APM Reports Documentaries

APM Reports Documentaries

By APM Reports

The documentary unit of APM Reports (formerly American RadioWorks) has produced more than 140 programs on topics such as health, history, education and justice.


Introducing: Sold a Story

Emily Hanford introduces the first episode of her new podcast, Sold a Story.There's an idea about how children learn to read that's held sway in schools for more than a generation — even though it was proven wrong by cognitive scientists decades ago. Teaching methods based on this idea can make it harder for children to learn how to read. In this podcast, Hanford investigates the influential authors who promote this idea and the company that sells their work. It's an exposé of how educators came to believe in something that isn't true and are now reckoning with the consequences — children harmed, money wasted, an education system upended.Subscribe: soldastory.org
20/10/2234m 4s

No Excuses: Race and Reckoning at a Chicago Charter School

Producer DJ Cashmere spent seven years teaching Black and brown students at a Noble Street charter high school in Chicago. At the time, Noble followed a popular model called "no excuses." Its schools required strict discipline but promised low-income students a better shot at college. After DJ left the classroom to become a journalist, Noble disavowed its own policies — calling them "assimilationist, patriarchal, white supremacist, and anti-black." In this hour, DJ, who is white, revisits his old school as it tries to reinvent itself as an anti-racist institution. And he seeks out his former students to ask them how they felt about being on the receiving end of all that education reform, and what they think now about the time they spent in his classroom.
09/08/2252m 1s

Standing in Two Worlds: Native American College Diaries

Native American students are just a tiny fraction of all the college students in the United States. They come with different histories, confronting an education system once used to erase their languages and cultures. In this project, three Indigenous college students tell how they are using higher education to strengthen ties to their Native roots and support their people.Photos: See portraits of the students in this documentary
02/08/2250m 20s

In Deep: One City's Year of Climate Chaos

Most scientists believe climate change is increasing the severity of the storms we experience, and how quickly they intensify. After suffering two hurricanes, a winter storm, and devastating flooding in less than a year, Lake Charles, Louisiana, offers a troubling view of the wrenching, disturbingly inequitable effects of climate change.In Deep: One City’s Year of Climate Chaos offers a rich journalistic portrait of a working-class city and its residents at a perilous moment in our planet’s existence.Read the story.
03/09/2151m 22s

Under Pressure: The College Mental Health Crisis

Even before the pandemic, campus counselling services were reporting a marked uptick in the number of students with anxiety, clinical depression and other serious psychiatric problems. What is a college’s responsibility for helping students navigate mental health challenges, and how well are colleges rising to the task?Read more: Inside the college mental health crisis
19/08/2151m 3s

Who Wants to Be a Teacher?

Many schools around the country are struggling to find enough teachers. Large numbers of teachers quit after a short time on the job, so schools are constantly struggling to replace them. The problem is particularly acute at rural schools and urban schools. The most common level of experience of teachers in the United States now is one year on the job. At the same time, enrollment in teacher training programs at colleges and universities is plummeting, and schools are looking to other sources to fill classrooms. In Nevada, a desperate need for teachers this year led to allowing people with just a high school diploma to fill in as substitutes. Oklahoma recently changed its law to allow people with a bachelor’s degree — in anything — to teach indefinitely on emergency teaching certificates. Schools in Texas are increasingly turning to for-profit teacher training programs. Data we obtained shows that nearly one in four of the teachers hired in Texas last year came through a single for-profit online program — one that’s now making its way into other states. We’ll look at the implications of these changes, both for children and for the teaching force.Read more: Texas company fuels rise of for-profit teacher training programs
11/08/2152m 29s

Fading Beacon: Why America is Losing International Students

Colleges and universities in the United States attract more than a million international students a year. Higher education is one of America’s top service exports, generating $42 billion in revenue. But the money spigot is closing. The pandemic, visa restrictions, rising tuition and a perception of poor safety in America have driven new international student enrollment down by a jaw-dropping 72 percent.Read more: The U.S. may never regain its dominance as a destination for international students. Here's why that matters.
03/08/2151m 5s

The Jail Tapes in the Dumpster

Sixteen-year-old Myon Burrell was sent to prison for life after a stray bullet killed an 11-year-old girl in Minneapolis in 2002. Amy Klobuchar, who was Minneapolis’ top prosecutor, brought first-degree murder charges as part of a national crackdown on gang violence — a crackdown that engulfed young men of color.   Burrell maintained his innocence for 18 years in prison. AP reporter Robin McDowell spent a year looking into Burrell’s case and found that multiple people had lied about Burrell’s involvement in the shooting, and police didn’t talk to his alibi witnesses. In December 2020, the state commuted Burrell’s sentence, allowing him to walk free. This end to a prison sentence is rare: Burrell’s case was the first time in at least 28 years that Minnesota commuted a sentence for a violent crime case. But the factors that put Burrell in prison are not rare at all. According to The Sentencing Project, there are 10,000 people serving life sentences in the U.S. for crimes committed when they were juveniles. Half of them are Black. Burrell’s longshot reveals just how difficult it is to right a wrong in our criminal justice system. How many other Myons are there? 
17/04/2150m 49s

The Bad Place

More than 40 states have sent their most vulnerable kids to facilities run by a for-profit company named Sequel. Many of those kids were abused there. Read more.
22/11/2051m 11s

Black at Mizzou: Confronting race on campus

Lauren Brown says college was "culture shock." Most of the students at her high school were Black, but most of the students at the University of Missouri were white. And she got to the university in the fall of 2015, when Black students led protests in response to a string of racist incidents. The protests put Mizzou in the national news. But the news stories didn't match what Lauren saw. They made it seem like racism on campus was an aberration. And they made it seem like Black student organizing was new at Mizzou. What Lauren saw was "Black Mizzou," a thriving campus-within-a-campus that Black students have built over decades to make the university a more welcoming place.
14/08/2052m 18s

