In the early 1970’s, author Studs Terkel went around the country with a reel-to-reel tape recorder interviewing people about their jobs. Our new series, “Working: Then & Now” airs this week on NPR and The Radio Diaries Podcast.
Radio Diaries News and Punctum
The unintentional detail that fills the whole picture, the lucky accident that helps us understand the true story.
How much does an Olympic gold medal really change things for a teenager in Flint? Listen to Claressa Shields’ story.
Throughout American history, only 14 VPs have ever gone on to the presidency. The rest have been mostly forgotten. And not many people would remember the name Alben Barkley, except for two things: his nickname, the “Veep,” and the remarkable circumstances of his death.
Throughout American history, one of the most important job qualifications for the office of President has been the ability to deliver a speech that will rally the people.
Three stories from our series Contenders: Portraits of America’s Most Original Presidential Candidates… who never won.
Our diarist Melissa Rodriguez tells her story live on stage at the The Moth. Hear her story on this week’s episode of The Moth Radio Hour.
In our latest podcast, we catch up with Melissa, who recorded a diary about being a teen mom in 1996.
20 years ago, NPR’s All Things Considered began running my occasional series, Teenage Diaries… which then grew up to become …
On September 8th, 1906, New York’s Bronx Zoo unveiled a new exhibit that would attract thousands of visitors. Inside a cage, in the monkey house, was a man.
What makes a hero? Why do we remember some stories and not others?
Paula Bernstein and Elyse Schein were born in New York City. Both were adopted as infants and raised by loving families. When they were 35 years old they met for the first time and found they were “identical strangers.”
As a teenager, Frankie was a high school football star whose picture was in his hometown newspaper every week. Years after graduating, Frankie was back in the paper—as a criminal. In his new audio diary, Frankie takes a recorder along as he tries to repair his relationship with his family.
Football, Frankie said, had completely changed him. He was no longer seen as a loser. But the same couldn’t be said for the Valley Head Tigers. This week on The Radio Diaries Podcast, listen to Frankie’s teenage diary.
The men of the 10th Mountain Division led a series of daring assaults against the Nazis in the mountains of Italy. After returning home, many of these soldiers helped to create the modern ski industry.
Four years after Nelson Mandela was released from prison, he became president of South Africa. And yet, those 4 years were among the bloodiest and most painful for all South Africans – black and white – as they struggled toward the transition to majority rule.
Next year we will turn 20. On April 8th, 1996, I launched the Teenage Diaries series on NPR. Back then …
When you spend so much of your life getting to the next stage, thinking about the next move, what is it like to find yourself at…the Last Place? On this episode of the Radio Diaries Podcast, we bring you audio diaries from a retirement home.
Join us on December 9 at 7 PM to celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela and help preserve our audio archive of the struggle against apartheid. We’re hosting a holiday party with CultureHorde at Brooklyn’s Madiba Restaurant. Tickets are $75 and they include South African food and wine. There will be dancing!
November 23, 1936, was a very good day for recorded music.
Audio diaries from officers who work behind bars at North Carolina’s Polk Youth Institution.
You’ll get the most creative, risk-taking, and best-sounding audio storytelling on the planet.
In this golden age of podcasting, a conversation about the past and future of public radio with the author of the original NPR mission statement.
A program in Richmond, CA that is trying a controversial method of reducing gun violence in their city: paying criminals to not commit crimes. Sounds crazy, but the even crazier part is…it works.
85 years ago, James Cameron escaped his own lynching. This is his story – and the story of the white residents of Marion, Indiana.
While working on our documentary, Mandela: An Audio History, we stumbled across the only known recording of Nelson Mandela during his 27 years in prison. Hear the story behind the tape on this episode of the Radio Diaries Podcast.
Through their diaries, Matthew and Judge Jeremiah tell the same story from two different sides of the bench.
On the Radio Diaries Podcast, the true story behind the untrue story of The Education of Little Tree.
Bridgette McGee is unearthing everything she can about her grandfather’s life – and his death.
Now on the Radio Diaries Podcast: As a teenager, Kamari Ridgle was a drug dealer and drive-by shooter until a near-death experience led him to his true love…accounting.
