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Playlist: MO Docs

Compiled By: John Barth


Possible doc and program picks for Missouri stations to consider.

From Cages To Conservation - American Zoos: Inside Out

From Inside Out Documentaries | 59:00

Each year, more people visit zoos than all major sporting events combined. But while top zoos say they're at the forefront of wildlife education and conservation, critics say they fall far short. Christina Russo and Diane Toomey report from zoos all over the country,finding out how wild-life conservation works in and out of zoos, how attitudes to zoos are changing and whether there still is a role for zoos in America.


Going to the zoo is a deeply American experience. There are few who aren't excited by the moment they spy a wild animal: A giraffe! A gorilla! A zebra! And zoos can be visited all over the country - they range from small, ramshackle enclosures to sprawling modern facilities. But some of them are in a category all of their own:  approximately 200 of them are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums - think: zoological crème de la crème. These zoos say they're different from the rest. Because they provide cutting-edge animal care, are on the frontlines of global conservation, and are actually inspiring visitors to help save wildlife with those close animal encounters.
"From Cages To Conservation - American Zoos: Inside Out" looks at whether top zoos are living up to their claims.  As more and more species verge on extinction, how are zoos contributing to wildlife conservation? When television networks like Animal Planet routinely bring images of the wild into living rooms, do zoos still play a role in educating the public about animals? And as more natural habitats replace cages in zoos, is animal care in zoos improving? And perhaps the most pressing question: should some animals - like elephants - be held in captivity at all?
Listen to this one hour documentary special: 
"From Cages to Conservation, American Zoos: Inside Out"

SURVIVORS: Solitary Confinement in America's Prisons

From Claire Schoen | 29:00

In this half-hour radio documentary, "survivors" of solitary confinement paint a picture of what it looks, sounds and feels like to live for years - and even decades - in total isolation in American prisons.
(A companion multimedia piece is also available for station websites.)

Dsf_0308_1_small Tens of thousands of inmates live in total isolation in America's jails and prisons today. And the number is rapidly growing. Often prisoners spend years – even decades – by themselves in a cell the size of a small bathroom. They don't see anyone. They don't talk to anyone. They don't touch anyone. They are completely alone.

In this half-hour radio documentary, "survivors" of solitary paint a picture of what solitary confinement looks, sounds and feels like. These are the voices of both men and women; Black, White and Latino; old and young.
The effects of sensory deprivation experienced in solitary confinement have been well documented. They include depression, panic attacks, insomnia, paranoia, hypersensitivity, hallucination and psychosis. These psychological effects can be permanent. And often prisoners are released directly from solitary back into society.
U.N. conventions and treaties define this sort of treatment as torture. If we, as a people, continue to brutalize others in this fashion, what does that do to us all as a society?

Mind the Gap: Why Good Schools are Failing Black Students (54:00 and 59:00)

From Nancy Solomon | 59:01

This documentary won a 2010 Peabody Award. Nationwide, suburban schools are doing a good job educating white students, but those schools are not getting the same results with black and Latino students. This documentary tells the story of a suburban high school with lots of resources and a diverse student body that is struggling to close the minority achievement gap.


Award-winning NPR Reporter Nancy Solomon
takes you inside a school to hear a discussion on race in the classroom.  Listen as students try to explain what went wrong with their education. Join her at the kitchen table with black middle-class parents who thought that a move to the suburbs would ensure school success. Find out how the school's best teachers motivate their students. Be a fly on the wall in the busy dean's office where where kids with discipline problems land.

Two versions are available. The 54-minute version has a music-filled news hole and one-minute music breaks at :19 and :39 for station cutaways. The 59-minute version has additional content to cover the news hole (not music), and the same station breaks at :19 and 39.  The promos have 6-sec music tails for station tag.

A digital media package is available free to all stations that includes a call to action, audio slideshows and links for more information. To preview or to link to: www.nancycsolomon.com

Funded by the Spencer Fellowship in Education Reporting and free to all stations.

Perceptions Shattered: African American Masculinity from Chicago Public Radio, PRX and the NBPC

From WBEZ | 52:33

Youth voices share their perspectives on Black masculinity.

Flotptwo_small Told by youth, Perceptions Shattered breaks down African-American Masculinity and looks into the reasons young Black men feel the need to act tough, use the N word and don't fit into a preconceived mold. Black Men working to progress, mature, and provide for themselves and their families... we explore the variety of experiences and trials young Black Men face in today's America. Perceptions Shattered features some of the best stories on Generation PRX - a project of PRX that is dedicated to youth radio. Hosted by Chicago-Area hip hop artist Nam1Sekatti, and produced by Jason Marck at WBEZ, with support from the National Black Programmer's Consortium and PRX, Perceptions Shattered is a journey to a much more compelling, complicated and accurate portrait of what it is to be young, Black and male. HOST: Nam1Sekatti PRODUCER: Jason Marck

A Spin Down Abbey Road (59:00 / 54:00)

From Paul Ingles | 58:59

Music writers, musicians and Beatles fans weigh in on The Beatles' Abbey Road, the album that turned out to have the last songs the band ever recorded together. It was released in September of 1969.

Beatles_abbey-road_small Award-Winning producer Paul Ingles adds another installment to his series of programs spotlighting The Beatles album releases with A Spin Down Abbey Road.  A panel of music writers, musicians and Beatles fans offer historical background on the tracks and their own personal feelings about this landmark album.  Their comments are woven through the music of Abbey Road.

Featured guests are music writers Anthony DeCurtis, Steve Turner, Ann Powers, Richie Unterberger, Jim Derogatis and Greg Kot.  Musician guests include Shawn Colvin, Glen Phillips, Richard Goldman, David Gans, Phil & Tim Hanseroth and Jon Spurney.