Sunday Morning News Specials And Documentaries

Tune in for a new special Sundays at 5 a.m.

11/23/2014 AMERICA ABROAD - GLOBAL GIRLS' EDUCATION - BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS
It used to be that, in many parts of the world, educating a girl was not only a low priority but was prevented by social customs or economic pressures. Now, in areas such as sub-Saharan Africa, India and war-torn areas such as Syria, girls are beginning to get a secondary school and sometimes even a college education.  We look at places in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia to see how girls are making progress.

11/16/2014 IQ2 - DOES THE MASS COLLECTION OF PHONE RECORDS VIOLATE THE FOURTH AMENDMENT?
Some say that indiscriminate collection of U.S. phone records is a gross invasion of privacy. Others say that it is necessary to keep us safe. But what does the U.S Constitution say? Is collection of phone records a “search” or “seizure?" If so, is it “unreasonable?" These are among the most controversial constitutional questions of our time. Read more

11/9/2014 WITNESS - THE BERLIN WALL
We're marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall with an hour of astounding stories told by people who were eyewitnesses to the icon that divided East and West.

11/2/2014 POLITICAL JUNKIE - MIDTERM ELECTION SPECIAL
It’s time for the 2014 midterm elections.  This special program hosted by Ken Rudin will at several aspects of the races and issues this year's election. Democratic pollster Anna Greenberg and Republican analyst and former Congressman Vin Weber talk about the national stakes of this year's midterms. We talk about must-watch Senate battles and discuss some key governor's races. And we remember the 50th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's "A Time to Choose" speech. Read more

10/26/2014 AMERICA ABROAD: THE KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE TOWNHALL
The Keystone XL pipeline has been a controversial project in both the United States and Canada. On this edition of America Abroad, audiences in Lincoln, Neb. and Calgary, Canada engaged in a cross-border discussion about how the oil sands industry and the building of the Keystone XL pipeline directly affects their lives. Read more

10/19/2014 IQ2: WILL FLEXING AMERICA'S MUSCLES IN THE MIDDLE EAST MAKE THINGS WORSE?
The disintegration of Iraq, Syria’s ongoing civil war, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the promise and peril of the Arab Spring... What role should America play in the Middle East? For some America’s restraint has been a sign of disciplined leadership. But for others, it has been a sign of diminished strength and influence. Are we simply recognizing the limitations of our power, or does this embattled region require a bolder, more muscular, American presence? Read more 

10/12/2014 ON BEING: SYLVIA EARLE - HER DEEPNESS
Sylvia Earle has done something no one else has — walked solo on the bottom of the sea, under a quarter mile of water. She tells what she saw and what she has learned about the giant, living system that is the ocean. And, she explains why seeing a shark is a sign for hope. Read more 

10/5/2014 IQ2: SHOULD WE EMBRACE THE COMMON CORE
In K-12 education, there is nothing more controversial than the Common Core State Standards, national academic standards in English and math. Adopted by more than 40 states, they were developed, in part, to address concerns that American students were falling behind their foreign counterparts. Has the federal government overreached and saddled our schools with standards that have been flawed from the start? Read more

9/14/2014 AMERICAN RADIOWORKS:  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. Today the new mantra is “college for all.” But not everyone wants to go to college, and more than half of jobs don’t require a bachelor’s degree. Many experts say it’s time to bring back career and technical education. This American RadioWorks documentary explores how vocational education is being reimagined. Read more

9/7/2014 AMERICAN RADIOWORKS: 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. Many are the first in their families to go to college. This American RadioWorks documentary shows how universities are adapting to serve these new students. Read more

8/31/2014 AMERICAN RADIOWORKS: GREATER EXPECTATIONS - THE CHALLENGE OF COMMON CORE
There's plenty of controversy surrounding the Common Core, a new set of education standards adopted by most states. Getting less attention is what the standards actually say, and the fact that many teachers like them. This program takes us into classrooms to explore how the standards are changing teaching and learning. Many teachers say those changes are desperately needed, but some are worried about new Common Core tests and whether they will help improve schools or get in the way of better education.Read more

