WILL - Focus - April 30, 2013

Boston Marathon Media Coverage

This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about the media coverage of the Boston Marathon Bombing with Bob Garfield of On the Media and Professor Brant Houston of the University of Illinois College of Media.


(Duration: 51:13)

Lots of things about the Tsarnaev brothers remain unknown, but as more facts about them and why they allegedly planted bombs at one of the largest US marathons become available, what role do the media play? This hour on Focus, we’ll talk with Bob Garfield, co-host of the program “On the Media” about journalistic ethics and when personal facts about someone’s life like race, ethnicity and religion should matter to a story. We’ll also talk about accuracy and some problems new media created in misidentifying the alleged bombers’ identities. Brant Houston, the Knight Chair Professor in Investigative and Enterprise Reporting at the University of Illinois College of Media also joins us.

Several major news organizations misreported certain aspects of this case and had to make corrections. Does that cause you to question the facts they report moving forward? Post in the comments section below or find us on Facebook and Twitter @Focus580

Categories: Media and journalism

WILL - Focus - April 29, 2013

City Cycling

Do you bike to work? Why? If you don’t, what’s stopping you? This hour on Focus, we talk about cycling, infrastructure and why some in the area are working to empower a strong cycling and pedestrian community.


(Duration: 51:16)

a couple on bikes

According to recent research, most people don’t commute on bikes because they are afraid of being hit by a car. And most people who are comfortable riding bikes in traffic are men. This hour on Focus, we talk with Jeff Yockey, the President of Champaign County Bikes and Cynthia Hoyle, who works with Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit. They’ll tell us about how the cities in our area are working to create infrastructure that fosters a strong pedestrian and cycling community. The month of May also kicks off National Bike Month, and Wednesday is Champaign-Urbana Bike to Work Day. Jeff and Cynthia tell us how to get involved locally.

Ralph Buehler, co-editor of the book City Cycling and an Assistant Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning at Virginia Tech, also joins the conversation this hour. We’ll talk with him about cycling infrastructure and culture across the US and in other parts of the world to see how East Central Illinois compares.

Sharing the road in C-U

Categories: Community, Transportation

WILL - Focus - April 26, 2013

Coming up on Focus: Boston Marathon Media Coverage, Record Resurgence and Biking to Work

Do you bike to work? Do you like listening to music on vinyl? Is the media doing a good job of reporting on the Boston Marathon bombing case?  Find out more about what’s coming up next week on Focus and join our conversation.


Coming up next week on Focus, we’ll talk about cycling and how strong biking communities and cultures are fostered, why records are coming back and if they’ll stick around. We’ll also talk about nanotechnology and the exciting possibilities for the future.

WILL - Focus - April 26, 2013

Jane Brody and Kathrine Switzer

This hour on Focus, we talk with two health and wellness icons. For the first half of this episode of Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with New York Times Personal Health columnist Jane Brody. Then, in the second half, he talks with Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to register for a bib number in the Boston Marathon. She’s this weekend’s guest legend runner for the Illinois Marathon.


(Duration: 51:02)

The 1967 Boston Marathon Race Commissioner trying to pull Kathrine from the race course.

Jane Brody is known for her writing on health, wellness and end of life preparation and care. Her Personal Health column in the New York Times is syndicated across the country and new every Tuesday. For the first half of this hour on Focus, Jim Meadows talks with Brody about her writing and career. She’ll be speaking at the UIUC Monday, April 29.

During the second half of this hour, Jim talks with Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to register for and run the Boston Marathon with a bib number. She’ll be in Champaign-Urbana for the Illinois Marathon. We’ll talk with her about her relationship with marathoning, the recent tragedy in Boston, and the famous photo of the 1967 Boston Marathon Race Commissioner trying to drag her from the race course.

Categories: Gender issues, Health, Sports

WILL - Focus - April 25, 2013

The Best Things You Can Eat

Is the new Honey Bunches of Oats with Greek Yogurt really a healthier cereal because the words “greek yogurt” are on the box? This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with David Grotto, a registered dietician and nutritionist, about the best things you can eat. We welcome your nutrition questions this hour!


(Duration: 52:31)

Pumpkin seems to be taking over the world of specialty flavors, but is that a good thing? Doesn’t pumpkin have health benefits? If you don’t like vegetables, is V8 juice really the right way to get the vitamins and minerals you need? This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with David Grotto, a registered dietician and nutritionist, about the best things you can eat. We’ll talk about the vital nutrients everybody needs and why they are important. We’ll also note some common food misconceptions. We welcome your nutrition and diet questions this hour on Focus!

WILL - Focus - April 24, 2013

Jeremy Hobson

Do you enjoy the Marketplace Morning Report? Is there something you want to ask host Jeremy Hobson? This hour we talk with this WILL alum about his career and his next move to host the program “Here and Now.”


(Duration: 52:33)

Jeremy Hobson

This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with public radio host and Champaign-Urbana native Jeremy Hobson.

