Best Documentaries podcasts (Updated November 2017; image)
Related podcasts: Documentary Society News History Public Film Photography Filmmaking Interviews Arts Music Conversations Featured FM Filmmakers Francesca Lalor Documentary On Newstalk Nonfiction Criticism Radio Station Media  
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The Guardian's Audio Long Reads
Weekly+
 
The Guardian's Audio Long Reads podcasts are a selection of the Guardian’s long read articles which are published in the paper and online. It gives you the opportunity to get on with your day whilst listening to some of the finest journalism the Guardian has to offer: in-depth writing from around the world on immigration, crime, business, the arts and much more.
 
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Seriously...
Weekly
 
A rich selection of documentaries aimed at relentlessly curious minds, introduced by Rhianna Dhillon.
 
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Short Cuts
Monthly
 
Short documentaries and adventures in sound presented by Josie Long
 
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The Radio 3 Documentary
Monthly+
 
Exploring different aspects of history, science, philosophy and the arts.
 
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Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
 
Multi award winning documentaries from Ireland. With over 1,500 documentaries on offer, the Documentary On One has the largest archive of documentaries available globally. These productions are radio stories about real life and contain documentaries dating as far back as 1954, right up to the present day. A wealth of life, ideas and experiences are on offer - but most importantly - stories. Winner of over 150 national and international awards since 2008, why not immerse yourself in a world o ...
 
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Earshot - ABC Radio National
Weekly+
 
Earshot presents documentaries about people, places, stories and ideas, in all their diversity.
 
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Newstalk Documentaries
Monthly+
 
Newstalk 106-108 FM features many documentaries from the plight of the Malawi people to video documentaries on Aurora Borealis.
 
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The Kitchen Sisters Present
Monthly+
 
The Kitchen Sisters Present… Stories from the b-side of history. Lost recordings, hidden worlds, people possessed by a sound, a vision, a mission. The episodes tell deeply layered stories, lush with interviews, field recordings and music. From powerhouse producers The Kitchen Sisters (Hidden Kitchens, The Hidden World of Girls, The Sonic Memorial Project, Lost & Found Sound, Fugitive Waves and coming soon… The Keepers). "The Kitchen Sisters have done some of best radio stories ever broadcast ...
 
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Documentary of the Week
Weekly
 
Every week, WNYC tells you about the best documentaries as they become available on screens of any size. Our hosts are Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen, co-founders of the Pure Nonfiction podcast and the DOC NYC festival, the largest non-fiction film festival in the U.S. WNYC Studios is the producer of other leading podcasts including Radiolab, Freakonomics Radio, 2 Dope Queens, Death, Sex & Money, On the Media and many more.
 
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Newstalk Documentaries
Monthly+
 
Newstalk 106-108 FM features many documentaries from the plight of the Malawi people to video documentaries on Aurora Borealis.
 
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APM Reports Documentaries
Rare
 
The documentary unit of APM Reports (formerly American RadioWorks) has produced more than 130 programs on topics such as health, history, education and justice.
 
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show series
 
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Earshot - ABC Radio National
 
Why are most selective high schools for the academically gifted dominated by Asian Australian students? And what do Asian students and graduates of selective schools think of our education system that’s described as being ‘hyper-racialised’?
 
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Short Cuts
 
Josie Long hears stories spell craft, poetry and art coming to life.What can a poet learn from a consultant sorcerer? Ross Sutherland explores the poetic possibilities of spell craft. A fragment of Sappho's poetic longing is unpicked alongside a reading by Anne Carson. And at night, in a gallery, art springs to life.IncantationsFeaturing Ross S ...…
 
Journalist Jonathan Guyer examines the different forms of noir fiction addressing the failed revolutions, jihadism, and chaos in Egypt.Away from caliphate building and sectarianism, a neo-noir revolution has been creeping across the Middle East, allowing artists and writers to act as ombudsmen in the current political climate. Jonathan meets th ...…
 
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Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
 
A treasure of recordings found in producer, Bill Meek's attic. Untouched for over three decades, they tell the story of the Civil Rights Movement in America's Deep South. Journeying from heartland of bluegrass to the heart of the blues to find out more about the injustices and brutality that people suffered as they fought for equal rights.(2001)…
 
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Earshot - ABC Radio National
 
An Indigenous Mexican poet has written a powerful love song to her threatened Zapotec language, a young rapper has taken her poem and transformed it into hip hop.
 
The Great War is often depicted as an unexpected catastrophe. But for millions who had been living under imperialist rule, terror and degradation were nothing new • Read the text version here
 
TV jingles that jarred and the ones we sang along to. Australia finds its voice — and it wasn’t always pretty!
 
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The Radio 3 Documentary
 
Ian Sansom attempts to resurrect the spirit of poet Vladimir Mayakovsky
 
Producer Gareth Stack explores a radically new vision of Irish education in: The Free School
 
Producer Gareth Stack explores a radically new vision of Irish education in: The Free School
 
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Seriously...
 
