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The Assignment with Audie Cornish

Fiery Twitter threads and endless news notifications never capture the full story. Each week on The Assignment, host Audie Cornish pulls listeners out of their digital echo chambers to hear from the people who live the headlines. From the sex work economy to the battle over what’s taught in classrooms, no topic is off the table. Listen to The Assignment every Thursday. 

Run, Hide, Fight The Assignment with Audie Cornish
We have trained a generation of people how to think about, respond to, and survive a mass shooting, including children. Educators and law enforcement officials have developed curricula for schools to help teachers and students survive a shooting. The foundation for this teaching comes in large part from the work of Katherine Schweit. She is a former FBI Agent, author of the book, “Stop the Killing: How to End the Mass Shooting Crisis,” and co-host of the podcast Stop the Killing. At the time of ...Show morethe Sandy Hook shooting she realized that training and education would be key in preventing more deaths. She developed the active shooter training program for the FBI. Its mantra of “Run, Hide, Fight” is now an essential element in mass shooting education. Audie talks with Katherine about how she came to this work, and what it’s like to do it in the midst of political paralysis.
Mar 30, 2023
Yes, This Economy Is Confusing The Assignment with Audie Cornish
The past few weeks have been head spinning: U.S. job numbers? Solid... except for those layoffs in the tech sector. Inflation? Slowly dropping... but still high. Not to mention the bank failures...  
It all has made us wonder: Why was it so hard for economists to predict this? What will happen next? And what does it mean for folks caught in the middle of high inflation? Audie gets an assignment from a listener and asks economists Gary “Hoov” Hoover, Executive Director of the Murphy Institute at Tulane University, and Alfredo Romero, Associate Professor at North Carolina A&T University, to make this economy make sense.
Mar 23, 2023
The Assignment Returns March 23rd The Assignment with Audie Cornish
The Assignment is returning with new episodes every Thursday, and we're taking some of our assignments from you, including: trying to figure out our baffling economy, the rise of therapy speak online and in our daily lives, and delving into the world of absurdist fashion trends. 
New episodes start dropping March 23rd. Thanks for listening!
Mar 16, 2023
The Assignment presents Story of the Week The Assignment with Audie Cornish
The Assignment is hard at work reporting more stories about the people living the headlines. We’ll have new episodes in the feed starting March 23rd. In the meantime, here’s a special episode of another podcast that we think will bring a smile to your face. It’s called Story of the Week. Each week, journalist Joel Stein chooses an article that fascinates him, convinces the writer to tell him about it, and then interrupts a good conversation by talking about himself. In this episode, Choire Sicha...Show more, the editor of the New York Magazine piece on the new rules of etiquette that went viral in early February 2023, discusses the almost 200 dos and don’ts that will supposedly help us be better behaved in modern, polite society. Listen to new episodes of Story of the Week every Thursday at You can read the full list from New York Magazine here:
Mar 9, 2023
The Assignment presents Chasing Life with Sanjay Gupta The Assignment with Audie Cornish
The Assignment is taking a short break, we’ll be back with new episodes on March 23rd. In the meantime, we want to highlight the good work of some our colleagues and partners. This week, Chasing Life with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. In this sixth season, he explores how technology has disrupted our lives, the ways we interact with each other, work, learn, and even grow up. This season looks at the impact all this technology is having on young people. Like many parents, this topic is personal for Dr. Sanja...Show morey Gupta. We hear Sanjay speak with one of the people most directly impacted by it all: his daughter Soleil. Plus, a conversation with Jean Twenge, Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University, about how social media is affecting youth mental health.
Mar 2, 2023
Politics, But Make It Puppets The Assignment with Audie Cornish
Can puppets help us bridge the political divide? Probably not. But there’s one guy in Arizona who’s trying. If you saw Audie on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, you might have heard her mention a listener who called in about his R-rated puppet theater. His name is Shaun McNamara, and he’s the director of the All Puppet Players in Phoenix. His pitch: doing political humor in a red state. But with puppets. So, we called him up for chat.   We’re taking a short break with this episode. We’ll be b...Show moreack in your feeds in a few weeks. If YOU have an assignment for us, just like Shaun, you can give us a call and leave us a voicemail at 202-854-8802. You can record a voice memo on your phone and email that to us at:
Feb 23, 2023
The New State of Unions The Assignment with Audie Cornish
Do new unions need “Big Labor”? There is a new generation of labor organizers in the United States: baristas, warehouse workers, and grocers. They are organizing shop-by-shop and relying less on traditional big labor unions. Audie talks with longtime labor activist Erica Smiley, executive director of Jobs with Justice, and Nabretta Hardin, a Starbucks union organizer in Memphis, about legacy unions and their place in the new labor movement. Also: what can this new generation of activists learn from the old guard about sustaining a movement?
Feb 16, 2023
Kicking the Football Habit The Assignment with Audie Cornish
When Buffalo Bills tight end Damar Hamlin collapsed of cardiac arrest after making a tackle, it set off a flurry of think pieces and debates about the safety and future of football. But with over 100 million viewers expected to watch the Super Bowl this year, it seems like football’s future is pretty clear. So, if a player almost dying on the field isn't enough to stir a longer, sustained debate about safety in the sport -- then, what is? Audie sits down with former NFL player Nate Jackson and sociologist Daniel Sailofsky — who quit the NFL after a decade of being a super fan — to talk about football's hold on the country and the moral quandary of supporting the sport.
Feb 9, 2023
Life After the Traffic Stop The Assignment with Audie Cornish
What is it like to survive a violent police encounter? As the world processes the beating and death of Tyre Nichols, we hear from two men whose encounters with police changed their lives: Leon Ford is an author, speaker, and co-founder of The Hear Foundation. He was shot by Pittsburgh police in 2012 after being pulled over for a traffic stop. And Tim Alexander is a lawyer, politician, and former Detective Captain for the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office. He was “shot at, assaulted, and falsely arrested because of misidentification” by police officers in Newark in May 1985.
Feb 2, 2023
‘I’m kind of lazy.’ Why We Aren’t Going Back to the Movies The Assignment with Audie Cornish
The pandemic, along with the rise of streaming services, shifted the way we experience movies. Theater ticket sales are still down, and many folks prefer to watch from the comfort of their own home. Is staying home bad for the movies? Will studios simply bombard us with sequels and superhero movies to get us back? We hear from Franklin Leonard, founder of The Black List, about the state of cinema and the cultural necessity of going to the movies. And he tries to convince a very reluctant Audie Cornish to go back to the movie theater.
Jan 26, 2023
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