Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life
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Radio Diaries News and Punctum

The unintentional detail that fills the whole picture, the lucky accident that helps us understand the true story.

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Working Then and Now

In the early 1970s, radio host and oral historian Studs Terkel recorded more than 130 interviews for his bestselling oral history “Working.”

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New Podcast: Strange Fruit – Voices of a Lynching

An eerie photograph, a famous song, and the man who lived to tell the story.

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Podcast: The Gospel Ranger

Outside the Appalachian mountains, his name was barely known. But Brother Claude Ely influenced some of the pioneers of rock & roll.

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Podcast: “Halfrican” Revisited

We check in with Jeff, who recorded his teenage diary in 1998.

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Our Story on This American Life

Exciting news: We produced a brand-new (narrated!) version of our story, The Two Lives of Asa Carter for This American Life.

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Kickstarter

30 days to raise at least $40,000. Be part of it!

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Podcast: Walter the Seltzerman

Once there were thousands of seltzer men in New York City. Today, Walter Backerman is one of the last.

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Podcast: The Long Shadow of Forrest Carter

Asa Carter and Forrest Carter couldn’t have been more different. But they shared a secret.

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Transom Manifesto

If you’ve ever wanted to go behind-the-scenes at Radio Diaries, this is your chance.

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This is Radio

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.

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The Day Nelson Mandela Became Nelson Mandela

On April 20th, 1964 Nelson Mandela stood up in a stuffy South African courtroom and gave a speech.

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Podcast: Frankie’s Second Chance

“I went from being on the front page for football, representing my itty-bitty school, to being on the front page as a thief and a meth head.”

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Now Available: Commemorative CD of Mandela: An Audio History

Our new, expanded cd includes a special 32-page booklet with historic photos and a complete transcript of the documentary.

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Our Favorite Podcasts

An ever-expanding list of shows to listen to.

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Radiotopia Is Here

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.

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Nelson Mandela 1918 – 2013

Read our tribute to the life of Nelson Mandela.

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How to Make Radio – A Syllabus

Here’s a list of great books to start paging through.

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New Podcast: The Last Man on the Mountain

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.

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Ira Glass Writes: Go to the Teenage Diaries Revisited Live Show in DC

7 PM on November 12 at the Sixth and I Synagogue and Performance Space. Get your tickets now!

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Radio Diaries Podcast: The View from the 79th Floor

Stories from the day a plane crashed into the Empire State Building.

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Teenage Diaries Revisited LIVE Coming to DC

Get your tickets now for our Teenage Diaries Revisited event on November 12.

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RDRonNPR
Listen to our latest series on  n  p  r .

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Teenage Diaries Revisited Podcast: Josh

Listen to Josh’s teenage and grown-up diaries in our latest podcast. (Plus, outtakes!)

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The Art (and Science) behind Teenage Diaries

A video of Joe’s talk at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism about producing Teenage Diaries Revisited.

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Hey Teens! Tell Your Story by May 31

The deadline for our Teenage Diaries contest is just around the corner.

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Producer’s Notebook: Shaping ‘Teenage Diaries’

Joe writes about how the Teenage Diaries Revisited project began.

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Hey Teenagers! We Want To Hear Your Stories

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.

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Melissa’s Diary, Revisited

Learn how the Teenage Diaries Revisited series began.

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Amanda’s Diary: Revisited

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.

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Teenage Diaries Revisited Reading List

The editors at Bookish.com have developed a reading list with books that correspond to the stories in Teenage Diaries Revisited.

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Josh’s Diary: 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.

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Frankie’s Diary, Revisited

From football star, to junkie, to dad. A lot of life happens in 16 years.

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Juan’s Diary, Revisited

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.

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Teenage Diaries Revisited “The Movie”

Watch this trailer for our new series, airing May 6-10 on NPR’s All Things Considered.

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Win Tickets to Teenage Diaries Revisited at BAM!

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.

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Teenage Diaries Revisited at BAM

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.

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Teenage Diaries Contest

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.

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From ‘Halfrican’ to ‘Mulatto History Month’

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.’

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An Accidental Archivist and the (nearly) complete audio of George Wallace’s ‘Segregation’ Speech

When searching for the audio of George Wallace’s ‘Segregation Now, Segregation Tomorrow, Segregation Forever,’ speech, we repeatedly found ourselves at …

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On World AIDS Day, Remembering Thembi Ngubane

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.

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A Teenage Diary, Lost and Found

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.

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Radio Diaries Wins Gold at the Third Coast Festival

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.

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Share Your Teenage Diary on Cowbird

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.

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The Cowbird Teenage Diaries Step-by-Step Guide

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.

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Claressa Shields wins Gold!

Wow! 17 year old Claressa Shields – our Teen Contender – just won the gold medal! It’s a historic moment: …

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Q: Who are you rooting for in the Olympics?

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.

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Lost and Found Tape: Mandela’s Voice in Prison

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.

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My Lunch With Nelson Mandela

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.

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Celebrating Nelson Mandela

Radio Diaries will be celebrating Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy all week next week.
Stray tuned…

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Claressa “Teen Contender” Among the First Women to Box in the Olympics

Last month, we followed teen boxer Claressa Shields while she was preparing for the Summer Olympic Games 2012 in London.

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The Making of “Teen Contender” and Other Stories

Radio Diaries is profiled in the current “Why’s This So Good” feature from the Nieman Storyboard. Go ‘behind-the-scenes’ to find …

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Can Claressa Shields Remake Women’s Boxing?: The New Yorker

In this week’s New Yorker, Ariel Levy profiles Claressa Shields, the subject of our story from earlier this year, Teen …

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The Two Lives of Asa Carter: Trailer

Radio Diaries’ next story, “The Two lives of Asa Carter”, will be broadcast on NPR on Friday April 20 at …

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Radio Diaries songs from The Ghost of Joseph Buck

Over the past year, Americana band The Ghost of Joseph Buck has been writing and recording songs based on our …

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Teen Contender Audio Slideshow

“Teen Contender” airs today (Monday) on NPR’s All Things Considered at 4:30 PM (ET). At 16, Claressa Shields is the …

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Women Box Live Event with Rosie Perez

Get your tickets quick before they’re gone….Friday 2/10, photographer Sue Johnson and teen boxer Claressa Shields will join Rosie Perez …

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Women Box

In 2012, for the first time, women boxers will compete in the Olympics. We’re collaborating with the New York Times, …

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Lots of New Podcasts Up!

If you subscribe to our podcast, you’ll notice we’ve thrown a lot of podcasts up in the past month. If …

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A Lovely Animation for World AIDS Day

A couple of years ago, an animation student at CalArts named Jisoo Kim came to us with an idea. She …

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Robert Johnson, Pablo Casals….and ZZ Top

Our latest documentary airs today on NPR…..and it’s kind of a strange one. Strange and beautiful. And it may be …

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New story on NPR today!

Happy veterans day, all. We’ve been thinking about vets….and Occupy Wall Street….and how timely our latest documentary is. We’re looking …

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New Website!

Hello! Welcome to Radio Diaries’ new and improved website. We’re still in beta, and the site may still have some …

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