%s1 / %s2

Playlist: News Station Picks for February

Compiled By: PRX Editors

 Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/75429951@N00/1805164945/">Russell Davies</a>
Image by: Russell Davies 
Curated Playlist

Hi—this isn’t curator Julianne Welby, but John Barth at PRX. I used to be a news director, so I am stepping into the curating slot this month as we and PRNDI search for a new news curator. So, for February, here are some programs that catch my editorial ear:

Can Do: Stories of Black Visionaries, Seekers, and Entrepreneurs

From The Kitchen Sisters | 54:00

This Kitchen Sisters' exclusive on PRX is really fantastic. The Sisters have mined their archives to highlight and tell some fantastic human stories in their unique style. Actress Alfre Woodward hosts the show. This is good not just for Black History Month – air this to show off some of the best of public radio!


A man tapes the history of his town with a scavenged cassette recorder, a woman fights for social justice with a pie, a DJ ignites his community with a sound. Join us for this richly produced and deeply layered hour long special that resonates for Black History Month, or any month.  Produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson) and Roman Mars.
"Can Do" is supported in part by the Reversioning Project of the Public Radio Exchange at PRX.org and The CPB, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 

Annual Ho Chunk Nation Bison Round-up

From Brian Bull | 02:56

You don’t hear audio postcards too much, and I wish there were more. Good ones, like this, are like a powerful photograph. Who even knew bison were rounded up into herds and done so, in this case, by a tribe in Wisconsin? I love the voices, the rawness of man and animal and the frigid air. I would use this as a kicker on a talk show, a place to take listeners on a journey to a place they will likely never see or hear. A treat for the ear and the imagination.

Hcbisonroundup01_small Every year, the Ho Chunk Nation of Wisconsin gathers up its bison herd.  With trucks, bullhorns, and cattle prods, volunteers brave the cold to corral these huge, burly beasts through a long passage called 'the Alley", which then leads into a series of chutes.  Here the bisons are weighed, innoculated, tagged, and given a microchip ID for tracking.  The Ho Chunk prize the bison for its lean, healthy meat and warm hides, and the tribe hopes to eventually expand its herd from its current 122 head, to more than 300 some day.

This audio postcard captures the sounds of voices of the yearly event, complete with a few runaways. 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.- A Portrait of Atlanta 1962

From Canadian Broadcasting Corporation | Part of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr- a Rewind series series | 54:59

This is documentary is 47 years old…but very relevant: white voices and great accents talk about racial change; the 'old' South clashing with the emerging new South of 1962. This is a cultural struggle and transition captured with sensitivity and editorial directness.

The CBC has a tradition of such nuanced work. And a real treat, too, is some of the other Black History Month submissions from the CBC including rare and powerful lectures by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Masssey-king-book_small Today on the second of six programs honouring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a portrait from 1962 of the city of Atlanta. It was the birthplace of Dr. King and became one of the first southern cities to become de-segregated. Listen to this fascinating period piece of a city caught up in the sweep of history.

A Crisis in Primary Care -- the Massachusetts Health Care Experiment

From Karen Brown | 05:39

One of the consequences of expanding health care coverage to the under-insured and under-covered is a shortage of primary care doctors. This has reached a crisis level in states like Massachusetts. Karen’s powerful piece really gets to the complexity of the situation: best intentions with unintended results.

Want a powerful but longer documentary on this relevant topic? Try The Doctor Can’t See You Now by another excellent producer, Rachel Gotbaum.

Dan_levy3_small As national health reformers are scrutinizing the Massachusetts reform experiment, a number of glitches are surfacing. While health care reform in Massachusetts has led to a dramatic increase in the number of people with health insurance, there’s an unintended consequence: A sudden demand for primary care doctors has outpaced the supply. This piece looks at crisis in primary care within the context of Massachusetts health reform and universal coverage, with perspectives from consumers, doctors, and advocates.

This is part of an ongoing reporting series made possible by a Kaiser Media Fellowship. Versions of this have aired on NPR (Weekend Edition) and WFCR, Amherst, MA.