As the cautionary saying goes, “History repeats itself.” In
the case of its radio series from NPR, however,
repetition is a good thing.
NPR’s This I Believe, a national project
that presents America's core beliefs and values
through the voices of its most famous citizens
and everyday Americans, airs on more than 600 public
radio stations, including WFYI.
Each week, NPR features a three-minute essay read
by its author and introduced by award-winning producer
Jay Allison on NPR's newsmagazines Morning
Edition (5 to 9 am on 90.1 FM HD1)
Things Considered (4 to 6 pm on 90.1 FM HD1),
among the most listened-to programs in radio.
I believe that our greatest strength in dealing with the world is the openness of our society and the welcoming nature of our people. A good stay in our country is the best public diplomacy tool we have.
– Former Secretary of State
This I Believe is based on the popular
1950s radio show of the same name, hosted
journalist Edward R. Murrow. The original series
featured well-known essayists, including Presidents
Harry Truman and Herbert Hoover, Eleanor Roosevelt,
Helen Keller, Jackie Robinson and Albert Einstein,
as well as poets, cab drivers, corporate leaders,
and hundreds of people willing to share the guiding
principles by which they lived. Their words brought
comfort and inspiration to a country worried about
the Cold War, McCarthyism and racial division.
The program had an estimated audience of 39 million
listeners and spawned a weekly column in 85 leading
newspapers and four internationally best-selling
The producers hope the project will extend beyond
the nation’s airwaves through outreach that
will encourage Americans to engage one another
in open, honest communication. “Our goal
is to create a safe, respectful space where Americans
from all walks of life can participate in a dialogue
with the potential to inform, inspire and transform,” says
producer Dan Gediman. This I Believe is
an ambitious undertaking to document the beliefs
and values of today’s citizens and to remind
people about the original series’ essays
from “the Greatest Generation.” The
earlier series aired over 1,000 essays and created
a comprehensive portrait of the 1950s.