Hobson is currently the host of the Marketplace Morning Report, an eight-minute daily business news program with an audience of nearly six million. This hour, we talk with him about his experiences interviewing billionaires like former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers and philanthropist Melinda Gates; his experience reporting in Turkey at the start of the Iraq war and the start of his radio career that began at the ripe old age of 9 when he started contributing to the program Treehouse Radio.

We'll also talk about his next steps as a co-host of WBUR and NPR's program Here and Now which will start airing on WILL AM 580 July 1 in place of the NPR program Talk of the Nation

Hobson is a graduate of Boston University and the University of Illinois Laboratory High School. He lives in New York and enjoys hiking, traveling and extremely spicy foods.

Categories: Media and journalism

WILL - Focus - April 23, 2013

The Humanity Project

How do you define human decency? Can you comfort the miserable; is that even possible? This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with New York Times Best-Selling author Jean Thompson about her new book “The Humanity Project.”


(Duration: 51:16)

The Humanity Project book cover

In her new book 'The Humanity Project" Jean Thompson confronts circumstances and questions plaguing many in the US in a post-recession era. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Thompson about her new novel, what inspired the story and why she thinks its an important story to tell. 

This hour we'll meet Sean, a wayward carpenter whose bad luck turns even worse; Linnea, who has survived a school shooting and is living in California with a father she barely knows, and Mrs. Foster, a wealthy cat lady who starts "the Humanity Project" to help out a few whose luck has run out. 

Read an excerpt of the book at the link below.

Categories: Books and Reading

WILL - Focus - April 22, 2013

Julia Sweeney

As a parent, how do you talk to your kids about the birds and the bees? That very conversation inspired Julia Sweeney’s new book “If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother.” She joins us live today on Focus!


(Duration: 52:02)

Julia Sweeney

Former Saturday Night Live cast member Julia Sweeney is known for both her infamous character “Pat” and her solo performances. Since her days on SNL, she’s toured as a one woman show exploring love, cancer, family and faith in God Said Ha!, In the Family Way and Letting Go of God. In her new book If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother, she confronts parenting and what it was like for her as a single woman to adopt her daughter, Mulan. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Sweeney about her book, the TED Talk and the embroidered pillow that inspired the book.

We’ll also ask her about “Pat” and her career as a comedian and performer.

Do you have questions for Julia about her life and career? In her book, she writes about her hatred of large strollers and being mistaken for her daughter’s grandmother. Do you relate? Post in the comments section below or find us on Facebook and Twitter @Focus580.

WILL - Focus - April 19, 2013

Personal Finance - Money Smart Week

Friday on Focus, we talked about personal finance. The 8:00 p.m. rebroadcast of this program is being preempted due to breaking news reagrding the Boston Marathon bombing case. 


(Duration: 50:09)

With more and more Americans falling into debt and feeling stress that comes with failing finances, the Federal Reserve bank in Chicago created the Money Smart Week program in 2002 to promote financial literacy and offer chances for consumers of any income level to learn how to better manage their money. Through collaboration with several banks and non-profit organizations, there are “Money Smart Week” events taking place through the end of next week across the state. This hour on Focus, guest host Kimberlie Kranich talks with Karen Chan, Illinois Chair of the Money Smart Week program. Chan has nearly two decades of experience teaching about personal finance. We’ll talk with her about the courses being offered in and around Champaign and ask her about how to manage your credit, how to get out of debt and how to plan for retirement.

Kevin Waspi, certified financial advisor and lecturer at the University of Illinois College of Business, also joins the show. As he does on the third Friday of every month, he’ll be here to answer your calls and questions whether you’re just starting out and looking for advice on investing, or thinking about buying a home or sending your children to college.

WILL - Focus - April 18, 2013

Remembering Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert’s 15th Annual Film Festival opened last night in Champaign at the historic Virginia Theatre for the first time without Roger. This hour on Focus, we’re remembering him and his mark on film and culture.


(Duration: 50:32)

Roger Ebert

Pulitzer Prize winning film critic, screenwriter and journalist Roger Ebert will be remembered as one of the greatest film critics of all time. His mark on the cinema, our culture and our community are undeniable. This hour on Focus, guest host Jeff Bossert talks with Chicgao Tribune film critic Michael Phillips. Phillips filled in for Roger on "At the Movies" when he first became ill and later took over the show. We'll also hear from several members of the Champaign-Urbana community and a long-time Ebertfest volunteer. 

Did you know and love Roger? What did he mean to you? To our community? We want to hear from you this hour on Focus.

A new local WILL-TV special, Ebert Remembered, airing at 8 pm Thursday, April 18, will highlight excerpts of WILL-TV interviews with Roger Ebert in which he talks about his childhood in Urbana, his experience at the University of Illinois and his role as a movie critic.

Page 1 of 3 pages  1 2 3 >