120 episodes

The Peabody Award-winning On the Media podcast is your guide to examining how the media sausage is made. Host Brooke Gladstone examines 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.

On the Media itunesu_sunset

    • News
    • 4.7 • 7.6K Ratings

The Peabody Award-winning On the Media podcast is your guide to examining how the media sausage is made. Host Brooke Gladstone examines 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.

    Snow...in the tropics?

    Snow...in the tropics?

    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.

    You can learn more about Antonio Martorell in a recent documentary called El Accidente Feliz. His portrait of the mayor is here. 

    The snowball fight is also the subject of a piece by the artist Sofía Gallisá Muriente, called Lluvia con nieve, now part of Whitney's collection.

    Ana Teresa Toro’s new book of poetry is “Flora animal.”

    • 28 min
    A Question of War

    A Question of War

    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.

    2. Barbara Walter [@bfwalter], professor of International Relations at the University of California, San Diego, on the tell-tale signs that a country is headed for insurgence. Listen.

    3. Charlie Warzel [@cwarzel], journalist and contributing writer at The Atlantic, on when journalists should sound the alarm (and how loud we should ring it). Listen.

    4. David M. Perry [@Lollardfish] and Matthew Gabriele [@prof_gabriele], authors of The Bright Ages: A New History of Medieval Europe, on how the Dark Ages might have not been so dark. Listen.

    Music:

    Wade in the Water by Hank Jones and Charlie HadenThe Glass House - Marjane’s Inspiration by David BergeaudSeinfeld Theme - Jonathan WolffLowland’s Away by Gregory Blavenz - The Us Army Fife And Drum CorpsHarpsichord - Four TetAd summan missam: Santus II by Ensemble Aeolus

    • 50 min
    Is New York Times v Sullivan on the Chopping Block?

    Is New York Times v Sullivan on the Chopping Block?

    None

    • 13 min
    Road To Insurrection

    Road To Insurrection

    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. 

    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 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.

    Music:

    Tick Of The Clock by ChromaticsCyclic Bit by Raymond ScottGenocide by Link WrayProcession Of The Grand Moghul by Korla Pandit Gormenghast by John Zorn

    • 50 min
    Aaron Swartz: The Wunderkind of the Free Culture Movement

    Aaron Swartz: The Wunderkind of the Free Culture Movement

    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."

    • 29 min
    Reputation

    Reputation

    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.

    1. Michael Hobbes [@RottenInDenmark], co-host of Maintenance Phase, on the anecdotes that fuel "political correctness" and "cancel culture" panics. Listen. 

    2. Erec Smith [@Rhetors_of_York], associate professor of rhetoric and composition at the York College of Pennsylvania, on his experience being "cancelled" within an academic context. Listen. 

    3. Clyde McGrady [@CAMcGrady], features writer for The Washington Post, on the derivation and misappropriation of the word "cancelled." Listen.

    4. Elizabeth Becker [@Elizbeckerwrite], author of You Don't Belong Here, on how women journalists covered the Vietnam War in groundbreaking ways, and yet were forgotten by history. Listen.

    Music:

    Middlesex Times by Michael AndrewsBubble Wrap by Thomas NewmanYou Sexy Thing (Remix) by Hot ChocolateJohn’s Book Of Alleged Dances  by Kronos QuartetCarmen Fantasy by Anderson & Row

    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
7.6K Ratings

7.6K Ratings

Ricky Tenderkiss ,

Witty, insightful, and timely

On the Media forms the nutritious center of my radio/podcast-listening diet!

Offering intelligent, incisive, and in-depth analyses across multiple segments every hourlong show, Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield choose topics of concern to world citizens, and dissect and present those from the perspective of savvy media analysts. Not only the "what", but the "how" of reporting is covered, laying bare the mechanics of mass media … as well as of the corporate interests which often fuel it.

As heavy as that sounds, the show is accessible and entertaining. Invariably, along with keeping listeners abreast of politics, journalism, mass entertainment and pop culture, each episode also elicits more than a chuckle or two.

Without Brooke, Bob, and their correspondents, my world would be a poorer place indeed. HIGHLY recommended!!

Edgie V ,

Please analyze the media, not the news

I wish there was a show that analyzes and reflects On how the Media is covering the news, and how to be better at hearing bias.

cibocinese ,

Used to be good

More and more it is heavily biased, and worse, predictable.

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