8/24/2014 AMERICAN RADIOWORKS: 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. In this program, we look at some of the big ideas coming out of brain science. We meet the researchers who are unlocking the secrets of how the brain acquires and holds on to knowledge. And we introduce listeners to the teachers and students who are trying to apply that knowledge in the real world. Read more

8/17/2014 HUMANKIND: THE RIGHT TO VOTE
During this election season, we look at the much-contested right to vote in America: from slaves freed after the Civil War, to women's suffrage, to the civil rights movement, to today's debate over whether voters should be required to show ID at the polls. We hear diverse voices and views, plus archival audio, on the long battle over who is included in our democracy.

8/10/2014 RE:SOUND - THE LIST SHOW
This hour: To do lists, compulsive lists, data lists, lists in literature and a list of firsts. Read more

8/3/2014 CLIMATE ONE: EATING IN THE HEAT
What we grow, eat and trade all impact the climate. As temperatures and global population rise, we’ll need to find new ways to feed a hot and crowded world. Some look to GMO’s as the answer. But others see biotech as threat to our soil and health. What are foodies saying about eating meat, growing organics, school lunches and more.

7/27/2014 REVEAL
Reveal 3 is the latest program from The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX. In this episode: an investigation into accidents and equipment failures in the Coast Guard; a collaborative investigation into US water standards; and another in CIR's series of veteran investigations.

7/20/2014 AMERICA ABROAD: GLOBAL WATER SCARCITY
Millions of farmers in California, Africa, and South Asia are all facing severe water issues. In times of drought or overuse of rainwater, many of them are racing to sink new wells to reach the last clean source of water: groundwater. In this edition of America Abroad, we hear how unmanaged groundwater drilling in California and India is threatening to deplete huge underground aquifers. But in one area in Kenya, 70,000 villagers have worked together to equitably distribute this precious resource.

7/13/2014 IQ: THE RIGHT TO SPEND ON OWN POLITICAL SPEECH
For democracy to work, some say, citizens (and corporations, and unions, and media outlets, and other organizations) must be allowed to spend as much money as they wish to express their views on the issues, candidates, and elections of the day. But others take the view that if everyone can spend as much money as they like to express their political views, then some voices will be amplified while others will be drowned out.

7/6/2014 RE:SOUND THE NIGHT SHOW
This hour is about listening to the night. On the night of July 13, 1977, a complete blackout spread through all five boroughs of New York City. Right before the chaos and mayhem of that night began, two young DJs were spinning records in a duel on a busy corner in the Bronx. Then, everything went dark and some say hip-hop was born. Also, during the day, zoos are bustling. At night, when the people leave and the animals get a bit of privacy, naturally, it quiets down (a bit). But, as it turns out, some conversations are just beginning. Plus three other great stories. Read more

6/29/2014 CLIMATE ONE: GLOBAL CLEANUP
We examine the leadership role some big corporations are playing in cutting costs and carbon pollution. Climate change is about economy, society and the environment. The news for business is good: When companies use less energy, they save money. And a study by the Brookings Institution found that clean energy companies create more jobs and are more export oriented than fossil fuel firms. We'll hear from a Walmart executive about their efforts at sustainability. In addition, an eminent economist and a U.S. climate negotiator, discuss ways to protect the planet while keeping the world economy on track. Read more

6/22/2014 AMERICA ABROAD: THE POWER OF ART IN A CHANGING MIDDLE EAST
Art sometimes has the power to move millions where politics fails. In this program we attempt to identify some prominent artistic voices in the Middle East, North Africa and in South Asia and evaluate their take on liberal ideals, on sectarian violence, on terrorism and how they're being received by audiences in both the Arab and Muslim communities and in the West. Read more

