Kojo Nnamdi Show | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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The Kojo Nnamdi Show
Updated: 15 min 16 sec ago

California's Drought and Our Food System

Wed, 2015-05-27 13:25

A catastrophic drought in California is threatening supplies of foods that are popular in grocery stores and restaurants across the country, like avocados and almonds. Food Wednesday traces the impact of the drought from the West Coast back to the decisions all of us are making about the ingredients we put on our plates.

Freedom of Speech on the Frontlines

Wed, 2015-05-27 12:30

Today our freedom of speech seems virtually unrestricted: from online forums to raunchy TV comedy and burgeoning media investigations, the channels for free expression are greater than ever. But controversies over how far we can take this First Amendment right are alive and well. In our region, protests over a D.C.-based play have set off a debate over speech and artistic expression. And across the nation, free speech is under scrutiny on Web sites like Reddit and at our nation's schools, where book censorship still occurs. In his new book, Pultizer prize winning journalist David Shipler examines the state of this essential American right and where its limits lie. He joins Kojo with stories from the frontlines.

Money Well Spent?: Navigating Charitable Giving

8 hours 43 min ago

Last week the Federal Trade Commission announced that, along with all 50 states and the District of Columbia, it was taking legal action against four 'sham' cancer charities. Allegations that the groups deceived donors to the tune of $187 million have rippled through the non-profit world. We consider what red flags donors should be on the lookout for and how data can - and can't - help us decide who's a good actor.

Elections in Ethiopia

9 hours 9 min ago

Ethiopia recently held its first elections since the death of former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. We explore what was at stake in the contests - and what they reveal about the state of democracy in one of America's most valuable allies in Africa.

Cutting the Cord: The Future of Cable and TV Streaming

10 hours 9 min ago

Maybe you already subscribe to Neflix, or Hulu. Maybe you're thinking about adding HBO Now and CBS Now. And if you love sports, you'll want WatchESPN. But are these enough? Do you still need your cable subscription too? That's the question many Americans are grappling with as a wealth of new, a la carte streaming options lets viewers create their own package of channels to watch. Tech Tuesday explores the explosion of streaming options, the reaction of the cable industry and the things to consider as you ponder your own viewing strategy.

The Brisket Bubble: How Commodities And Trends Shape What You Eat (Rebroadcast)

Mon, 2015-05-25 13:06

It comes from humble beginnings: a tough but affordable cut of meat that needs to cook a long time before it's tender enough to eat. But as enthusiasm for BBQ has expanded, from Texas to Brooklyn and beyond, professional chefs and home cooks alike are embracing brisket with new fervor. And as the dish has moved from tradition to trend, the price of brisket has skyrocketed. We consider the implications of the so-called "brisket bubble" and consider how commodity prices and trends shape our expectations and diets.

Grammar, Linguistics, And The Evolution Of The English Language (Rebroadcast)

Mon, 2015-05-25 12:06

In both its spoken and written forms, the English language is constantly evolving. Grammar - the system and structure that underpin communications - and linguistics - the science of its study - can help us make sense of these shifts and changes. We talk with experts in each field about the quirks, foibles, understanding and glory of the written and spoken word.

The Politics Hour

Fri, 2015-05-22 12:06

The Supreme Court smacks down Maryland's income tax law. Meanwhile, a judge rules part of the District's new gun law is unconstitutional. And in Virginia, local battlegrounds take shape as candidates speed toward elections later this year. Join us for our weekly review of the politics, policies, and personalities of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

'Misbehaving': Understanding Human Behavior

Thu, 2015-05-21 13:32

For centuries, economic theory was based on the assumption that all people will choose what’s best for them. But it turns out that we don’t make smart decisions all the time...or even most of the time. Over the past 40 years, the field of behavioral economics has emerged to explain why humans make irrational decisions. We talk with one of the pioneers of the field to find out what’s behind the choices we make, and how we can use this knowledge for good.

Reporting Vietnam at the Newseum

Thu, 2015-05-21 13:06

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the Vietnam War, and the Newseum marks the date with a new exhibit exploring how the media reported the country’s first televised war. Photos, news footage, music and artifacts tell the story of a divided nation, and debunk some myths about the era. The exhibit ultimately poses the question: did the press lose the war? We speak with the museum’s director and a Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist about how this war changed the way we cover - and perceive - conflict.

