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

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.

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10 Pieces

The extraordinary stories of ordinary life.


Pieces

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November 23, 1936 was a good day for recorded music. Two men – an ocean apart – sat before a microphone and began to play.

Bought by KFAI, PRX Remix, WABE, KALW, Troy Public Radio and more


  • Added: Feb 19, 2013
  • Length: 14:40
  • Purchases: 7
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In the summer of 1932, a group of World War I veterans in Portland, Oregon hopped a freight train and started riding the rails to Washington DC.

Bought by PRX Remix, WRPI, and WXAV 88.3FM


  • Added: Feb 19, 2013
  • Length: 11:56
  • Purchases: 3
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Mandy attends an evangelical Christian church. Every Sunday, she arrives at least an hour early for services, because that’s one of the things you...

  • Added: Nov 20, 2012
  • Length: 12:20
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Ricky’s father is an atheist activist. These days, Ricky is beginning his own search for God, and something to believe in. This story is part of th...

Bought by KSFR, New Hampshire Public Radio, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Nov 20, 2012
  • Length: 11:25
  • Purchases: 3
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Brina keeps this audio journal of her first year at Brown University. “I have this weird sense that anybody I meet I might never see again. And al...

  • Added: Nov 20, 2012
  • Length: 12:06
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Emily gives an inside look at “sportos,” “krusties,” “krinkles,” and how being a teenager isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Bought by XRAY.fm


  • Added: Oct 23, 2012
  • Length: 12:14
  • Purchases: 1
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While living on a farm in the Mississippi Delta that was once part of a slave plantation, Randy searches for clues about the life of his great-gran...

Bought by New Hampshire Public Radio, KGNU, New Hampshire Public Radio, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Oct 23, 2012
  • Length: 12:11
  • Purchases: 4
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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