Weekdays at 9am

1A from WAMU and NPR is a new 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 1st 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. 1A is produced at WAMU 88.5, and distributed by NPR.

the1a.org: Find out more about what you heard on a recent program here.

Friday News Roundup - International

Jan 19, 2018

South Korea’s efforts to reconcile with an isolated North Korea caught the attention of politicos and sports fans this week when they announced they will march and compete in unity at next month’s Olympic Games.

Friday News Roundup - Domestic

Jan 19, 2018

If you think your to-do list is long, consider your Senators’.

Congress is dealing with a host of issues — sometimes at odds with the president, sometimes at odds with itself — including:

Press freedom


Steve Bannon and the Russia investigation

Take Me On: The Art Of The Cover Song

Jan 18, 2018

What makes a great cover song?

Is it a total reimagining, like Devo singing “Satisfaction,” Ike and Tina Turner taking on “Proud Mary” or Jimi Hendrix playing “All Along The Watchtower?”

Is it a performance that brings a new energy or feeling to the original, like Earth, Wind and Fire’s “Got To Get You Into My Life” or Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah?”

Or can a covering artist bring a weight to a song that makes it feel all their own, like Johnny Cash singing “Hurt?”

The answer is yes.

From dubbing media outlets “fake news” to sharing memes of network logos being physically harmed, President Donald Trump’s attacks on the press have been … aggressive.

None of his efforts have been successful at quieting journalists in the U.S., who are protected from the president by the First Amendment, but denouncing news outlets has influenced some repressive regimes around the world to follow suit, jailing and threatening journalists.

1A Movie Club Sees "Saturday Church"

Jan 17, 2018

Meet Ulysses. He’s a shy 14-year-old, dealing both with his gender identity and the death of his father.

Escape comes at “Saturday Church,” a program for LGBTQ

youth. But what happens when his double life gets exposed?

We review this acclaimed new film with the 1A Movie Club, spoilers and all.


When North and South Korean athletes march out to the opening ceremony at next month’s Winter Olympics, they’ll do so under a single flag. And the two nations will field a women’s ice hockey team together as well.

It’s a big diplomatic step, but as CNN reports, not everyone is excited about the development.

New Thinking On Nuclear Weapons

Jan 17, 2018

A draft of the Trump administration’s nuclear weapons plan obtained by HuffPost calls for the development of two new types of nuclear weapons.

While the plans haven’t yet been approved, the Wall Street Journal reports that they “have strong support in the Pentagon and are expected to go forward, according to people familiar with the review.”

Appalachia. It’s been called Trump Country, coal country and backcountry. But it’s our country.

This region — defined both by proximity to its namesake mountain range as well as the culture that developed there — is usually presented to the nation through the work of translators: visiting journalists on assignment or locals who have escaped and can reflect on their hometowns from a safe distance.

America On Alert

Jan 16, 2018

What went wrong?

That was the top question after a frightening emergency alert hit people’s phones in Hawaii last weekend. The message warned of an imminent missile attack on the island and told recipients to seek shelter. “This is not a drill,” the warning ended.

Turns out, it wasn’t a drill. It was a mistake. From The New York Times:

Eric Motley grew up in Montgomery, Alabama, raised by adoptive grandparents in an area called Madison Park. It’s a place where he no longer lives, but he returns twice a year — to see his hometown, friends and relatives … and to say thanks.

Motley’s story is all about what a good community can do, even when things are bad.