On the Media

On the Media (OTM) is an hour-long weekly radio program, hosted by Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone, covering journalism, technology, and First Amendment issues. It is produced by WNYC in New York City. OTM is first broadcast on Friday evening over WNYC's FM service and is syndicated nationwide to more than 400 other public radio outlets. The program is available by audio stream, MP3 download, and podcast.[1] OTM also publishes a weekly newsletter featuring news on current and past projects as well as relevant links from around the web.[2]

On the Media
Other namesOTM
GenreNews (media analysis)
Running timec. 50 minutes
Country of originUnited States
Home stationWNYC
SyndicatesWNYC Studios
Hosted byBrooke Gladstone
Bob Garfield
Produced byAlana Casanova-Burgess
Micah Loewinger
Leah Feder
Jon Hanrahan
Asthaa Chaturvedi
Jennifer Munson
Executive producer(s)Katya Rogers
Edited byBrooke Gladstone
Recording studioNew York City
Original release1993 – present
Audio formatStereophonic
Opening themeBen Allison, composer


As defined by co-host Garfield, On the Media covers "...anything that reaches a large audience—either electronically or otherwise.... Plus, throw into that anything that covers First Amendment issues; anything that has to do with freedom of speech, privacy, is also in our portfolio".[3] The show explores how the media are changing, and their effects on America and the world. Many stories are centered on events of the previous week and how they were covered in the news. These often consist of interviews with reporters about the dilemmas they face in covering controversial issues.

Stories regularly cover such subjects as the use of video news releases, net neutrality, digital broadcast flags, media consolidation, censorship, freedom of the press, the influence of 24-hour cable news television coverage, media oppression, and how the media are changing with technology.

The show also addresses questions about how the media is influenced or spun by politicians, corporations, and interest groups with the intent to shape public opinion. This includes an OTM feature that covers the media's use of terminologies that may engender biased points of view, and the use of hot-button issues and code words, such as Michael Moore, torture, evangelical, and islamofascist.[4]

The show also runs a series entitled Breaking News Consumer's Handbook, which offers lists of advice on how to properly report or react to different types of recent events in the news.[5]


On the Media first aired February 7, 1993 on WNYC as a local call-in show, first hosted by Brian Lehrer, then Warren Levinson, and later, by Alex S. Jones. During its first episodes it was called "Inside Media", but the title was changed to avoid confusion with a same-named trade publication. [6]In 1997 the show went national in a magazine-style format, hosted by WNYC host Brian Lehrer. During this period, this show was hampered by Lehrer being stretched thin, due to commitments from his own daily show, inexperienced producers, and the lack of an editor.

In late 2000, Gladstone was brought in by WNYC's director of programming to rethink and relaunch the show.[7][8] The newly formatted OTM debuted in January 2001, co-hosted by Gladstone and Bob Garfield.

More than 400 public radio stations currently broadcast the show weekly.[8][9] Formerly distributed nationally by NPR, WNYC began distributing the show in-house in 2015.[10]


On the Media won a 2004 Peabody Award for excellence.[11] The judges wrote that "On the Media reminds us that the messenger is always part of the message and must be examined as such".[12] In addition, the show has won Edward R. Murrow Awards for feature reporting and investigative reporting, the National Press Club's Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism,[13] and the Bart Richards Award for Media Criticism in both 2012[14] and 2013.[15] In 2014 and 2015, On the Media won Best Single Story—Radio, Television, Cable or Online Broadcast Media at the Mirror Awards.[16][17] In 2016, On the Media was awarded the Silver Gavel for its episode "Bench Press".[18] In 2017, producer Meara Sharma was awarded a Gracie Award for her production of the episode "Kidnapped", a special hour on how people around the world get news from Syria.[19]

See also


  1. Friess, Steve (April 5, 2006). "Podcasting Roils NPR Fund Raising". Wired News. Archived from the original on September 6, 2008. Retrieved September 27, 2010. Full episode podcasts began in August 2005.
  2. "On The Media Blog - WNYC". WNYC. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  3. Thorn, Jesse. "On the Media Hosts Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield: Interview on The Sound of Young America". (April 13, 2009).
  4. Mike Pesca, editor. Word Watch (Audio). On the Media. Archived from the original (MP3) on June 29, 2011. Retrieved 2007-03-04.
  5. Gruenewald, Anton. "On the Media's Big Bang". www.wnyc.org. New York Public Radio Archives & Preservation. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  6. "Brooke Gladstone", The Transom Review vol. 4, issue #1 (March 1, 2004).
  7. Phillips, Lisa A. (2006), Public Radio: Behind the Voices, New York: CDS Books, pp. 209–222, ISBN 1-59315-143-8, retrieved September 27, 2010
  8. "About On the Media". On the Media website. Accessed Dec. 14, 2011.
  9. WNYC to self-distribute Radiolab, On the Media
  10. 64th Annual Peabody Awards, May 2005.
  11. "NPR Wins Peabody Award for Iraq Reporting" (Press release). April 9, 2005. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  12. "WNYC AWARDS REPORT, 2004—2005", WNYC website. Accessed Sept. 26, 2010.
  13. Bart Richards Award honors 'On the Media' Penn State University website. Accessed April 6, 2012.
  14. 'On the Media' repeats as Bart Richards Award winner. Accessed April 13, 2013.
  15. "Winners Announced in Newhouse School's 2014 Mirror Awards Competition". SU News. Retrieved 2020-12-25.
  16. "2015 Mirror Awards Winners Announced". SU News. Retrieved 2020-12-25.
  17. "2016 Winners". American Bar Association. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  18. "2017 Gracie Winners". Alliance for Women in Media. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
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