6/15/2014 IQ2: IN AN ONLINE WORLD, ARE BRICK AND MORTAR COLLEGE OBSOLETE?
Is the college of the future online? With the popularity of MOOCs (massive open online courses) and the availability of online degree programs at a fraction of their on-campus price, we are experiencing an exciting experiment in higher education. Does the traditional classroom stand a chance? Will online education be the great equalizer, or is a campus-based college experience still necessary? Read more

6/8/2014 RE:SOUND - THE TAKING CARE SHOW
This hour is focused on the delicate interdependence between being in need and answering the call to help. Read more

6/1/2014 CLIMATE ONE: BLUE ECONOMY
The ocean is absorbing about a quarter of the greenhouse gases we emit from burning fossil fuels. One visible impact is the erosion of coastal property. Carbon pollution is also reducing snow pack and contributing to erratic fresh water supplies. Our guests include entrepreneurs, investors and research scientists who are explaining and preparing for a new water reality. Read more

5/25/2014 IQ2 - IS DEATH FINAL?
If consciousness is just the workings of neurons and synapses, how do we explain the phenomenon of near-death experience? Is the prospect of an existence after death “real” and provable by science, or a construct of wishful thinking about our own mortality? Read more

5/11/2014 IQ2 - DO MILLENNIALS STAND A CHANCE?
Millennials—growing up with revolutionary technology and entering adulthood in a time of recession—have recently been much maligned. Are their critics right? Is this generation uniquely coddled, narcissistic, and lazy? Or have we let conventional wisdom blind us to their openness to change and innovation, and optimism in the face of uncertainty, which, in any generation, are qualities to be admired? Read more

5/5/2014 TEENAGE DIARIES REVISITED
Back in the 1990s, Radio Diaries producer Joe Richman gave tape recorders to a handful of teens and asked them to report on their own lives. Now, almost 20 years later, Joe has checked back in — With Josh, still struggling with Tourette syndrome as an adult; Melissa, who was a teen mom and is now the mom of a teenager; and Juan, a Mexican immigrant who is now a father and husband, and still undocumented. Read more

4/27/2014 IQ2: DOES AFFIRMATIVE ACTION ON CAMPUSES DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD?
Affirmative action, when used as a factor in college admissions, is meant to foster diversity and provide equal opportunities in education for underrepresented minorities. But is it achieving its stated goals and helping the population it was created to support? Its critics point to students struggling to keep up in schools mismatched to their abilities. Is it time to overhaul or abolish affirmative action? Read more

4/20/2014 CLIMATE ONE: CARBON CURVES
Talking about the twists and turns of the climate debate. While scientists have growing certainty that burning fossil fuels is driving severe weather, acceptance by the American public of that science waxes and wanes. Debate over the most basic facts often takes us in circles. How can we move forward? Read more

4/13/2014 STATE OF THE REUNION: WHEN WORDS MATTER
We explore all facets of poetry and its influence in a person's life. We talk to poets from all over the country about the craft, the lifestyle, the resurgence of poems, and of course, hear some incredible poetry. Read more

4/6/2014 AMERICA ABROAD: HOW GOVERNMENT HELPS AND HARMS ENTREPRENEURS
Governments around the world are trying to figure out if and how they can help promote entrepreneurship, which is considered critical to global competitiveness. But in the United States, there's nothing more politically contentious than the role of government in the economy. We look at how government intervention helps and hurts entrepreneurs, and we examine what the U.S. can learn from the success and failures of other countries. Read more

3/30/2014 IQ2- DOES THE PRESIDENT HAVE THE CONSTITUTIONAL POWER TO TARGET AND KILL U.S. CITIZENS?
With the drone strike on accused terrorist and New Mexico-born Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, President Obama has tested the limits of the executive branch’s powers. Does the president have constitutional authority under the due process clause to kill U.S. citizens abroad, or is it a violation of this clause to unilaterally decide to target and kill Americans? The debaters are: Alan Dershowitz, Noah Feldman, Michael Lewis, and Hina Shamsi.  Read more

3/23/2014 IQ2- IS RUSSIA A MARGINAL POWER?