Protest art in Latin America. A continent-wide commitment by many artists to social activism makes Latin America not just one of the most diverse art scenes in the world - but also one of the most compelling, with music, visual arts and street art calling out injustice, often in the face of discrimination, oppression and impunity. This first of ...…
 
Corbyn, Abbott and McDonnell were long dismissed as irrelevant radicals. But their formative years on the margins were more important than anyone realised. By Andy Beckett • Read the text version here
 
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Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
 
Fr. Pat Noise died when his carriage plunged into the Liffey in 1919. His death is commemorated by a plaque on O'Connell Bridge, installed without permission by a mysterious group. This was also where the Millennium Clock was lowered into the Liffey before disappearing after a few months. Was it coincidental that both events happened at this spot?…
 
Filmmaker Amir Bar-Lev explores the history of the Grateful Dead from the psychedelic sixties to the death of band leader Jerry Garcia in 1995. The six-part film on Amazon goes beyond the scope of the average rock documentary to capture the legacy of the band in a way that’s meaningful to both devoted deadheads and outsiders. For more informati ...…
 
In 1994 mother-of-two, Pamela Lawrence, was murdered Andrew Mallard would make one of the most unorthodox "confessions" in the annals of criminal justice and virtually every single part of the justice system fell down..
 
Josie Long hears stories which come out of nowhere. A story of creation, time and disappearance; a writer takes a precarious drive down an icy road imagining the dive into nothing at the edge of her vision, and the unexpected kindness of a stranger pulls a man back from the brink. Thin AirFeat. Laura BartonThe WaterProduced by Rikke HoudOrigina ...…
 
Trevor Dann reports from the USA on an innovative scheme which helps military veterans suffering with post traumatic stress by pairing them with songwriters.Former soldiers discuss the therapeutic effects of creating songs about their experiences. The founder of the programme, singer-songwriter Darden Smith, explains how the idea came from his ...…
 
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Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
 
The experiences of Irish immigrants living and working in London are dramatised in this documentary. Arriving in London with nothing but the clothes on their back, sleeping rough in Victoria Station, wandering the streets as they struggle to get work, robbing to feed themselves, and drinking their sorrows away. (1988)…
 
It was a case straight out of a Hollywood caper movie: crims, cops and hundreds of thousands of dollars of missing gold. The case involving Perth's Mickelberg brothers lives on in the public imagination, as the key players continue to claim the miscarriage of justice. Who's version of events do we believe?…
 
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Earshot - ABC Radio National
 
The story of Adelie 'Front Page' Hurley, Australia’s first female photojournalist, whose landscape images, published in magazines and newspapers in the 1950s and '60s helped change the way Australians saw and understood the country they lived in.
 
For decades, tech companies promised to make the world better. As that dream falls apart, disillusioned insiders are trying to take back control • Read the text version here
 
Darryl Beamish was a profoundly deaf teenager when he was charged with the 1959 axe murder of glamorous young Perth socialite Jillian Brewer. The Beamish case would take fifty years to resolve, and remains as a landmark case of the miscarriage of justice.
 
On a sweltering February night in 2010, the destinies of two 21-year-olds — one white, and one black collided fatally on a deserted road outside of Broome. Gene Gibson, a cognitively impaired Pintubi man, was caught in the failures of the justice system.
 
On the eve of his 19th birthday, in February 1963, John Button's life changed forever, when he was accused of the manslaughter of his girlfriend in a hit and run accident on the streets of Perth. It took nearly half a century to prove his innocence.
 
Black and white TV begins in Australia. American advertisements arrive bringing the Aussie cringe.
 
Patrick McGuinness discusses Brancusi's war memorial, the Endless Column in Romania
 
Tayo Popoola explores Nigeria's enduring love of Jim Reeves and country music. Over 50 years after his death, American country music legend Jim Reeves has maintained his popularity to a truly remarkable extent. Up until the 1980s, his label RCA continued to release new records almost yearly, and his many fans would eagerly snap them up. Today, ...…
 
Months before she was due to give birth, disaster struck for Katherine Heiny. Doctors ordered her to lie on her side in bed and not move – and gave her a 1% chance of carrying her baby to term • Read the text version here
 
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Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
 
In 1836, Dubliner James F O’Connell published a book which told of his incredible life story. Shipwrecked on the remote Pacific Island of Pohnpei, he was forcibly tattooed about the body by natives. Eventually escaping, he landed in New York and quickly gained fame. O’Connell is fêted as the first man to publicly display tattoos in America (2017)…
 
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Documentary of the Week
 
Sammy Davis Jr. had multiple talents as a singer, dancer and actor. He broke down color barriers from Broadway to Las Vegas, even doing impressions of white actors in the 1940s. Long seen as Frank Sinatra's sidekick in the Rat Pack, the documentary "Sammy Davis Jr.: I Gotta Be Me" puts him back in the spotlight as a trailblazer. — Thom Powers a ...…
 
November 14, 1960 — Four six-year-old girls, flanked by Federal Marshals, walked through screaming crowds and policemen on horseback as they approached their new schools for the first time. Leona Tate thought it must be Mardi Gras. Gail thought they were going to kill her. Four years after the Supreme Court ruled to desegregate schools in Brown ...…
 
In the Age of Aquarius the public get wise to being hoodwinked. Health campaigners hijack the medium — and turn it to their advantage.
 
