Throughout the year on All Sides with Ann Fisher, we covered the issues that affect our listeners. We talked with experts to help us understand the news at the global and local levels. Some of our most popular shows of 2017 followed the biggest headlines in the city, state, country and world.
Here are our top 10 shows based on episodes posts with the most pageviews:
1. Protest at The Columbus Pride Festival
Four protesters were arrested when a black LGBTQ organization stopped the parade during the 2017 Columbus Pride Festival to raise awareness of the violence that black and brown queer and transgender people suffer. We covered the arrest and safety issues with Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs and then brought together local LGBTQ leaders to talk about diversity in the community.
2. Rover Pipeline Spills in Ohio Wetlands
Construction of the Rover Pipeline, which runs through portions of Ohio, was halted after more than 2 million gallons of drilling fluid spilled into pristine wetlands. We covered the extent of the damage to the environment and talked with environmental leaders about the future of the company building the pipeline.
3. Local Faith Groups Respond to Travel Ban and Immigration Issues
President Trump’s controversial travel ban targeting immigrants and refugee resettlement from mostly Muslim countries sparked several conversations, including one among a coalition of interfaith Columbus clergy who denounced the order. We talked with members of the coalition about the divide in the religious community over the executive orders.
4. Homicide Rate Rises in Columbus
Columbus ended the year with a record spike in homicides. Forty-eight homicides already had occurred by May, when we talked with Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs and Ohio State University professor Randolph Roth about the potential causes and how the city’s safety force was responding.
5. Bhutanese-Nepali Refugees in Central Ohio
More than 20,000 Bhutanese-Nepali refugees have moved to central Ohio since the 1990. A documentary photographer and writer worked with Ohio History Connection to document the journeys of 30 of these refugees for an exhibit at Ohio History Connection.
We discussed the exhibit, as well as refugee experiences with a leader of the Columbus Bhutanese-Nepali community and the photographer and writer behind the exhibit.
6. Medical Marijuana in Ohio
The state decided who would grow medical marijuana this year. Officials started the process in June. Some cities welcomed the idea, but others enacted local ordinances against growing operations. We talked about the economic impact the new law would have and how guidelines had been written for the process of growing and selling medical marijuana in Ohio.
7. Tabletop Gaming in Columbus
Traditional tabletop gaming has experienced a resurgence in popularity over the last several years. The trend has brought with it new tabletop game parlors in Columbus, which also also is home to several game producers and entrepreneurs. We talked with creators and game fans to to learn about the appeal of old-style games in the digital age.
8. Exploring Stars, Planets and the Night Sky with Tom Burns
During our WOSU Public Media membership drives, we get the chance to talk to some of our favorite guests — and that includes Tom Burns of Ohio Wesleyan University’s Perkins Observatory. We talked with Tom to preview the solar eclipse that would span the United States in August.
9. Downward Mobility and Lancaster, Ohio
Manufacturing was once the ballast of many midwestern cities, including Lancaster, Ohio. But when the glass-making giant Anchor Hocking changed hands in 1987, the prosperity of its factory operation began to dwindle. We talked with author and Lancaster native Brian Alexander, whose book “Glass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town,” told the story of the corporate acquisition and how the city has suffered ever since.
10. The Science of Gender Identity
The gender identity debate resurfaced at a national level this year, but the actual science behind gender identity is rarely discussed amid the politics of the issue. We explored the science behind gender identity and how transgender people struggle in the face of discrimination.
(Oh, and if you love the 89.7 NPR News socks in the photo above, you can get a pair of your own by becoming a WOSU member.)