Best Documentaries podcasts (Updated July 2017; image)
Related podcasts: Documentary Society News History Photography Public Film Arts Music Conversations Francesca Lalor Documentary On Newstalk Nonfiction Radio Station Interviews Movies Storytelling Fine Arts US Government Tech  
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The Guardian Long Read
Weekly+
 
The Guardian Long Read - audio versions of our regular long reads published online and in the newspaper Monday through Friday. The long reads are long form articles on a wide variety of topics from global politics to the big cultural debates of our time.For the print version go to - http://www.theguardian.com/news/series/the-long-read
 
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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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Earshot - ABC Radio National
Weekly+
 
Earshot presents documentaries about people, places, stories and ideas, in all their diversity.
 
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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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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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Stories of creativity and invention— the making of a jar of jam, the making of a fashionable 3-D printed covering for an artificial limb, the making of Muttville – a foster care rescue center for senior dogs, a Karaoke Ice Cream Truck, the arrangements for a father’s funeral, the un-making of the Typewriter, and more stories from The Making Of… ...…
 
A tale of friendship, betrayal, hoarding, squatters and a missing $100 thousand dollar cheque.
 
Charles Bliss was a remarkable utopian visionary, whose experiences as a young witness to the pogroms and then Dachau and Buchenwald made him determined to put all his effort into finding a means of bringing about peace between nations. His big inspiration was his belief that conflict arose when people misunderstood each other, or misinterprete ...…
 
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Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
 
In 1935, Iceland legalised abortion making it the first Western nation to create what we might now recognise as an abortion legalisation policy. We travel to Iceland to meet Corkman Fr Denis O'Leary who leads a very small Pro-Life group named Lífsvernd. We also meet staff working in the area of abortion at the National Hospital of Iceland (2017)…
 
Anita Anand embarks on a highly personal exploration of an angry dispute which is fracturing the feminist movement.The daughter of Indian parents, Anita was disconcerted to find herself drawn into the controversy in which black feminists were accusing white middle-class women of "whitewashing" the feminist movement, insisting they have no right ...…
 
The decimation of federal social and housing programs by the Reagan administration during the 1980s meant a massive increase of mentally ill and poor people living on the streets. People were forced sleep on park benches in San Francisco or deep beneath the ground in New York City. What was daily life for homeless people? (1989)…
 
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Earshot - ABC Radio National
 
Dogs are running wild in the rainforests of North Queensland, killing wildlife. But one woman stood up to them
 
After a crisis, private contractors move in and suck up funding for work done badly, if at all – then those billions get cut from government budgets. Like Grenfell Tower, Hurricane Katrina revealed a disdain for the poor. Written by Naomi Klein and read by Ruth Barnes
 
Vladimir Ashkenazy travels to California to reveal how music inspired and informed the art of his friend, the acclaimed American photographer Ansel Adams.
 
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Seriously...
 
How is modern music helping striptease to adapt its traditional image? Some of the biggest stars and producers of 21st century burlesque reveal what makes a great striptease soundtrack.Sixty years ago it was all sassy, jazzy show tunes. Today it can be techno, post-punk, hip hop, spoken word - even sound effects. So what's happened to the sound ...…
 
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Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
 
Road cycling is one of the world’s toughest sports. In 1987, Stephen Roche did the unthinkable - winning the three biggest cycle races in the world, the Giro d'Italia, Tour De France and World Championship. He was hailed a cycling hero across the world. 30yrs on, we look back at his iconic sporting achievement, which is yet to be repeated (2017)…
 
Penzance-born Rory McGrath writes and performs a Cornish song at the SUNS International Festival - a multilingual alternative to the Eurovision song contest, where English is banned. Rory talks with fellow performers, and to academics, about how the internet and the spread of English as a lingua franca is threatening to smother small languages. ...…
 
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Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
 
The garden of Ireland is one of the country's most famous beauty spots, it's a place that you would never associate with a dumpsite. The controversial decision to have a tiphead in the scenic valley of Avoca was seen as sacrilege by many local people. Why was this beauty spot offered as a solution to the county's waste problem?…
 
Barbecue, burgoo, mopping the mutton, the fellowship of stirring. Hidden Kitchens stories of conflict, competition and resolution in the backyards and fire pits of our nation. From the all night communal roasting rituals in Owensboro Kentucky, to the cotton fields, German meat markets, and chuckwagons of west Texas. We hear from men’s cooking t ...…
 
Religion, a musical passion and disability - walk up to the front door of any home and you're likely to hear a remarkable story. This is Tansy's.
 
