Show cover of On the Media

On the Media

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.

Tracks

Too Big to Fail?
On this week’s On the Media, what the data says about how boys and men are struggling today. Plus, the history behind Ticketmaster’s dominance in the live music industry, and how Hollywood trust-busting in the 1930s and 1940s unleashed an era of indie films. 1. Richard Reeves [@RichardvReeves], a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution and author of the book Of Boys and Men: Why the Modern Male Is Struggling, Why It Matters, and What to Do About It, on the research that shows gender disparities growing in a surprising direction. Listen. 2. Moe Tkacik and Krista Brown [@moetkacik and @KristaKBrown], researchers at the American Economic Liberties Project, on how the grunge band Pearl Jam tried to take on Ticketmaster in the 1990s. Listen.  3. Peter Labuza [@labuzamovies], a film historian and researcher with the International Cinematographers Guild, on how a Supreme Court case broke up Hollywood's studio system and what this history can teach us about the present moment. Listen. 
50:45 04/02/2023
Puerto Rico in 8 Songs
Former OTM producer Alana Casanova-Burgess is back with season 2 of her critically acclaimed podcast series, La Brega. This one is all about the music! For over a century, Puerto Rican musicians have been influential across the hemisphere. From the Harlem Hellfighters of WWI who helped develop jazz to the reggaetoneros who dominate today’s charts, Puerto Rican music is everywhere. We start the season with the island’s most celebrated composer Rafael Hernandez, who wrote beloved songs like “Lamento Borincano,” “Ahora Seremos Felices,” and “Perfume de Gardenias” – and one of the island’s unofficial anthems, “Preciosa.” It’s a love song written for Puerto Rico that praises the island’s beauty and, remarkably, also calls out the forces that oppress it. When Bad Bunny exploded onto the scene and became the most-streamed artist in the history of the world, it became undeniable that Puerto Rican lyrics – the poetry of what people sing about, the bregas in every chorus – resonate all over the hemisphere. In September, he put out a music video for his hit “El Apagón,” (“The Blackout,”) which then turned into a mini-documentary about gentrification – the way people from the states are taking advantage of tax benefits and displacing Boricuas. It’s called “Aqui Vive Gente" ("People Live Here"). “El Apagón,” has become somewhat of an anthem – an installment in the long tradition of Puerto Ricans singing about home, longing and belonging, popularized by Rafael Hernandez. But Bad Bunny isn’t singing about yearning for Puerto Rico – his music is often about never even leaving in the first place. It’s about staying, and creating a future for Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico. If the video’s Youtube comments – declarations of solidarity – are any indication, his music has touched on something deeply relatable across Latin America. Learn more about the voices in this episode:• Myzo, the singer from the plane• Bobby Sanabria, Grammy-nominated bandleader and educator• Elena Martínez, folklorist at City Lore and the Bronx Music Heritage Center• Watch Marc Anthony’s performance of “Preciosa”• Watch Bianca Graulau’s documentary “Aquí Vive Gente” (“People Live Here”) Our cover of “Preciosa” is by the artist Xenia Rubinos (out in March). You can listen to first season of La Brega and hear new episodes from this season here. Listen to the La Brega Spotify playlist, featuring music from this episode – and this season. It will be added to each week as new episodes come out.  
