J E Theriot / Creative Commons

Known to many as the “first lady of the black press,” Ethel Payne fearlessly documented the struggle for civil rights in twentieth-century America. This hour, we take a look at a new biography, which celebrates the life and legacy of the pioneering journalist. 

Steve Sobczuk / Flickr Creative Commons

You're probably no stranger to the Morning Zoo if you were in your teens or twenties in the 1980's. Developed after the death of disco left  Top 40 stations with a big hole to fill, the Morning Zoo revitalized early morning radio with a fast-paced improvisational style that for the first time broke down barriers between news and entertainment.

David DesRoches / WNPR

It's an idea as old as free speech itself: where does one's right to speak freely end, and the public's right to safety begin? The community at Connecticut College in New London is in the middle of trying to figure that out. 

Creative Commons

A firestorm of controversy has erupted on the normally quiet campus of Connecticut College in New London over a philosophy professor’s Facebook post that many are claiming was racist toward Palestinians.

The professor, Andrew Pessin, said the entire event has been taken out of context and that the outcry is not about his alleged racism, but is a concerted effort to attack his reputation because of his pro-Israel point of view. 

Rex Roof / Creative Commons

Mark Oppenheimer hosts an All-Star New-Haven Nose Panel from New Haven.

For as long as fraternities have acted poorly,  adults have quietly tolerated and even gloried in it. Who can forget John Belushi and Animal House? Too often, parents and college administrators have excused the all-night parties, destruction of property, and drunken brawls as the rude, yet benign acts of those on the brink of entering adulthood, the last gasp of carefree youth. 

David Sim. / Creative Commons

When NPR launched a network-wide “diversity project” in 2012, the aim was for the network to sound more like America. Three years later, race and diversity issues are in the news like never before –- from stories about immigration, to police conduct, to how we interact on social media. 

This hour, two leaders of NPR’s project join us to look more closely at how the media covers diversity, and how we talk about it in society.

David Carr, a New York Times media columnist who had reported on the industry for 25 years, died after collapsing in the newsroom, the newspaper reported.

Peabody Awards / Creative Commons

Ophira Eisenberg is a standup comic from Canada, who brought her act to American radio on NPR’s trivia show Ask Me Another. Later this month, Ophira will be in Connecticut to perform for local fans at The Outer Space in Hamden. This hour, she joins us to talk about some of her latest projects, including her memoir Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy.

Later on, public radio extraordinaire Ira Glass will tell us a bit about his show "Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host." It was in New Haven last month and is now on its way to Pittsburgh. He tells us about his inspiration to combine radio and dance, two seemingly different art forms, into a single performance.

Chuck Olsen / Creative Commons

People have been predicting the death of the sitcom since at least 1999, but the current TV season has been so toxic towards them that some observers have wondered whether the sitcom, which has been around since the birth of television, has anything left to say to us. But then again, what is a sitcom? Do sitcoms have to air on network television? Do they have to have a laugh track? Or fill a half-hour time slot? Do they even have to be comedies?

This hour, we consider the art form of the sitcom with producers and critics of the genre. What is your favorite sitcom and what makes it your favorite?

Kevin Brookman /

An anonymous camera phone-wielding watchdog set off a Facebook firestorm against State Rep. Brandon McGee after a photo of his car parked illegally in a handicap spot circulated online. 

Lewis Hine / U.S. National Archive

The Internet has changed almost everything... especially newspapers. For many years, readers were able to access newspaper articles for free online. Stories were reaching more readers, but losing revenue. On WNPR's Where We Live, newspaper reporters and editors discussed the controversial "paywall."

Jon S / Creative Commons

Last month, The Hartford Courant followed the trend of newspapers across the country by implementing a paywall on its website.

We sit down with two editors to explain the change, and to talk more broadly about the status of "print" journalism today. What is working, and what’s not working, as publications grapple with an increasingly digital world?


It’s news that might be keeping some cable executives up at night: for the first time, viewers will be able to stream ESPN over the web. 

Mark Wyman / Creative Commons

The year is off to a tumultuous and sad start. Some New York Police Department officers continued their protest of Mayor Bill de Blasio at a funeral for a fallen colleague and reducing arrests for minor offenses. The protest is entering what Matt Taibbi described as "surreal territory." We also remember the iconic ESPN sportscaster Stuart Scott, who died Sunday. Finally, we discuss the news out of New Haven that The Anchor served its last drink this weekend.

