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 News Roundup — International

22 hours ago

We continue to learn more about an explosion in Beirut, Lebanon. It killed over 130 people and destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes.

The News Roundup — Domestic

22 hours ago

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-K.Y.) says he “personally agrees” with passing another package for coronavirus relief. But there’s still no deal between Republican and Democratic lawmakers and the White House on another bill. Tens of millions of Americans remain unemployed, and the pandemic has killed over 157,000.

A flawed response to a global pandemic. A string of falsehoods concerning the efficacy of mail-in voting. A violent and undemocratic response to nationwide protests against police brutality and racism.

The president of the United States has a lot to answer for in the eyes of his critics.

Horses have always captivated Sarah Maslin Nir. Yes, she’s a horse girl. The love is so real that she wrote a book all about them. It’s called “Horse Crazy: The Story of a Woman and a World in Love With an Animal.”

What We Know About The Explosion In Beirut

Aug 6, 2020

A huge explosion buried much of Beirut, Lebanon, under rubble and dust on Tuesday afternoon. Now, an international rescue effort is underway as the death toll continues to rise.

Ilia Calderón was born in Istmina, Colombia, a small primarily Black, town in the coastal Choco region. Now, she’s a journalist working as the evening news anchor on Univisión Network. She is the first Afro-Latina to hold this position, and the first Afro-Latina to anchor a national newscast in Spanish in the United States.

Primaries, Still: On The Trail With Reid Wilson

Aug 5, 2020

With November right around the corner, Republicans and Democrats alike are scrambling to prepare for an election in the midst of a pandemic. While some states have embraced vote-by-mail, other states have struggled to keep up with the number of ballots still left to count due to backlog.

Bringing Live Events Back From The Brink Of Death

Aug 5, 2020

The live events industry is struggling to stay afloat financially during COVID-19, and we are months away from a potential vaccine.

Amid a global pandemic and ahead of a consequential presidential election, America desperately needs quality journalism.

But the public’s trust in major American media outlets is dangerously low.

From the Knight Foundation and Gallup’s new survey:

What’s Going On With Trump, Microsoft And TikTok?

Aug 4, 2020

Did you hear that collective shudder a few days ago? It was TikTok users across the United States, responding to President Donald Trump’s vow to ban the app.

But now, Trump says it’s okay for Microsoft to pursue purchasing the short-form video app.

Grief And Memory With Poet Natasha Trethewey

Aug 4, 2020

When Natasha Trethewey was 19, her mother was shot and killed by her stepfather.

Why President Trump Needs White Suburban Voters

Aug 3, 2020

President Donald Trump seems worried about getting reelected. That’s partially because polls suggest he’s losing his grip on a particular group of supporters.

“White suburban voters, particularly women, were key to his victory in 2016 but are slipping away from him,” The New York Times noted.

Reconsidering The Case Of The Crime Genre

Aug 3, 2020

In the years since podcasts have become a mainstay in the media consumption of people all around the world, listenership for the crime and mystery genre has skyrocketed. But before the advent of crime podcasts, there was the crime novel.

The News Roundup — Domestic

Jul 31, 2020

President Donald Trump does not have the explicit power to delay an election. But he tweeted Thursday morning that he was considering a delay for November’s vote due to the possibility of flawed voting (a claim for which there is no evidence). The Constitution gives Congress the ability to set the date for the federal election.

Big Tech CEOs testified before the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee on Wednesday.  We’re in the middle of a pandemic, so the heads of Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple answered questions via livestream.

Here’s what that looked like. We’ll say it: It wasn’t quite what we expected.

How To Stay Healthy During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Jul 30, 2020

If you live in the U.S., the coronavirus pandemic isn’t going anywhere. Given that there are fewer places to go, fewer things to do and so many more worries, it’s not surprising that some are noticing the numbers on the bathroom scale climb higher.

Zadie Smith On Writing Through Protests And The Pandemic

Jul 30, 2020

2020 is devastating. From the coronavirus pandemic to the civil unrest over systemic racism, there’s a palpable sense of dread and anxiety almost everywhere. Some have tried to analyze all the ways our world has changed since February due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But in the case of George Floyd’s killing and the ongoing protests against police brutality, others are reflecting on the ways our world has stayed entirely the same.

Why Gun Sales Are Spiking During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Jul 30, 2020

Between the coronavirus pandemic and nationwide protests, Americans are concerned about their personal safety. Gun sales have spiked significantly this year. In the 12 days following President Trump’s COVID-19 emergency declaration in March, firearm sales skyrocketed from an average of 92,000 per day to over 120,000.

Low-income communities have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Confirmed cases are more likely to be found in poorer neighborhoods in urban areas. Those same areas are less likely to have access to the care and protective equipment necessary to combat the virus.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is overseeing the distribution of nearly $13 billion in coronavirus relief to schools around the country via the CARES act. But there’s a catch.

1A Across America: Coronavirus At The Border

Jul 28, 2020

There are now at least 25,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas.

That count includes part of the U.S. border with Mexico. It’s a confluence of trade and migration, and it’s also home to millions of people. Containing and preventing the spread of COVID-19 across this international boundary has created a unique set of challenges for officials and the people who live here.

Seattle’s Renewed Racial Justice Protests

Jul 27, 2020

Amid the latest wave of racial justice protests, Seattle started to get national attention for an area called CHAZ. CHAZ (later renamed CHOP) referred to the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” or “Capitol Hill Organized Protest.” It was a police-free zone set up near an abandoned police precinct.

What Is Fascism?

Jul 27, 2020

What is fascism?

We’re asking because there’s a lively argument taking place over whether it’s accurate to describe the actions of President Donald Trump’s administration as “fascist.”

It’s not the first time we’ve heard warnings about the creep of fascism in the United States. But some thinkers say it’s the closest we’ve come in some time.

The News Roundup — Domestic

Jul 24, 2020

U.S. President Donald Trump announced the return of the daily coronavirus briefings he held in March and April. As the country sets COVID-19 records, Trump will look to regain the public’s trust as his poll numbers slip ahead of the November election.

The News Roundup — International

Jul 24, 2020

The United States is ordering the Chinese consulate in Houston to close. Why?

The world’s top scientists have been racing to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 in the months since it emerged. In that time, over 600,000 people have died worldwide, with nearly a quarter of them from the United States.

Two civil rights icons passed away recently, Congressman John Lewis and the Rev. C.T. Vivian

As calls for systemic change in law enforcement continue across the country, many police departments and police unions have pushed back on potential reform, warning that it would lead to increased crime.

In Baltimore, where Freddie Gray was killed by police officers in 2015, many were quick to cite the city as an early adopter of police reform when six individuals were charged for Gray’s death.

As protests against police brutality and systemic racism continue around the U.S., federal law enforcement come into cities like Portland, Oregon to shut down demonstrators. But in recent days, there have been reports of unmarked vehicles and unidentifiable officers pulling protestors off the streets in Portland.