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.
July 27, 2016
Eating like a regular person when you’re on the campaign trail is hard. The cameras are in your face and they really, really want to see you drip grease on your shirt or eat a slice of pizza with a knife and fork or take a big ol’ bite out of a (let's face it) totally phallic corn-dog.
In the coming months, as we watch the Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump bandwagons go from town to town --from diners to BBQ’s to hog roasts -- Dan Pashman, host of The Sporkful podcast, wants you to know that every choice the candidates make about food (to slurp or not to slurp), is a thoroughly vetted process.
July 22, 2016
The divide between the Black Lives Matter movement and the police is often portrayed as unbridgeable. This week: finding common ground and working on addressing the real problems of policing in America.
Plus, reviewing the Republican National Convention as well as conventions past.
And, after Turkey’s failed coup, a Breaking News Consumer's Handbook for how to successfully cover, and carry out, a military coup. And a Turkish journalist talks about what happened when the coup plotters took over his newspaper's offices.
July 20, 2016
Brazil's crises have been very good for Sensacionalista, a site that's based on The Onion and now one of the most popular "news" sites in the country. Two years ago, the group had 30,000 likes on Facebook. Today, it has 2.8 million.
At times, real Brazilian headlines can seem absurd. For example, military police killed a jaguar, the national animal, at an Olympic-torch lighting ceremony; the interim president's new cabinet only has white men; and just weeks before the Olympics, the tourism minister has resigned.
Bob met co-founders Nelito Fernandes and Martha Mendonca at their home in Rio de Janeiro (they're married) to hear about how the Brazilian public has been reading the news through the lens of satire -- and what news is too awful even for jokes.
July 15, 2016
OTM is in Brazil this week. We delve into the web of challenges ensnaring the country: a recession, crime waves, corruption scandals, the Zika virus... all in the run-up to the Olympic Games. Plus, the complex crises facing the media industry at a time when rigorous reporting is more essential than ever.
July 11, 2016
The deaths of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, were both captured on video. So were the deaths of Walter Scott, Eric Garner, and so many others. That’s not new. But technology has become more and more sophisticated, and so have the bystanders using it, primed by grim history to turn the camera on, and, increasingly, involve an audience. We explore the role of Facebook Live in the events of the last week and offer you our Breaking News Consumer's Handbook: Bearing Witness Edition, for guidance on how to film the police, wisely and within your rights.
Brooke speaks with journalist Carlos Miller of Photography is Not A Crime, former police officer and current law professor Seth Stoughton, and Jennifer Carnig, former communications director for the New York Civil Liberties Union.
Find the ACLU's apps for recording police action here.
July 8, 2016
This election season has been rife with misinformation, half-truths, and pure deceit... but lying in politics dates back centuries. This week we devote a whole hour to LIES: the ones our leaders tell us, and the ones we tell ourselves and each other.
July 1, 2016
The Brexit fallout continues. Before he was mayor of London, Boris Johnson covered the EU... badly. We hear how his reporting created a caricature of Europe, and why that story about Brits Googling the EU is too good to be true.
Plus: two stories of transparency -- good news on FOIA, and bad news on dark money.
And speaking of transparency: do we know enough about the gene editing program CRISPR? Plus, Brooke explores what we learn about cloning from movies and t.v. shows, including Orphan Black (!)
June 29, 2016
This week, the Supreme Court upheld constitutional protections for abortion rights.
To mark the occasion we have a story about the history of abortion in the US that first aired last winter, when the spread of Zika and the resulting deformities in newborns was causing panic across South and Central America. Abortion is illegal in those traditionally Catholic countries, but so many women were giving birth to babies with microcephaly and the brain damage associated with it, that the UN high commissioner for human rights urged a widespread repeal of abortion bans.
You may be surprised to know this wasn’t the first time an epidemic influenced the abortion debate. Leslie Reagan of the University of Illinois says it happened in the US, 50 years ago -- and the epidemic was Rubella, or German measles.
June 24, 2016
Democrats in the House of Representatives staged a dramatic sit-in this week to protest inaction on gun legislation, but are they just preaching to the choir? This week, we look at bridging the gap over guns in America and how the media can better understand both sides. Plus, new algorithms claim to provide more accurate models for policing and sentencing, but they actually might be making things worse.
June 22, 2016
As the media have watched the ascent of Donald Trump with disbelief-going-on-horror, pundits have returned frequently to the question of who exactly his supporters are. Terms like "angry" and "white working class" are mentioned frequently, but the National Review several months ago put it the most pointedly and viciously. In an article lambasting Trump supporters, Kevin Williamson characterized them as lazy drug addicts, compared them to animals, and even suggested that they deserved to die. Though he did not say it directly, the implication was clear: these people were white trash.
We took that opportunity to take a deeper look at the idea of "white trash," with the help of writer and professor Nancy Isenberg, author of the forthcoming book, White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America. Isenberg described to Brooke how the notion of "white trash" has been around for a long time, belying the idea that America is a "classless" society. White Trash comes out this week, and we're re-running our conversation in honor of it.