27:38 01/02/2023
Sorry, That's Classified
If millions of Americans have access to classified documents, can we really call them secrets? On this week's On the Media, a former Pentagon official explains how America’s bloated classification system came to be. Plus, a look at the stories we tell about Baby Boomers, and how our country might change after they’re gone. 1. Oona Hathaway [@oonahathaway], professor at Yale Law School and former special counsel at the Pentagon, on the complicated nature of classified documents. Listen. 2. Noah Smith [@VildeHaya], contributing reporter for The Washington Post, on how a video game led to leaks of military documents. Listen.  3. Philip Bump [@pbump], national columnist at The Washington Post, on his latest book 'The Aftermath: The Last Days of the Baby Boom and the Future of Power in America.' Listen.  4. Brian Lehrer [@BrianLehrer], host of WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show, on the news events that defined generations. Listen.  Music: Passing Time by John RenbournAtlantic City by Randy NewmanEye Surgery by Thomas NewmanYoung at Heart by Brad MehldauYour Mother Should Know by Brad MehldauWhen I'm 64 by Fred Hersch
50:45 27/01/2023
Operation Podcast: What the CIA's Latest Media Venture Can Teach Us About the Agency
For decades, the Central Intelligence Agency has cultivated its appeal as an organization shrouded in secrecy, engaged in cutting edge tech and no-holds-barred espionage in defense of the US. It’s an image that sells in Hollywood. The CIA also assisted in the making of some movies about some real life operations. But as the agency ages, it continues to strive to stay up to date. In 2022, when the CIA turned 75, the agency launched operation:podcast. Brooke speaks with David Shamus McCarthy, author of Selling the CIA: Public Relations and the Culture of Secrecy, about the latest venture for the agency and the CIA's long history of public relations initiatives.   
26:26 24/01/2023
Great Expectations
Many of us are still cookin’ with gas, but should we? On this week’s On the Media, a look at why gas stoves, and the political flame-war over appliances, are back in the news. Plus, why new research says we’ve left the golden age of science and technology. 1. Paris Marx [@parismarx], the host of the podcast ‘Tech Won’t Save Us,’ and the author of ‘Road to Nowhere: What Silicon Valley Gets Wrong about the Future of Transportation,' on the longstanding debate on electric cars in the US, and whether they really do enough to lower carbon emissions. Listen. 2. Rebecca Leber [@rebleber], a senior reporter covering climate at Vox, on how the controversy surrounding gas stoves is nothing new, and the gas industry's long PR campaign to convince the public that "cooking was gas" is just better. Listen.  3. William Broad [@WilliamJBroad], a science journalist and senior writer at The New York Times, on new research published in Nature that suggests that our mad sprint for scientific breakthroughs has slowed significantly, and what this might mean for science. Listen.   
50:11 20/01/2023
Salvation Through Technology?
Human aspirations for technology are vast. One day, maybe we'll develop technologies that cure cancer. Rid us of viruses. Perhaps fix that pesky climate change. Even, deliver us from death altogether.... But is the increasing belief in salvation through technology just religion in new clothes? Meghan O'Gieblyn is the author of the book God, Human, Animal, Machine: Technology, Metaphor, and the Search for Meaning. In the fall of 2021 Brooke spoke to O'Gieblyn about the shared assumptions of Christian creationists and transhumanist tech leaders, the flawed metaphor of the mind as a computer, and the relationships of humans to the machines we build. This is a segment from our October 15th, 2021 program, Against the Machine.
17:53 18/01/2023
It’s a Machine’s World
Schools across the country are considering whether to ban the new AI chatbot, ChatGPT. On this week’s On the Media, a look at the ever-present hype around AI and claims that machines can think. Plus, the potential implications of handing over decision-making to computers. 1. Tina Tallon [@ttallon], assistant professor of A.I. and the Arts at the University of Florida, on the love-hate relationship with AI technology over the past 70 years, and Nitasha Tiku [@nitashatiku], tech culture reporter for The Washington Post, on history of the tech itself. Listen. 2. Geoffrey Hinton [@geoffreyhinton], a cognitive psychologist and computer scientist, on holograms, memories, and the origins of neural networks. Listen.3. Matt Devost [@MattDevost], international cybersecurity expert and CEO and co-founder of the global strategic advisory firm OODA llc., on the rise of AI-powered weapons and what it means for the future of warfare. Listen. Music:Original music by Tina TallonHorizon 12.2 by Thomas NewmanBubble Wrap by Thomas NewmanSeventy-two Degrees and Sunny by Thomas NewmanEye Surgery by Thomas NewmanFinal Retribution by John ZornLachrymose Fairy by Thomas Newman
50:42 13/01/2023
HBO's "The Last of Us" and The Curse of Video Game Adaptations
This week HBO is set to release its latest show, The Last Of Us, about two strangers, who end up on a perilous journey together through a zombie-infested post-apocalyptic America. The show, starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, is based on a hit video game series of the same name. It should be an easy hit for the network. Yet, the show's creators have had to contend with what's known as the “video game curse.” Dating back to the 1993 Super Mario Bros. movie, adaptations of video games into film and television have left us with a long list of critical failures. From 2022's Uncharted, to the 2021 Mortal Kombat, and the 2016 Assassin’s Creed movie, which earned a whopping 19% on Rotten Tomatoes. This week, OTM Correspondent Micah Loewinger speaks with New Yorker writer and editor, Alex Barasch, about his latest piece ‘Can a Video Game Be Prestige TV?,’ if HBO's latest venture could finally break the infamous curse, and why studios continue to make productions based on video games.  
