KIOS-FM

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.

You’re walking along a river bank in an American city. All of a sudden, you bump into … an art gallery.

Artist Lloyd Williams has set up a small outdoor gallery next to the Charles River in Boston. His business has struggled in the pandemic. So he’s stepped outside — leaning his artwork up against stone benches as he paints. Wearing a mask with an Ankh — the Egyptian key of life — he strikes up conversations with passers by.

Steven Gupton teaches health science at the James E. Shepard IB Magnet Middle school in Durham, North Carolina. Students still aren’t back in the classroom, and some of his students weren’t showing up for their remote classes. So, last week, Steven decided to visit his students at their homes to make sure they’re doing OK.


In this diary … we hear from:

Steven Gupton, health science teacher in Durham, North Carolina.

“What you’re seeing is a continuing undermining of career dedicated professionals and the data and facts.” – Olivia Troye


Mixed signals and information from the White House. Uncertainty around the truth of the president’s health. A former adviser to the White House COVID-19 taskforce discusses her own time in the Trump White House, and what President Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis means for the United States.

Coronavirus Reaches The White House

Oct 5, 2020

President Trump’s positive coronavirus test throws the country into another cycle of uncertainty. We talk about how to understand this moment, and what to expect next.

Guests

Paula ReidWhite House correspondent for CBS News. (@PaulaReidCBS)

This broadcast originally aired on August 13, 2020.


The pandemic has taken a toll on all aspects of life, including romantic relationships. We dig into what’s keeping couples together or breaking them apart.

Guests

Ashley Fetters, reporter who has been writing about relationships during the pandemic. (@AshleyFetters)

A Look At The Global Impact Of Coronavirus

Oct 1, 2020

More than 1 million dead around the world due to the coronavirus. We look at where the pandemic is headed in major nations such as India and Brazil.  

President Trump and Joe Biden faced off in the first general election debate Tuesday. The candidates fielded questions on the pandemic, race and violence in the U.S., and more. We tally up the night’s wins and losses.  

This broadcast originally aired on July 14, 2020.


We talk to the best friends behind the podcast “Call Your Girlfriend.” Their new book details what it takes to maintain long distance friendships.

We’re six months and more than 200,000 deaths into the coronavirus pandemic. We check in with an epidemiologist and a virologist about the latest on COVID-19.

The story of a Boston Globe reporter who decided to document his life with prostate cancer via a new – and very personal – podcast.  

Guests

Mark Shanahan, entertainment reporter at the Boston Globe. Host of the podcast “Mr. 80 Percent.” (@MarkAShanahan)

Listen to our hour on how elections work in a pandemic here.


Election Day is fewer than six weeks away. But concerns around the election persist: Will it be safe to vote in person? How will states execute a variety of voting methods? Can we have faith in the legitimacy of the election results? We tackle those issues and more.  

“We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional.” Norm Ornstein wrote that back in 2012. Eight years later, does Ornstein think there’s any way for the U.S. to regain institutional and political stability? We ask him.

Power is up for grabs in the Senate this November and a Supreme Court vacancy is only escalating the stakes of key races. We talk about how Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death could have an impact on races in Maine, North Carolina, Colorado and Arizona.

Guests

Anthony Brooks, On Point 2020 correspondent. Senior political reporter for WBUR. (@anthonygbrooks)

We talk about where we are in the development of a coronavirus vaccine and what we know about the criteria for making a vaccine public.  

Guests

Andrew Joseph, reporter for STAT News. (@DrewQJoseph)

We discuss the political response to Ginsburg’s death, and what it reveals about the fragility of U.S. institutions. How is American democracy being tested now?

We talk to campus leaders around the country about a challenging semester for college students.

Guests

Andy Thomason, senior editor at the Chronicle of Higher Education. Author of a forthcoming book about the academic fraud scandal at the University of North Carolina and what it revealed about college sports and higher education. (@arthomason)

What we can learn from Dwight Eisenhower’s life and leadership.