Meet George F. Johnson, President of the Endicott Johnson Corporation, and one of the nation’s leading ‘welfare capitalists.’ Plus, What the LeBron?
In the early 1940s, the government launched an experimental program to train women pilots. They were known as the WASPs, the Women Airforce Service Pilots.
“Don’t Look Back: Stories from the Teenage Years” is hosted by Molly Ringwald and features two of our former Teenage Diarists telling stories on stage. Get your tickets today.
“What I have here is an envelope on which this girl Nicole wrote down instructions on how to kiss. It says: ‘pucker lips, slowly open mouth, slowly slide tongue in, repeat steps 1, 2, and 3.’ She made that list for me because I made out with her and she said I was doing it wrong.”
Rose Marie McCoy, one of the most prolific songwriters of the 1950’s and 60’s passed away recently at the age of 92.
Listen to our story about “Segregation Now, Segregation Tomorrow, Segregation Forever” on the Radio Diaries Podcast.
On July 28, 1945 an Army bomber pilot on a routine ferry mission found himself lost in the fog over Manhattan. A dictation machine in a nearby office happened to capture the sound of the plane as it hit the Empire State Building at the 79th floor. Find out what happened next on the Radio Diaries Podcast.
On the Radio Diaries Podcast, we’re remembering Jimmy Weekley, the greatest underdog we’ve ever met.
We check in with Jose William Huezo Soriano – aka Weasel – 15 years after he recorded his audio diary about being deported to El Salvador.
On November 19, join Joe Richman and Radiolab’s Robert Krulwich for a special multimedia event at the 92nd Street Y.
What happens when, instead of people crossing the border, the border crosses the people?
In the early 1970s, radio host and oral historian Studs Terkel recorded more than 130 interviews for his bestselling oral history “Working.”
An eerie photograph, a famous song, and the man who lived to tell the story.
Outside the Appalachian mountains, his name was barely known. But Brother Claude Ely influenced some of the pioneers of rock & roll.
Exciting news: We produced a brand-new (narrated!) version of our story, The Two Lives of Asa Carter for This American Life.
Once there were thousands of seltzer men in New York City. Today, Walter Backerman is one of the last.
Asa Carter and Forrest Carter couldn’t have been more different. But they shared a secret.
If you’ve ever wanted to go behind-the-scenes at Radio Diaries, this is your chance.
Check out this wonderful new collection of short videos called ‘This Is Radio.’ The latest one features Joe and the work we do at Radio Diaries.
On April 20th, 1964 Nelson Mandela stood up in a stuffy South African courtroom and gave a speech.
Our new, expanded cd includes a special 32-page booklet with historic photos and a complete transcript of the documentary.
PRX (Public Radio Exchange) has launched a new collective of the best story-driven shows on the planet. We are proud to be a founding member, along with some of the most talented producers around.
In West Virginia, people say that in the old days, communities turned into ghost towns when the coal ran out. Now they turn into ghost towns when the mountaintop mines move in.
7 PM on November 12 at the Sixth and I Synagogue and Performance Space. Get your tickets now!
Stories from the day a plane crashed into the Empire State Building.
Get your tickets now for our Teenage Diaries Revisited event on November 12.
25 years ago, university students in Burma sparked a countrywide uprising. They called for a nationwide strike on 8/8/88, a date they chose for its numerological power.
Listen to Josh’s teenage and grown-up diaries in our latest podcast. (Plus, outtakes!)
A video of Joe’s talk at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism about producing Teenage Diaries Revisited.
The deadline for our Teenage Diaries contest is just around the corner.
Joe writes about how the Teenage Diaries Revisited project began.
Are you a teenager with a story to tell? Write it down, photograph it (and record it if you want) and then submit it to the storytelling site Cowbird.
Amanda was the first teenage diarist I ever worked with (and the last before the world went digital). Now, more than 16 years later, Amanda is back on NPR as part of our Teenage Diaries Revisited series.
The editors at Bookish.com have developed a reading list with books that correspond to the stories in Teenage Diaries Revisited.
