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

Surprising stories of people thrown together by the pandemic.

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3 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.

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1 Piece

The extraordinary stories of ordinary life.


Pieces

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Stories from the day a plane crashed into the Empire State Building.

Bought by WXAV 88.3FM Chicago, PRX Remix, and Georgia Public Broadcasting


  • Added: Oct 22, 2013
  • Length: 14:09
  • Purchases: 3
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 PRX Remix and WXAV 88.3FM Chicago


  • Added: Aug 09, 2013
  • Length: 13:13
  • Purchases: 2
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: 29:09
  • 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 West Virginia Public Broadcasting, PRX Remix, WJCT, and Georgia Public Broadcasting


  • Added: Jul 02, 2013
  • Length: 30:26
  • Purchases: 4
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: 39:30
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...

Bought by HowSound


  • Added: Jun 12, 2013
  • Length: 19:36
  • Purchases: 1
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: 40:08
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: 17:25