Top 10 Above the Noise Episodes From 2020

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Let’s face it... 2020 was a year most of us are ready to put behind us. Misinformation was rampant and social media often felt like a battleground. Controversial issues like climate change, immigration, racism, voter suppression and disparities in our healthcare system took over the headlines and divided the country. But it’s also a year we can learn from.

KQED’s video series Above the Noise dug into viral news stories to investigate different perspectives and go deeper than the debates on mainstream news. Here are our editors’ picks for the #ATNtop10 videos from 2020. Watch them and open your mind to different points of view! It’s one way to work towards a less divisive new year ahead.

10. Should We Fight Wildfires With...More Fire?
Living with mega wildfires is the new normal for many residents of the United States, particularly in the West. Learn about what we can do to make fires less devastating and fight climate change.


9. Is There A Right Way To Protest?
From the Boston Tea Party to Black Lives Matter, protesting is an American tradition. We looked at why--and how--people have expressed themselves through the centuries.


8. Your School is Watching You Online...Should They?
With online learning, students are being monitoring them more than ever. Schools use digital surveillance to improve safety, but some say they go to far and violate children’s privacy.


7. Is It Too Hard to Vote in the U.S.? Voter Suppression Explored
Compared to a lot of other countries, it can be really hard to get registered and cast your vote in America. We looked at why this is and what some people think should be done about it.


6. Sex Education in America: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Teens are used to getting talked at, but Above The Noise found out they have a lot to say about that most awkward of topics: Sex Ed.


5. Why Is Coronavirus Hitting People of Color So Hard? (feat. W. Kamau Bell)
W. Kamau Bell, host of CNN’s United Shades of America, talked with us about how COVID has stoked anti-Asian racism and had more severe health impacts for Black people.


4. What Does It Mean to be Anti-Racist?
Learn how to have conversations about systemic racism with -- even with that relative who makes awkward comments.


3. Everything's Canceled: Coping Tips Straight from a Psychologist
If there were two words to sum up 2020, they might be uncertainty and adaptation. Both come with a ton of stress! Learn professional coping strategies to help you keep on keeping on.


2. Would Universal Healthcare Really Work in the U.S.?
The pandemic has put a spotlight on access to healthcare and its costs. We looked at the pros and cons of universal healthcare to help you be better informed.


1. Is College Worth the Time and Money?
College is a great option but it’s not the only option. We looked at how much going to college really matters to help keep it all in perspective.