Disarming Syria. Asylum for Edward Snowden. Arming Iran. Deploying troops to Crimea. Is Vladimir Putin flexing his muscles while our own president fades into the background of world politics, or is it all a global game of smoke and mirrors? Is our toxic relationship something to worry about, or is Putin’s Russia fading in importance? Read more

3/16/2014 STATE OF THE RE:UNION: COMICS-WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILTY
In this episode we explore a community where when evil rears its head, someone finds a way to set things right, even if they have to make sacrifices and defy the laws of our universe to do it. In this hour we tell the stories of real-life battles between good and evil in the world of comic books, where underdogs often come out on top and fantasy merges with reality. From creators and whistleblowers to real-life superheroes who have brought comics to life, putting on their own capes and costumes to fight for justice in their cities. Read more

3/9/2014 CLIMATE ONE: MELTDOWN
Today we explore how mountains and forests are being impacted by climate change and, in turn, affecting our health. An economist and a doctor connect a rise in Dengue fever and a rise in the temperature of the Earth. A corporate consultant and an environmental advocate explain how planting trees is good for business. And a professional snowboarder says the demise of ski slopes is motivating skiers to launch into action on climate volatility. Read more

3/2/2014 IQ2- WAS SNOWDEN JUSTIFIED?

Has Edward Snowden done the U.S. a great service? There is no doubt that his release of highly classified stolen documents has sparked an important public debate, even forcing what could be a major presidential overhaul of the NSA’s surveillance programs. But have his actions, which include the downloading of an estimated 1.7 million files, tipped off our enemies and endangered national security? Is Snowden a whistleblower, or is he a criminal? Read more 

2/23/2014 BBC's THE WITNESS

African American history as told by the people who were there. Selections on the theme of Black History as taken from the BBC World Service program "Witness." Voices include the Scottsboro Boys; the first time awhite woman touched a black man on US TV; golfer Lee Elder; the white journalist who tried to go "undercover" as a black man; Rodney King recalls the LA riots; Vogue cover model Beverly Johnson. 

2/16/2014 AMERICAN RADIOWORKS: STATE OF SIEGE: MISSISSIPPI WHITES AND THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT

Mississippi occupies a distinct and dramatic place in the history of America’s civil rights movement. No state in the South was more resistant to the struggle for black equality. No place was more violent. Drawing on newly discovered archival audio and groundbreaking research on the civil rights era, State of Siege brings to light the extraordinary tactics whites in Mississippi used to battle integration and the lasting impact of that battle in American politics today. Read more

2/9/2014 STATE OF THE REUNION: PIKE COUNTY, OHIO: AS BLACK AS WE WISH TO BE

In this episode Al Letson and guest producer Lu Olkowski visit a tiny town in the Appalachian foothills of Ohio where, for a century, residents have shared the common bond of identifying as African-American despite the fact that they look white. Racial lines have been blurred to invisibility, and people inside the same family can vehemently disagree about whether they are black or white. It can be tense and confusing. As a result, everyone’s choosing: Am I black? Am I mixed race? Or, am I white? Adding to the confusion, there’s a movement afoot to recognize their Native-American heritage. Read more

2/2/2014 STATE OF THE REUNION: RE:WRITING BLACK HISTORY

During a month selected to celebrate “history,” we certainly are treated to a lot of the same familiar stories: the battles won for Civil Rights, the glory of Martin Luther King Jr.’s words, the hardships endured by slaves. And as important as those narratives are for us to collectively remember, many others get lost in trumpeting the same heroic tales. In this hour, State of the Re:Union zeroes in some of those alternate narratives, ones edited out of the mainstream imagining of Black History, deconstructing the popular perception of certain celebrated moments. From a more complicated understanding of the impact of the Civil Rights Act of ’64 on Jackson, Mississippi… to a city in Oklahoma still trying to figure out how to tell the history of one particular race riot… to one woman’s wrangling with her own personal racial history. Read more

1/26/2014 IQ2: IS THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT BEYOND RESCUE?