What the Words Say

Everyone agrees that the goal of reading instruction is for children to understand what they read. The question is: how does a little kid get there? Emily Hanford explores what reading scientists have figured out about how reading comprehension works and why poverty and race can affect a child’s reading development. Read the full story.
06/08/2051m 59s

Covid on Campus

The coronavirus pandemic represents the greatest challenge to American higher education in decades. Some small regional colleges that were already struggling won’t survive. Other schools, large and small, are rethinking how to offer an education while keeping people safe.This program explores how institutions are handling the crisis, and how students are trying to navigate a major disruption in their college years.Colleges on the brinkThe long tradition of students attending small, residential liberal arts colleges around the country was already shaky before the pandemic. Students are choosing less expensive options and more practical degrees. Experts warn that 10 percent of American colleges — about 200 or more institutions — are on the verge of going under. The pandemic is accelerating that trend. A digital divideThe pandemic is making getting through college harder for students on the wrong side of the digital divide. In rural Arizona, when campuses closed, some students couldn’t log on from home, because they had no access to the internet. A local sheriff flew laptops and hotspots to community college students on the Navajo Nation.Reopening in a virus hotspotColleges and universities are under pressure to reopen, but bringing students back on campus safely means dealing with dizzying logistics. As the virus surges in Miami, a large commuter campus gets ready.
29/07/2052m 27s

Soldiers for Peace

During the Vietnam War, roughly one in five GIs actively opposed the conflict. Many servicemen and women came to believe they were not liberating the country from communism but acting as agents of tyranny. In the combat zone, they rebelled against their commanders' orders. At home, they staged massive protests. Soldiers for Peace offers a first-person look at how GIs were transformed by Vietnam, and the strategies veterans and active-duty personnel used to bring the war to an end.
07/11/1952m 16s

Uprooted: The 1950s plan to erase Indian Country

In the 1950s, the United States came up with a plan to solve what it called the "Indian Problem." It would assimilate Native Americans by moving them to cities and eliminating reservations. The 20-year campaign failed to erase Native Americans, but its effects on Indian Country are still felt today.
01/11/1952m 49s

Fading Minds: Why There's Still No Cure for Alzheimer's

In the 1970s, the founder of the National Institute on Aging convinced a nation that senility was really Alzheimer's and could be cured. Research money flowed to one theory, leaving alternatives unexamined — today it's come up short.
15/10/1952m 33s

At a Loss for Words: What's wrong with how schools teach reading

For decades, schools have taught children the strategies of struggling readers, using a theory about reading that cognitive scientists have repeatedly debunked. And many teachers and parents don't know there's anything wrong with it.
22/08/1952m 31s

Students on the Move: Keeping uprooted kids in school

A growing body of research finds that repeatedly uprooted children are more likely to struggle in school and more likely to drop out. But there are ways to help them succeed.
14/08/1951m 56s

Under a Watchful Eye: How colleges are tracking students to boost graduation

At Georgia State in Atlanta, more students are graduating, and the school credits its use of predictive analytics. But critics worry that the algorithms may be invading students' privacy and reinforcing racial inequities.
06/08/1951m 58s

When Tasers Fail

Tasers have become an essential tool for police, but how effective are they? An APM Reports investigation finds that officers in some big cities rated Tasers as unreliable up to 40 percent of the time, and in three large departments, newer models were less effective than older ones. In 258 cases over three years, a Taser failed to subdue someone who was then shot and killed by police.
09/05/1950m 59s

Hard Words: Why Aren't Our Kids Being Taught to Read?

Scientific research has shown how children learn to read and how they should be taught. But many educators don't know the science and, in some cases, actively resist it. As a result, millions of kids are being set up to fail.
10/09/1852m 45s

Old Idea, New Economy: Rediscovering Apprenticeships

You might think apprenticeships are a relic from an earlier era, but a growing number of Americans are using them as a way into the middle class.
03/09/1852m 46s

Still Rising: First-Generation College Students a Decade Later

They bet that college would help them move up. Did it pay off?
27/08/1852m 11s

Changing Class: Are Colleges Helping Americans Move Up?

Colleges have long offered a pathway to success for just about anyone. But new research shows that with the country growing ever more economically divided, colleges are not doing enough to help students from poor families achieve the American Dream.
20/08/1852m 36s

Order 9066, Part 3: Leaving Camp

At the end of 1944, the U.S. government lifted the order barring people of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast. Many people freed from camp faced racism and poverty as they tried to rebuild their lives.
11/07/1852m 59s

Order 9066, Part 2: Fighting for Freedom

At the beginning of World War Two, Japanese Americans not already in the military were declared ineligible for service. The government said it doubted their loyalty. But as the war dragged on, the need for manpower grew urgent.
11/07/1852m 59s

Order 9066, Part 1: The Roundup

Japanese warplanes bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Hours later, the FBI began rounding up people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast.
11/07/1852m 59s

Ethics Be Damned, Part 3

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is a major investor in Neurocore, a company based in Michigan that claims to help kids with various attention deficit disorders. Since taking office, she's kept her stake in the company and invested even more money in it. In the third and final installment of "Ethics Be Damned," APM Reports investigative journalist Tom Scheck joins Lizzie O'Leary of Marketplace Weekend to parse DeVos' potential conflicts of interest. Plus, what happens if watchdog groups use ethics as a political weapon? To read Tom's full investigation, visit apmreports.com/ethics.
19/03/1811m 25s

