All Things Considered

Weekdays, 4-6:30pm and Weekends, 5-6pm

Since its debut in 1971, this afternoon radio newsmagazine has delivered in-depth reporting and transformed the way listeners understand current events and view the world. Every weekday, hosts Melissa Block, Michele Norris, and Robert Siegel present breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special -- sometimes quirky -- features. Guy Raz hosts a one-hour edition of the program on Saturday and Sunday.

In 1985, my friend Johnny suffered a tragic loss in a crime that went unsolved until this year. While reporters tell us that justice has finally brought closure, the story endures, and it raises an unsettling question: What compels us toward tales about violence, about murder?

Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that all artful stories humanize us as surely as they humanize their characters. They allow us to transcend crime-scene voyeurism and courtroom media hype, to bear witness to those who survive, after the book is slid back onto the shelf.

When I was a kid, I assumed that in the future things would get better and better until we were all driving flying cars and playing badminton with space aliens on top of 500-story buildings. Frankly, I kind of counted on this happening. But now I don't assume that we'll just keep going up anymore.