On the Media-logo

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.

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.


New York, NY




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 160 Varick Street New York, NY 10013 646-829-4074


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...


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...


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...



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.


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...


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...


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....


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...


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...


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...


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...


Inside the Sunken Place: A Conversation with Betty Gabriel

When Jordan Peele’s horror film Get Out hit theaters in 2017, it became an unexpected blockbuster and cultural phenomenon. The movie follows a black man named Chris, played by Daniel Kaluuya, who goes to visit his white girlfriend’s family in the country. Shortly after arriving, Chris starts to notice that something seems off and the other black people he encounters act... strangely. Slowly it’s revealed that Chris’ girlfriend, Rose Armitage, played by Allison Williams, and her family are a...


Fear Itself

With early midterm voting underway, Fox News has been increasing crime coverage to drive voters to the polls. On this week’s On the Media, a look at the ways fear impacts our minds and bodies, both on and off screen. Plus, how filmmakers like Jordan Peele have inspired a renaissance of the Black Horror genre. 1. Philip Bump [@pbump], national correspondent at The Washington Post, on what Fox News' focus on crime can tell us about the Republican party's midterm strategy. Listen. 2. Nina...


The Digital Divide

An investigation by nonprofit newsroom The Markup found that four internet providers disproportionately offered lower-income and least-White neighborhoods slow internet service for the same price as speedy connections they offered in other areas. According to Leon Yin, Investigative Data Journalist at The Markup, homes in historically redlined areas were offered internet speeds so slow, the FCC doesn’t consider it to be broadband. This week, guest host Micah Loewinger asks Yin how he trawled...


The F Word (Rebroadcast)

Early in the pandemic, weight was named a risk factor for severe covid-19. But what if the greater risk is poor medical treatment for fat people? This week, On the Media dives into the fictions, feelings, and fraught history of fat. Including how sugar and the slave trade laid the groundwork for American beauty standards. 1. Dr. Yoni Freedhoff [@YoniFreedhoff], Associate Professor of Family Medicine at University of Ottawa, on what we do and don't know about the relation of weight and the...



What counts as media? For us, its any medium through which we express ourselves — whether from one to one, from one to many, or just from one... to one’s own self. We can do it with our style. Our hair. Even our glasses. They're choices that express not just our aesthetics, but our politics, too. It was the idea of Poppy King, lipstick designer extraordinaire, whose Frog Prince lipstick was listed by Elle Australia as one of the most iconic lipstick shades of all time. King's a devoted...


At What Cost?

A jury recently ordered Alex Jones to pay nearly one billion dollars to the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting. On this week’s On the Media, a former Alex Jones staffer struggles with the damage his participation wrought. Plus, does social media really turn nice people into trolls? 1. Elizabeth Williamson [@NYTLiz], features writer for The New York Times, on the Sandy Hook defamation trials against Alex Jones and what the trials taught us about the spread of misinformation....


The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee

Monday was Indigenous People’s Day, renamed from Columbus day to honor the lives and history lost to centuries of colonization. Often the stories shared about the first people here are those of loss, like the Trail of Tears and the Massacre at Wounded Knee. This week, David Treuer, an Ojibwe professor of literature at the University of Southern California, offers a counter-narrative to this tragic account in his book, The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America From 1890 to the Present.


So Sue Me

This week, two cases headed to the Supreme Court that could change the internet as we know it. On this week’s On the Media, a look at the legal gray areas of how news gets shared online. Plus, how one reporter’s prolific coverage of Trump earned her friends and enemies alike. 1. Daphne Keller [@daphnek], director of the Program on Platform Regulation at Stanford University's Cyber Policy Center, on how two new Supreme Court cases may reshape social media as we know it. Listen. 2. Lachlan...


Still Loading...

Are the women-led protests in Iran powerful enough to force change when past attempts have failed? On this week’s On the Media, a look at the moments that ignite movements, both online and in the streets. Plus, how silly videos built one of the largest media companies in the world, and the story of how one Twitch streamer successfully took down an army of harassers. 1. Fatemeh Shams [@ShazzShams], poet and professor of Persian literature at the University of Pennsylvania, on how the recent...