Ethics Be Damned, Part 2

It all started with a fur coat and an expensive rug. It ended with the resignation of President Eisenhower's chief of staff. That incident led to the government ethics system of today. In the second installment of our series, APM Reports investigative journalist Tom Scheck joins Lizzie O'Leary of Marketplace Weekend to discuss the history of U.S. ethics rules, and the complicated financial holdings of current Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. To read Tom's full investigation, visit apmreports.com/ethics.
19/03/1811m 36s

Ethics Be Damned, Part 1

More than half of Trump's 20-person Cabinet has engaged in questionable or unethical conduct since taking office. The nation's top ethics official says "these are perilous times." In the first installment of "Ethics Be Damned," APM Reports investigative journalist Tom Scheck joins Lizzie O'Leary of Marketplace Weekend to discuss whether the federal ethics system is broken. To read Tom's full investigation, visit apmreports.com/ethics.
19/03/1812m 15s

Shadow Class: College Dreamers in Trump's America

President Trump is ending DACA, which allowed some 800,000 undocumented young people to stay and work in the United States. For some, that may mean the end of a dream of going to college. This program profiles DACA students and their opponents and examines a key court case and political forces that led to this moment.
11/09/1752m 24s

Hard to Read: How American schools fail kids with dyslexia

Public schools are denying children with dyslexia proper treatment and often failing to identify them in the first place.
11/09/1751m 51s

Shackled Legacy: Universities and the Slave Trade

Profits from slavery and related industries helped build some of the most prestigious schools in New England. This documentary focuses on three universities -- Harvard, Georgetown and the University of Virginia -- as they grapple with a deeply troubling chapter in their vaunted histories.
04/09/1751m 39s

Keeping Teachers

There may be nothing more important in the educational life of a child than having effective teachers. But the United States is struggling to attract and keep teachers.
28/08/1751m 47s

Historically Black, Part 3

The Question of Black Identity, Black Love Stories
17/02/1751m 52s

Historically Black, Part 2

Tracking Down a Slave's Bill of Sale, The Path to Founding an HBCU, The Fiddler who Charmed Missouri
10/02/1751m 52s

Historically Black, Part 1

NASA's Human Computers, Harlem Through James Van Der Zee's Lens, The Spirit of the Million Man March
03/02/1751m 52s

Rewriting the Sentence: College Behind Bars

After an abrupt reversal 20 years ago, some prisons and colleges try to maintain college education for prisoners.
08/09/1652m 9s

What It Takes: Chasing Graduation at High-Poverty High Schools

The nation's high school graduation rate is at an all-time high, but high-poverty schools face a stubborn challenge. Schools in Miami and Pasadena are trying to do things differently.
01/09/1652m 1s

Spare the Rod: Reforming School Discipline

A get-tough attitude prevailed among educators in the 1980s and 1990s, but research shows that zero-tolerance policies don't make schools safer and lead to disproportionate discipline for students of color.
25/08/1652m 7s

Stuck at Square One: The Remedial Education Trap

A system meant to give college students a better shot at succeeding is actually getting in the way of many, costing them time and money and taking a particular toll on students of color.
18/08/1651m 46s

Bought and Sold: The New Fight Against Teen Sex Trafficking

Advocates for kids are pushing for a new approach to combating underage prostitution: treating young people caught up in sex trafficking as victims, not delinquents.
12/05/1652m 52s

Thirsty Planet

Scientists say most people on Earth will first experience climate change in terms of water — either too much or too little.
12/05/1653m 0s

Beyond the Blackboard: Building Character in Public Schools

This documentary explores the "Expeditionary Learning" approach, traces the history of ideas that led to its inception, and investigates what American schools could learn from its success.
10/09/1552m 50s

From Boots to Books: Student Veterans and the New GI Bill

The longest war in American history is drawing to a close. Now, the men and women who served are coming home, and many hope to use higher education to build new, better lives.
03/09/1552m 52s

Teaching Teachers

Research shows good teaching makes a big difference in how much kids learn. But the United States lacks an effective system for training new teachers or helping them get better once they're on the job.
27/08/1552m 51s

The Living Legacy: Black Colleges in the 21st Century

Before the civil rights movement, African Americans were largely barred from white-dominated institutions of higher education. And so black Americans, and their white supporters, founded their own schools, which came to be known as Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
20/08/1552m 58s

The First Family of Radio: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt's Historic Broadcasts

When Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president in 1932, he and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt both used the new medium of radio to reach into American homes like never before.
13/11/1453m 0s

Ready to Work: Reviving Vocational Ed

Vocational education was once a staple of American schooling, preparing some kids for blue-collar futures while others were put on a path to college. Many experts say it's time to bring back career and technical education.
11/09/1453m 0s

The New Face of College

Just 20 percent of college-goers fit the stereotype of being young, single, full-time students who finish a degree in four years. College students today are more likely to be older, part-time, working, and low-income than they were three decades ago.
04/09/1452m 59s

Greater Expectations: The Challenge of the Common Core

The United States is in the midst of a huge education reform. The Common Core State Standards are a new set of expectations for what students should learn each year in school.
28/08/1453m 1s

The Science of Smart

Researchers have long been searching for better ways to learn. In recent decades, experts working in cognitive science, psychology, and neuroscience have opened new windows into how the brain works, and how we can learn to learn better.
21/08/1453m 0s

Second-Chance Diploma: Examining the GED

Most test-takers hope the GED will lead to a better job or more education. But critics say the GED encourages some students to drop out of school. And research shows the credential is of little value to most people who get one.
01/09/1353m 0s

One Child at a Time: Custom Learning in the Digital Age

Learning with a personal tutor is one of the oldest and best ways to learn. Hiring a tutor for every student was never a realistic option. Now, new computer programs can customize education for each child.
01/08/1352m 59s

Keyboard College: How Technology is Revolutionizing Higher Education

Digital technologies and the Internet are changing how many Americans go to college. From online learning to simulation programs to smart-machine mentors, the 21st-century student will be taught in fundamentally new ways.
13/09/1253m 0s

The Rise of Phoenix: For-Profit Universities Shake Up the Academy

For-profit colleges have deep roots in American history, but until recently they were a tiny part of the higher education landscape. Now they are big players.
06/09/1253m 0s

Grit, Luck and Money: Preparing Kids for College and Getting Them Through

More people are going to college than ever before, but a lot of them aren't finishing. Low-income students, in particular, struggle to get to graduation.
30/08/1252m 59s

Don't Lecture Me: Rethinking the Way College Students Learn

College students spend a lot of time listening to lectures. But research shows there are better ways to learn. And experts say students need to learn better because the 21st century economy demands more well-educated workers.
03/09/1152m 52s

Who Needs an English Major?

