Best Documentaries podcasts (Updated September 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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show episodes
 
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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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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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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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show series
 
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Earshot - ABC Radio National
 
The lush, deep-red Siamese rosewood is so desirable people risk their lives to get it — Thailand.
 
In this documentary we hear archive of the renowned American writer James Baldwin in conversation with contemporary writers and activists. Exploring the reasons behind the resonance and resurgence of his work and analysis thirty years after his death.Baldwin was a gay African American writer whose novels including Go Tell it on the Mountain and ...…
 
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Seriously...
 
The poet Ross Sutherland takes a visceral look at the art of professional wrestling - from its violent theatre to its tendency to bleed through the fourth wall. Exploring the porous boundary between the reality of the ring and the world outside, searching for the edges of the story.Ross speaks to wrestlers and writers, diving into the world of ...…
 
Lauri Love is charged with masterminding a 2013 attack by Anonymous on US government websites. Will Britain allow him to spend the rest of his days in an American prison? • Read the text version here
 
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Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
 
Spy stories typically start on dimly lit streets in Eastern Europe, not in Dublin suburbia. But this isn’t your typical spy story. An Irish KGB ring, deadly poisonings, arms deals - Irish people have been involved, knowingly or unknowingly, in the deeply secret world of Russian spying. Enter the shadowy realm of Ireland and Russian espionage (2017)…
 
In " Unrest," filmmaker Jennifer Brea chronicles the mysterious illness Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, better known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, including her own moving struggle. Victims not only suffer multiple disabilities, but also from medical confusion over the illness and media skepticism. — Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen For more inform ...…
 
Secret languages, loving acts of translation and musical instruments with an unrecognised power - Josie Long presents new documentaries about translation.From the man who introduced a poet to Iran through a tender act of love for his father, to a debate about breaching the peace.The StashFeaturing Lou SavelliMusic by the Cabinet of Living Cinem ...…
 
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Seriously...
 
Lots of people wear wigs, and go to great lengths to keep them secret - but why? Perhaps it's because the hair on top of our heads means so much to us. It's a crucial part of our identity, the person we see when we look in the mirror, so what happens when it's not there?It's a question Brian Kernohan has asked himself. Yes, his hair's thinning ...…
 
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Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
 
This documentary looks at the effect that unemployment in the 1980s had on the people of Arklow, especially women. With most of the men were unemployed, women in Arklow started to look for opportunities outside the home and joined mostly female led courses to prepare them for future opportunities. (1981)…
 
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Earshot - ABC Radio National
 
Ross Langdon was a remarkable young Tasmanian architect who died at the hands of Somali terror group Al Shabaab. He has left a legacy across East Africa of striking designs that worked with the environment and local communities.
 
In 2014, documents alleging a conspiracy to Islamise Birmingham schools were leaked to the media, sparking a national scandal. The papers were debunked, but the story remains as divisive as ever. What really happened? • Read the text version here
 
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Earshot - ABC Radio National
 
The pangolin is a small peculiar scaled mammal and is the most trafficked creature on the planet — Vietnam.
 
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Seriously...
 
With more than 30 million presentations being given around the world every day, PowerPoint has become the single most ubiquitous tool for presenting ideas. Yet it's the software many of us love to hate - vilified for simplifying the complex and complicating the simple. 30 years on from its commercial launch, Ian Sansom asks, 'What's the real po ...…
 
After 50 years of making films about institutions, Frederick Wiseman’s latest is “Ex Libris - The New York Public Library.” The documentary covers multiple angles - from serving patrons to soliciting funds - to make an eloquent case for the library’s value to the city. — Thom Powers and Raphaela Neihausen For more information, click here to vis ...…
 
Producer Patricia Baker joins a group of Irish fisherman who, along with their daily catch, are also working to clean up our oceans in: Fishing For Litter.
 
Producer Patricia Baker joins a group of Irish fisherman who, along with their daily catch, are also working to clean up our oceans in: Fishing For Litter.
 
