Audio stories are everywhere. We collect the best here.

From the Archive

“People spill their guts in their cars.” An interview with Scott Carrier

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How Roman Mars went from studying population genetics to making great radio. A conversation with the creator of 99% Invisible

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A beautiful piece produced by Pejk Malinowski.

Writer Sam Swope visits a class of restless, imaginative 11-year-olds in Queens, New York, where he embraces the challenge of teaching them Wallace Stevens’ poem “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”.

©Joan Colbert

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When a whale washed ashore on the beach of Lubec, the poorest county in Maine, its citizens had to make a decision quickly—how would they get rid of a 60-ton dead whale?

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On a warm October night in 1989, three boys riding their bikes on a deserted stretch were stopped by a man with a gun, dressed in black with his face covered, perhaps by pantyhose. The boys were told to lie in a nearby ditch and each was asked his age. Two were told to run for the woods without looking back, but Jacob was taken. For 27 years, the case went unsolved, no body, no abductor. Until now. night-1130379_960_720

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Playing God
Playing God From Radiolab: In this episode, we follow New York Times reporter Sheri Fink as she searches for the answer. In a warzone, a hurricane, a church basement, and an earthquake, the question remains the same. What happens, what should happen, when humans are forced to play god?

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This American Life: Buddy Picture From This American Life: Producer Jonathan Goldstein with a story about friendship, mothers and sons, and what some have called the greatest phone message in the world—it circulated at Columbia University in New York City, and had something to do with the Little Mermaid.

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HowSound: Barf Draft with an iPhone From HowSound: “Who needs a friend when you have a smart phone? Just record your story into the phone, and then transcribe it.”

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The Heart: The Hurricane
From The Heart: “It was Friday, October 26th of 2012 and Hurricane Sandy was slowly descending upon New York City. Mitra was at dinner with Kaitlin, feeling a bit down in the dumps and she decided to make a love plan that would turn into a prophecy. Upon Mitra’s return home, she finds a man sitting on her couch that she cannot deny her attraction to.”

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New Releases

Shipping containers are the embodiment of modern capitalism. Almost every consumer article you guy has traveled in one. The first of Alexis Madrigal’s eight-part series.

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Howsound picture
Howsound: The Evolution of a Story From Howsound: Producer Kolin Pope’s father was abducted by aliens. Kolin thought he knew how to tell the story until he talked about it in class at the Transom Story Workshop. His ideas were challenged even more when Ira Glass came to class. On this HowSound, Rob talks with Kolin about the evolution of his piece, “I Want To Believe.”

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HowSound: How Not To Write For Radio From HowSound: On this episode of HowSound, I dissect one of the first stories I ever produced and rip the writing to shreds. There are so many mistakes that it takes me 20 minutes to run through them all and I only focus on about a third of the story. My hope is that by hearing what doesn’t work, listeners will hear what does.

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“Short of Breath” is masterful in its telling. The reporting is top-notch, too, though you won’t recognize this piece as traditional journalism, a story about addiction, overdoses, and Narcan, an overdose reversal drug. It’s impossible not to be moved when one mother of an addict says “When you’re in this disease of addiction, you have three alternatives – recovery, jail, or death because there’s really nothing else. He’s done all three now.”

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Milk is often in the very back corner of the grocery store, as far as humanly possible from the entrance. Is its placement the result of a rational economic decision? Or a piece of folk wisdom? The answer is… yes.freebieclouds_milk

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Alex Kotlowitz picks up where he left off last week in our second hour from Harper High School in Chicago. We find out if a shooting in the neighborhood will derail the school’s Homecoming game and dance. We hear the origin story of one of Harper’s gangs. And we ask a group of teenagers: where do you get your guns?

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A charming, convicted murderer who swears he is innocent? A biased investigation and flawed trial? Is Sruthi Pinnamaneni’s On the Inside Reply All‘s Serial?

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In Taiwan, “Für Elise” means it is time to take out your trash. Directly out to the truck. Yourself.

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Engineering NYC from Below: How the subways were built

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The Silence of Mike Daisy This podcast captures some of the most awkward and uncomfortable moments of the retraction episode of Mike Daisey’s story in the This American Life radio show.

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Ghetto Life 101For ten days in 1993, LeAlan Jones, 13, and Lloyd Newman, 14, walked listeners through their daily lives: to school, to an overpass to throw rocks at cars, to a bus ride that takes them out of the ghetto, and to friends and family members in the community. Collaborating with David Isay, they created the documentary Ghetto Life 101, one of the most acclaimed programs in public radio history

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Andy Mills: Kohn A radio story about the peculiar life and voice of Kohn Ashmore, told by Andy Mills with the sounds of Hudson Branch.

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How can Volkswagen recover from their emissions scandal? Maybe they could move their headquarters to Detroit and perform a Hamilton-style rap about it.

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Spruce Goose
The Man in the Road From Love + Radio: On a late night along an empty Utah highway, Melvin Dummar says he came across a bloodied man lying by the road. It’s cliched to say this, but it’s really true: the story of that discovery would profoundly alter the course of his life forever.

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wrestling-logos-clip-art-frbdem-clipartThe story of two all American wrestlers and best friends who ended up on opposite sides of the War on Drugs.

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It’s mid-October, 2013. Freddie Hoyt tries to rally his sales staff to sell 129 cars and trucks by the end of the month. Problem is, the customers are not cooperating.

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“When I was younger, someone took a knife to my clitoris and cut out a small, but significant part of me.” Mariya Karimjee takes us on a journey from her childhood in Pakistan, to her adolescence in Texas, through college, all the way to where she is now, back in Pakistan as she navigates family, love, her body and her personal relationships, all despite the physical and emotional trauma that she has suffered.

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Welcome to Millennial, in which Megan Tan figures out what life after college looks like

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Audio stories are everywhere. We collect the best here.



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The Heard







Robert S. Boynton, editor

Kate Essig, senior editor

Hannah McCarthy, senior editor

Garrett Gardner, designer

Cheyenne Cohen, assistant designer

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