On Point

Weekdays, 9am - 10am
  • Hosted by Tom Ashbrook


On Point is broadcast for two hours daily across the country on NPR. The show’s lively conversation covers everything from breaking news to ancient poetry, and features writers, politicians, journalists, artists, scientists and ordinary citizens from around the world.

Broadcast live from 10 a.m. to noon ET, with listener call-in, from WBUR in Boston, the show airs on more than 210 NPR stations coast to coast.

Marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. And why three generations later, we must still never forget.


Anna Ornstein, psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, scholar and writer. She is an Auschwitz survivor, who wrote about her experiences in the book “My Mother’s Eyes: Holocaust Memories of a Young Girl.”

A new memoir reveals an unsavory depiction of tech startup culture. We’ll examine the influence of Silicon Valley’s most powerful companies — and how the public’s view of Big Tech is changing.

CRISPR, the breakthrough method for editing genes, has the potential to improve our lives. But one of its inventors warns us scientists may be tempted to change life itself — in ways we won’t like.


Jennifer Doudna, biochemist who helped invent CRISPR technology. Professor of chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California, Berkeley.  (@doudna_lab)

It’s been 10 years since the Supreme Court’s landmark decision on Citizens United. We’ll look back at the last decade and take stock of the fallout.


Carrie Levine, senior reporter at the Center for Public Integrity. (@levinecarrie)

The commercialization of the internet continues — those .org addresses nonprofits use may soon be owned by a for-profit company. We’ll talk about how it all works and what it means for the future of the internet.


Esther Dyson, founding chairwoman of ICANN from 1998 to 2000. (@edyson)

On the first day of President Trump’s impeachment trial, we reflect on the moment with two historians. They’ll share with us what they’ll be watching for and how past events might shed light on the present.

Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of a dream where his children would not be judged by the color of their skin. More than a half-century later, how should parents talk about race and justice with their kids now?


Melissa Giraud, social justice educator, researcher and advocate. Co-founder of EmbraceRace, an organization that provides resources for parents to teach their children about race. (@mgiraud)

What’s next for the impeachment inquiry? We’ll discuss the latest developments and look at new evidence still surfacing.


John Bresnahan, congressional bureau chief for Politico. (@BresPolitico)

Baseball’s sign-stealing scandal. We look at what’s fair and what’s foul in the state of baseball and sport.


Jeremy Schaap, host of the ESPN newsmagazines “Outside the Lines” and “E:60.” (@JeremySchaap)

Impeachment heads to the Senate. Democrats debate electability and gender. The U.S. and China strike a deal. The entire Russian government quits. The roundtable is here.


Kimberly Atkins, senior news correspondent for WBUR. (@KimberlyEAtkins)

Darlene Superville, White House reporter, Associated Press. (@dsupervilleap)

Pulitzer prize-winning poet Tracy K. Smith spent a year traveling the country as U.S. poet laureate. Who did she meet — and what did she learn — about a nation that seems at odds with itself?

Boeing used to have high safety standards. One recently revealed employee email said the company now has a “culture of ‘good enough.'” What will it take to turn Boeing around?

Check out our past coverage of Boeing:

The latest news on the U.S.-Iran crisis. Democrats debate in Iowa. Impeachment trial developments. We look ahead to a busy week in the news.


Amna Nawaz, senior national correspondent and primary substitute anchor for PBS NewsHour. (@IAmAmnaNawaz)

The media’s coverage of Hollywood and lessons from press coverage of Harvey Weinstein.


Radhika Jones, editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair. She formerly served as the editorial director for the books department at The New York Times, deputy managing editor of Time and the managing editor of The Paris Review.  (@radhikajones)

How is the economy really doing? We put the noise of politics aside and break down the numbers, right down to your wallet.


Greg Ip, chief economics commentator for The Wall Street Journal. (@greg_ip)

Twenty percent of confirmed pregnancies end in miscarriage in the first trimester. More women are talking about it to destigmatize the loss. We join the conversation.


