Grant Recipient Institution(s)
Collection: On The Media 1993-2000
Description: Since 1993, WNYC’s seminal program On the Media investigates “how the media shapes our world view.” This collection includes 200 hours of program files originally archived on audio cassette. The WNYC Archive's collection of early On the Media broadcasts (1993-1996) is significant because it is both a profile and a chronicle of the media just before and during the infancy of the internet and digital age. It is also a critical compendium of discussions on many of the issues involving the media, journalism, and reporters that continue to resurface regardless of era. The show's lively and provocative exchanges provided listeners with a captivating look at the inner workings of news operations while exploring the impact of decisions by editors, producers, and media executiives on elections, public policy, and the shaping of public opinion and attitudes. The program first went on air locally in February 1993 and nationally in October 1995 with host Alex S. Jones, a Pulitzer Prize-awarded journalist known for for covering the press for The New York Times. Among his guests were White House correspondent Eleanor Clift, media critic Jonathan Alter of Newsweek, Village Voice columnist Nat Hentoff, author Ken Auletta, NBC-TV reporter Gabe Pressman, editor Abe Rosenthal of The New York Times, Tina Brown of The New Yorker, columnist Molly Ivins, critic Stanley Crouch, TV Nation's Michael Moore, NPR's Scott Simon, and Joan Conner, Dean of the Columbia School of Journalism. Topics covered include coverage of the World Trade Center bombing, the Rodney King trial, President Clinton’s first 100 days, and gay and lesbian issues. The early broadcasts are archived as “airchecks” on analog audio cassette tape. These standard audio cassettes have reached or are approaching their manufacturer’s expected shelf-life.