Guests

Susan Eisenhower, policy strategist and lecturer. Author of “How Ike Led.” (@eisenhowergroup)

Millions of Americans still haven’t yet received their benefits after being laid off during the pandemic. Denise Mines is one of them. She’s a university librarian who lives in Boynton Beach, Florida. Denise was furloughed on April 17. First thing she did: followed all of the steps to get her unemployment benefits. Should have been pretty easy, right?


In this diary … we hear from:

Denise Mines, a university librarian who lives in Boynton Beach, Florida.

A mathematician turns gender into a math problem. We hear how math can help us rethink ingrained conceptions of gender.  

Next in our voter roundtable series: U.S. military veterans. What qualities are most essential in a commander in chief? What role does — and what role should — the U.S. military play in protecting American democracy?

Guests

Bob Killebrew, retired colonel who served in Vietnam. Longtime independent, now a Democrat.

Michael Logue, corporal who served in Iraq. Trustee for Union Township in Ohio. Volunteer advisory board member for Veterans For Trump.

The Trap Of Meritocracy

Sep 15, 2020

What has become of the common good? Political theorist Michael Sandel traces how meritocracy went from a satiric idea in the 1950s to a bedrock of American culture – and what we might have lost in its ascendance.

Guests

Michael Sandel, professor of government at Harvard University. Author of “The Tyranny of Merit.” (@JusticeHarvard)

Lessons Of The Pacific Northwest Wildfires

Sep 15, 2020

The West Coast is facing some of the worst wildfires in its history. We take a look at the role of forest management in helping control these fires.

Guests

Monica Samayoa, environment reporter for Oregon Public Broadcasting. (@m0nica10)

The Media's Role In Calling An Election

Sep 14, 2020

As we look forward to potentially unprecedented numbers of mail-in ballots in November, should we be preparing for an election night that may not produce a winner? We talk about the history of election results, and the media’s role in reporting them during an unusual election.

Guests

Margaret Sullivan, media columnist for the Washington Post. (@sulliview)

Noah Oppenheim, president of NBC News.

The 2020 campaign heats up. The Senate takes up a pared down COVID-19 relief bill. And evidence that the president knew the threat of the coronavirus in February. All that and more in our week in review.

Guests

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst. (@JackBeattyNPR)

To our listeners: On Point has decided to suspend the ‘comments’ section of our website while we explore new ways to engage our audience. On Point listeners are responding more these days via social media, particularly Twitter and Facebook, and effectively moderating On Point’s comments section pulls resources away from our core mission — journalism. We’ve concluded there are better ways to achieve the same kind of community discussion around issues raised in our broadcasts. So please join the conversation on social media (@onpointradio).

To our listeners: On Point has decided to suspend the ‘comments’ section of our website while we explore new ways to engage our audience. On Point listeners are responding more these days via social media, particularly Twitter and Facebook, and effectively moderating On Point’s comments section pulls resources away from our core mission — journalism. We’ve concluded there are better ways to achieve the same kind of community discussion around issues raised in our broadcasts. So please join the conversation on social media (@onpointradio).

The Threat To U.S. Elections

Sep 8, 2020

Russia is attempting to interfere with the presidential election yet again. What’s Moscow doing this time?  

Guests

Jack Delaney, freelance journalist. (@dadrespecter)

James Baldwin's Lessons For America

Sep 7, 2020

This segment originally aired on July 29, 2020.


We look back on the life and work of the great American writer and thinker James Baldwin.  

A Conversation With Jane Goodall

Sep 4, 2020

This broadcast originally aired on July 17, 2020.


60 years ago, Jane Goodall first began her close observations of Tanzania’s chimpanzees. Equipped with simple binoculars, a notebook and patience, she transformed the way the world understood primates and wildlife. She joins us to look back on her legacy, and discuss the urgent challenges around climate and conservation.

College students across the country are returning to campuses for the first time since the pandemic hit. But some campuses closed almost as soon as they opened. We look at how the decisions are being made to reopen higher ed.  

Guests

Andy Thomason, senior editor at the Chronicle of Higher Education. (@arthomason)

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