One of the things that makes Josh Cutler a great diarist is that I never know what he is going to say next. Sometimes he doesn’t either.
From football star, to junkie, to dad. A lot of life happens in 16 years.
16 years after his teenage diary, Juan has achieved a version of the American dream: a good job, happy marriage, three kids, two cars, and his own home. But he’s still undocumented.
Watch this trailer for our new series, airing May 6-10 on NPR’s All Things Considered.
Tell your story to the folks at Bookish for a chance to win a pair of VIP tickets to our Teenage Diaries Revisited event at BAM on May 6.
On May 6 at 7:30 PM, join Ira Glass of This American Life and Joe Richman of Radio Diaries in a special live multimedia event at BAM’s Fishman Space to kick off our new series, Teenage Diaries Revisited.
Radio Diaries is looking for the next generation of Teenage Diarists, so we’re hosting a contest to find the country’s most talented teenage storytellers.
When Jeff Rogers recorded his Teenage Diary back in 1998, he referred to himself as a ‘halfrican.’ We caught up with Jeff in this week’s podcast, while he was in the midst of celebrating ‘Mulatto History Month.’
When searching for the audio of George Wallace’s ‘Segregation Now, Segregation Tomorrow, Segregation Forever,’ speech, we repeatedly found ourselves at …
World AIDS Day is a day to support people living with HIV and to celebrate the lives of those who have died from the virus. For me, it’s a day to remember Thembi Ngubane.
14 years ago, Melissa Rodriguez disappeared. She walked out of her apartment in New Haven, left most of her belongings, changed her cell phone number, and didn’t tell her friends where she was going. All she took was her two-year old son, Issaiah, and a few photographs. A year ago, we received an email from her that inspired us to revisit our Teenage Diaries series.
Teen boxer Claressa Shields says she’s never gotten anything other than gold, and at the Third Coast International Audio Festival she kept her record. Radio Diaries is incredibly proud to tell you that our story about Claressa, Teen Contender, won the prize for Best Documentary.
To commemorate the “sweet 16” of the acclaimed Teenage Diaries project—where young people around the country are given tape recorders to report on their own lives for public radio—Radio Diaries and NPR are now teaming up with the storytelling platform Cowbird to gather new stories written, recorded and photographed by teens.
A collection of Cowbird Teenage Diaries will be featured on npr.org. Plus, two teens will be selected to work with Radio Diaries to produce audio Teenage Diaries that will air on NPR in 2013! Learn how to participate in this project.
Wow! 17 year old Claressa Shields – our Teen Contender – just won the gold medal! It’s a historic moment: …
A: Claressa Shields!
At Radio Diaries we are throwing away all pretense of journalistic objectivity. After a long journey, Claressa’s going for the gold.
While working on the documentary, Mandela: An Audio History, we stumbled across the only known recording of Nelson Mandela during his 27 years in prison. This is the story behind it.
Joe Richman spent more than a year trying to get an interview with Nelson Mandela for the radio series Mandela: An Audio History. When the day finally came, it was a total surprise.
Radio Diaries will be celebrating Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy all week next week.
Last month, we followed teen boxer Claressa Shields while she was preparing for the Summer Olympic Games 2012 in London.
Radio Diaries is profiled in the current “Why’s This So Good” feature from the Nieman Storyboard. Go ‘behind-the-scenes’ to find …
In this week’s New Yorker, Ariel Levy profiles Claressa Shields, the subject of our story from earlier this year, Teen …
Radio Diaries’ next story, “The Two lives of Asa Carter”, will be broadcast on NPR on Friday April 20 at …
Over the past year, Americana band The Ghost of Joseph Buck has been writing and recording songs based on our …
“Teen Contender” airs today (Monday) on NPR’s All Things Considered at 4:30 PM (ET). At 16, Claressa Shields is the …
Get your tickets quick before they’re gone….Friday 2/10, photographer Sue Johnson and teen boxer Claressa Shields will join Rosie Perez …
In 2012, for the first time, women boxers will compete in the Olympics. We’re collaborating with the New York Times, …