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Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
 
More than ten thousand deaths a year in Ireland are reported to the Coroner's office. Two thousand of those will proceed to an inquest hearing .Ruairi McKenna follows the work of two coroners, in Kerry and Mayo and meets the people they serve, hearing stories form people who are looking to establish their loved ones' cause of death. (2017)…
 
Radio play skewering the world of performance poetry workshops. Executive produced by Gareth Stack, writing / direction by Roger Gregg
 
Radio play skewering the world of performance poetry workshops. Executive produced by Gareth Stack, writing / direction by Roger Gregg
 
Beneath the canopy lies at last a healthy and rich biodiversity — Myanmar.
 
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Short Cuts
 
Escape artists, losing control of your body and losing yourself in water - Josie Long takes a twilight stroll across Hampstead Heath while she presents stories of movement.PondFeaturing Jessica J LeeMovementFeaturing Ian WatermanProduced by Rachel SimpsonOriginal interview recorded for the Empathy MuseumLakeFeaturing Jessica J LeeEinsteinProduc ...…
 
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Seriously...
 
This summer's spate of acid attacks have caused concern for both the public and authorities. The seemingly random selection of victims by perpetrators, and the suspected use of acid by criminal gangs, seems to be a new twist in a story which has previously seen acid used in more targeted crimes against a specific person.And the ease with which ...…
 
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Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
 
Three wishes in the life of John Bradburne. A mystic, pilgrim, and poet he joined the war in 1939 looking for adventure but instead, he found religion. He converted to Catholicism and began his pilgrim across the world. His last journey was to a leper colony in Zimbabwe where he fell victim to its civil war. Did he get his last wish? (1981)…
 
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Earshot - ABC Radio National
 
A story of dreaming big. One man's great scheme, in Depression era Australia, to invent a waterproof football.
 
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Earshot - ABC Radio National
 
What happens when the person you love commits an abhorrent crime?
 
The Great Galveston Hurricane arrived on a Saturday, September 8, 1900 — almost without warning. Galveston, the grand dame of Texas, a vibrant port city sitting haughtily on a sand bar facing the Gulf, was reduced to a splintered wasteland. Some 6,000 people perished on the island and at least 4000-6000 on the mainland. Survivors struggled to s ...…
 
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The Guardian's Audio Long Reads
 
Since 1958, a small department of Germany’s government has sought to bring members of the Third Reich to trial. A handful of prosecutors are still tracking down Nazis, but the world’s biggest cold-case investigation will soon be shut down • Read the text version here
 
Public schools are denying children with dyslexia proper treatment and often failing to identify them in the first place.
 
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Earshot - ABC Radio National
 
The last of the forest songbirds — Indonesia.
 
Susan Marling travels to Concord Massachusetts where the 200th birthday of Thoreau raises new questions about his legacy.
 
What stories are hiding among the paints and pigments in an art supplies shop?L Cornelissen & Son has been supplying artists since the 19th century. Based in a little shop near the British Museum, it's a Victorian throwback - all dark wood, high shelves and creaky floorboards. Jars of pigment 'glint like jewels in the semi-dark' (as Derek Jarma ...…
 
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The Guardian's Audio Long Reads
 
In May of last year, a teenager in a dreary suburb of Paris live-streamed her own suicide – and acquired a morbid kind of digital celebrity • Read the text version here
 
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Documentary of the Week
 
Nicely timed for September, the documentary "School Life” is set at Headfort boarding school in County Kells, Ireland. Filmmakers Neasa Ní Chianáin and David Rane aren’t entering any debate over education. Instead, the film plays as a light comedy as they sweetly observe the staff and students growing together over a year. — Thom Powers and Rap ...…
 
President Trump is ending DACA, which allowed some 800,000 undocumented young people to stay and work in the United States. For some, that may mean the end of a dream of going to college. This program profiles DACA students and their opponents and examines a key court case and political forces that led to this moment.…
 
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Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
 
