Weekdays 2-3 p.m.
  • Hosted by Joshua Johnson

1A is a show for a changing America.

Every day, host Joshua Johnson convenes a conversation about the most important issues of our time. The show takes a deep and unflinching look at America, bringing context and insight to stories unfolding across the country and the world.

With a name inspired by the First Amendment*, 1A explores important issues such as policy, politics, technology, and what connects us across the fissures that divide the country. The program also delves into pop culture, sports and humor. 1A’s goal is to act as a national mirror — taking time to help America look at itself and to ask what it wants to be.

The conversation isn’t just on air. 1A invites you to join in. We’ll regularly post questions and requests for feedback on this page. And you can talk to us on TwitterFacebook, or by texting 1A to 63735.

1A is produced by WAMU 88.5, and distributed by NPR.

The Borderlands series of video games has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide.

That’s not just the creative team at work — there’s a whole story that has to be designed as well, just as a movie needs script.

Gearbox Software makes Borderlands, and managing producer Of Narrative, Randy Varnell, told us what he thinks makes the open-world shooter game unique and how he approaches storytelling within the game.

Game Mode: Work Hard, Play Hard

Jul 17, 2019

Last year, total video game sales in the United States hit a record-breaking $43.4 billion.

That’s partially because games are bigger — and longer, and more complicated — than ever before. Some scripts involve more than 500,000 lines of dialogue… and some graphics are so sharp you can spot every single wave of grass.

But all that detail comes as a cost. Some game developers say their working conditions have steadily deteriorated, in part because of the industry-wide expectation than they work non-stop.

In 2014, then-CNN journalist Isha Sesay broke the story of ISIS-affiliated terrorist group Boko Haram, which kidnapped 276 schoolgirls from Chibok in northern Nigeria.

Five years later, over half of these girls are still in captivity. Why aren’t we still hearing about them?

From The New York Times:

Foresight 2020: Senator Cory Booker

Jul 17, 2019

Sen. Cory Booker is running for president. Here is what it’s like to walk around with him in Newark, New Jersey, according to a recent Politico profile,

Game Mode: Consoles And Community

Jul 15, 2019

Your spaceship just crash landed. It’s dark. Someone — or something — is lurking nearby. You and your crew have no choice but to grab your weapons and hunt the aliens…before they hunt you.

If you love this kind of action-based scenario, you’re probably a gamer. You’re not alone. Nearly 70 percent of Americans say they play video games. You’re also not likely to be playing alone.

The Trump administration planned to target thousands of undocumented families this weekend, according to The New York Times. But as of Sunday evening, there was little evidence of the large-scale effort President Trump had promised.

Instead, the president took to Twitter.

For months, the crisis at the southern border has overwhelmed Border Patrol facilities.

Many faith groups are stepping up to fill the demand for volunteers and resources.

One respite center, Catholic Charities for the Rio Grande Valley, has aided 100,000 migrants since it opened in 2014. Here’s what its director, Sister Norma Pimentel, wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post that’s addressed to President Trump:

Dan Schulman is the CEO of online payment company PayPal, sure.

But he also practices Krav Maga, a style of martial arts used by the Israeli military.

Here’s what Schulman says about how business and Krav Maga overlap:

Thelma and Louise. Abbi and Ilana. Stony, Cleo, Frankie and T.T.

There’s something special about female friendships. And the way we view them is evolving — in pop culture and in real life.

Here’s what HuffPost’s Julia Craven writes about her tight-knit group of “magical black women.” She says their bond began when they watched Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” together in 2016.

The U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) are world champions yet again.

This American team’s impact will be felt far beyond the 2019 tournament.

Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl wrote about the tournament, and he also spoke to former USWNT captain Julie Foudy about it.

Foresight 2020: Governor Jay Inslee

Jul 10, 2019

Washington Governor Jay Inslee is running for president. His main issue is the fight against climate change. He told BuzzFeed News that he’s “the only candidate in the race who is saying that [climate change] has to be the first priority of the new president. If it’s not job one, it won’t get done.”

The #MeToo movement has helped millions of women share their stories of sexual assault and harassment.

But imagine having so many stories that you had to make a list.

Imagine if that list included the president.

That’s the reality for Elle advice columnist E. Jean Carroll, who recounts experiences of harassment and assault in her forthcoming book, What Do We Need Men For?

Senator Kamala Harris told the nation a story two weeks ago.