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Seriously...
 
Filmmaker Mike Figgis explores the story of edited film, audio and culture, and how the simple process of cutting and splicing has changed the way people view the world.We are living in an age of the edit. From the jump-cuts of Eisenstein and Hitchcock, to the fractured narratives of Virginia Woolf and James Joyce, from the cut-and-paste sounds ...…
 
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Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
 
Accrington, like a thousand towns across Europe, enjoyed the flaming summer of 1914, but life in the East Lancashire town was not one of contentment. The boom time was coming to an end and the Great War offered young men an escape from the daily drudgery and the chance of an adventure. Sadly, many would never return home. (1998)…
 
The hunt is on for the winning formula to make that perfect ad. Keeping clients happy and the consumers consuming.
 
Communism ended in failure, capitalism has corrupted the nation's soul, and so today Russians are looking inward.
 
A century ago, the Russian Revolution took place. It was a seismic event that changed the course of the 20th century. In this special, bonus episode of Seriously…, we visit four cities closely linked to the events of 1917. With Moscow correspondent Steve Rosenberg as our guide, we travel the 4000 mile journey across Russia, asking if the reperc ...…
 
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The Guardian's Audio Long Reads
 
His modesty and humility have made him a popular figure around the world. But inside the church, his reforms have infuriated conservatives and sparked a revolt • Read the text version here
 
How do Russia's latest cultural émigrés feel about leaving their homeland? In Russia, culture is increasingly on the front line - many writers, theatre directors and academics feel stifled or under attack. Lucy Ash hears from those who have wrestled with the dilemma of whether to leave. For some, working abroad opens up space to think, while fo ...…
 
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Earshot - ABC Radio National
 
How does a nation forget a wartime catastrophe? When Japan invaded Australian territory in January 1942, hundreds of civilians were left behind to die. 75 years later, their families are still traumatised.
 
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Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
 
When Frank Stagg died he had three funerals, not only that, he had two graves and three headstones. That's because when Frank Stagg died in 1976 there was a sort of tug of war over his body between the Irish Government and supporters of the Provisional IRA. Where was Frank Stagg's final resting place? (2017)…
 
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Documentary of the Week
 
Joan Didion, now in her 80s, had long resisted being profiled in a documentary. But she couldn’t say no when the director was her nephew, the actor Griffin Dunne. They have a warm rapport as she tells the stories behind her novels, essays and screenplays in the documentary “Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold.” — Thom Powers and Raphaela Neih ...…
 
Savitri Devi-devotee of Hitler, proponent of Hindu nationalism, associate of both the British BNP and the American Nazi party-was a prolific author and energetic member of the international Nazi network after the Second World War. Now, her paeans to the mythical Aryan race and apocalyptic theories of history are circulating once again, revived ...…
 
Is France’s new president a political miracle, or a mirage that is already fading away? • Read the text version here
 
"3 May. Bistritz. Left Munich at 8:35 P. M, on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6:46, but train was an hour late."The first line of Bram Stoker's Dracula makes it clear what the novel will be about: trains. As the book begins, the English solicitor Jonathan Harker is travelling across Europe by train, en ro ...…
 
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Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
 
Tallymen have a passion for politics and most would have been canvassing in the run-up to this election. But today, the Tallymen are centre stage, it is all about compiling the data to make early predictions. This election is hard to call with Sinn Féin tipped to win and Fianna Fáil doing badly in the polls. Can they handle the pressure? (2002)…
 
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Earshot - ABC Radio National
 
Through the middle of the 20th Century, our evolving appetite for innovation in music took us on some pretty weird detours.
 
Expert interrogators know torture doesn’t work – but until now, nobody could prove it. By analysing hundreds of top-secret interviews with terror suspects, two British scientists have revolutionised the art of extracting the truth • Read the text version here
 
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Earshot - ABC Radio National
 
We’re told Mindfulness is the cure for our stressful lives. But what if we’re really being sold ‘McMindfulness’ - quick and dirty solutions to keep us productive? Find out from some of the world’s most respected Mindfulness teachers and critics.
 
Dr Louisa Egbunike, lecturer in English at City University London, is interested in the shifting frame of Afrofuturism. The term was originally coined in 1993 to bracket together work by African-American writers, artists and musicians who were dealing with science-fiction and speculative themes. However it has only recently been suggested that ...…
 
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