21:08 11/01/2023
Caution: Fragile!
The start of a new year is a time to look both forward and back. On this week’s On the Media, hear how facing our climate’s fragility could inspire hope, instead of despair. Plus, a physicist explains how creation stories help us understand our place in the universe. 1. Luke Kemp [@LukaKemp], a Research Associate at Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, on a new study that says we need to put more attention on the possibility of human extinction and other climate catastrophes. Bryan Walsh [@bryanrwalsh], editor of Vox’s ‘Future Perfect,’ also explains why our brains have a hard time processing catastrophes like climate change. Listen. 2. Mark Blyth [@MkBlyth], professor of International Economics and Public Affairs at Brown University, on how the economy is ultimately a mirror of our accomplishments, advances, fears, and mistakes. Listen.3. Guido Tonelli, a particle physicist at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, on the importance of creation myths, and what scientists can tell us about the fragility of the universe. Listen. Music in this week's show:Merkabah - John ZornCarmen Fantasy - Anderson & RoeThe Stone - The ChieftainsSuite for Solo Cello No. 6 in D Major (Bach) - Yo Yo MaSentimental Journey - The Sydney Dale OrchestraPeace Piece (Bill Evans) - Kronos QuartetLove Theme from Spartacus - Yusef Lateef
51:00 06/01/2023
A Taxonomy of TikTok Panics
At the end of 2022, Congress passed legislation to ban TikTok from all government devices, citing data privacy concerns and potential ties between the app and the Chinese government. But this isn't the first time the incredibly popular social media platform occupied headlines. Ever since TikTok exploded worldwide in 2018, news outlets across the country have breathlessly reported on TikTok challenges, which they claim range from the bizarre (licking toilet seats) to the dangerous ("National School Shooting Day"). However, the actual reach and impact of these challenges remain mysterious — or, more often, minimal.  On the Media correspondent Micah Loewinger breaks down a short history of these TikTok panics, and looks into the failures of news outlets to judiciously report on overblown TikTok virality, as well as the cyclic paranoia that arises when we face new technology (think: comic books corrupting youth in the 1950s). He poses the question: haven't we been through this already?  Special thanks to New York City Municipal Archives for providing archival audio related to the effects of radio and comics books on children. This segment originally aired on our May 13th, 2022 program, Seeing is Believing.