Sunita Osborn, licensed clinical psychologist. Author of “The Miscarriage Map: What To Expect When You Are No Longer Expecting.” Therapist and director of operations at Modern Therapy, a group practice in Houston.

Iran strikes back. Now what? We have the latest regional analysis, from top military and diplomatic voices.


Bryan Bender, defense editor for Politico Pro. (@BryanDBender)

Yola was a young black British girl who grew up loving American country music. Now, she’s taking over Nashville, and singing at the Grand Ole Opry. We talk with her.


Yola, British singer and songwriter. She released her debut LP “Through the Fire” in February 2019. Nominated for four Grammy Awards, including best new artist. (@iamyola)

Watch on YouTube.

What does Mark Galli, the now retired editor-in-chief of Christianity Today, make of the response to his call for Trump’s removal from office? We ask him.


Mark Galli, former editor-in-chief of Christianity Today. (@markgalli)

Richard Landexecutive editor of The Christian Post. President of the Southern Evangelical Seminary and Bible College. (@ChristianPost)

The latest developments in U.S.-Iran tensions. Lawmakers return to Washington to wrangle over details of the impeachment trial. We look ahead to a busy week in the news.


Gideon Roseeditor of Foreign Affairs Magazine. (@ForeignAffairs)

Kids, manners and the holidays. We have expert advice on how to expect and encourage behavior that makes for great family memories.


Katherine Reynolds Lewis, author of “The Good News About Bad Behavior: Why Kids Are Less Disciplined Than Ever-And What to Do About It.” Certified parent educator and award-winning journalist. (@KatherineLewis)

Members of this health plan pay nothing for doctor’s visits, lab tests or hospitalizations. Could this be a model for the rest of the country?


Noam Levey, writes about national health care policy out of Washington, D.C., for the Los Angeles Times. (@NoamLevey)

Donald Trump becomes only the third president in U.S. history to be impeached. He rallies his loyalists in Michigan. The 2020 Democrats debate. The roundtable is here.


Juana Summers, political reporter for NPR. (@jmsummers)

Katie Rogers, White House correspondent for The New York Times. (@katierogers)

The storied band Los Lobos is out with a new album, “Llegó Navidad.” They join us to celebrate.


David Hidalgo, songwriter and musician. Member of Los Lobos (@LosLobosBand) since the band formed in 1973.

Steve Berlin, musician and producer. Saxophonist and keyboardist for Los Lobos.

The Washington Post’s massive investigation that U.S. officials misled the public about the Afghanistan War for almost 20 years. We talk with one of those same officials on what they said then, and what they think now.


Craig Whitlock, investigative reporter focusing on national security for the Washington Post. (@CraigMWhitlock)

Jay-Z at 50. We look at his evolution as a cultural icon.


Michael Eric Dyson, sociology professor at Georgetown University. Author of “Jay-Z: Made in America.” (@MichaelEDyson)

Interview Highlights

On what separates Jay-Z from the core and beginnings of hip-hop 

President Trump’s executive order to combat anti-Semitism on college campuses triggers strong feelings among American Jews. We’re listening.


Michael Brenner, professor of Israel Studies at American University. Professor of Jewish history at University of Munich. Author of “In Search of Israel: The History of an Idea.”

Editor’s note: This hour discusses domestic abuse.

Resources: The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Acclaimed writer Carmen Maria Machado. Her memoir explores the gray areas of an abusive relationship, and the confusion of falling from soaring happiness to emotional pain.

The Week Ahead In Impeachment

Dec 16, 2019

Final steps in the impeachment process. Top reporters look ahead to what’s sure to be a historic week.


Paula Reid, CBS News White House correspondent focusing on the Justice Department and legal affairs. (@PaulaReidCBS)

We talk about the Fox News harassment scandals, the movie “Bombshell” and the aftermath.


Jay Roach, director of the new movie “Bombshell,” about Roger Ailes’ downfall at Fox News and the women who spoke out against him.