The most popular college major in America these days is business. Some students think it doesn't pay to study philosophy or history. But advocates of liberal arts programs say their graduates are still among the most likely to become leaders, and that a healthy democracy depends on citizens with a broad and deep education.
01/09/1152m 52s

Some College, No Degree: Getting Adults Back to School

In an economy that increasingly demands workers with knowledge and skills, many college dropouts are being left behind.
12/08/1152m 52s

Power and Smoke: A Nation Built on Coal

The production of electricity in America pumps out more greenhouse gases than all of our cars, trucks, planes, and ships combined, and half of our electricity comes from burning coal.
12/02/1152m 52s

Back of the Bus: Mass Transit, Race and Inequality

Equal access to transportation was once a central issue of the Civil Rights Movement. But today, disparities still persist.
12/01/1150m 50s

State of Siege: Mississippi Whites and the Civil Rights Movement

Mississippi led the South in an extraordinary battle to maintain racial segregation. Whites set up powerful citizens groups and state agencies to fight the civil rights movement. Their tactics were fierce and, for a time, very effective.
08/01/1153m 0s

Say It Loud: A Century of Great African-American Speeches

Titled after the classic 1969 James Brown anthem, "Say it Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud," this anthology illuminates the ideas and debates pulsing through the black freedom struggle from the 1960s to the present. These arguments are suffused with basic questions about what it means to be black in America.
01/01/1152m 54s

Say It Plain: A Century of Great African-American Speeches

Spanning the 20th century, this collection is a vivid account of how African Americans sounded the charge against racial injustice, exhorting the country to live up to its democratic principles.
01/01/1151m 29s

Testing Teachers

Teachers matter. A lot. Studies show that students with the best teachers learn three times as much as students with the worst teachers. Researchers say the achievement gap between poor children and their higher-income peers could disappear if poor kids got better teachers.
12/08/1052m 52s

War on Poverty

When Lyndon B. Johnson became president after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, he put the power of his presidency behind a remarkable series of reform initiatives. The legislation was geared toward boosting economic opportunity, a theme captured by his administration's catchphrase, the Great Society.
12/06/1052m 0s

The Great Textbook War

What should children learn in school? It's a question that's stirred debate for decades, and in 1974 it led to violent protests in West Virginia. Schools were hit by dynamite, buses were riddled with bullets, and coal mines were shut down. The fight was over a new set of textbooks.
01/06/1052m 52s

Workplace U

A new movement turns conventional wisdom on its head, and makes a job the ticket to an education. The idea is to turn workplaces into classrooms and marginal students into productive workers.
12/11/0952m 52s

Rising By Degrees

The United States is facing a dramatic demographic challenge: Young Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of the population, and they are the least likely to graduate from college.
01/11/0953m 0s

Early Lessons

The Perry Preschool Project is one of the most famous education experiments of the last 50 years. The study asked a question: Can preschool boost the IQ scores of poor African-American children and prevent them from failing in school?
12/10/0953m 0s

Behind the Scenes: Hard Times in Middletown Debrief

Producer Laurie Stern talks with Stephen Smith about wrapping up their documentary Hard Times in Middletown.
26/06/0910m 12s

Behind the Scenes: Bridge to Somewhere Debrief

Producer Catherine Winter talks with Stephen Smith about wrapping up the documentary Bridge to Somewhere.
19/06/0917m 14s

Behind the Scenes: A Better Life Debrief

Producers Kate Ellis and Ellen Guettler talk with Stephen Smith about wrapping up their documentary A Better Life: Creating the […]
12/06/099m 59s

Behind the Scenes: Foreclosure City Debrief

Producer Krissy Clark talks with Stephen Smith about life after the her documentary.
05/06/098m 49s

Bridge to Somewhere

President Barack Obama wants to create jobs by building infrastructure. So did another president. Franklin Delano Roosevelt tried to put people to work by building roads, bridges, dams, sewers, schools, hospitals and even ski jumps. The structures that New Deal agencies built transformed America.
12/05/0952m 52s

Behind the Scenes: Editing

ARW editor Peter Clowney talks with Stephen Smith about the processing of editing radio documentaries.
01/05/0913m 20s

A Better Life: Creating the American Dream

The "American dream" has powered the hopes and aspirations of Americans for generations. But what exactly is the American dream? How did we come to define it? And is it changing?
01/05/0953m 0s

Behind the Scenes: A Better Life, Part 2

ARW producers Ellen Guettler and Kate Ellis discuss the “American dream.” It began as a plain but revolutionary notion: each […]
24/04/0910m 32s

Behind the Scenes: The Great Depression

ARW Executive Editor Stephen Smith hosts a panel discussion on the political, financial, and cultural sides of America during the […]
17/04/0951m 21s

Hard Times in Middletown

For almost a century, Muncie, Indiana has been known as "Middletown," the quintessential American community. But now, as the rust-belt city grapples with deepening recession, many residents are losing their hold on the middle class.
12/04/0953m 0s