Eric Dorman O'Gowan was an Irish general in the British Army who fought in WW1 and outfoxed the Germans during WW2, yet was sacked by a British Prime Minister. He later became an advisor for the I.R.A, turning his back on the British. Delve into the unorthodox life of one of Ireland's most remarkable mavericks, known as ‘The Brigadier’ (2017).…
 
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Short Cuts
 
A disembodied voice, digital ghosts and the contraptions we build that alter our humanity - Josie Long presents new short documentaries about machines.We hear from the voice of Siri in the UK about losing control of what you say. Also - the story of a digital version of yourself outliving you and our relationship to the tools we build and the s ...…
 
After the violence directed at black people in Nottingham and Notting Hill in the 1950s, and the naked racism expressed in Smethwick during the 1964 general election, a group of pioneering West Indians came up with a simple and defiant riposte: Carnival. In Queens of Chapeltown, Colin Grant goes behind the scenes of Carnival to its Leeds West I ...…
 
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Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
 
Irish tenor and actor, Colm Wilkinson, best known for originating the role of Jean Valjean in Les Misérables in the West End and Broadway talks about his life in musical theatre and preparing to leave this iconic character behind as he moves on to new productions. (1987)
 
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Earshot - ABC Radio National
 
Come on a tour through the southers states of the USA where optimism abounds amongst women of every racial and economic background.
 
The word has become a rhetorical weapon, but it properly names the reigning ideology of our era – one that venerates the logic of the market and strips away the things that make us human • Read the text version here
 
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Earshot - ABC Radio National
 
Leigh lost everything when he was caught stealing from his employer. What drove him to step over that moral line?
 
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Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
 
60 years ago, Mick Mallon left his home in Ireland, eventually settling in remote arctic Canada. Fascinated by language, Mick began to learn Inuktitut, the native language of the Inuit Eskimo. But not only did he learn to speak one of the most difficult languages in the world, he created a way to teach it - and save it from extinction. (2017)…
 
In 2011 a tsunami engulfed Japan’s north-east coast. More than 18,000 people were killed. Six years later, in one community, survivors are still tormented by a catastrophic split-second decision • Read the text version here
 
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Documentary of the Week
 
Nearly one in six American couples are unable to naturally conceive a baby and carry it to term. The documentary “Vegas Baby” follows the contestants in a controversial contest to win in-vitro fertilization treatment. Filmmaker Amanda Micheli shines a light on infertility issues by creating memorable portraits of these people and their struggle ...…
 
Marking the 20th anniversary of her untimely death, Archive on 4 presents a unique and moving portrait of Diana, Princess of Wales - her life documented in reverse chronology.Diana, Princess of Wales was arguably the most famous - and most photographed - woman in the world. Her life has been exhaustively discussed and disassembled in the media ...…
 
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Short Cuts
 
Josie Long hears stories of heartbreak. Difficult love, women encoded in music and rebuilding yourself after you've been broken.Laura Barton offers a tender exploration of complex, enduring love, Natalie Kestecher rebuilds herself after a sudden shock and we dive into the sound of heartache.Tough LoveFeaturing Laura BartonTwenty-ThreeProduced b ...…
 
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Seriously...
 
Suicide is the number one killer of men under-50 in England and Wales. A 'zero suicide' approach to prevention first devised in Detroit is now changing attitudes to care in the UK. Merseyside is leading the way. Radio 4 gains exclusive access to a healthcare authority being transformed from the inside-out in a bid to treat suicide as a preventa ...…
 
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Documentary on One - RTÉ Documentaries
 
A day on the beat with Irish American detectives from the NYPD Homicide Squad who police the streets of Harlem. By the late 1970s, violent crime was a daily part of life in New York City, and the police had to deal with gruesome murder scenes and criminals who were armed and dangerous. (1978)
 
Darwin, like every other modern city, has contradictory policies when it comes to dealing with it's homeless population. But, in Darwin the difficulties are visible.
 
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The Guardian's Audio Long Reads
 
The oh-so-Instagrammable food movement has been thoroughly debunked – but it shows no signs of going away. The real question is why we were so desperate to believe it • Read the text version here
 
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