Dialogue on WUOT

The first Wednesday of the month from 1-2 p.m.

WUOT's monthly live call-in program; hosted by a member of WUOT's News Staff 

We'll take your calls at 865-974-5050; tweet us @WUOTFM or submit your question on WUOT's Facebook page. 

Brandon Hollingsworth, WUOT News

Many of us take the internet for granted, and may even think of it as a luxury, something to waste time at work or share cat videos. But for some people, no high-speed internet access could close the door to economic and personal growth, from job applications to online college courses. Today on Dialogue, we explore broadband access in Tennessee and what it means for residents, communities and the state.

The 2016 presidential campaign is breaking all the rules when it comes to how the candidates speak, communicate with the public and get their messages out to voters.   On this episode of Dialogue, WUOT's Matt Shafer Powell welcomes University of Tennessee Political Communication professor Stuart Brotman, a veteran of four presidential administrations.  They look at how this year’s race for the White House compares with past campaigns—and how it will inform future campaigns.

  It’s nearly impossible to discuss the change in downtown Knoxville over the last decade or so without Bill Lyons’ name coming up.  Since leaving a professorship at the University of Tennessee to join City Hall in 2003, the Deputy to the Mayor and Public Policy Officer has become the gear that turns the engine of development in Knoxville’s City Center.  On this episode of Dialogue, Bill Lyons joins host Matt Shafer Powell to talk about how Knoxville's downtown has gone from a lifeless, aging hulk to a vibrant, urban destination.  

Five years ago this month, the final space shuttle mission ended, and with it, America's only homegrown route to manned space flight. NASA's present and future are defined by uncertainty. But it's almost always been that way. Even during the glory days of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo, NASA's existence and purpose were tied to overtly political goals. On this edition of Dialogue, an exploration of NASA and politics.

WUOT News, Matt Shafer Powell

In Nashville, conservative Republicans are in year five of a tense alliance with legislative leaders and a governor they sometimes accuse of being too moderate to get things done. And those same Republican leaders have had to put the brakes on legislation they deem too extreme or too unwise for state business.

On the presidential campaign trail, so-called establishment Republicans are grappling with what Donald Trump's rise means for their future. And Hillary and Bernie supporters are hurling insults at each other as much or more so than at their Republican opponent.

America’s National Park Service turns 100 years old this year and on this segment of Dialogue, we take an historical trip in time to celebrate our favorite national park—The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Author Courtney Lix joins host Matt Shafer Powell to discuss some of the people who have contributed to the park’s legacy throughout the last century.  And she discusses her new book Women of the Smokies.  


There are currently 72 people waiting  to be executed on Death Row in  Tennessee, but with general support for the death penalty waning, their fate is now uncertain.  On this episode of Dialogue, University of Tennessee Law Professor Penny White and death penalty attorney and litigator Stephen Kissinger join host Matt Shafer Powell to talk about how attitudes are evolving about the question of whether a crime should be punishable by death.  

Three years ago, an edition of Dialogue focused on the Affordable Care Act and its effects in Tennessee. Much of what the panel discussed that day in 2013 was speculative, because many of the ACA’s provisions hadn’t taken effect.

Now, consumers, doctors, hospitals and insurers are dealing with the effects – both good and bad – of the controversial law known as “Obamacare.” In this edition of Dialogue, we re-visit the ACA, health insurance and more.

Over the years, University of Tennessee professors Ed Caudill and Paul Ashdown have written a series of volumes examining the legends and myths behind some of our most notable and controversial military figures.  How much do we really know about men like William Tecumseh Sherman, Nathan Bedford Forrest, John Singleton Mosby and George Armstrong Custer?  How did their legacies develop?  And how have they changed in the 150 years since the Civil War?

via Flickr/TumblingRun

The most recent edition of the Pew Center’s Religious Landscape Survey confirms what other polls have shown in recent years: Americans are increasingly likely to answer “none,” when asked about their religious affiliation. And while Tennessee and the South are more religious than other parts of the nation, fewer people are hanging on to the tenets of that old time religion.