To The Best Of Our Knowledge

News & Information: Sat • 1pm-3pm | Sun • Noon-2pm
  • Hosted by Anne Strainchamps

A thoughtful and penetrating interview magazine featuring nationally and internationally-known guests whose passion for new ideas challenge and engage.

On Saturday, October 15th, JPR's News & Information Service will debut two new programs: NPR's Ask Me Another, and PRI's Selected Shorts. Two other shows will shift to new times to accommodate the changes.

Capturing Manufactured Landscapes

Jun 11, 2016

Anyone who works in news will tell you that photographs drive attention.  That a great photograph can propel a story or an issue from the sidelines to the center of a public conversation.  Large-scale photographer Edward Burtynsky is making it his life’s work to jump start a global conversation about sustainability – by photographing scarred, damaged industrial landscapes.  He’s a TED prize winner whose work is in more than 50 museum collections.  Burtynsky and filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal have worked together on two documentaries.  Steve Paulson talked with her about their first – filmed in

Is the Risk of Photojournalism Worth It?

Jun 11, 2016

This week all of us – public radio listeners and producers -- were shocked and saddened by the death of NPR photojournalist David Gilkey.  He and his translator, Zabihullah "Zabi" Tamann, were killed while they were on assignment in Afghanistan, when the convoy they were traveling in was ambushed by Taliban.    Photojournalists like David go places most of us wouldn’t want to go, they take pictures of things we may not want to see… They risk their lives, hoping to send back that one image that just might change someone’s mind or open someone’s heart. 

Great war photographers bring a tremendous sense of mission to their work.  Most of them believe the right image seen by enough people at the right time can change the world.  Maybe not right away – but in time.  Over the past 30 years, the photographer James Nachtwey has covered just about every major armed conflict in the world.  He's been shot and wounded more than once, and nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize ten times.  We talked with him when he had just put together an exhibition of photos he took in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the place those wars began - Ground Zero on 9/11.

The Aesthetic Beauty of War Photography

Jun 11, 2016

There are moral and ethical issues that come up around war photography. Writer David Shields charged the New York Times with glamorizing war in photographs.  Shields analyzed 100’s of pictures published on the front page of the Times and last year he wrote a book accusing the paper of making war beautiful.  Charles Monroe-Kane sat down to talk with him.

 

Taking pictures of war is complicated. The late philosopher Susan Sontag thought a lot about the moral implications of taking and looking at photos of human conflict. She wrote a classic book on the subject, called “Regarding the Pain of Others.”  We're revisiting our interview with her, about how to see and think about photography.

Photography Beyond Tragedy

Jun 11, 2016

The stereotype of photojournalists is that they’re adrenaline junkies.  Risk takers.  But they're often surprisingly humble about their work -- maybe because their job is to erase themselves, to become the lens that lets us see the world.  Here photojournalist Brendan Bannon talks about finding beauty in the midst of suffering and about a photo he took at the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. 

Great war photographers bring a tremendous sense of mission to their work.  Most of them believe the right image seen by enough people at the right time can change the world.  Maybe not right away – but in time.  Over the past 30 years, the photographer James Nachtwey has covered just about every major armed conflict in the world.  He's been shot and wounded more than once, and nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize ten times.  We talked with him when he had just put together an exhibition of photos he took in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the place those wars began - Ground Zero on 9/11.

Taking pictures of war is complicated. The late philosopher Susan Sontag thought a lot about the moral implications of taking and looking at photos of human conflict. She wrote a classic book on the subject, called “Regarding the Pain of Others.”  We're revisiting our interview with her, about how to see and think about photography.

Capturing Manufactured Landscapes

Jun 11, 2016

Anyone who works in news will tell you that photographs drive attention.  That a great photograph can propel a story or an issue from the sidelines to the center of a public conversation.  Large-scale photographer Edward Burtynsky is making it his life’s work to jump start a global conversation about sustainability – by photographing scarred, damaged industrial landscapes.  He’s a TED prize winner whose work is in more than 50 museum collections.  Burtynsky and filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal have worked together on two documentaries.  Steve Paulson talked with her about their first – filmed in

Is the Risk of Photojournalism Worth It?

Jun 11, 2016

This week all of us – public radio listeners and producers -- were shocked and saddened by the death of NPR photojournalist David Gilkey.  He and his translator, Zabihullah "Zabi" Tamann, were killed while they were on assignment in Afghanistan, when the convoy they were traveling in was ambushed by Taliban.    Photojournalists like David go places most of us wouldn’t want to go, they take pictures of things we may not want to see… They risk their lives, hoping to send back that one image that just might change someone’s mind or open someone’s heart. 

Tord Gustavsen's Sacred Music

Jun 4, 2016

Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen is a leading figure in Scandinavian jazz, famous for his meditative, almost prayful music. In his latest recording, he's collaborated with singer Simin Tander to reinterpret Norwegian church hymns and the poems of the Sufi mystic Rumi.

Tord Gustavsen's Sacred Music

Jun 4, 2016

Norwegian pianist Tord Gustavsen is a leading figure in Scandinavian jazz, famous for his meditative, almost prayful music. In his latest recording, he's collaborated with singer Simin Tander to reinterpret Norwegian church hymns and the poems of the Sufi mystic Rumi.

The Woman Who Never Forgets

May 29, 2016

Suppose you could remember every day of your life. Would that be a blessing or a curse? For Jill Price it's been a burden. She has a very rare form of memory that gives her nearly total recall.

The Science of Remembering

May 29, 2016

Memory is a hot topic in neuroscience, and it turns out the context of our memories is as important as the event itself. Dartmouth neuroscientist Jeremy Manning has found that people can intentionally forget past experiences by changing how they think about the context of their memories.

War, Peace and Historical Memory

May 29, 2016

You've heard the saying, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Journalist David Rieff thinks that's rubbish, and he says if you want peace, it's sometimes better to forget historical crimes than try to get justice.

Simon Critchley on Memory Palaces

May 29, 2016

Before the Internet, a good memory wasn't just useful; it was prized as a sign of intelligence. And there were memory geniuses who developed mental tricks for storing information. Philosopher and novelist Simon Critchley delves into the fascinating history of the memory palace, which once promised almost God-like wisdom.

How Embarrassing!

May 29, 2016

Have you ever had something happen to you that's SO embarrassing.... you wish could forget it? Well, listen to these truly humiliating stories.

Meg Leta Jones on the Right to be Forgotten

May 29, 2016

Suppose you drank too much at that party last night and some embarrassing pictures of you got posted on Facebook. Do you have a right to delete them? In Europe, you now have that legal right. But Georgetown University's Meg Jones says Americans are still sorting out conflicting demands for privacy and free speech in the digital age.

Whit Stillman on Jane Austen

May 29, 2016

Jane Austen abandoned her novel "Lady Susan," but filmmaker Whit Stillman has revivied it - in a new film and novel, both called "Love and Friendship." He talks about why he loves Austen and the 18th century.

Pages