With the disastrous launch of the HealthCare.gov website, critics of the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” were given more fuel for the fire. Is this political hot potato's inevitability once again at stake? And is the medical community really on board with the law, or resisting (rewriting?) it from the sidelines? Read more

1/19/2014 IQ2: SHOULD YOU EAT ANYTHING WITH A FACE?

According to a 2009 poll, around 1% of American adults reported eating no animal products. In 2011 that number rose to 2.5%--more than double, but still dwarfed by the 48% who reported eating meat, fish or poultry at all of their meals. So taking into account our health, the environment and ethical concerns, which diet is best? Are we or aren’t we meant to be carnivores? Read more

1/12/2014 CLIMATE ONE: ENVIRONMENTAL DEBT

By focusing on developing the economy for decades, politicians and business leaders have done little to account for the environmental costs of growing industry. Now, economies worldwide are struggling to cover the increasing expenses of pollution and health care – But who is going to pay? Read more

1/5/2014 IQ2- THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS HAS OUTLIVED ITS USEFULNESS

Recent mass shooting tragedies have renewed the national debate over the 2nd Amendment. Gun ownership and homicide rates are higher in the U.S. than in any other developed nation, but gun violence has decreased over the last two decades even as gun ownership may be increasing. Over 200 years have passed since James Madison introduced the Bill of Rights, the country has changed, and so have its guns. Is the right to bear arms now at odds with the common good, or is it as necessary today as it was in 1789? Read more 

12/29/2013  IQ2- DOES SPYING KEEP US SAFE?

The NSA collects data on billions of phone calls and internet communications per day. Are these surveillance programs legal? Do they keep us safe? If not for the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, most   Americans would be unaware of the vast amounts of information their government is secretly collecting, all in the name of national security. What tradeoffs are we willing to make between security and privacy? Read more

12/22/2013 MEXICO UNCOVERED

The U.S. and Mexico share deep personal, economic, geographic and cultural connections, but our understanding of Mexico is often limited by stereotype and media exaggeration. Mexico Uncovered is out to change that. Mexico Uncovered is produced by award-winning public radio veterans Beverley Abel, Leda Hartman and Mary Stucky. In a groundbreaking collaboration with Mexican reporters and top-tier media outlets in Mexico, these untold stories were also published in Spanish in Mexico. Read more

12/15/2013 AMERICA ABROAD: GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP

The U.S. is often thought of as the land of innovation – a great habitat for entrepreneurs. And, this is still the case. But, why are other regions of the world producing entrepreneurs at a faster rate than the United States? Read more

12/8/2013 IQ2: FOR A BETTER FUTURE, LIVE IN A RED STATE

While gridlock and division in Washington make it difficult for either party or ideology to set the policy agenda, single-party government prevails in three-quarters of the states. In 24 states, Republicans control the governorship and both houses of the legislature, and in 13 states Democrats enjoy one-party control. Comparing economic growth, education, health care, quality of life and environment, and the strength of civil society, do red or blue states win out? Read more

12/1/2013 THIRD COAST INTERNATIONAL AUDIO FESTIVAL- HOUR TWO

The Third Coast International Audio Festival brings the best new documentaries produced worldwide to the national airwaves in a special two-hour program hosted by award-winning writer, producer and humorist, Gwen Macsai. Read more

11/24/2013 A WAR CORRESPONDENT'S DILEMMA

In early 2011, NPR's Kelly McEvers started to see things in slow motion. She cried unpredictably. She was a correspondent in the turbulent Middle East, in the time of the Arab uprisings. Colleagues and friends were being kidnapped. Some were getting killed, but still, she went toward the story. The next year, 2012, was the deadliest year on record for journalists. It was a huge hit to the "tribe" of war correspondents of which Kelly is a part. Twenty months later, the result is a documentary radio hour. Read more

11/17/2013 WE KNEW JFK: UNHEARD STORIES FROM THE KENNEDY ARCHIVES

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22 in Dallas. Never-before-broadcast memories from JFK's confidantes recorded just after the the assassination. We'll hear from JFK colleagues who were with him during his first political race in 1946, until his last days in office. The special is hosted by legendary journalist Robert MacNeil. Read more

11/10/2013 IQ2 SHOULD THE U.S. BREAK UP THE BIG BANKS?

