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In Conversation

There’s a lot going on in Louisville, and WFPL’s In Conversation with Rick Howlett gives people a platform to talk — both to each other, and with the larger community — about the biggest issues facing our city, state and region. Live at 11 a.m. every Friday on 89.3 WFPL. Miss the show? Listen here as a weekly podcast.

Ways To Subscribe
  • Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear talks reelection, Trump and the state legislature with Statehouse Reporter Joe Sonka
    Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear was reelected to a second term last month. He sat down with Kentucky Public Radio’s Joe Sonka this week in the state reception room of the Capitol Building in Frankfort to discuss his electoral success, his relationship with Republican lawmakers ahead of the 2024 session and whether he will now comment more on national issues.
  • How merger reshaped Louisville
    It's been 20 years since the governments of Louisville and Jefferson County merged, and residents continue to feel the impacts today. In this special, Roberto Roldan, City Politics and Government Reporter for LPM, talks to guests to take a look at the challenges the newly-merged government faced and how it managed them.
  • Dirty Business
    Some of you may have wondered what happened to the “In Conversation” talk show. And some of you, who read and hear our news on LPM or WFPL already know. In August, our host, colleague and friend Rick Howlett passed away from cancer. Senior producer Laura Ellis who worked with Rick for years, including on the “In Conversation” team, wrote a lovely tribute about him. Since Rick was co-creator of “In Conversation,” and its only host since it launched in January 2019, we are left with a Rick-sized hole. But he also leaves us inspired to carry on with programming that reflects his passion for examining the news, encouraging community engagement, and contributing to public discourse in a way that makes us better together. In the spirit of sharing the kind of work you value as an “In Conversation” listener, here is the documentary “Dirty Business,” from the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting. Our journalists uncover the true cost of cleaning up after the eastern Kentucky floods, including how unfinished work can set up more problems the next time there’s extreme weather.
  • What you need to know about artificial intelligence
    Artificial intelligence, or AI, is all over the headlines these days. But it's not as new as you might think it is. Ever start to look something up and your phone autofills the rest of the word for you? Have you played one of those Facebook games that makes you look like your pet, or a Renaissance painting? Do you ask Siri or Alexa to add something to your grocery list so you won't forget it? Then you've been using artificial intelligence. This week on "In Conversation," we talked about how AI works, how it's already become part of many industries, and of course, the ethical implications that accompany its use.
  • What will higher education look like after affirmative action?
    Affirmative action is a loaded term with a weighty history. Now that the Supreme Court has eliminated race-conscious admissions decisions for higher education, what’s next? On this week’s “In Conversation,” we unpacked the impact of the Supreme Court’s ruling, what equity goals for higher education look like now, and whether eliminating affirmative action in higher education could foreshadow similar changes in the workplace.
  • What brings tourists to Louisville?
    When The New York Times recommended their top 52 destination spots for this year, Louisville landed smack between cities in Greece and Brazil and even outranked some places in Italy and Spain. Tourism is big business in Louisville, and this week on “In Conversation,” we’ll meet some of the folks working to make sure business keeps booming. We took a look at downtown tourism and measures to get more Louisvillians from outlying areas to venture back for museums, dinners and shows. And we checked on the outlook for the rest of 2023, as our hospitality industry still attempts to rebound from the early days of COVID-19.
  • Sports betting and medical marijuana
    In March, the Kentucky General Assembly voted to make use of medical marijuana legal, effective 2025. They also passed a law that will allow racetracks to become licensed sports betting facilities. Experts and journalists joined us to talk through how each of those laws could affect the commonwealth.
  • Juneteenth 2023 in Kentucky
    Juneteenth can be a complicated holiday. It’s an official holiday of celebration — rejoicing in enslaved people being freed as part of the Emancipation Proclamation. It’s also a reminder that many enslaved people were not informed about slavery’s end until years later. On “In Conversation” this week we talk about the origins of the holiday and what Juneteenth means in a modern context. We also let you know about upcoming Juneteenth events in Louisville and in Oldham County.
  • What are you reading this summer?
    School's out, pools are open, and you might be wondering which novel or biography to grab on your way to the park. We've got you covered! This week on "In Conversation," guests from the Louisville Free Public Library and Carmichael’s Bookstore helped you make the perfect summer reading list. We got philosophical about what makes a book great for summer. And we asked some young readers what they're excited to page through before school's back in. This episode was made possible in part by the Jewish Heritage Fund.
  • Are we on the other side of COVID-19?
    It’s our fourth spring living with COVID-19, and pretty much everywhere you go, it looks like it’s over. Fewer people are masking, and you're less likely to be asked for proof of vaccination. But are we actually past the pandemic? With a downward trend in numbers, the World Health Organization has declared that COVID-19 is no longer a global health emergency. And national emergency status in the U.S. ends this week thanks to a bipartisan resolution signed by President Joe Biden. That means, for example, your insurance company no longer has to cover diagnostic testing, including at-home testing kits. On this week’s “In Conversation,” we talked with doctors about where we are with a global pandemic that literally changed the world in March, 2020.