Radio Diaries

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Founded by Joe Richman, Radio Diaries has been giving people tape recorders and working with them to report on their own lives and histories for almost two decades. We’ve collaborated with teenagers and octogenarians, prisoners and prison guards, bra saleswomen and lighthouse keepers….and along the way we’ve helped pioneer a new form of citizen journalism. Radio Diaries has won every major award in broadcast journalism and produced some of the most memorable documentaries ever heard on public radio. Our stories are broadcast on NPR’s All Things Considered, This American Life, BBC, and on The Radio Diaries Podcast. We also publish educational materials, including the Teen Reporter Handbook. Radio Diaries is a not-for-profit organization.

Subscribe to the Radio Diaries Podcast at http://www.radiodiaries.org/podcast
Contact us for more information: info [@] radiodiaries.org

Series

Teenage DiariesTeenage Diaries
Since 1996, the Teenage Diaries series has given tape recorders to young people around the country. They conduct interviews, keep audio journals, and record the sounds of daily life — usually collecting more than 30 hours of raw tape over the course of a year, edited into documentaries airing on NPR’s All Things Considered. Whether it’s the story of Amanda, a gay teen trying to understand her sexuality, or the story of Juan, who crossed the Rio Grande with his family illegally, these stories offer insight into the mysterious life of teenagers.


Teenage Diaries RevisitedTeenage Diaries Revisited
16 years ago, Radio Diaries gave a group of young people tape recorders to report on their own lives for our NPR series, Teenage Diaries. Five of the diarists return to chronicle their grown-up lives in Teenage Diaries Revisited. A lot of life happens in 16 years.



Mandela: An Audio History
"Mandela: An Audio History" is a groundbreaking project that weaves together an unprecedented collection of archival sound materials documenting and preserving the story of Nelson Mandela and the struggle against apartheid. Hear a rare recording of the 1964 trial that resulted in Mandela's life sentence; a visit between Mandela and his wife, Winnie, secretly recorded by a prison guard; marching songs of guerilla soldiers; government propaganda films; and pirate radio broadcasts from the African National Conference (ANC).



 
Contenders
There have been 43 presidents in American history. But the names of the hundreds who sought the office – and lost – are often forgotten. "Contenders" tells the stories of some of the most groundbreaking and unusual presidential candidates from elections past.



CristelPrison Diaries
Five inmates, four correctional officers and a judge were given tape recorders. For six months, the diarists kept audio journals and recorded the sounds and scenes of everyday life behind bars: shakedowns, new inmate arrivals, roll call, monthly family visits, meals at the chow hall, and quiet moments late at night inside a cell.




New York Works: Audio Portraits of a Vanishing City

94-year old Selma Koch runs one of New York's last old-style bra fitting shops. Walter Backerman still delivers seltzer along the same route worked by his father and grandfather. Frank Sabatino is one of two commercial fisherman left in Jamaica Bay. Charlie Zimmerman builds the rooftop water tanks that dot Manhattan's skyline. New York Works tells the stories of those who keep the city's past alive.



Willie McGeeAudio HistoriesThese audio documentaries weave together oral histories and archival tape to bring the past to life. From World War II to the Civil Rights movement, from the mining industry to the music industry, this series shares a rich, in depth look into our history. 


 

Pieces

Caption: Frankie Lewchuck, Credit: David Gilkey
As a teenager, Frankie Lewchuck recorded an audio diary about his family in rural Alabama. 16 years later, he recorded a follow up story for the Te...

  • Added: Mar 20, 2014
  • Length: 30:41
Caption: McCoy in the studio circa 1984.
You may not know Rosemarie McCoy’s name, but you probably know her songs. Over 800 of them spanning the full range of American pop music, from Rhyt...

Bought by WCAI / WNAN, WBEZ, and WNMU-FM


  • Added: Feb 18, 2014
  • Length: 55:22
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Bridgette McGee holds a photo of her grandfather., Credit: Teri Havens
In 1951, Willie McGee was executed in Mississippi's traveling electric chair for raping a white woman. Six decades later, his granddaughter is on a...

