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On May 3, 1971, at 5 p.m., All Things Considered debuted on 90 public radio stations.

In the 40 years since, almost everything about the program has changed, from the hosts, producers, editors and reporters to the length of the program, the equipment used and even the audience.

However there is one thing that remains the same: each show consists of the biggest stories of the day, thoughtful commentaries, insightful features on the quirky and the mainstream in arts and life, music and entertainment, all brought alive through sound.

All Things Considered is the most listened-to, afternoon drive-time, news radio program in the country. Every weekday the two-hour show is hosted by Robert Siegel and Melissa Block. In 1977, ATC expanded to seven days a week with a one-hour show on Saturdays and Sundays, currently hosted by Guy Raz.

During each broadcast, stories and reports come to listeners from NPR reporters and correspondents based throughout the United States and the world. The hosts interview newsmakers and contribute their own reporting. Rounding out the mix are the disparate voices of a variety of commentators, including Sports Commentator Stefen Fastis, Poet Andrei Codrescu and Political Columnists David Brooks and E.J. Dionne,

All Things Considered has earned many of journalism's highest honors, including the George Foster Peabody Award, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award and the Overseas Press Club Award.

This essay isn't about spin, or splitting hairs, or differing opinions.

This involves a reality check about our expectations of the people who act in our name. About credibility at the highest levels of our government. About people whose words are heard abroad as speaking for our nation. About the public and the media that try, however imperfectly, to serve it.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Two thousand, three hundred - that is the number of children estimated to have been separated from their parents at the border since the Trump administration instituted its zero-tolerance policy.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Third grade teacher Tony Osumi says he, like a lot of Americans, watched the recent news from the Southern US border with growing dismay. The images and sounds of wailing children being pulled from their tearful parents' arms and taken away to temporary shelters made him wince—and reminded him of the first day of school for children who hadn't been before.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

They're used to rushing, tackling, and taking hits in front of 65,000 screaming spectators. But it was a whole different ball game when three New England Patriots came to a much smaller stage at a middle school in Boston's inner city this week to challenge five candidates vying to be district attorney on how they'd make the criminal justice system more fair.

"[My] nervous level is pretty high right now," conceded player Matthew Slater, as the auditorium began to fill up. Each clutching a wad of notes, his teammates Jason and Devin McCourty, seemed to feel the same way.

The order came in April. China's government instructed farmers in the country's northeastern breadbasket region to grow more soybeans, calling it "a political priority."

But soybean fields lay empty in the village of Sandaogou, which means "Three Ditches," in Liaoning province. It has been a dry spring.

"We've had a drought this year, so we planted soybeans late. The seedlings should be out by now. We need more rain," says farmer Liu, who only gives her surname for fear of trouble with local authorities. Soy, after all, has become "political."

A recording of migrant children crying for their mothers and fathers has gripped the nation — and ratcheted up the debate over the Trump administration's policy of separating families at the border.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Trump administration is reversing another decision made by the Obama administration and pulling out of the U.N.'s Human Rights Council. The U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, says the body is not worthy of its name.

Big banks are skirting the rules on the sale of the complex financial instruments that helped bring about the 2008 financial crisis, by exploiting a loophole in federal banking regulations, a new report says.

The loophole could leave Wall Street exposed to big losses, potentially requiring taxpayers to once again bail out the biggest banks, warns the report's author, Michael Greenberger, former director of trading and markets at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

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