On The Media

On The Media, hosted by Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone, is America's only national radio program devoted to media criticism and analysis, lifting the veil on how the media works.

Recent Episodes

The Language of Terror

Amidst the emotion, fear, and confusion following an attack, a Breaking News Consumer's Handbook for the coverage of terrorism. Plus, a look at the semantics surrounding acts of war and terror and a look back at lessons learned, and forgotten, in the years since 9/11.

Feel This

OTM looks at how the media tries to reach us on an emotional level. We look at the New York Times' dive into virtual reality-inspired empathy, and Europe's "compassion fatigue". Plus: why clickbait is king, the lucrative "hate read", why the University of Missouri protesters' media-free zone is about more than press freedom, and more.

Discuss on Twitter: #OTMempathy, #OTMmissouri, #OTMvr, #OTMaylan, #OTMupworthy, #OTMcarebot, #OTMheart, #OTMclickbait, #OTMhatereads

What Did Exxon Know?

ExxonMobil is under investigation by the New York State Attorney General for potentially misleading shareholders about the threat of climate change. The subpoena comes after reports, including from InsideClimate News, about Exxon's pivot from supporting state-of-the-art research to funding a network of climate denial groups.

Observers have noted that Exxon's campaign of misinformation mirrors what Big Tobacco did about the risks of smoking. That industry is still paying a $246 billion settlement. Bob discusses the pattern, the two prosecutions, and what might come next with Naomi Oreskes of Harvard, co-author of Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming

Then, Bob revisits his conversation earlier this fall with ExxonMobil's Richard Keil, who responded to the InsideClimate News reporting

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Republican presidential candidates try to reassert control over the debate process, but they can't quite agree on how. Plus: in praise of the "gotcha" question; some optimism on the newspaper industry; and Bob talks with Alec Baldwin on all things media. 

Discuss on Twitter: #OTMDebate, #OTMGotcha, #OTMLessig, #OTMbiz, #OTMespn, #OTMBaldwin

Two Angry Men

Last Friday at the Wharton School in Philadelphia, Bob convened a day-long media future summit to figure out how to keep the lights on. For the lunchtime keynote speaker, Bob was joined by Alec Baldwin, actor, activist, and host of Here's The Thing, and each interviewed the other about all things media. 

For more OTM follow us on Twitter, @OnTheMedia, and subscribe to our newsletter at our website, www.onthemedia.org.


The launch of a collaboration between On the Media and Nate Silver’s 538 to track the push and pull between polling, media coverage, and public interest in candidates. Plus: a look at the long history of savvy political candidates campaigning as Washington "outsiders"; debunking the supposed "Ferguson effect"; and Spotlight, a new movie about the Boston Globe's investigation into the Catholic Church sex scandal, celebrates the power of the press. 

Discuss on Twitter: #OTMRubio, #OTM_538, #OTMOutsiders, #OTMFerguson, #OTMSpotlight