March 31st Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, preparing for the unimaginable, and criticism over coverage of an alleged sexual assault. In the second hour, paying for college, and guitarist Joe Robinson.
NPR logo March 31st Show

March 31st Show

Most high school seniors have now received their acceptance letters. Now, it's time for the next step: how to pay for it. In our second hour, guests talk about the challenges of choosing a college and paying for higher education. hide caption

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Preparing For The Unimaginable
In the wake of the natural and nuclear disasters in Japan, many are wondering: When is safe, safe enough? Can any business, city or country be fully prepared for the unthinkable? Guest host Lynn Neary talks with experts who calculate risk about whether or not anyone can predict disaster and the choices that must be made to balance safety with practicality and cost. Her guests include: Susan Hough, a seismologist with the Southern California Earthquake Center, James Bagian, safety expert and professor of engineering at University of Michigan and John Sorensen, researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and emergency preparedness expert.

'NYT' Criticized Over Rape Coverage
Outraged readers blasted The New York Times this month over its coverage of the alleged gang rape of an 11-year-old girl in the small town of Cleveland, Texas. The newspaper's public editor agreed with the assessment of many readers that the story appeared to blame the girl for the attack by focusing on her family, makeup and dress, and the community's concern for the 18 men and teenage boys charged in the crime. Lynn Neary talks with NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik about the story, and why covering sexual assault remains such a challenge for the news media.

Paying For College
After weeks of watching the mailbox, most high school seniors who've applied to college have received their acceptance letters. Now, it's decision time and the next step: sending in deposits and figuring out how to pay the bills. As tuition levels rise, especially at top-level private schools, a growing number of financial experts warn students to steer clear of student loan debt. Guest host Lynn Neary talks with New York Times education reporter Jacques Steinberg and Alisa Cunningham, vice president of the research and programs at the Institute for Higher Education Policy about the challenges of choosing a college and paying for higher education.

Guitarist Joe Robinson
Australian guitar virtuoso Joe Robinson boasts an impressive resume — and he's only 19. He recorded his first CD at age 14, won first place on 'Australia's Got Talent' at 17, and the following year became the youngest and first instrumentalist to be named 'Senior Grand Champion Performer of the World'. Perhaps most surprising — he is self-taught, with a little help from YouTube. Joe Robinson joins guest host Lynn Neary to play some tunes, and talk about his unique approach to learning to play.