Behind the Scenes: Foreclosure City, Part 2

Producer Krissy Clark is moving on to the editing phase for her documentary on the devastating foreclosure crisis happening in […]
10/04/099m 59s

Behind the Scenes: Education and the Economy, Part 2

Last week, ARW producer Emily Hanford stopped by to talk about a trio of stories she’s been working on about […]
03/04/0915m 53s

Foreclosure City

Until recently, Las Vegas was one of the few places where the American Dream still seemed widely possible. Each month, thousands of people flocked there, lured by the promise of good jobs and a chance to own a home. It was the fastest growing city in the country. But now, Las Vegas has a new distinction: the nation's highest foreclosure rate.
01/04/0952m 52s

Behind the Scenes: Education and the Economy

The effects of the economic downturn are far and wide. While slowdowns used to be a good time to return […]
27/03/098m 49s

Behind the Scenes: Bridge to Somewhere

With the country’s economy in a tailspin, many Americans are calling for a new New Deal: an infusion of federal […]
20/03/099m 45s

Behind the Scenes: Stock Crazy

To understand the American fascination with the stock market, you have to look at the American Dream and how it’s […]
13/03/099m 54s

Behind the Scenes: A Better Life

Millions of Americans are slipping from the middle class, and it’s no longer certain that savvy, hard-working parents can pave […]
06/03/099m 10s

Behind the Scenes: Hard Times in Middletown

Muncie, Indiana, often thought of as the “typical American city,” has become a rust-belt city grappling with de-industrialization and deepening […]
27/02/099m 51s

Behind the Scenes: Foreclosure City

Producer Krissy Clark has been finding scenes, meeting characters, and gathering tape in Las Vegas for her upcoming documentary on […]
20/02/0913m 37s

Campaign '68

The 1968 presidential election was a watershed in American politics. After dominating the political landscape for more than a generation, the Democratic Party crumbled. Richard M. Nixon was elected president and a new era of Republican conservatism was born.
12/10/0852m 52s

After the Projects

Michael Whitehead lived in Chicago's Ida B. Wells housing project for nearly 50 years. In 2008, the Chicago Housing Authority closed down Wells, as part of its "Plan for Transformation," a city-wide public housing rehabilitation effort.
01/10/0853m 0s

What Killed Sergeant Gray

Sergeant Adam Gray made it home from Iraq only to die in his barracks. Investigating his death, American RadioWorks pieces together a story of soldiers suffering psychological scars - because they abused Iraqi prisoners.
01/10/0852m 52s

Pueblo, USA

The nation's foreign-born population will soon surpass the 14.7 percent share reached in 1910, when the Statue of Liberty beckoned to Europe's "huddled masses yearning to breathe free." Most of the new immigrants are from Latin America.
12/09/0852m 51s

Business of the Bomb

In January 2000, a German engineer living in South Africa met with a friend and business partner to hatch a deal. Gerald Wisser, a 61-year-old broker, visited his friend's pipe factory outside Johannesburg to see if his friend wanted to make a bid on a manufacturing project.
12/04/0852m 56s

Gangster Confidential

Rene Enriquez was a leader in one of America's most violent gangs, the Mexican Mafia. He's serving 20 years to life in California for murders he committed for the gang.
01/04/0852m 53s

King's Last March

Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. Four decades later, King remains one of the most vivid symbols of hope for racial unity in America. But that's not the way he was viewed in the last year of his life.
12/03/0853m 0s

Design of Desire

New research is lending insight into why we want stuff that we don't need. It also explains why some people are what are called tightwads, while other people are spendthrifts. This site is about buying and selling. About why we buy, how designers and marketers influence what we buy, and how individuals are using market ideas, tricks, and tools to market themselves.
12/11/0752m 48s

Wanted: Parents

Advocates for kids are trying to persuade more families to adopt teenagers. If teenagers in foster care don't find permanent families, they face a grim future. They "age out" of foster care, usually when they turn 18 years old, and many wind up on the streets. Every year, more than 24,000 American young people age out of foster care.
01/11/0752m 59s

Battles of Belief

America seemed united in fighting "The Good War" but not everyone fought in the same way.
12/09/0753m 0s

An Imperfect Revolution

In the 1970s, for the first time, large numbers of white children and black children began attending school together. It was an experience that shaped them for life.
12/09/0753m 0s

Put to the Test

The effects of high-stakes testing on students, teachers, and schools.
01/09/0752m 59s

Routes to Recovery

To mark the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, American RadioWorks teams up with Nick Spitzer of American Routes to find out how culture might save New Orleans.
02/08/0753m 0s

Green Rush

From carbon offsets to biofuels, companies and investors are seeking riches in the fight against global warming. What happens when good deeds grapple with the realities of the free market?
01/08/0753m 1s

A Burden to Be Well

The effects of mental illness are well documented. But until recently, there has been little said about the siblings of the mentally ill. Now researchers are starting to look at the "well-sibling" syndrome.
12/05/0713m 51s

Imperial Washington

Explore the trappings of life in Congress, the pressure to raise campaign dollars and Washington's powerful world of lobbying.
12/01/0751m 28s

Hearing America

A century ago, the first radio broadcasts sent music out into the air. Since then, music has dominated America's airwaves and it's been a cultural battleground.
12/12/0651m 29s

Urban Shakespeare

A few "at risk" teens in Los Angeles are getting their first jobs, as working artists: studying Shakespeare and writing their own poetry and music, all while earning minimum wage.
12/12/068m 29s