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The Guardian Long Read
 
It used to be just a word – now it is a way of life. But is it time to get off the banter bus? Written and read by Archie Bland
 
Forster's gay love story was a forbidden book, unpublished until his death.
 
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The Radio 3 Documentary
 
Allan Little looks at arts festivals started in the aftermath of World War Two
 
After decades suppressed by Myanmar's military regime, we go inside Yangon's booming counter-cultural art scene to reveal the city as seen through the eyes of the young artists on the frontline of change.Until censorship was lifted in 2012, dissident artists, musicians and poets lived with the threat of jail for speaking out against the militar ...…
 
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Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
 
Michael Martin went AWOL while on sick leave for an injury that he sustained during a training exercise with the British Army. People were shocked to discover that instead of returning to Ireland he travelled to Iraq to fight against ISIS. Why did Michael risk everything to fight in Iraq? ( 2107 )
 
How do you know the wine in a bottle is what it says on the label? Master of Wine Susie Barrie goes hot on the scent of counterfeit wines and follows the experts employed to distinguish plonk from prestige vintages. Fraudsters have targeted expensive French wine - Bordeaux châteaux such as Pétrus, Lafite and Margaux, and Burgundy's Domaine de l ...…
 
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Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
 
The season has kicked off in Knockbrack Cricket Club, members welcome their rivals, dressed head to toe in white, to join them in a game which still observes the old formalities of a colonial past. The grass is perfectly flat and refreshments are ready to be served- let the games begin.
 
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Earshot - ABC Radio National
 
When PTSD stops Brian from sleeping he jumps in his car and drives three hours to Perth to help homeless war veterans sleeping rough.
 
It is an industry like no other, with profit margins to rival Google – and it was created by one of Britain’s most notorious tycoons: Robert Maxwell.Written by Stephen Buranyi and read by Christopher Ragland
 
John Di Domenico has been playing Donald Trump longer than anyone else – except Trump himself.Written by Jordan Kisner and read by Christopher Ragland.
 
999 was the first emergency telephone number in the world when it was launched on June 30th, 1937. Within the first week, more than a thousand calls were made to the service with one burglar arrested less than five minutes after a member of the public had dialled 999. Impressive stuff. But there were teething problems...In the early days, only ...…
 
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Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
 
Ever thought of what it’s like to hurtle through the countryside at speeds in excess of 100mph - and not be in control? You rip out the seats and soundproofing of your car. Then what? Join us as we delve into the world of rallying in Ireland, through the eyes of co-drivers. Meet those who watch, guide and drive these cars right to the edge… (2016)…
 
In 1996, the Ministry of Defence decided to sell off its housing stock. The financier Guy Hands bought it up in a deal that would make his investors billions – and have catastrophic consequences for both the military and the taxpayer
 
Over three decades, he transformed a nation’s attitude to art. But is his revolution now in danger of being reversed? Written by Charlotte Higgins and read by Alice Arnold
 
Actor Michael Sheen explores the history of Port Talbot's Plaza Cinema. A beautiful art-deco building , first opening in 1940, the Plaza was the heart of cinema entertainment for the people of Port Talbot for decades - a place where Richard Burton and Anthony Hopkins watched everyone from George Formby to Bogart and Cagney and where, growing up ...…
 
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Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
 
Music in the 1960s was the form of articulation of a generation that was changing things and was quite aware that it was changing things. Flower power was short lived in Ireland but it had a profound effect on young people at the time. What was life like in Ireland during the swinging sixties?
 
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The Kitchen Sisters Present
 
In the 1930s and 40s, hundreds of Basques were brought to the western United States to do the desolate work that no one else would do—herding sheep. Alone for months at a time with hundreds of sheep the Basque’s improvised songs, baked bread in underground ovens, carved poetry and drawings into the Aspen trees, and listened to The Basque Radio ...…
 
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Earshot - ABC Radio National
 
The story of Papua New Guinea's national public broadcaster, the NBC, which was born out of the hope and flourish of the country's independence from Australia in 1975.
 
