Garden" by David Bowie
"Heroes" by David Bowie; performed by The Meridian String Quartet
"Life On Mars?" by David Bowie; performed by The Meridian String Quartet.
This segment originally aired in our January 15, 2016 program, "Terms of Engagement."
December 31, 2021
Should we cancel the word “cancel”? On this week’s On the Media, find out who benefits from the newest culture scare, and a history of "cancellation." Plus, hear how three women reporters covered the Vietnam War against all odds.
Middlesex Times by Michael Andrews
Bubble Wrap by Thomas Newman
You Sexy Thing (Remix) by Hot Chocolate
John’s Book Of Alleged Dances by Kronos Quartet
Carmen Fantasy by Anderson & Row
December 29, 2021
Basketball Hall of Famer Walt "Clyde" Frazier made a successful transition from NBA star to sports broadcaster on the MSG Network. With his cool rhymes and even cooler clothes, Frazier sat down with Brooke for a live event in 2013 to discuss basketball, broadcasting, and the art of being cool.
This segment originally aired in our March 29, 2013 program, "Culture and the Courts, The Legacy of Rand Paul's Filibuster, and More."
December 24, 2021
On this week’s On the Media, a look at the journalists and newspapers we lost in 2021, and hopes for the press in the year ahead. Plus, is the ever-popular genre of true crime good for us? And the mob gets a podcast.
1. Micah Loewinger [@micahloewinger], tells Brooke about a year of newspaper closures, murdered journalists, and the end of the Trump Bump. Listen.
3. Rachel Corbett [@RachelNCorbett], author of You Must Change Your Life: The Story of Rainer Maria Rilke and Auguste Rodin, on why the feds love podcasts by mobsters. Listen.
After The Fact by John Scofield
The Hammer of Los by John Zorn
Smooth Criminal by 2Cellos
December 22, 2021
Merry Christmas, to those who celebrate! To those who don't (and, aw heck, to those who do too) we offer a very special end-of-year gift: fear. More specifically, Brooke's greatest fears, courtesy of our WNYC colleagues 10 Things That Scare Me. Fear is a subject — and experience — near and dear to our beloved Brooke, so we can assure you that this is not a conversation to skip.