Bought by Georgia Public Broadcasting


  • Added: Feb 13, 2014
  • Length: 28:59
  • Purchases: 1
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Hour-long special of Teenage Diaries Revisited. Back in the 1990s, Radio Diaries producer Joe Richman gave tape recorders to a handful of teens a...

Bought by KJZZ, Capital Public Radio, Prairie Public, WLPR, WJCT and more


  • Added: Dec 10, 2013
  • Length: 58:57
  • Purchases: 36
Caption: James Weekley, Credit: Andrew Lichtenstein
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 t...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Nov 15, 2013
  • Length: 14:40
  • Purchases: 1
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Stories from the day a plane crashed into the Empire State Building.

Bought by PRX Remix and Georgia Public Broadcasting


  • Added: Oct 22, 2013
  • Length: 14:27
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Burmese demonstrators in 1988., Credit: Gaye Paterson
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...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Aug 09, 2013
  • Length: 12:15
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Juan holds a photograph of himself from 16 years ago., Credit: David Gilkey/NPR
16 years ago, Juan reported on his life as a recent Mexican immigrant living in poverty in Texas. In his new diary, Juan takes us on a tour of the ...

Bought by WJCT


  • Added: Jul 03, 2013
  • Length: 12:30
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Amanda Brand in 2013., Credit: David Gilkey/NPR
At the age of 17, Amanda knew she was gay. But her Catholic parents kept insisting she’d grow out of it. 16 years later, a lot has changed in the c...

  • Added: Jul 02, 2013
  • Length: 12:40
Caption: Josh in 2013., Credit: David Gilkey/NPR
In high school, Josh documented his life with Tourette’s Syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes uncontrollable tics and involuntary verbal o...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Jul 02, 2013
  • Length: 19:25
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Frankie in 2013., Credit: David Gilkey/NPR
As a teenager, Frankie was a high school football star whose picture was in his hometown newspaper every week. Years after graduating, Frankie was ...

Bought by PRX Remix, WJCT, and Georgia Public Broadcasting


  • Added: Jul 02, 2013
  • Length: 12:13
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Melissa in 2013., Credit: David Gilkey/NPR
Listen to Melissa's teenage and grown-up diaries in this podcast episode.

  • Added: Jun 13, 2013
  • Length: 40:01
Caption: Melissa in 2013., Credit: David Gilkey/NPR
As an 18-year-old raised in the foster care system, Melissa took NPR listeners along when she gave birth to her son Isaaiah. Over the past 16 years...

  • Added: Jun 12, 2013
  • Length: 19:36
Caption: Josh Cutler in 2013, Credit: David Gilkey/NPR
In high school, Josh Cutler documented his life with Tourette’s Syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes uncontrollable tics and involuntary v...

  • Added: May 30, 2013
  • Length: 40:12
Caption: Amanda in 2013, Credit: David Gilkey/NPR
At the age of 17, Amanda knew she was gay. But her parents kept insisting she’d grow out of it. Today, a lot has changed in the country, and within...

  • Added: May 17, 2013
  • Length: 17:32
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Beauty pageants promote the fantasy of the ideal woman. But for 35 years, the Miss Subways contest in New York City celebrated the everyday working...

Bought by Georgia Public Broadcasting and PRX Remix


  • Added: Feb 26, 2013
  • Length: 14:15
  • Purchases: 2
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On the 50th anniversary of Wallace’s inaugural speech as the Governor of Alabama, Radio Diaries tells the story behind those infamous words, and th...

Bought by The Story and PRX Remix


  • Added: Feb 26, 2013
  • Length: 16:46
  • Purchases: 2
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Asa Carter and Forrest Carter couldn’t have been more different. But they shared a secret.

  • Added: Feb 19, 2013
  • Length: 12:42
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In the 1990s, Arch Coal began mining Pigeonroost Hollow. Now Jimmy Weekley is the last person left there.

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Feb 19, 2013
  • Length: 11:22
  • Purchases: 1
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George F. Johnson was the owner of the Endicott Johnson Corp. — at one time the country’s leading shoe manufacturer — and one of the nation’s leadi...

  • Added: Feb 19, 2013
  • Length: 11:28