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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2 Pieces

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.

Caption: PRX default Series image
1 Piece

The extraordinary stories of ordinary life.

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10 Pieces

The extraordinary stories of ordinary life.


Pieces

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Frankie’s second Teenage Diary follows his season playing running back for the Valley Head Tigers. Recorded in 1997, Frankie documents his life as ...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Oct 23, 2012
  • Length: 16:24
  • Purchases: 1
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Frankie always thought his family was pretty normal until the day the FBI showed up. His dad had been hiding from the law for 15 years, and Frankie...

Bought by West Virginia Public Broadcasting, KOSU, and WJCT


  • Added: Oct 23, 2012
  • Length: 12:10
  • Purchases: 3
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In Juan’s second audio diary, he travels back to Mexico to visit his dying grandfather. This is his first time back since he immigrated to the Unit...

Bought by KSFR and PRX Remix


  • Added: Oct 23, 2012
  • Length: 25:51
  • Purchases: 2
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This is Melissa’s second audio diary. Her son Issaiah is now one-year-old. “I’m a really selfish person…I want to be treated as the baby. I want t...

Bought by PRX Remix


  • Added: Oct 23, 2012
  • Length: 12:37
  • Purchases: 1
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At the 1896 Democratic Convention, Bryan gave a speech that electrified his party and won him the nomination. His “Cross of Gold” speech is known t...

Bought by New Hampshire Public Radio, WXAV 88.3FM, The Story, PRX Remix, KUT and more


  • Added: Oct 16, 2012
  • Length: 07:11
  • Purchases: 7
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In 1972, Shirley Chisholm launched a spirited campaign for the Democratic nomination. She was the first woman and first African American to run. De...

Bought by WABE, WEZU, New Hampshire Public Radio, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, WXAV 88.3FM and more


  • Added: Oct 16, 2012
  • Length: 07:37
  • Purchases: 10
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Alben Barkley served in Congress for close to 40 years and was Harry Truman’s vice president from 1948-1952. Though he wanted to be President himse...

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM, PRX Remix, WDET Detroit Public Radio, and KFAI


  • Added: Oct 16, 2012
  • Length: 07:25
  • Purchases: 4
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In the 19th century, Victoria Woodhull was many things: a clairvoyant, a businesswoman, an advocate for women’s rights and sexual freedom, and a ma...

Bought by KUNM, New Hampshire Public Radio, New Hampshire Public Radio, WXAV 88.3FM, Prairie Public and more


  • Added: Oct 16, 2012
  • Length: 07:18
  • Purchases: 8
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In 1964, Margaret Chase Smith became the first woman from a major party to run for President. The Republican Senator ran as a staunch hawk and expe...

Bought by New Hampshire Public Radio, WXAV 88.3FM, PRX Remix, WDET Detroit Public Radio, and KFAI


  • Added: Oct 16, 2012
  • Length: 07:38
  • Purchases: 5
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The 1952 presidential campaign pitted the immensely popular General Dwight D. Eisenhower against the ferociously intellectual and intensely private...

Bought by New Hampshire Public Radio, XRAY.fm, WXAV 88.3FM, PRX Remix, WDET Detroit Public Radio and more


  • Added: Oct 16, 2012
  • Length: 07:36
  • Purchases: 6