As a polarized country faces a chaotic transition of presidential power and yet another surge in the pandemic, The Atlantic and WNYC Studios are announcing a partnership on a new podcast that will launch in early 2021. The Experiment, hosted by Julia Longoria, will examine the myths and ideas at the heart of the American experiment and the way powerful forces of history collide with our everyday lives. Longoria joins WNYC Studios and The Atlantic from The New York Times, where she was a producer for The Daily and other longform audio projects, including Rabbit Hole.
Each week, The Experiment will bring listeners a deeply reported story that illuminates the way individual lives are being shaped by the seismic political and cultural changes we see in the headlines every day. Longoria and the team, in partnership with writers from across The Atlantic’s newsroom, will tell consequential and surprising stories that explore urgent questions of democracy, identity, and power that we all need to understand in this unique moment in history.
The Experiment will represent the powerful combination of two storied journalistic institutions. WNYC Studios, one of the earliest innovators in the podcast arena, is home to some of the industry’s most influential and critically acclaimed shows, including Radiolab; Trump Inc.; On the Media; Death, Sex and Money; The United States of Anxiety; and Dolly Parton’s America, among many others. The Atlantic expanded into longform narrative audio in March with the launch of Floodlines, an eight-part podcast examining what happened in New Orleans after the levees broke. Arriving 15 years after Hurricane Katrina, the show was praised as a “master class in accountability journalism” and “the best audio documentary to come out this year.”
“One of the core missions of The Atlantic is to explain America to itself,” says Jeffrey Goldberg, editor in chief of The Atlantic. “We have some of the best journalists in the world on our team, and I want their stories to have maximum reach and impact. Working with the team at WNYC Studios is one important way we will find new audiences. The people at WNYC represent the gold standard in public radio and in podcasting, and it’s a great privilege to become partners with them in this new venture.”
“We’re thrilled to be joining creative forces with The Atlantic, and together supporting this talented team,” said Andrew Golis, chief content officer at WNYC. “This last year has taught us all how personally consequential world events can be, and how important it is that the brilliant storytellers and reporters are there to help us through them. The Experiment will be essential listening for all of us as we try to understand this country, and each other.”
Before joining The New York Times, Longoria produced and reported stories about the Supreme Court for Radiolab’s More Perfect. Her work has also appeared on NPR’s Planet Money and Marketplace, PRI’s The World and Only Human, and her hometown station of WLRN in Miami. Longoria began her journalism career in the WNYC newsroom.
The Experiment is a co-production of The Atlantic and WNYC.