Here is what she said.

And I will say also that — that, in this campaign, we have also heard — and I’m going to now direct this at Vice President Biden, I do not believe you are a racist, and I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground.

Friday News Roundup - International

Jul 5, 2019

President Donald Trump became the first sitting American president to cross into North Korea this week. He tweeted that he would be in the area and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un took him up on the offer.

Friday News Roundup - Domestic

Jul 5, 2019

“Tanks, but no tanks,” the Washington, D.C. City Council opined on Twitter.

They were talking about President Donald Trump’s July 4 “Salute To America,” the much-touted parade and fireworks display in D.C.

When actor George Takei was just five years old, the U.S. government sent him and his family to a Japanese-American internment camp.

The story of what he suffered during World War II is well-known.

Jason Rezaian, a journalist and the former Washington Post Tehran bureau chief, has some deep thoughts on President Trump’s foreign policy strategy toward Iran.

Rezaian is Iranian-American. He reported there. And he spent 554 days imprisoned in Iran’s Evin prison on charges of espionage.

The pressure on the U.S. government to address the humanitarian crisis at the southern border has intensified over the past several weeks.

But it’s still unclear what approach immigration officials and Congress will take to focus on an issue that has again captivated the attention of citizens around the world, owing in part to a viral photo.

The acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Ken Cuccinelli, responded to the image of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his daughter Valeria, who drowned crossing the Rio Grande.

How Can We Prevent Suicide?

Jun 25, 2019

The suicide rate in the United States is the highest it’s been since World War II, according to the latest CDC research.

But for something as widespread — and as grave — as suicide, why don’t we talk about it more? And when we do talk about it, how do we convey the right message? How can we help prevent the loss of another life?

Foresight 2020: Health Care

Jun 25, 2019

Voters think health care is the top issue facing America today, according to a recent poll by RealClearPolitics.

This is one of the latest of many surveys which demonstrate that health care is a leading concern for many voters.

In her new documentary “Homecoming,” singer Beyoncé talked about the punishing measures she took to prepare for her two-hour show at Coachella, only a few months after she gave birth to twins:

In pre-Coachella behind-the-scenes footage, a voice off-camera — presumably Beyoncé’s choreographer, JaQuel Knight — said that she was likely burning 1,500 to 2,000 calories per day from hours of rehearsing.

Conservative columnist George Will says today’s GOP has strayed far from its conservative roots. Indeed, he recently said “young people have made up their mind about the Republican Party, that it’s kind of the dumb party.”

He explains where the party has been and what’s at stake in a new book, “The Conservative Sensibility.”

President Donald Trump commented on the possibility of war with Iran in an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd broadcast on Sunday.

Although he said he didn’t want a military conflict, he said if it did happen, “it’ll be obliteration like you’ve never seen before.”

You’ve probably heard about the migrant caravans traveling through Mexico to the U.S. border.

Well, there’s another kind of caravan crossing borders in search of survival: diabetic Americans traveling to Canada to get cheaper insulin.

When the U.S. team took the field against Thailand in the opening match of the FIFA Women’s World Cup earlier this month, they were battling on two fronts: on the pitch and in the courtroom.

The outcome of that first contest — a historically lopsided 13-0 drubbing by the Americans — hinted at the resolve of the 28 women who are suing the sport’s U.S. governing body over unequal pay and working conditions.

You know the feeling. The weather has just gotten warm. You get behind the wheel on a Friday afternoon and head into the weekend. Your favorite song is on the radio, you’ve got the windows down. Is there anything better?

American media have captured that scene for generations. Hundreds of songs have been written about driving and cars.

But would your feelings be the same if you weren’t the one driving? If instead, the car was driverless?

This week, protesters filled the streets of Hong Kong to push back on a proposed bill.

CNN reports the “law would allow Hong Kong to extradite fugitives to territories where it doesn’t have formal extradition deals — including mainland China.”

On Wednesday, President Trump told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos that he might accept damaging information from foreigners about opponents.

When pressed on whether he would hand this information over to the FBI, he said, “I think maybe you do both.”

From fairs to auctions to gilded galas, the contemporary art market is booming.

It’s also the financial world’s best kept secret for saving billions in taxes.

The Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, follows reporting that shook the faith community. In The Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News, victims described widespread sexual abuse by Southern Baptist clergy and employees.

One key takeaway from their reporting?