21:56 04/01/2023
Bookish
In October, a court ruled in favor of the Department of Justice and blocked the merging of two publishing giants: Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster. On this week’s On the Media, hear what readers will lose if conglomerates further monopolize the market. Plus, it turns out readers do not want to curl up with a good ebook. 1. Alexandra Alter [@xanalter], reporter at the New York Times, on how the booming publishing industry is wrestling with supply chain nightmares and more to meet reader demand. Listen. 2. Katy Waldman [@xwaldie], writer at The New Yorker, explains what's at stake in the DOJ v. Penguin Random House case. Listen. 3. Margot Boyer-Dry [@M_BigDeal], freelance culture writer, on why book covers are looking more and more similar, blobs and all. Listen. 4. John B. Thompson, Professor of Sociology at the University of Cambridge, on how Amazon changed the book market for good, and why the appeal of the print book persists. Listen. Music in this week's show:Paperback Writer - Quartetto d’Archi Dell'Orchestra Sinfonica di MilanoGuiseppe VerdiTymperturbably Blue - Duke EllingtonI Could Write A Book - Miles DavisTateh’s Picture Book - Randy NewmanMy Baby Loves A Bunch of Authors - Moxy Fruvous
49:58 30/12/2022
The Origins of America's White Jesus
During this holiday season, you likely encountered public nativity scenes depicting the birth of Jesus, presenting the family with very rare exceptions as white. And the same can be said of his ubiquitous adult portrait –– with fair skin and hair a radiant gold, and eyes fixed on the middle distance. In this segment from 2020, 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 segment first aired in our October 1st, 2020 program, God Bless.  
18:59 28/12/2022
In Retrospect
And just like that, 2022 is coming to a close. On this week's On the Media, a look back at our year of coverage, from Russia’s war on Ukraine, to an unprecedented rise in book bannings at home. Tune in to hear about the fights, fictions, and things we’re still figuring out. With excerpts from: Is Talk of a Possible 'New' Civil War Useful? The Perils of a Gauzy History How Meduza is Adapting to Russia's Crackdown on Speech When the World Starts to Look Away Joe Rogan's Podcast isn't Just 'Entertainment' Musk And The International Reach of Twitter How Anti-LGBTQ Rhetoric Foreshadowed a Deadly Shooting Republicans' Latest Go-To Dog Whistle How to Interview a 'Big Lie' Believer In Georgia, a Conservative Elections Official Stands Up to the Big Lie How Books Get Removed from Classrooms and Libraries Parents vs. Democracy Libraries Under Attack The Big Sigh: An Assessment of Our Economic Future This Much Death is Not 'Normal' The State of Our Immunity Should the Country See What an Assault Rifle Does to the Body of a Child? How Racism Ended a Renaissance of Weight Donald Trump, Ye, and The New Old Anti-Semitism Music:What's That Sound by Michael AndrewsLost, Night by Bill Frisell Fallen Leaves by Marcos CiscarEye Surgery by Thomas NewmanGerman Lullaby by The KiboomersGormenghast by John ZornBerotim by John Zorn featuring Bill Frisell, Carol Emanuel, and Kenny WollesenCellar Door by Michael AndrewsLiquid Spear Waltz by Michael AndrewsHarpsichord by Four Tet 
50:54 24/12/2022
The Divided Dial - BONUS EPISODE!
We covered a lot of ground in the series, so in this bonus episode we wanted to give space to some of the voices we couldn’t fit into the story; a concerned citizen who tried to take the issue of combatting on-air conspiracy theories into her own hands, a journalist who went into the belly of the beast, a former talk radio host and some of the people on the receiving end of the right wing broadcasts...the listeners.  
16:25 21/12/2022
The Good Ol' Days
This year, right-wing groups at home and abroad were animated by wistful recollections of the past. On this week's On the Media, hear how nostalgia is weaponized in politics. Plus, a deep dive into newspaper archives reveals that we’ve been having the same debates for over a century. 1. Sophia Gaston [@sophgaston], social researcher and the Head of Foreign Policy & UK Resilience at UK think tank Policy Exchange, on the use of nostalgia as a cultural and political force in Europe. Listen. 2. Adam Serwer [@AdamSerwer], staff writer at The Atlantic, and the author of “The Cruelty Is the Point," on weaponized nostalgia in American discourse. Listen. 3. OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger] speaks with political scientist Paul Fairie [@paulisci] about at some of the big media narratives that felt representative of 2022 and how little has changed in our political discourse. Listen.   Music:  Berceuse in D Flat Major by Ivan Moravec  
50:53 16/12/2022
The Divided Dial: Episode 5 - There's Something About Radio
Highly politicized, partisan companies like Salem have a hold on the airwaves — and they don’t plan to give it up. Senior Vice President of Salem, Phil Boyce speaks candidly to Katie about the personalities he handpicked to spread Salem’s message and about the company’s plans to expand into the media world off the airwaves. And in this final episode of the series we ask the perennial question: peddling election denialism seems to be a solid business model — but is it legal?    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.
