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 WNYC Studios

    • News
    • 4.7 • 7.7K 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.

    The Divided Dial: Episode 3 - The Liberal Bias Boogeyman

    The Divided Dial: Episode 3 - The Liberal Bias Boogeyman

    How did the right get their vice grip of the airwaves, all the while arguing that they were being silenced and censored by a liberal media? In this episode we look at the early history of American radio to reveal that censorship of far-right and progressive voices alike was once common on radio. And we learn how, in the post-war and Civil Rights period, the US government encouraged more diverse viewpoints on the airwaves — until it didn’t.
    The Divided Dial is hosted by journalist and Fulbright Fellow Katie Thornton. Her written articles and audio stories have appeared in The Atlantic, 99% Invisible, The Washington Post, BBC, NPR, WNYC, Minnesota Public Radio, The Guardian, Bloomberg’s CityLab, National Geographic, and others. She is a lifelong radio nerd who got her start in media as a teenager, volunteering and working behind the scenes at radio stations for many years. You can follow her work on Instagram or on her website.


    The Divided Dial was edited by On the Media's executive producer, Katya Rogers. With production support from Max Balton and fact-checking by Tom Colligan, Sona Avakian, and Graham Hacia. Music and sound design by Jared Paul. Jennifer Munson is our technical director. Art by Michael Brennan. Special thanks this episode to Tianyi Wang.

    With support from the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

    • 32 min
    Bark and Bite

    Bark and Bite

    Conspiracy theories and disinformation have found a home on right-wing talk radio, where falsehoods often escape scrutiny from regulators and fact-checkers. On this week’s On the Media, hear how one Christian radio network grew a gargantuan audience and served up the Big Lie. Plus, a look at how the rise in LGBTQ hate online is connected to the deadly shooting in Colorado.

    1. Jo Yurcaba [@JoYurcaba], a journalist focused on LGBTQ+ issues for NBC News, on how anti-trans rhetoric contributed to increasing fears in the queer community in the days leading up to the shooting in Colorado Springs. Plus, Sophie Bjork-James [@sbjorkjames], Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Vanderbilt University, on the impact of religious fundamentalism in supporting ant-LGBTQ+ talking points. Listen.

    2. Journalist Katie Thornton, host of "The Divided Dial," on the how right-wing talk radio embraced election lies. Part 1 & Part 2.

    • 50 min
    11/22/63

    11/22/63

    In television's younger days, going live was extremely difficult, costly and rare. But in November of 1963 a monumental tragedy made live coverage essential, no matter the cost, whenever a president left the White House. WNYC’s Sara Fishko recollects those dreadful days in November when everyone was paralyzed in front of the small screen.  

    • 11 min
    The Divided Dial: Episode 2 - From Pulpit to Politics

    The Divided Dial: Episode 2 - From Pulpit to Politics

    Episode 2: From Pulpit to Politics

    How did the little-known Salem Media Group come to have an outsized political influence? In this episode we trace the company’s rise to power from its scrappy start in the 1970s to the present day — a growth that paralleled and eventually became inextricable from the growth of the Religious Right. We learn that Salem is tightly networked with right wing political strategists, pollsters, big donors, far right leaders and Republican party mainstays thanks to their involvement with the Council for National Policy — a secretive group of Evangelical and conservative leaders. For decades, the CNP has been working behind the scenes to get a specific, highly influential subset of voters to act. And Salem has been a megaphone for their cause.

    The Divided Dial is hosted by journalist and Fulbright Fellow Katie Thornton. Her written articles and audio stories have appeared in The Atlantic, 99% Invisible, The Washington Post, BBC, NPR, WNYC, Minnesota Public Radio, The Guardian, Bloomberg’s CityLab, National Geographic, and others. She is a lifelong radio nerd who got her start in media as a teenager, volunteering and working behind the scenes at radio stations for many years. You can follow her work on Instagram or on her website.


    The Divided Dial was edited by On the Media's executive producer, Katya Rogers. With production support from Max Balton and fact-checking by Tom Colligan, Sona Avakian, and Graham Hacia. Music and sound design by Jared Paul. Jennifer Munson is our technical director. Art by Michael Brennan.

    With support from the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

    • 33 min
    Flipping The Bird

    Flipping The Bird

    Since Elon Musk took over Twitter, there has been nothing short of crisis — leading to massive layoffs and lost advertisers. On this week’s On the Media, what this chaos means for activists worldwide who used the platform as a public square. Plus, how political predictions distort coverage of elections. 

    1. James Fallows [@JamesFallows], writer of the “Breaking the News” newsletter on Substack, on the political press' obsession with telling the future and the narratives that have a chokehold on elections coverage. Listen.

    2. Zoë Schiffer [@ZoeSchiffer], Managing Editor of Platformer, on the mass exodus of employees from one of the world's most significant social media sites. Listen.

    3. Avi Asher-Schapiro [@AASchapiro], tech reporter for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, on the impact of Musk's leadership on Twitter users around the world. Listen.

    4. Clive Thompson [@pomeranian99], journalist and author of Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World, on the website many are fleeing to amid chaos at Twitter. Listen.

    • 50 min
    Mastodon: The Platform Taking Twitter's Worn and Weary

    Mastodon: The Platform Taking Twitter's Worn and Weary

    In the wake of the five alarm fire at Twitter, a small, quiet social media alternative has been quietly attracting the tweeting weary. Mastodon, named for the prehistoric elephant relatives, was originally created by a German programmer named Eugen Rochko in 2016. And even though it shares similarities to its blue bird peer, the two platforms possess many differences. For one, Mastodon is organized by groups called "servers" or "instances," there's no universal experience like on Twitter. It's also completely decentralized — each server is run by individuals or small groups — with no overseeing company. But is it here to stay? This week, Brooke sits down with Clive Thompson, a tech journalist and author of the book Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World, to talk about why people like Mastodon, who it's for, and why we should watch its latest evolution.

    You can find Clive Thompson on Mastodon at @clive@saturation.social and OTM by searching @onthemedia@journa.host.

    • 25 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
7.7K Ratings

7.7K Ratings

Cosi-Candel ,

Why?

Why do you constantly say Democrats don’t talk about their wins? Why do you constantly say they “cower”? Quit doing that. We know the good stuff. Plenty of people are out educating the public. Those words of yours add to the Republican harm.

Sillyvalley ,

Terrible sound design in episode two

Reflection on mass media itself is important. This show mostly has great content. The most recent Divided Dial miniseries is no exception. But the second episode of the series has such horrible background “music” that the I thought my phone mixed up sounds from a music app! I nearly didn’t finish the episode because it was extremely hard to understand her words when the stupid “music” was playing.

chillummonk ,

Bob Garfield loss killed the show

This used to be a such a great show but with the exit of Bob Garfield, the show is toast. Brooke Gladstone is a glorified announcer at best. She is no journalist and even less capable as a show host. Topics are poorly researched if at all. Guests spout whatever nonsense they want and there is no pushback or cross questioning. Ultimately What you get is a program that is an insult to public radio and an easy target for criticism. Sad.

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