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. 


 

Series

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13 Pieces

Weaving together oral histories and archival tape to bring the past to life.

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8 Pieces

Portraits of some of America’s most original presidential candidates.

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1 Piece

Portraits of history's last surviving witnesses.

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9 Pieces

The story of South Africa's struggle against apartheid.

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6 Pieces

Audio Portraits of a Vanishing City

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4 Pieces

Five inmates, four correctional officers and a judge were given tape recorders.

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17 Pieces

Since 1996, the Teenage Diaries series has been giving tape recorders to young people around the country to report on their own lives.

Caption: Josh Cutler in Teenage Diaries Revisited., Credit: David Gilkey/NPR
5 Pieces

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.

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1 Piece

The extraordinary stories of ordinary life.

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10 Pieces

The extraordinary stories of ordinary life.


Pieces

Caption: Olivia Hooker, Age 6 in 1921
On May 31, 1921, Olivia Hooker was six-years-old when white mobs launched an attack on the Greenwood section of Tulsa, Oklahoma. In less than 24 ho...

  • Added: Jun 08, 2018
  • Length: 06:20
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In 1965, an underground network formed in Chicago to help pregnant women get abortions. At first, they connected women with doctors willing to brea...

Bought by KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio and PRX Remix


  • Added: Feb 02, 2018
  • Length: 11:59
  • Purchases: 2
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In the early 1970’s, author Studs Terkel went around the country with a reel-to-reel tape recorder interviewing people about their jobs. The result...

Bought by WFAE, WHYY, KUER, WVPE, Northeast Indiana Public Radio and more


  • Added: Aug 13, 2017
  • Length: 54:59
  • Purchases: 35
Caption: Lee Singer (1971)
In the 1970's, Studs Terkel interviewed Duke and Lee Singer at their auto repair shop in Geneva, Illinois. He was looking for a story about fixing ...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: May 09, 2017
  • Length: 06:27
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Studs Terkel
In 1974, author and oral historian Studs Terkel published his seminal book "Working," a portrait of America based on 130 interviews. The raw record...

Bought by New Hampshire Public Radio and PRX Remix


  • Added: May 09, 2017
  • Length: 05:05
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Gary Bryner, Credit: Detroit Free Press
Gary Bryner tells Studs Terkel about being a union member and working in an auto factory for General Motors. Four decades later, he reflects on how...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: May 09, 2017
  • Length: 04:17
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Eddie Jaffee, Credit: Bettmann Archive/Getty Images
Eddie Jaffe was a press agent "legendary for his lost causes, chutzpah and angst," according to his obituary in the New York Times. He represented ...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: May 09, 2017
  • Length: 01:43
  • Purchases: 1
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Renault Robinson was an officer in the Chicago Police Department in 1971 when he was first interviewed by radio host and oral historian Studs Terke...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: May 08, 2017
  • Length: 05:42
  • Purchases: 1
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In 1972, Studs Terkel interviewed hotel piano player Norman "Hots" Michels for his book "Working." Hots was the last live entertainment at the Sher...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: May 08, 2017
  • Length: 04:30
  • Purchases: 1
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Sharon Griggins was 17 years old and working for Illinois Bell as a telephone operator when she was interviewed by Studs Terkel. For a job that req...

Bought by PRX Remix and New Hampshire Public Radio


  • Added: May 04, 2017
  • Length: 04:32
  • Purchases: 2