49:34 15/12/2022
Still Watching?
A 2020 story about Hunter Biden's hacked laptop keeps finding its way back into the news cycle. On this week's On the Media, a look at Elon Musk's so-called Twitter Files and whether they’re newsworthy. Plus, the meteoric rise and fraught future of HBO, which turned 50 this year. 1. Blake Montgomery [@blakersdozen], tech news editor at Gizmodo, and Olivia Nuzzi [@Olivianuzzi], Washington correspondent for New York Magazine, on the Twitter Files and their relationship to the story of Hunter Biden's laptop. Listen. 2. Christopher Grimes [@grimes_ce], correspondent for the Financial Times, on Disney's foray into the culture wars and its ongoing battle with the governor of Florida. Listen. 3. John Koblin [@koblin], co-author of It's Not TV: The Spectacular Rise, Revolution, and Future of HBO, on the history and lasting impact of HBO. Listen.
50:48 09/12/2022
The Divided Dial: Episode 4 - From The Extreme to The Mainstream
In the 1970s, talk radio was hitting its stride, with hosts and listeners from all political persuasions. But the radio dial was about to change forever. Community needs assessments, requirements to offer public service programs and multiple perspectives, and limits on how many stations a single company could own were all eradicated. Technological and legal changes would consolidate the radio industry exponentially, allowing conservative talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh to take over the airwaves. In this episode, we look at radio’s last four decades to understand how we got to where we are today, and how conservative talk radio came to dominate a medium that once thrived on varied viewpoints.   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.
36:33 06/12/2022
The Oldest Trick
An ancient scapegoat for society’s woes is back in the news. On this week’s On the Media, a deeper look at the confusing landscape of modern anti-semitism. Plus, a conversation with some of the dogged reporters who spent years uncovering the truth behind the 2014 Malaysia Airlines crash in Ukraine. 1. Leo Ferguson [@LeoFergusonnyc], the Director of Strategic Projects for the Jews for Racial & Economic Justice, on the rise of modern anti-Semitism. Listen. 2. Aric Toler [@AricToler], Director of Research and Training at Bellingcat, an investigative news outlet, and Roman Dobrokhotov [@Dobrokhotov], the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Insider, a Russian investigative online news outlet, on what it took to uncover the truth behind the 2014 Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine. Listen. 3. Christo Grozev [@christogrozev], the lead Russia investigator with Bellingcat, about how he uncovered the real identity of a Russian "sleeper" agent who went by the name Maria Adela. Listen.
50:35 02/12/2022
Brooke and Brian Lehrer Interview Each Other
This week, we’re sharing a chat Brooke had with her longtime colleague Brian Lehrer for Interview Magazine. Brian hosts his inimitably thoughtful daily talk show for WNYC, where he rallies a community of callers and experts to talk about the issues they care about most. But you may not know that Brian was once the first ever host of this very show. In this conversation, Brooke and Brian discuss how they made their ways into public radio, parasocial relationships, and the difference between accuracy and objectivity. This conversation appears in full on Interview Magazine's website, with the headline "Brian Lehrer Points the Mic at Brooke Gladstone."
24:29 01/12/2022
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.
32:39 29/11/2022
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.
50:38 25/11/2022
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.  
11:29 23/11/2022
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.
33:27 22/11/2022
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.
50:18 18/11/2022
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.
