Helen Borten

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  • Username: hebo
  • Independent Producer
  • Role: Producer/Reporter: Independent

Recent Pieces from Helen Borten

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The Silent Generation: From Saipan to Tokyo (58:57)
From: Helen Borten

The final year of World War II in the Pacific, told by men who came back and kept silent about the harrowing ordeal that changed their lives.
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House of the Lord (29:33)
From: Helen Borten

The history of a black church on an antebellum plantation and how it was saved from destruction.
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Convicting Chevie Kehoe (59:26)
From: Helen Borten

A new inquiry into a notorious murder case that asks: Were the wrong men convicted of this crime?
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Skywalkers of Akwesane (29:20)
From: Helen Borten

How the dangerous skill of high steel became a rite of passage for a Mohawk tribe.
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Georgia Market Bulletin (28:59)
From: Helen Borten

A chronicle of rural life in Georgia unfolds between the lines of a farmers' newspaper.
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Laugh Tracks Part One and Part Two (29:27)
From: Helen Borten

Two parts, each 28:58 minutes. A one-hour celebration of ethnic humor.
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Nancarrow and the Player Piano (29:31)
From: Helen Borten

The life and work of a renegade composer who blazed a trail to the future by using an instrument that sounded like the past.
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Stranger in Paradise (29:25)
From: Helen Borten

The strange life and haunting work of outside artist Achilles Rizzoli.
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In Love with the Mob (29:28)
From: Helen Borten

One hundred years of mob rule in Youngstown, Ohio.
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Love and War (28:56)
From: Helen Borten

Professional soldiers in Fort Benning, Georgia talk of the challenges facing themselves and their families as they prepare to go to war. Produced in 2002 as these soldiers ...

About Me

Helen Borten has written and produced 44 national radio documentaries.

Her NPR documentary “The Case Against Women: Sexism in the Courts” won the George Foster Peabody Award. “And Justice For All”, also on NPR, won the duPont-Columbia Silver Baton for excellence in broadcast journalism. Her numerous awards include two EMMAS from the National Women’s Political Caucus, three Unity Awards, a Gold Cindy, a Best of Show, two First Place New York State Bar Awards for Investigative Reporting and a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Honorable Mention.

Her ability to bring history alive, demonstrated most recently in the one-hour Veterans Day special, “The Silent Generation”, prompted Michael Zuckerman, professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania, to say, “She has a superb critical intelligence, extraordinary taste and judgment, a high sense of drama and a grand instinct for mystery.”

From 1994 to 2004 Borten traveled the country interviewing people for her independently produced series A Sense of Place, which Bill Moyers called “A superb concept for radio—timely, too, given the longing in America for community and connection .” The New York Times devoted a major article to Borten and her work when the premiere season, distributed by NPR, made its debut (First Arts Page, August 18, 1997). “If ‘think radio’ has a future on a dial clogged with music and conventional news-talk programs,” the Times says, “it is because of innovators like Ms. Borten. She has a keen ear…is gifted with a mellifluous voice…and an ability to ask a seemingly simple question that draws memorable responses from her subjects.” Station Manager Ruth Seymour says, “We love Helen Borten’s work. She brings passion, imagination, and emotional resonance to a vivid portrait of American life." The Los Angeles Times asked, “What better way to experience and celebrate the nation’s diversity of people and variety of landscape than by tuning in to (her) evocative, ongoing opus?” The second and third seasons of A Sense of Place were distributed by PRI in 2001 and 2004, respectively.

Borten began her career in radio in 1988 as Assistant Producer of WNYC/New York’s talk show, New York & Company. Her distinguished career as an independent broadcast journalist has been made possible by major grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Before going into radio, Borten, a graduate of the University of the Arts, was an award-winning children’s book author/illustrator.

The New York Times profile quotes the talk show host with whom she worked for three years: “ ‘She has the ability to see the story behind the story,’ said Leonard Lopate, who unabashedly calls Ms. Borten a genius.”

My Groups:
Favorite Shows:


Helen is currently available for new projects and is available to travel Within my country.


  • Field Recording
  • Editing
  • Reporting
  • Writing

Available For

  • Consulting
  • Commentary
  • Documentary Production
  • Interviewing
  • Print Reporting
  • Voiceover

Work Experience

Lecturer/ Instructor at Philadelphia College of Arts

Previously Aired On

The first season of A SENSE OF PLACE aired on National Public Radio. The second and third seasons of the series were presented by Public Radio International (PRI)