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Earshot - ABC Radio National
 
The story of Papua New Guinea's national public broadcaster, the NBC, which was born out of the hope and flourish of the country's independence from Australia in 1975.
 
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The Radio 3 Documentary
 
James Rhodes is a massive Glenn Gould Geek: throughout his childhood he listened to Gould's recordings, had posters of him on his bedroom walls, and in the years since, those recordings have helped James through some of his darkest times.Gould is globally famous today not just for his astounding recordings as a pianist but also his many idiosyn ...…
 
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Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
 
A radio documentary about a self-confessed 'Irish Vagabond' Tony Sheridan. In his turbulent and rich life he has worked with the Beatles, entertained the troops in Vietnam, played with Elvis Presley's backing band - all that and far more.
 
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Short Cuts
 
Josie Long hears stories of bearing witness - from glimpsing the moment a parent changes to escaping a violent storm.WitnessFeaturing Lois GibsonProduced by Andrea RangecroftTornadoFeaturing David Walker, Lindsay Martindale and Tobey WalkerProduced by Ibby CaputoMusic SFX from theming, digifishmusic, wjoojoo, davethetech, fridobeck, InspectorJ ...…
 
Timothy Morton wants humanity to give up some of its core beliefs, from the fantasy that we can control the planet to the notion that we are ‘above’ other beings. His ideas might sound weird, but they’re catching onWritten by Alex Blasdel and read by Andrew McGregor
 
Everyone thought the election was a foregone conclusion. They had no idea what was really going onWritten by Gary Younge and read by Andrew McGregor
 
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Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
 
During troubled times of grief and sorrow, the undertaker's job is to put the family at ease, guide them through the funeral and help them say goodbye to their loved ones. What type of person goes into the burying business?
 
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Earshot - ABC Radio National
 
Many of us have heard stories about the difficulty of coming out as a gay person. But how do their families experience the coming out process?
 
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Earshot - ABC Radio National
 
It’s been nearly fifty years since gay liberation. Now, queer folk can be who they are almost anywhere, so why do they still love to create specific "queer-friendly" spaces for themselves?
 
Aleks Krotoski takes her seat at the table to explore the amazing world of fictional food made real.Food is not a new force in fiction, but increasingly fictional food is finding its way onto the table. And fan communities from the new breed of modern cultural canon aren't just nibbling on Laura Esquivel's devastating quail in rose petal sauce ...…
 
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Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
 
54-year-old Ray suffers from Sleep Apnoea, a disorder where the sufferer frequently stops breathing during sleep. We meet Ray's family, track his path to recovery, and hear about the dramatic changes that a good night's sleep brings to his life.
 
A new radio play about the moral dilemmas faced by a medical rep in a large pharmaceutical company
 
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Short Cuts
 
Josie Long hears stories of our desire to pause - from dismantling a house which seems stopped in time to the difficulties of watching your child grow up.The House by the CreekProduced by Sophie TownsendPonyProduced by Ibby CaputoPrivate Black Motherhood and Public White ProtestOriginally made for the Hope Chest podcasthttps://stacialbrown.com/ ...…
 
Interconnected technology is now an inescapable reality – ordering our groceries, monitoring our cities and sucking up vast amounts of data along the way. The promise is that it will benefit us all – but how can it? Written by Adam Greenfield and read by Andrew McGregor
 
The red squirrel is under threat of extinction across Britain. Their supporters believe the only way to save them is to exterminate their enemy: the greys. But are they just prejudiced against non-native species?Written by Patrick Barkham and read by Andrew McGregor
 
Laura Barton explores the little known story of a pioneering group of women who unknowingly challenged conventional notions of femininity and their working roles. The Pit Brow Lasses worked within the collieries of 19th century Wigan, Lancashire. Their unique re-appropriation of men's 'breeches' worn underneath hitched up skirts was originally ...…
 
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Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
 
Take a step back to the 1950's and ramble through the narrow streets of Wexford town where its rich and vibrant history can be stumbled upon at every turn. Over the centuries, the people of this medieval town have borne witness to some of the worst massacres in Irish history, famous rebellions, and foreign invasions.…
 
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