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.
September 27, 2016
September 23, 2016
Three weeks into what’s being called the US’s biggest prison strike ever, very little information has trickled through the razor wire. We examine the challenges of reporting on prisons. Plus, a look at the coverage of protests in Charlotte after a police shooting; the cell phone alerts that drew New Yorkers into a manhunt for a terror suspect; the digital afterlife of an Al Qaeda propagandist; and a quest to examine the life of Peter Thiel.
September 21, 2016
Spy magazine coined the term "short-fingered vulgarian" in the 80's to describe Donald Trump and it still really, really annoys him. On this podcast extra, we share a segment from an upcoming show produced by our friends at Studio 360 in which current 360 host, and former Spy founder Kurt Andersen reminisces with former Spy editor Susan Morrison about their enduring habit of name-calling.
September 16, 2016
This election may be remembered as the moment when a nebulous and formerly obscure white supremacist movement known as the "alt-right" was launched into the mainstream. A look at their ascendancy, their role, and their memes. Plus, fact-checking Hillary Clinton's "basket of deplorables" comment; struggling to define Facebook; and the challenges of covering the North Dakota pipeline protests.
September 14, 2016
In the days and weeks after the towers fell, nothing felt funny anymore. Comedians on late night TV and in the comedy clubs of New York questioned their own judgement. Brooke spoke to Will Ferrell back in 2001 and Marc Maron on the tenth anniversary of the attacks about the place of humor in tragedy. We revisit both conversations on this podcast extra.
September 9, 2016
Critics have long viewed Hillary Clinton as untrustworthy and dishonest. This week, we revisit a crucial moment nearly 25 years ago that helped set that narrative in motion. Also, pundits say this election season has ushered in the era of "post-fact" politics, but history tells us it's always been that way. Plus, a guide for making sense of Islamophobic media coverage, and a German TV show trying to teach refugees how to fit in.
September 7, 2016
In September 1966, Gene Roddenberry dispatched the crew of the Starship Enterprise on its maiden voyage through space and time and into the American living room. It was an inauspicious start, but fifty years later the Star Trek universe is still expanding, with a new movie out this summer, Star Trek Beyond. In a vintage OTM piece, Brooke explores the various television incarnations of the franchise and the infinitely powerful engine behind it all: the fan.
September 2, 2016
A University of Chicago welcome letter criticizing political correctness on college campuses reignited vigorous debate. An examination of the value of tools like trigger warnings and safe spaces. Plus, with just two months until election day, a new Breaking News Consumer’s Handbook for making sense of the polls. And, a history of music in presidential campaigns.
August 31, 2016
It's the latest and last installment of Bob's Grill, and we've got a special guest chef (it's Brooke).
The year was 2005, and CNN was focused on a big story with wall-to-wall coverage. The story was, of course, The Runaway Bride. Jennifer Milbanks had cold feet and disappeared a few days before her wedding. She made tabloid headlines and left tracks all over the cable news channels, including CNN - which covered her day and night for a week. Coincidentally, the network’s new president Jonathan Klein, had just months before been promising more rigorous journalism and less sensationalism. So OTM called him up. In this interview, Klein and Brooke butt heads over what constitutes news, and whether stories need justification.
Post-script: Jon Klein left CNN in 2010.
August 26, 2016
Right-wing rumors about Hillary Clinton's health have made their way into the mainstream media, but it's hardly the first time a candidate's health has been in the headlines this year: the press has been scrutinizing Donald Trump's mental state for months. This week, examining the arguments for and against speculating about a candidate's health. Plus, how the dominant media narratives after the Rio Olympics obscure real problems, and how climate change is reshaping the country as we know it.