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On Being with Krista Tippett is a public radio project delving into the human side of news stories + issues. Curated + edited by senior editor Trent Gilliss.

We publish guest contributions. We edit long; we scrapbook. We do big ideas + deep meaning. We answer questions.

We've even won a couple of Webbys + a Peabody Award.

What Are You Watching on TV This Season?

by Nancy Rosenbaum, producer

Dexter Season 6 promo photo

Women gone wild. The rise of the anti-hero. Reenchanting the world. Nostalgia for the recent past.

These are just a few of the themes peppering our television landscape. How do these narratives reflect who we are (or want to be)? Why are we longing for stories about these kinds of characters and situations at this particular moment? Where do religious themes and imagery figure into the latest crop of television storytelling?

We’ll be diving into these questions for our upcoming interview with Diane Winston ("TV and Parables of Our Time"), a media and religion scholar at USC.

What shows or characters capture your attention? Send us your ideas for clips by October 27. Here’s what we’ll need from you as virtual producers:

  • Series name
  • Season
  • Episode name/number
  • Time clip starts and ends (about 1 minute, 30 seconds in length)
  • Scene description - a few sentences about why you think it’s intriguing

Oh, and don’t forget to let us know who you are. Let the production begin!


History From the Bottom Up
Colleen Scheck, senior producer

"Take your minds and think through them. Take your hearts and set them on fire. Amen." —Studs Terkel

I was excited to see that our show with Studs Terkel is listed on HBO’s resources page for the documentary "Studs Terkel: Listening to America," which debuted this past weekend. Even more exciting, though, is the announcement that roughly 6,000 hours of his interviews will be digitized by the Library of Congress.

A quote from the trailer: “History is so often told from the top down through the voice of statesmen and politicians, but what Studs has done is to tell history from the bottom up.” Amen.


The Plight of the “Distant Stranger”

Trent Gilliss, online editor

Many of us have read Nick Kristof’s columns over the years. And, perhaps, like me, you’ve been moved by his words, shaken by his stories, struck dumb with melancholy and grief. But, inevitably, the “plight of the ‘distant stranger’” assumes its role in feeling the events happening over there.

The HBO documentary, Reporter, will challenge you to come closer, to care, to take action as he pursues uncovering the truths behind human rights violations and personal suffering. With Kristof leading the way, the viewer bears witness alongside his two traveling companions, a med student and a teacher, to the tricky trail the journalist walks when reporting in war-torn Congo.

The film portrays some of the ethical and moral dilemmas of being a reporter in a conflict zone. When Kristof encounters a 41-year-old woman of 60 pounds lying at the edge of a village about to die, he acts. When a warlord responsible for the raping and pillaging of thousands gives thanks to the Lord, he bows his head; when that same man, General Nkunda asks him to eat with him, he dines. Few of these decisions are made without some type of deliberation — a grimace, a pause, a controlled look. But, in the end, he always writes.

Nick Kristof in CongoHe perseveres and tries to understand the underlying aspects of the people involved. And, he asks the difficult questions that have gotten other journalists killed. I’m not trying to saint him, but I now better appreciate his work as he attempts to discover a fuller aspect of all the human beings involved. He continues to tell the difficult stories of a region that gets covered during catastrophic events, and then forgotten within a blink’s time of a celebrity foible or the next breaking news event.

I hope we can interview him for the show some day in the future and hear how he wrestles with these difficult choices — and how he continues on.