25:39 16/11/2022
The Divided Dial: Episode 1 - The True Believers
Episode 1: The True Believers In 2016, Christian talk radio host Eric Metaxas begrudgingly encouraged his listeners to vote for then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. By 2020, he pledged his life to fighting the “stolen election” while talking with Trump on the air. Ahead of the midterm elections, Metaxas and many of his fellow talk radio hosts made sure the falsehood of massive 2020 election fraud was top of mind — on the airwaves and beyond. And while election-denying candidates didn't do as well as many on the right had hoped, at least 170 such candidates have been elected to state and national offices, some of whom will be in charge of future elections. We meet the company whose hosts never backed down from the lies of the stolen 2020 election: Salem Media Group, the largest Christian, conservative multimedia company in the country – and perhaps the most influential media company you’ve never heard of. 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.
29:31 15/11/2022
Infinite Scroll
Across the county, librarians are fighting to keep libraries open and books on the shelves. On this week’s show, hear what the American Library Association is doing to stand up to unprecedented challenges, and what a suit against the Internet Archive could mean for the future of e-books. Plus, how the legend of the ancient Library of Alexandria continues to inspire utopian projects today. 1. Emily Drabinski [@edrabinski], incoming President of the American Library Association, on the greatest threats to libraries today, and how to fight them. Listen. 2. Nitish Pahwa [@pahwa_nitish], web editor at Slate, on how a lawsuit against the Internet Archive could affect how libraries lend out e-books for good. Listen. 2. Molly Schwartz [@mollyfication], OTM producer, takes us inside the quest for a "universal library," from the Library of Alexandria to today. Listen.  
50:14 11/11/2022
Re-Sorting the Shelves: A Look at Bias In the Dewey Decimal System
Jess deCourcy Hinds is the solo librarian at the Bard High School, Early College library in Queens, New York. In 2010, she received a new order of books about the civil rights movement, but Hinds noticed something strange: all of the books had Dewey Decimal numbers in the 300s, meaning they were supposed to be shelved in the social sciences section. She thought that some of the books belonged in the 900s, the history section. Like books on President Obama. Because texts about the 44th President were classified as social science, he would be separated from all the other books about U.S. presidents in her library. It seemed like part of a trend. "When it came to the LGBTQ books, and the women's history books, and books on immigrant history, all of those were in the 300s as well," says Hinds. So she and her students decided to rebel, to put books about President Obama into the history section: "we just started moving them." The Dewey Decimal Classification System is a method that dates back to 1876 and is used by most libraries around the world. The second most popular system, the Library of Congress Classification System, was published in the early 1900s and based on the organization of Thomas Jefferson's personal library. These systems help patrons find books on the shelves and facilitate resource-sharing between libraries. But they also encode bias into the structure of libraries. To understand what that means for our current collections, On the Media producer Molly Schwartz spoke with Wayne A. Wiegand, a library historian and author of Irrepressible Reformer: A Biography of Melvil Dewey, Caroline Saccucci, former Dewey Program Manager at the Library of Congress, Emily Drabinski interim chief librarian of the Mina Rees Library at CUNY, and Dartmouth librarian Jill Baron from the documentary Change the Subject.   This segment originally aired in our September 3, 2021 program, Organizing Chaos. 
20:14 09/11/2022
Free and Fair
As the midterms approach, conspiracy theories about election fraud are shaping some races. On this week’s On the Media, a deep dive into the impact of the Big Lie on local elections, and the people who run them. Plus, how misinformation about the attack on Paul Pelosi spread like wildfire. 1. Angelo Carusone [@GoAngelo], President and CEO of Media Matters, on how conspiracy theories around the attack on Paul Pelosi spread all the way up to Fox News. Listen. 2. OTM Correspondent Micah Loewinger[@MicahLoewinger] traveled to Georgia to speak to activists who are challenging peoples' right to vote, those who've been challenged, and election workers caught in the crosshairs of conspiracy theories about election fraud in Georgia. Listen. 3. OTM correspondent Micah Loewinger [@MicahLoewinger] traveled to Georgia to talk with Anne Dover, a Republican in charge of elections in one of Atlanta's most conservative areas, about how her role has changed since the rise of the Big Lie, and what she's doing to stand up to it. Listen. 
56:01 04/11/2022