Reports from a Warming Planet

The early signs of climate change are showing up across vastly differing landscapes: from melting outposts near the Arctic Circle to disappearing glaciers high in the Andes; from the rising water in the deltas of Bangladesh to the "sinking" atolls of the Pacific. Reports from a Warming Planet takes you to parts of the planet where global warming is already making changes to life and landscape, and demonstrates how climate change is no longer restricted to scientific modeling about the future. It's happening now.
12/11/0651m 28s

Japan's Pop Power

To many people, global youth culture means rock and roll and other Western fashions. But for more and more young people across to world, the capital of pop culture is Tokyo. Over the past decade, Japanese video games, animation and comic books have caught fire in much of the world, including the United States.
12/10/0651m 28s

Rewiring the Brain

A unique study of Romania's orphans reveals the profound effects of social deprivation on brain development.
12/09/0610m 23s

The Sonic Memorial Project

Peabody-award winning documentary that chronicles the sounds and voices of the World Trade Center and its surrounding neighborhood.
12/09/0657m 1s

Rebuilding Biloxi

Hurricane Katrina devastated the lives of thousands of Mississippi Gulf Coast residents. Rebuilding Biloxi tells the stories of several families in the coastal community of Biloxi, Miss., and their struggle to survive and then recover from the storm.
12/08/0651m 29s

Power Trips: Congressional Staffers Share the Road

Public documents show that from 2000 through mid-2005, Capitol Hill staffers accepted nearly 17,000 free trips worth almost $30 million. Many of these trips clearly violate ethics rules designed to limit the abuse of power.
12/06/0618m 41s

Vietnam and the Presidency

Four American presidents tried to end the conflict in Vietnam. The lessons they learned echo sharply today.
12/06/0651m 29s

After Welfare

In August 1996, landmark legislation fulfilled the promise to "end welfare as we know it." Congress gave the states money to run their own programs and required them to move many welfare recipients into the workforce. Supporters declared it a new day, the beginning of self-sufficiency for poor families. Others warned the action would push women and children into the streets, perhaps by the millions.
12/05/0651m 29s


Americans are going broke in record numbers. In 2005 Congress overhauled the bankruptcy system to stem the tide of filings. What's behind the boom in going bust?
12/04/0651m 30s

Logging On and Losing Out

Internet poker has taken America by storm. Three-quarters of high school and college kids are gambling on a regular basis. But adolescents are far more vulnerable to getting addicted to gambling than adults. And with Internet companies making millions from online gamblers, there's little incentive or legal controls to restrict youth gambling.
12/03/0651m 30s

Unmasking Stalin

On February 25, 1956, former Kremlin leader Nikita Khrushchev revealed and denounced, for the first time in the history of the Soviet Union, the crimes of his predecessor, Joseph Stalin, dramatically shifting Soviet Russia's course, stirring a human rights movement, and opening the door to the eventual collapse of the USSR.
12/02/0651m 29s

Intelligent Designs on Evolution

How a rival concept about the origins of life is defying the cornerstone of biology.
12/01/0651m 30s

Las Vegas

Trace Las Vegas' evolution from a remote railroad town to a mobster metropolis, to its current incarnation as an adult-themed resort town that nearly two million people call home.
13/11/0551m 30s

Finding Home

More than 20,000 foreign children are adopted by Americans every year. Most come from poor and troubled parts of the world, and a life in America offers new hope. But it also means separation from their birth culture. Finding Home: Fifty Years of International Adoption explores the pull of adoption across lives and borders.
13/10/0551m 30s

Power Trips: Pombo in the Gray

Tax law prohibits members of Congress from taking international trips paid for by private foundations, but Republican Richard Pombo may have done just that.
13/10/055m 4s

No Place for a Woman

In the 1970s, women began breaking into male-dominated professions as never before. Women took jobs as police officers, lawyers and steelworkers. Across the country, the first women in male bastions faced a hostile reception. In the iron mines of northern Minnesota, women were harassed, threatened and assaulted. Their fight to keep their jobs broke new legal ground and helped change the workplace forever.
13/09/0551m 29s

Power Trips: Chilled Travel

How has all the recent news about congressional travel changed the travel habits of those in Congress?
13/07/053m 2s

Married to the Military

The United States is making huge demands on its military people, the toughest since the Vietnam War. But most soldiers during Vietnam were young, single men. Today, in the all-volunteer military, about half of all service people are married with children, so the burdens of fighting these wars are shared back home.
13/07/0551m 29s

Power Trips: The Lobbyists' Loophole

Over the past few years, private groups have payed for more than 4,800 trips by members of Congress at a cost of $14 million.
13/06/057m 53s

The Cost of Corruption

Corruption skims billions from the global economy, locking millions of people in poverty. But a worldwide movement is fighting back.
13/05/0551m 30s

Global 3.0

For many, globalization has meant rich countries getting richer at the expense of the poor. Today, it's not that simple.
13/05/0551m 30s

A Mind of Their Own

Most children can be volatile at some point in their development, with no particular cause for worry. But at what point do irritability, mood swings, and tantrums constitute a mental illness? Up to half a million children are believed to have bipolar illness. This is the story of three of those children, their families, and the professionals who work with them.
13/04/0551m 28s

Locked Down

The supermax prison was designed to incapacitate dangerous criminals by locking them down in stark isolation. But do they live up to their promise?
13/03/0551m 30s

No Place To Hide

President Bush has admitted ordering intelligence agencies to electronically spy on American citizens without court oversight since 9/11. Such monitoring of suspected terrorists affects thousands of people. But unknown to most people, the government has also turned to the nation's burgeoning data industry to track millions of people in the name of homeland security. So for most Americans, there is no place to hide.
13/01/0551m 32s

The Surprising Legacy of Y2K

Five years after the hoopla and warnings about Y2K, many still dismiss it as a hoax, scam, or non-event. But in reality, Y2K was not only a real threat narrowly averted, it also led to changes in how we look at technology and economic shifts that are still being felt today. For the fifth anniversary of Y2K, we look at the history and the legacy of the millennium bug.
11/01/0518m 53s

Justice for Sale?