The Persistent Problem Of Lead Paint

Thu, 2015-05-21 12:40

A pair of children staying in the D.C. General Hospital homeless shelter recently tested positive for lead. While it remains unclear whether they were exposed at the shelter, this news comes on the heels of revelations about the role lead paint exposure had in the life of Freddie Gray, the young man who recently died after a violent interaction with Baltimore police. We find out why the problem of exposure persists and what strides have been made in cleaning up homes over the last few decades.

Assaulting a Police Officer: An Investigation

Thu, 2015-05-21 12:06

Is yelling at a police officer an assault? In D.C., the answer seems to be yes. A WAMU report, in partnership with the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University and "Reveal" from the Center for Investigative Reporting, probes when and how D.C. cops charge people with assaulting a police officer--and why almost all of those charged are black. We ask what the prevalence of this assault charge says about police-community relations and look at new efforts to narrow the definition of assaulting an officer.

Big Pig: From Slaughterhouse To Sustainable Meat

Wed, 2015-05-20 13:32

Smarter than your average toddler, adaptable and often cunning, pigs have long fascinated --and frustrated-- those who study and raise these corpulent creatures. But for millions of pigs raised to satisfy Americans’ taste for the "other white meat," life begins and ends in overcrowded holding pens built over manure lagoons at factory farms. In his new book, Barry Estabrook, a food writer best known for exposing abuses in the food industry, explores the lives of these wily creatures -- from dense backwoods to industrial slaughterhouses -- and their impact on people and their palates. Kojo talks with Estabrook about the realities behind our taste for pork, and how sustainably raised swine could change the "Big Pig" industry.

Gender Bias In Hollywood

Wed, 2015-05-20 12:06

Does Hollywood still need proof that women can successfully direct movies and television? The American Civil Liberties Union cites some shocking statistics: despite similar graduation rates from film schools, women direct only 6 percent of studio films. Gender discrimination is rife, they say, including comments along the lines of, "We already hired a woman this season." The ACLU is calling on state and federal agencies to investigate hiring practices. We explore the issues.

New Political Debates Brewing Over Worker Schedules

Tue, 2015-05-19 13:32

Labor organizers spent much of the past several years pushing proposals at the federal and local levels to boost minimum wages. But there are new debates looming about how employers schedule shifts for their workers. We examine the momentum building against last-minute scheduling and shift changes--known as "just in time scheduling"--in place at many workplaces in the Washington region and around the country.

SCOTUS Strikes Blow Against Maryland Income Tax Law

Tue, 2015-05-19 13:06

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that Maryland's income tax law is unconstitutional. By a 5-4 vote, the justices ruled that Maryland's law is essentially a tariff because it doesn't grant a full credit to residents who also pay income taxes in the states where they work. We explore what this ruling means for the Old Line State and for states around the country.

The Digital Fingerprints We Leave Behind Online

Tue, 2015-05-19 12:06

There's no such thing as anonymous in today's digitized world, when everything from web searches to clothing sizes are saved and quantified to create a digital you. Tech companies have become identity managers- collecting our personal data as we use their services, then selling that information to the highest bidder. Join us for a Tech Tuesday conversation about the data we leave behind while we go about our lives, and how that information is being sold and used.

The Bug Guy and the Insects of Spring

Mon, 2015-05-18 13:25

The good news: Stink bug populations seem to be declining in our area, meaning the armor-plated pests shouldn't be as prevalent this year. The bad news: The region's ash trees are in danger from the emerald ash borer. The beetle has turned up in many Maryland counties and in Baltimore, where a majority of the street trees are ash. The University of Maryland's "Bug Guy" joins us to examine these and other insects, from mosquitoes to ticks to bees.

Homicides Spike in Baltimore

Mon, 2015-05-18 13:06

Baltimore is still generating nationwide headlines because of the protests that erupted there after a young man died after a violent interaction with police. But a wave homicides that's taken place there in the wake of those riots has attracted less attention. Kojo chats with veteran police beat reporter Peter Hermann about the challenges confronting law enforcement in Baltimore and where they fit into broader conversations taking place across the country about effective policing.

The Next Generation of Transit-Oriented Development

Mon, 2015-05-18 12:06

Urban-style living is hot in our region and developers and cities are racing to meet the demand. In Northern Virginia, Arlington is both a pioneer and a well-known example of high-density construction near Metro stations. Now Arlington and other local communities are rethinking the look and feel of the office, retail and residential buildings near transit hubs as tastes change and demand booms. We explore the challenges of transit-oriented development 2.0 and the choices some municipalities are making.