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

Mar 27, 2020

India, the second most populous country in the world is on lockdown. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision comes after the country reported 606 cases of coronavirus. While the order aims to prevent a massive public health disaster, experts say it could leave the economy reeling and its citizens starving.

The News Roundup — Domestic

Mar 27, 2020

Late Wednesday night, the Senate approved a $2 trillion aid package for those affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

If the House moves it forward and the president signs it, the bill will add billions into unemployment insurance programs, mail checks to Americans in need and create loan programs for struggling businesses across the country.

Bernie Sanders is one of 96 senators who passed an unprecedented $2 trillion coronavirus spending bill last night. The bill is an attempt to stop an economic free fall due to the coronavirus pandemic. The package now moves to the House. If they pass it, the president said he’ll sign it.

Congressman Raul Ruiz On The Coronavirus Response Bill

Mar 26, 2020

In California, 55 people have died due to coronavirus. There are 2,600 confirmed cases. And Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said worse is coming.

“All of us want things to go back to the normal, all of us, but the premature pronouncements that we can see that light at the end of the tunnel — I would say we are just entering that tunnel right now.”

Coronavirus: The Olympics Take A Time Out

Mar 26, 2020

On Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government announced their decision to postpone the 2020 Summer Olympics, set to take place in Tokyo.

The Olympics have never before been postponed. They have been cancelled three times, due to war. But this time, it’s a virus.

As American COVID-19 cases rise, so does the demand for medical supplies.

Some of our country’s most recognizable companies are pivoting to meet the demand. Distilleries are using their supplies and manufacturing capabilities to make hand sanitizer. General Motors and Tesla are working to produce badly-needed ventilators.

R. Eric Thomas’ life changed after he went viral on Facebook.

He wrote a post comparing a photo of President Barack Obama, then Mexican-President Enrique Peña Nieto, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Marvel’s Avengers. Soon after, he became a columnist for Elle.com.

Now, Thomas has released a collection of personal essays entitled “Here For It” in which he ponders celebrity in the age of the internet, influencer culture and more.

The Sounds Of America: The 1951 National League Tiebreaker

Mar 25, 2020

The Library of Congress hosts more than 10 million books, manuscripts and photographs. 

After the Ebola outbreak killed over 11,300 people in West Africa between 2014 and 2016, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates took to the TED stage to talk about preparing for the next outbreak.

His message: We’re not ready.

Although former tech executive Andrew Yang dropped out of the presidential race in February, the ideas that captured his supporters’ imaginations seem more relevant now than ever.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration said it planned to work with Congress to pass an aid bill that would see checks worth thousands of dollars mailed to Americans.

Sen. Chris Coons On A Coronavirus Rescue Package

Mar 24, 2020

Senate Republicans have tried and failed twice to advance a two trillion dollar stimulus package in response to coronavirus. They say the measure will cushion COVID-19’s economic blow.  

In the United States, there are millions of people whose voices won’t be heard when it’s time to vote in November.

Coronavirus: Feeding A Sick Nation

Mar 24, 2020

Stories and photos of empty shelves and long lines are plentiful amid the spread of COVID-19 in the United States and beyond. Americans’ emergency shopping is straining the industry and raising questions about how well we can feed the nation and what’s being done to protect grocery workers.

Coronavirus: Aiding The Unemployed

Mar 23, 2020

As coronavirus continues to spread in the United States, more and more businesses have to close their doors or cut back hours, spelling trouble for employees. From restaurant and hotel workers to musicians and retail staff, hundreds of thousands of jobs are being impacted by the crisis.

Worshippers drink from the same cup at Communion. Some synagogues require a gathering of 10 people before a service can take place. And Muslims usually prostrate themselves shoulder-to-shoulder during Friday prayers.

And don’t even start about social distancing in pews.

The News Roundup — International

Mar 20, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is getting worse in Europe.

In Italy, the number of deaths from coronavirus has surpassed those from China. And a quickly rising death toll in Spain prompted the government to shut down non-essential businesses and public gatherings.

The News Roundup — Domestic

Mar 20, 2020

There are likely “tens of thousands” of cases of COVID-19 that have gone undiagnosed in New York State, says New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. An increase in testing has revealed New York to be one of the hardest-hit regions in the nation. There are currently at least 4,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Empire State.

Curbing The Economic Impact Of Coronavirus

Mar 19, 2020

The coronavirus crisis is affecting every aspect of American life, including the economy.

Coronavirus: What To Play When Your Life Is On Pause

Mar 19, 2020

Sports games are on hiatus. Movie theaters and playhouses are shutting down. Concerts are canceled. All thanks to the spread of the coronavirus.

Coronavirus: Shutdown Town

Mar 19, 2020

As cities across the country restrict business operations and encourage self-isolation and social distancing, one Colorado town has shut down completely. 

What To Do With Your Money During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Mar 19, 2020

Beyond maintaining social distance, another major concern caused by coronavirus is how the outbreak will impact finances.

Do Self-Help Books Actually…Help?

Mar 18, 2020

How do we make ourselves better? And what does better even mean? Those can be expensive questions to answer.

One 2016 estimate valued the self-help industry at close to $10 billion.

Five states have postponed their primaries due to the coronavirus pandemic. But three, Arizona, Florida and Illinois, still went to the polls on Tuesday. Former Vice President Joe Biden continued his winning streak and won all three states.

Coronavirus: Surviving Social Distancing

Mar 18, 2020

The practice of social distancing, or staying away from large gatherings and events, is crucial in fighting the spread of coronavirus. However, staying inside by yourself or with a partner might have some unintended consequences.

Most Americans earn the right to vote at 18. But Jack Vaile, who has cerebral palsy, was stripped of his right to vote at 18, when his father, Lou, became his guardian and conservator under California state law.

Lou and Jack were unaware that California is one of at least ten states where people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are under conservatorship or guardianship are not allowed to vote.

In 1992, Pamela Colon moved to the U.S. Virgin Islands from Illinois. She is one of an estimated 4 million people living in U.S. territories who are not allowed to vote in the presidential election, but are still under the jurisdiction of whoever sits in the Oval Office.

It’s no secret that Russia used social media to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Coronavirus: Nurses And Doctors

Mar 17, 2020

Many Americans are doing their best to avoid contact with coronavirus, but the nation’s medical professionals are putting themselves in the infection’s path to save lives and treat patients.

iHeartMedia owns and operates 858 broadcast radio stations, serving more than 150 markets throughout the U.S. The company reaches over a quarter billion monthly listeners ​in America.

Coronavirus: Capitol Hill Disconnect

Mar 16, 2020

Confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States increased by nearly a third in just one day – to 2,900 by Sunday. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that Americans cancel or postpone events of 50-plus people for the next eight weeks.