Audio stories are everywhere. We collect the best here.

From the Archive

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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This American Life: Love Is A Battlefield. From This American Life: Alix Spiegel tells the story of a couple, Heidi and Rick Solomon, who adopt a son who was raised in terrible circumstances in a Romanian orphanage, unable to feel attachments to anyone…and what they do about it. Alix reports on mental health for NPR. (27 minutes)

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HowSound: Love Is A Battlefield
Rob Rosenthal interviews Invisibilia’s Alix Spiegel about her story “Love Is A Battlefield,” and the massive planning and interview prep that can go into making a great radio story.

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Jack Hitt tells the story of a small town production of Peter Pan, in which the flying apparatus smacks the actors into the furniture, and Captain Hook’s hook flies off his arm and hits an old woman in the stomach. By the end of the evening, firemen have arrived and all the normal boundaries between audience and actors have completely dissolved

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Bring Extra Batteries! The Audio Gospel According to Rob Rosenthal

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Kaitlin Prest makes radical radio at The Heart. She brings voice to the thoughts, that even when we’re not keeping them to ourselves, we’re definitely not putting on the air.

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In the 1950s, the Swan Silvertones turned the old spiritual “Mary, Don’t You Weep” into a recording that has inspired everyone from Paul Simon to Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.

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New Releases

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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Welcome to The Intersection of Golden Gate Avenue and Leavenworth Street in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district

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In 1996 Bill Clinton ended welfare as we knew it, requiring poor people to get a job instead of a handout. The new policy was based on a successful pilot program in Riverside, California. But what it was all a mistake? csm_Welfare_work_5a825baf69

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There’s a black hole in the middle of the history of life: how did we go from tiny bags of chemicals to the vast menagerie of creatures we see around us?

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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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854 Is someone who gives a cop the finger a brave defender of free-speech? Or just an adolescent jerk?

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Gentrification is something everyone is talking about, but what is it? When a neighborhood changes, how does it happen and why? And who decides?

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A father of twin teenage boys finds the internet a scary place for impressionable minds.

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Before Kathleen Hanna, there was riot grrrl Alice Bag, lead screamer for the early LA punk band The Bags. Growing up a misfit led Alice to find her own place in the punk scene.tumblr_mj9lp9tUBb1s59paio2_500

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Audio stories are everywhere. We collect the best here.



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The Heard







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