Thirty-eight states have elections for state courts around the country. These days, those races are getting more expensive, and can even run into the millions of dollars. Much of that money comes from special interests trying to elect candidates to the courts. That raises alarms bells about the independence of the judiciary, and calls for reform.
02/01/059m 59s

Carving Up the Vote

One hugely influential issue in the last election got little attention: gerrymandering. Politicians have been tinkering with the boundaries of their electoral districts for decades, but in the last five years, the practice has exploded, and it led to the least competitive race for the U.S. House of Representatives in memory.
13/12/0451m 30s

Is Wal-Mart Good for America?

They were the kings of corporate America, but over the past 25 years, American manufacturers have lost that position of power. Today, America's largest private sector employer is Wal-Mart, a retailer so large, it virtually dictates many decisions manufacturers make, and is pushing American production overseas.
13/11/048m 20s

The Choice 2004, Part 2

Two candidates for President, offering two directions for America. They are men of the same generation, Yale graduates from privileged New England families. But they took starkly different paths as they formed their values and politics. In this report, a dual biography of George W. Bush and John Kerry, and how their distinctive histories and personalities would shape their approach to the presidency.
02/11/0451m 20s

The Choice 2004, Part 1

Two candidates for President, offering two directions for America. They are men of the same generation, Yale graduates from privileged New England families. But they took starkly different paths as they formed their values and politics. In this report, a dual biography of George W. Bush and John Kerry, and how their distinctive histories and personalities would shape their approach to the presidency.
01/11/0451m 22s

Red Runs the Vistula

Five years after the start of World War II, the people of Warsaw rose up against the German occupation of their city. The uprising was meant to last just 48 hours. Instead, it went on for two months. A quarter of a million people were killed and the Polish capital was razed to the ground. It was one of the great tragedies of World War II, and yet it is rarely talked about outside Poland.
13/09/0451m 20s

Witnesses to Terror

During an 18-month investigation, the 9/11 Commission heard extraordinary testimony about the terrorist attacks on America. Witnesses told stories of lucky breaks and deadly errors. The commission pieced together new evidence and new details to tell the most complete story to date of the al Qaeda plot.
13/09/0451m 30s

Climate of Uncertainty

Scientists have discovered that the Earth's climate is capable of changing abruptly. Could global warming bring the Earth to another such rapid change?
13/08/0451m 30s

Suffering For Two

More women than ever are taking antidepressant medication, including more pregnant women. For those trying to weigh the danger of fetal exposure to medication against the risk of a mother's relapse into depression, scientists offer mixed or even conflicting advice.
13/08/048m 27s

Mandela: An Audio History

A decade ago, Nelson Mandela became president in South Africa's first multi-racial democratic election. Mandela's journey, from freedom fighter to president, capped a dramatic half-century long struggle against white rule and the institution of apartheid.
13/07/0451m 28s

The Hospice Experiment

The '60s were a time of social movements and big changes, but a quieter revolution was underway too -- one led by a few middle-aged women who wanted to change our way of death. They were the founders of the hospice movement.
13/06/0451m 30s

Thurgood Marshall Before the Court

In 1967, Thurgood Marshall became the first African American appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. But Marshall had already earned a place in history, as the leader of an extraordinary legal campaign against racial segregation in America.
13/05/0451m 30s

The Few Who Stayed

In April 1994, the central African nation of Rwanda exploded into 100 days of violence, killing 800,000 people. Most turned their backs to the bloodshed. Here is the story of those who stayed.
13/04/0451m 29s

The Whole Thing Changed

The end of major combat in Iraq did not bring an end to the fighting. American troops trying to rebuild the country found themselves surrounded by unknown dangers and escalating hostility from Iraqis whom they once viewed with sympathy. American RadioWorks asked medics with the Army's 101st airborne division stationed in Mosul, Iraq to record their impressions of the situation unfolding around them. The recording was made in December 2003 shortly before they returned to their base in Fort Cambell, Kentucky. Their story, along with a follow-up interview, aired on The World in April 2004.
01/04/044m 52s

My Name Is Iran

In 1927, Iran developed a legal code doing away with gruesome Islamic punishments such as stoning and lashing. That all changed during the Islamic revolution of 1979. NPR Producer Davar Ardalan and co-producer Rasool Nafisi look at Iran's long search for a lawful society.
13/02/0451m 32s

The President Calling

Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon left hundreds of hours of secretly taped telephone conversations. What can these tapes tell us about the presidency and the individuals that hold the office?
13/11/0351m 29s

Whose Vote Counts?

The newest voting machine technology may do little to lessen voter disenfranchisement or fraud, and it will do nothing for those that have lost the right to vote.
13/11/0351m 31s

Iraq: The War After the War

Even after the fall of Baghdad, the U.S. is still fighting.
13/09/0351m 30s

Korea: The Unfinished War

Examine the often-overlooked war that helped define global politics and American life for the second half of the 20th century.
13/07/0351m 30s

Investigating Sierra Leone

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor faces international war crimes charges arising from one of Africa's most brutal civil wars. American RadioWorks followed investigators as they built their case against Taylor.
13/06/0312m 59s

Hard Time

What impact has America's 30-year War on Crime had on communities and families?
13/03/0351m 30s


Small arms pass from war zone to war zone through a global network of arms traffickers. This is a story about just one part of the illegal arms pipeline.
13/10/028m 53s

Days of Infamy

Days of Infamy compares recordings of ordinary Americans reacting to Pearl Harbor and September 11.
13/09/0251m 28s