To prevent the collapse of the global financial system in 2008, The Treasury committed 245 billion in taxpayer dollars to stabilize America’s banking institutions. Today, banks that were once “too big to fail” have only grown bigger. Were size and complexity at the root of the financial crisis, or do calls to break up the big banks ignore real benefits that only economies of scale can pass on to customers and investors? The debaters are Richard Fisher, Simon Johnson, Douglas Elliott, and Paul Salzman. Read more

11/03/2013  GROKKING DEMOCRACY

From social media campaigns to e-voting, technology has changed dramatically and will now change the way politics and campaigns are run. This special from IEEE Spectrum and hosted by Lisa Mullins and Jonathan Alter examines how elections and governing has changed in today’s digital world, and where they’re headed.  Read more

10/27/2013  WAR OF THE WELLES

This new documentary by R.H. Greene reveals the back-story behind the production of War of the Worlds, correcting many myths and explaining why it works as a radio broadcast.  Sci-fi icon and Star Trek star George Takei provides a special introduction. Read more

10/20/2013  STATE OF THE RE:UNION - THE HOSPITAL ALWAYS WINS

In 2004, staff producer Laura Starecheski visited a state mental hospital in Queens, New York, called Creedmoor and stumbled upon a mystery that would take nearly ten years to unravel: why was artist Issa Ibrahim stuck in this hospital with little hope of release.  Read more

10/13/2013  STATE OF THE RE:UNION - PORTLAND: A TALE OF TWO CITIES

There’s the city some residents praise as a kind of Eden, with bike paths, independently-owned small businesses and ready access to public transportation, microbreweries and coffee shops. Then there’s the city where stretches of busy roads are missing sidewalks and people using wheelchairs have to share the road with oncoming traffic. This special examines the Eden and Purgatory of Portland, Oregon.  Read more

10/06/2013  CLIMATE ONE: GAME CHANGER

Forest fires, floods, droughts and other extreme weather events have a direct affect on the global economy. Examine the power and politics of climate disruptions at home and abroad. Read more

09/29/2013  AMERICAN GRADUATE: CROSSING THE STAGE

Examine the ways educators are trying to reduce high school drop out rates by making school more meaningful for students and whether a GED is a reasonable alternative to a high school diploma? Read more

09/22/2013  IQ2: IS THE U.S DRONE PROGRAM FATALLY FLAWED?

Drones have become the centerpiece of America’s counterterrorism toolkit. Proponents say that their use has significantly weakened al Qaeda and the Taliban while keeping American troops out of harm’s way.  Critics argue that the short-term gains don't outweigh the long-term consequences, especially the radicalization of a public outraged by civilian deaths.  Join in the debate: Is our drone program hurting or helping in the fight against terrorism? Read more

09/15/2013  AMERICAN RADIOWORKS: SECOND CHANCE DIPLOMA- EXAMINING THE GED

Each year, more than 700,000 people take the General Educational Development test-- but critics argue a GED diploma encourages some students to drop out and the credential is of little value to most people who get one.  Examine the history, purpose and value of a GED diploma on this addition of American RadioWorks. Read more

09/08/2013  AMERICAN RADIOWORKS: ONE CHILD AT A TIME - CUSTOM LEARNING IN THE DIGITAL AGE

Working with a personal tutor is one of the oldest and best ways to enhance learning.  While its impossible to provide a tutor for every student, new computer programs are giving educators the means to customize lessons-- if they're willing to use them. Read more

09/01/2013  CLIMATE ONE: PETROPOLY

Three experts talk about America’s energy security paradigm.  Among the issues discussed are how gasoline is priced, whether consumers should have more fuel choices, how we can transition to a cleaner economy while we tackle climate change and the benefits and pitfalls of the Keystone XL pipeline.  Read more