Yik Yak

Local, state police, and federal law enforcement are investigating a post on social media threatening a "hail of bullets" in East Lyme.  The post, which appeared anonymously Dec. 24 on the mobile app Yik Yak, said East Lyme should "get ready for the hail of bullets."

Which are you? The kind of person who can't wait to talk about Serial? Or the kind of person who doesn't do it, doesn't get it, and dreads having other people bring it up? The former sort of person was summed up by a recent New Yorker cartoon that showed a woman on a city sidewalk, flagging down a fellow pedestrian and saying "Excuse me, do you have a minute to talk about the latest episode of 'Serial'?"

Pete Souza / White House

President Barack Obama claimed an array of successes in 2014, citing lower unemployment, a rising number of Americans covered by health insurance, and an historic diplomatic opening with Cuba. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Which are you? The kind of person who can't wait to talk about Serial? Or the kind of person who doesn't do it, doesn't get it, and dreads having other people bring it up? The former sort of person was summed up by a recent New Yorker cartoon that showed a woman on a city sidewalk, flagging down a fellow pedestrian and saying "Excuse me, do you have a minute to talk about the latest episode of 'Serial'?"

Jeff Cohen

As the inaugural season of Serial comes to an end, speculation about the second season heats up. What will the story be about? Will it be another crime mystery?

Today, like every Sunday in the fall, millions of Americans are tuning in to watch some of the country's most popular sport: football.

And for several million of them, your regular ol' football game isn't fast-paced enough: They're tuning in to NFL RedZone.

NFL RedZone is the frenetic channel run by the NFL Network that, for seven hours straight, switches between football games in an endeavor to show every single score of as many as 12 simultaneous games.

Three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Michel du Cille died Thursday while on assignment in Liberia for The Washington Post. The newspaper says du Cille collapsed while walking on foot from a village in Liberia's Bong County. He was taken to a hospital but died of an apparent heart attack.

As The Conversation About Serial reaches a fever pitch in certain circles, those of us behind Code Switch and Monkey See have been talking quite a bit about the show. Here's the first part of our exchange, from Code Switch editor Matt Thompson:

Hi Linda, Kat and Gene,

I think we're still far enough away from the conclusion of Serial (ostensibly next Thursday) that predicting its ending is both brave and foolhardy, so let me lay it on you.


The Hartford Courant presented a Key Issues Forum on Thursday morning in collaboration with the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network. 

Alan Rusbridger, best known in the U.S. for shepherding the Guardian newspaper through its Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of Edward Snowden's leaks of classified material, will step down as editor in chief of the British newspaper next summer. He said today he will become the chairman of the Scott Trust, which runs the Guardian.


The journal Nature announced last week it will offer free access to a number of its articles online.

The visit of Britain's Prince William to Washington, D.C. has been greeted with the excitement reserved for celebrities in a town starved of real famous people (I mean, spotting Sen. Chuck Schumer at a restaurant can lead to breathless "spotted" tweeting). Folks are disappointed that his wife, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, didn't make the trip down from New York City with him. But, this is D.C., and we'll take what we can get on an otherwise slow news morning.

Ken Hawkins / Creative Commons

The Scramble reacts to new developments in the University of Virginia case of alleged sexual assault and Rolling Stone’s concern about some its reporting. 

Then there's a second magazine story: what’s behind the mass -- and we do mean mass -- resignations at The New Republic. Most of its full-time staff and stable of contributing editors quit on the same day. Why?

It's one of the biggest ironies of NBC's gamble tonight with the blockbuster production Peter Pan Live!

This incredibly earnest TV musical just might succeed if enough people hate it.

Ben Pollard / Creative Commons

The Connecticut Supreme Court will take up an issue that’s pitting privacy advocates against First Amendment proponents. Simsbury’s first selectman resigns after taking a big pay cut she says is illegal. Meanwhile, the City of Hartford has a race for mayor that's about to start.

Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse discusses these stories, plus the cuts in state spending were not enough to eliminate a budget deficit.