Nature's Revenge

Every year, a chunk of land almost the size of Manhattan turns into open water in Louisiana, threatening the state's economy as well as vital American industries like seafood, oil and gas.
13/09/0251m 29s

Deadly Decisions

How do jurors decide who should live and who should die?
13/08/0251m 30s

New York Works

Jobs that are slowly disappearing in New York City and the people that keep them alive.
13/08/0240m 2s

Justice on Trial

From the trials of Nazis at Nuremberg to the prosecution of war criminals in the former Yugoslavia, to people's courts in Rwanda -- how effective is the machinery of international justice?
13/07/0251m 31s

Fast Food and Animal Rights

An unlikely corporation -- McDonald's -- has taken the lead in the campaign for animal welfare.
13/06/0251m 29s

Kay Fulton's Diary

The intimate diary of a woman who loses her brother to terrorism.
13/06/0219m 37s

Corrections, Inc.

How corporations, prison guard unions, and police agencies help to shape who gets locked up and for how long.
13/04/0236m 22s

Who Bought the Farm?

Is there still a place in America for a competitive and independent family farm? And is the use of popular antibiotics on livestock leading us toward a public health crisis?
13/03/0251m 32s

The Promise of Justice

Examining the machinery and insidious legacy of war crimes, and the struggle for justice in societies convulsed by mass violence.
13/02/0251m 31s

Roots of Resentment

The United States inspires deep and conflicting emotions in other parts of the world. Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, America has been forced to pay closer attention.
13/12/0151m 29s

Remembering Jim Crow

For much of the 20th century, African Americans endured a legal system in the American South that was calculated to segregate and humiliate them.
13/11/0151m 27s

With This Ring

Follow the international diamond trail from the buckets of child miners in war-torn Western Africa to America's jewelry counters.
13/11/0151m 29s

Burning the Evidence

During the war in Kosovo in 1999, war-crimes investigators suspected that Serbian forces were hiding evidence of atrocities by removing bodies of murdered Albanians from graves and execution sites. But until now, no one could say precisely what happened to many of these bodies.This is the story of a secret and grisly operation by Serbian security forces to destroy evidence of possible war crimes in an industrial furnace in northern Kosovo.
01/10/0118m 38s

A Russian Journey

Follow Russian writer Aleksandr Radishchev's 200-year-old footsteps from St. Petersburg to Moscow, and discover the soul of a people and the character of a nation.
13/08/0151m 29s

The Global Politics of Food

The global economy is changing the way we think about food, from the kinds of things we eat, to the way food is grown and harvested.
13/06/0151m 32s

America's Drug War

After 30 years America's War on drugs costs U.S. taxpayers $40 billion a year with no victory in sight. Combatants from both sides of the drug war shed light on the U.S. government's fight against one of the world's most profitable industries.
13/05/0151m 11s

Oh Freedom Over Me

In the summer of 1964, about a thousand young Americans, black and white, came together in Mississippi for a peaceful assault on racism. It came to be known as Freedom Summer, one of the most remarkable chapters in the Civil Rights Movement.
13/02/0151m 32s

Radio Fights Jim Crow

During the World-War-II years a series of groundbreaking radio programs tried to mend the deep racial and ethnic divisions that threatened America.
13/02/0151m 26s

Nicaragua 'Free Zone'

Global companies fight unions on former Sandinista turf.
13/08/0022m 1s

Jailing the Mentally Ill

Why are so many mentally ill Americans behind bars?
13/07/0051m 25s

25 Years from Vietnam

Twenty-five years after the fall of Saigon, the legacy of the war affects lives on both sides of the Pacific. In this series of reports, American RadioWorks reveals how events fading into memory still influence our environments, institutions, and cultures.
13/04/0051m 29s

Vietnam: A Nation, Not A War

To most Americans, Vietnam is a nation frozen in time and memory. It seems a distant place where 58,000 Americans lost their lives.
13/04/0051m 41s

Shadow over Lockerbie

Two hundred seventy people died when Pan Am 103 was blown out of the sky over Lockerbie, Scotland, on December 21, 1988. It was the worst-ever act of airline terrorism against the United States. It was also called the world's biggest unsolved murder.
13/03/0051m 31s

Massacre at Cuska

In 1999 Serb death squads attacked the ethnic Albanian village of Cuska and left 41 unarmed civilians dead.
13/02/0051m 30s

Walking Out of History: The True Story of Shackleton's Endurance Expedition

The true story of 28 men lost in Antarctica for almost two years, fighting ice and the ocean. It's the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton, the Endurance, and the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914.
13/10/9957m 42s

Evading the Virus

A small but growing number of scientists and doctors are helping couples with HIV get pregnant using experimental medical techniques that promise to reduce the risk of passing on HIV.
13/09/9923m 39s

The Fertility Race

A series about the social implications of infertility and the advanced reproductive techniques designed to correct the condition.
13/09/9953m 59s

The Forgotten 14 Million

One in five American children is growing up poor. Critics of welfare and other social programs say government spending hasn't solved poverty. But neither has economic growth.
13/05/9953m 34s

The Positive Life

Teens with HIV face the challenge of preparing for an adulthood they may never reach.
13/01/9921m 30s

Make Change, Not Money

Nonprofits are being asked to step in to address some of America's most pressing social ills as government steps back.
13/09/9854m 0s

The World Turned Upside Down

An extraordinary moment: America in a rare period of price stability.
13/03/9852m 2s

Frances Densmore, Song Catcher

Frances Densmore spent her life gathering cultural artifacts of old Indian ways.
13/02/9722m 55s

Face of Mercy, Face of Hate

Predrag Bundalo was waiting for a cup of coffee when a bullet, fired at point-blank range, killed him. He was sitting on the enemy's couch.
13/09/9621m 51s
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