Jonathan Bastian

Morning Edition Host

Jonathan Bastian is the host of Morning Edition on WFPL. He's also the host of, "Up Front with Jonathan Bastian," a weekly TV program, produced by WFPL, which airs on KY's PBS affiliate, KET.

Jonathan comes to WFPL from Aspen Public Radio, where he was the daily host of ‘All Things Considered.’

He’s also the founder and host of ‘Page by Page,’ a weekly interview program that was syndicated on multiple public radio stations across Colorado. He has interviewed many influential writers and thinkers, including Richard Russo, Sebastian Junger, Jim Lehrer, Jonathan Safran Foer, and many others. In 2011, he spoke with both winners of the Pulitzer Prize in fiction and non-fiction. His work has aired nationally on NPR’s ‘All Things Considered’ and been published on


Local News
5:10 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Compassionate City: Matthieu Ricard

For the last installment of our interviews leading up to the Festival of Faiths and the visit by the Dalai Lama, I spoke with Matthieu Ricard.

A native of France, Ricard originally studied to become a scientist. But, trips to the Himalayas to commence his studies with many of the great Tibetan Buddhist masters changed his entire life course. At the age of 30, he became a monk. Among his many accomplishments has been revealing the connection between meditation and neuroscience. Ricard has also served as the French translator to the Dalai Lama.

Enjoy the interview.

Read more
Local News
12:14 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Compassionate City: Louisville's Father Joe Mitchell

Father Joe Mitchell

Here's the latest installment of our interviews with spiritual leaders as Louisville prepares for the Festival of Faiths conference and a visit by the Dalai Lama.

Read more
Local News
7:36 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Compassionate City: A Conversation with Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel

This is the first in our series of conversations leading up to the Dalai Lama's visit to Louisville in May.

I spoke with Tibetan Buddhist teacher Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel about connecting between meditation and compassion. We also discuss the evolving process of translation of Buddhist texts, how Namgyel got interested in Buddhism, and what she'll discuss when she speaks in Louisville for the Festival of Faiths conference beginning May 14. She's also the author of, "The Power of an Open Question."

Listen to the interview below.

Read more
Local News
8:12 am
Wed February 27, 2013

The Gavin Newsom Equation: Government + Technology = Citizen Engagement

Gavin Newsom

Gavin Newsom, the two-time mayor of San Francisco, and current Lieutenant Governor of California, believes that government must embrace new technology to remain relevant.

This is the subject of his new book, “Citizenville: How to take the town square digital and reinvent government."

I recently caught up with Newsom to discuss this book, and where he sees the connection between citizen engagement and government efficiency.

Read more
Local News
5:21 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Garry Wills asks: 'Why Priests?'

There’s been a lot of talk about the resignation of the Pope, and the state of the Catholic Church.

And it’s likely, my guest, Gary Wills, takes one of the more controversial positions in his new book: “Why Priests? A Failed Tradition.”

Wills is a prolific author, scholar of religion and spent five years in a Jesuit Seminary.

In his new book, he argues that there is no evidence in the bible or early Christian documents for the creation of a Priesthood. But rather, it was an invention, created after the death of Christ. Check out my conversation with Wills:

Read more
Local News
7:00 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Compassionate City: Preparing for the Dalai Lama's Visit to Louisville

Credit Creative Commons

There’s been a lot of attention surrounding the Dalai Lama’s visit to Louisville on May 19.

But what some people might not know is that his event will be the final act in week of teachings on the theme of compassion.

On May 14-19, The Festival of Faiths will bring in teachers and educators from an array of traditions. These teachers include the Tibetan Buddhist monk, Matthieu Ricard, and Franciscan friar, Richard Rohr. And, as Owsley Brown, the co-chair of the program told WFPL's Jonathan Bastian, at the center of these teachings will be an iconic photograph.

Read more
Local News
10:16 am
Fri January 18, 2013

The Jared Diamond Interview: Learning from Traditional Societies

Jared Diamond likes to rethink the biggest of questions — like how the world became modern, or how societies historically fall apart.

His books include, “Guns, Germs, and Steel,” which won the Pulitzer Prize, and “Collapse.”

His new book is equally ambitious. It’s called, “The World Until Yesterday: What we can learn from traditional societies’.”

Drawing on decades of research living among the tribes in New Guinea, Diamond explores ancient solutions to our most basic of problems, like health, justice and relationships.

Read more
Local News
10:09 am
Fri January 18, 2013

The Politics of Extremism: How Did It Get So Bad?

Filibusters. Super PACs. Citizens United. Endless party squabbles. How did we get to this point?

That's the exactly the question that Thomas Mann of the  Brookings Institution has been asking. With Norman Ornstein, they co-authored, "It's Even Worse Than is Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the Politics of Extremism."

Mann diagnoses the situation historically, and ultimately provides solutions. I recently caught up with him for a live interview. Take a listen:

Read more
Local News
12:27 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Is Louisville a Leader of Insourcing Jobs? The Atlantic Says Yes.

Appliance Park
Credit General Electric Pressroom

At its height, the General Electric Plant in Louisville employed 23,000 people. That was in 1973.

After that, the plant began to shrink — laying off more and more employees. Like other manufacturing giants, it followed the outsourcing trend, sending jobs overseas, and especially China.

By 2011, GE bottomed-out with less than just 1,900 jobs in the Louisville plant.

But in February of 2012, something began to change. New jobs were created. A new assembly line opened — the first since 1955.

Read more
Local News
11:26 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Kiki Petrosino: Louisville's Rising Poet

Kiki Petrosino is poet to watch. In her early 30s, she's already published a highly-acclaimed first collection, "Fort Red Border" (Sarabande) and a chapbook, "The Dark is Here" (Forkift Ink).

A professor the University of Louisville, her poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in The New York Times, Tin House, Jubilat, Gulf Coast, Harvard Review, and elsewhere. Her latest collection of poems will be released from Sarabande in 2013.

She spoke about the art of poetry — reading it, writing it, loving it — with WFPL's Jonathan Bastian.

Read more