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

    • News

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.

    Little Fires Everywhere

    Little Fires Everywhere

    Trump may be out of office, but the GOP's campaign to limit voting rights, free speech, and reproductive rights is still in full-swing. On this week’s On the Media, where do you focus your attention when there are little fires everywhere? Plus, a look at a chilling new look for America: the "authoritarian mullet" — culture war in the front, the destruction of democracy in the back. And, how critical race theory became a right-wing bogeyman. 

    1. Jay Rosen [@jayrosen_nyu], professor of journalism at New York University and media critic for PressThink, on why journalists should still be in "emergency mode." Listen.

    2. Jake Grumbach [@JakeMGrumbach], assistant professor of political science at the University of Washington, on how Republican state lawmakers reduce "democratic performance" when they take power. Listen.

    3. Ryan P. Delaney [@rpatrickdelaney], education reporter for St. Louis Public Radio, on a Missouri school district's debate over Critical Race Theory, and Adam Harris [@AdamHSays], staff writer at The Atlantic, on how conservatives constructed the critical race theory boogeyman. Listen.

    Music:

    Little Motel - Modest Mouse 

    Auld Lang Syne  - Salsa Celtica 

    L’Illusionista - Nino Rota  

    Paperback Writer - Quartetto d'Archi Dell'orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Guiseppe Verdi

    Milestones - Bill Evans Trio

    Going Home - Hank Jones & Charlie Haden  (post at 2:24 or 3:07)

    Quizás, Quizás, Quizás - Ramón Solé (back time this)

    In the Bath - Randy Newman

    • 50 min
    One of the Most Influential Black Journalists You Probably Never Heard Of

    One of the Most Influential Black Journalists You Probably Never Heard Of

    Record numbers of journalists formed unions over the last few years, surpassing data even from the surges of labor organizing in the 1930s. And the pandemic didn't slow the trend. Just this week journalists at the Atlantic announced that they were forming a union affiliated with the News Guild.

    But even with all the recent coverage, it's unlikely that you've heard of the very first person to lead a journalism unionization effort. Marvel Cooke was a crusading Black journalist who organized one of the first chapters of the Newspaper Guild...and she reported on labor and race until she was pushed out of journalism by redbaiting.  

    Lewis Raven Wallace is the creator of The View from Somewhere, a podcast about journalism with a purpose, and author of the book The View from Somewhere: Undoing the Myth of Journalistic Objectivity. 

    For years he’s been researching journalists in U.S. history whose stories haven’t been thoroughly told — because they were marginalized by a structure that didn’t see them as “real” “objective” reporters. And that’s what happened to Marvel Cooke...

    • 24 min
    Shamed and Confused

    Shamed and Confused

    After a young Associated Press journalist lost her job last month following online attacks, On the Media considers how bad faith campaigns against the media have become an effective weapon for the far right. Plus, should we cancel the word “cancel”? One journalist argues, yes, and one academic says, no. Plus, the origins of "cancelled" in Black culture. 

    1. OTM reporter Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger] on the A.P.'s firing of Emily Wilder, and how newsrooms can learn to respond to right-wing smears without firing valued journalists. Listen. 

    2. Michael Hobbes [@RottenInDenmark], co-host of You're Wrong About, on the anecdotes that fuel "political correctness" and "cancel culture" panics. Listen. 

    3. 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. 

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

     

    Music from this week's show:

    Main Title, Ragtime - Randy Newman What’s that Sound?  - Thomas Newman Middlesex Times - Michael AndrewsBubble Wrap - Thomas NewmanBlues: La Dolce Vita dei Nobili - Nino RotaBubble Wrap - Thomas NewmanYou Sexy Thing - Hot Chocolate

    • 50 min
    OTM Presents: "Blindspot: Tulsa Burning"

    OTM Presents: "Blindspot: Tulsa Burning"

    On May 31, 1921, Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Greenwood District was a thriving Black residential and business community — a city within a city. By June 1, a white mob, with the support of law enforcement, had reduced it to ashes. And yet the truth about the attack remained a secret to many for nearly a century.

    Chief Egunwale Amusan grew up in Tulsa — his grandfather survived the attack — and he’s dedicated his life to sharing the hidden history of what many called “Black Wall Street.” But Dr. Tiffany Crutcher, also a descendant of a survivor, didn’t learn about her family history or the massacre until she was an adult. Together, they’re trying to correct the historical record.  As Greenwood struggles with the effects of white supremacy 100 years later, people there are asking: in this pivotal moment in American history, is it possible to break the cycle of white impunity and Black oppression? Our WNYC colleague KalaLea tells the story. 

    This podcast contains descriptions of graphic violence and racially offensive language. This is the first episode of Blindspot: Tulsa Burning, a new series from WNYC Studios and The HISTORY Channel. 

    • 36 min
    Not a Perfect Science

    Not a Perfect Science

    COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. are falling and the number of the vaccinated continue to rise, but the pandemic’s harm to our mental health is still beyond measure. This week, On the Media explores how society is describing its pandemic state of mind. Plus, a look at the high-stakes fight to drag science out from behind paywalls.

    1. Roxanne Khamsi [@rkhamsi] speaks with Science Magazine staff writer Meredith Wadman [@meredithwadman] on the Global Initiative On Sharing All Influenza Data, known as GISAID. Listen.

    2. Roxanne Khamsi [@rkhamsi] speaks with Bloomberg's Justin Fox [@foxjust] and Josh Sommer [@sommerjo] about the movement to make science journals open access. Listen.

    3. Roxanne Khamsi [@rkhamsi] speaks with The Cut's Molly Fischer [@mollyhfischer] about the rise of therapy apps. Listen.

    4. OTM producer Eloise Blondiau [@eloiseblondiau] with Jerry Useem, Adam Grant [@AdamMGrant], Dr. Laurence Kirmayer, Anne Harrington and Dr. Monnica Williams [@DrMonnica] on naming and soothing our pandemic mental health woes. Listen.

    Music from this week's show:

    John Zorn — Prelude 4: DiatesseronJack Body/Kronos Quartet — Long-GeUnknown — Solo Cello Suite No. 1John Zorn — Night ThoughtsMarcos Ciscar — Time Is LateKronos Quartet — MisteriososFranck Pourcel — Story Weather

     

    • 50 min
    I Would Prefer Not To

    I Would Prefer Not To

    We live in a time of sensory overload and overwhelm. A global pandemic, an ongoing climate catastrophe, and online discourse run amok. And a sense that we are powerless to do anything about any of it. In response, artist and writer Jenny Odell has a curious prescription: do nothing. In her 2019 book How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, Odell advocates for occupying a space of "critical refusal": rejecting the terms of engagement as they're handed down to us and removing ourselves from the clamor and undue influence of public opinion. With lessons from ecology, art, history and beyond, Odell tells Brooke about her own journey toward more context and contemplation, and offers listeners an alternative way to think and be in relation to an overstimulating world.

    This segment is from our July 12th, 2019 program, Uncomfortably Numb.

    • 18 min

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