WNYC & WQXR Mark the 20th Anniversary of 9/11
New York’s public radio stations WNYC & WQXR commemorate the occasion with special day-of coverage, dedicated music programming, and reporting on the ways the attacks and the aftermath changed our world
WNYC / Gothamist News present “9/11 and the Rise of the 21st Century NYPD,” a major news series exploring the impact and legacy of 9/11 on the NYPD and its lasting effects on policing today
September 1, 2021 – On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, WNYC, Gothamist, and WQXR look back with a mix of live programming,archival material and new reporting from our team of journalists examining the impact of the day and its aftermath on our city.
Starting Sunday, September 5, the WNYC/ Gothamist newsroom will unveil “9/11 and the Rise of the 21st Century NYPD,” a new multi-part series looking at the way the terrorist attacks laid the groundwork for a dramatic transformation of the NYPD, fueling growth in its capacity, reach, and power. Those changes are evident in virtually every aspect of policing in New York City today — from the department’s enforcement around street protests and increased presence on mass transit to its international intelligence network and all-round philosophy of public safety. Audio stories air daily during Morning Edition and All Things Considered; expanded digital versions of each story will be published daily on Gothamist. Stories will cover a range of topics, including:
- A look at the NYPD in the years leading up to 9/11, from its capabilities as a law enforcement agency to its philosophy around policing;
- How the NYPD transformed in the wake of the tragedy to become the powerful force it is today.
- The task forces. The lapel pins. The messaging. The show of force. As New Yorkers became more patriotic their police force became bigger and more globalized, morphing into an international counterintelligence agency.
- A look at the NYPD’s surveillance of the local Muslim community in the aftermath of 9/11 and how the effects linger today.
- A mayor who long pitted Black against white, poor against wealthy, Rudy Giuliani — dubbed “America’s Mayor” by Oprah Winfrey — leveraged the attacks to bolster his personal ambition while at the same time laying the groundwork for a bigger, bolder and more robust NYPD.
- A look at how the “See Something, Say Something” campaign, which effectively seeks to turn citizens into a counter-terrorism force, affected public safety in New York City.
- One of the enduring themes around 9/11 is sacrifice, both by the victims of the attacks and first responders. What are the common misconceptions around who made the most sacrifices on September 11th, and who has sacrificed the most in the years since?
On Saturday, September 11 from 8:35-11am, WNYC’s Brian Lehrer will host live special coverage of official memorial ceremonies in New York City, moving through the timeline of what happened 20 years ago. Be together on the radio for the moments of silence( starting at 8:46AM), hear excerpts of family members reading of the names of those who were lost that day, and call in with your memories and stories of New York City on 9/11, and the days and weeks that followed. WNYC Senior Reporter Beth Fertig — who reported for WNYC from Ground Zero on 9/11 — will also join the show to discuss her work that day and afterward.
Following live coverage, from 11am-1pm, WNYC will air “Blindspot: The Road to 9/11,” a two- hour radio documentary adapted from the nine part podcast of the same name, co-produced by WNYC Studios and The HISTORY® Channel. Hailed by The Atlantic as “an essential treatise on 9/11” and one of the best podcasts of 2020, the program tells the dramatic and largely unknown story of the lead-up to September 11, 2001. Based on The HISTORY® Channel television documentary “Road to 9/11” and hosted by WNYC’s Jim O’Grady, who reported on 9/11 as it happened, the series draws on interviews with more than 60 people – including FBI agents, high level bureaucrats, journalists, national security experts, and people who knew the terrorists personally – and weaves them together with original reporting for a gripping narrative audio experience. The full podcast is available here: https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/blindspot. On Thursday, September 9, at 7:30 PM ET, O’Grady will be in conversation with longtime 92Y host Budd Mishkin live at the 92Y. More info available here.
Throughout the day on September 11, NYPR’s classical music service WQXR 105.9 FM and www.wqxr.org will commemorate the anniversary with music of resilience and reflection. Special programming includes “We Shall All be Changed: Musical Reflections on 9/11,” a program which features a segment on John Adams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning composition On the Transmigration of Souls, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, the New York Philharmonic and Trinity Church Wall Street. At 8PM, WQXR will host a special live broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera of Verdi’s Requiem, in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of 9/11. This will be the first performance inside the Metropolitan Opera House since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Additional Programming Highlights
- WNYC airs a special encore broadcast of Living 9/11, originally produced for the 10th anniversary. The special explores New Yorkers’ most visceral and immediate emotional reactions to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and how they are – and are not – still with us today. Saturday, September 11 at 1-2pm on WNYC 93.9 FM
- WNYC Senior Editor Jami Foyd will guest host The Brian Lehrer Show on Tuesday, September 7, discussing her installment of “9/11 and the Rise of the 21st Century NYPD” focusing on Rudy Giuliani.
- WNYC and The New Yorker’s The New Yorker Radio Hour, airing Sunday, September 12, at 7 PM, will highlight a selection from the New Yorker’s archive marking the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
- WNYC and The Atlantic’s podcast The Experiment features an audio adaptation of Jennifer Senior’s moving and remarkable article, What Bobby McIlvaine Left Behind.
- The Takeaway will be highlighting national and international issues sparked by 9/11 and its fallout beginning on Tuesday, September 7.
ABOUT NEW YORK PUBLIC RADIO
With an urban vibrancy and a global perspective, New York Public Radio (NYPR) produces innovative public radio programs, podcasts, and live events that reaches a passionate community of 23.4 million people monthly on air, online and in person. From its state-of-the-art studios in New York City, NYPR is reshaping radio for a new generation of listeners with groundbreaking, award-winning programs including Radiolab, The Brian Lehrer Show, On the Media, The Takeaway, Dolly Parton’s America, Carnegie Hall Live, and Aria Code, among many others. New York Public Radio includes WNYC, WQXR, WNYC Studios, Gothamist, The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, and New Jersey Public Radio. Further information about programs, podcasts, and stations may be found at www.nypublicradio.org.
* * *