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The FRONTLINE Dispatch Podcast

The FRONTLINE Dispatch Podcast

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FRONTLINE has produced over 500 documentary films on contemporary social and political issues in the past 20 years. And you can not only watch most of them online for free through the PBS FRONTLINE website, but you can also listen to over 50 of them on the Frontline Audiocast Podcast. While the popular Frontline Audiocast Podcast lacked the visual component, it still was usually comprehendible as an audio podcast with some audio cues to aid listeners. Now FRONTLINE has launched their first audio-only podcast in The FRONTLINE Dispatch Podcast and it applies FRONTLINE’s investigative reporting to the podcast medium with superb audio documentaries.

This new podcast currently features five audio documentaries. In each documentary a journalist guides you through the story as it is interspersed with interviews and audio source material to aid in the storytelling. For an interesting listen, check out the episode “The Housing Fix” which examines the complicated relationship between slum landlords, tenants, and city planners, as many living in poverty are evicted from their homes to make way for pricier housing developments. Set in the city neighborhoods of Dallas, but indicative of what’s happening in many U.S. urban cities, the audio documentary paints a complex portrait of the challenges in maintaining affordable living conditions for the nation’s poor and lower middle class. That’s just one of the audio documentaries you can hear in this new podcast from FRONTLINE that you’ll probably want to subscribe to.

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  • Living With Murder: Part Two
    Wed, Nov 22, 2017

    At 15, after committing a brutal murder, Kempis Songster was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. But now he has a chance to be free, thanks to a series of recent Supreme Court rulings that found the sentences of thousands of inmates who, like Songster, committed their crimes as juveniles, to be unconstitutional.

    This is Part Two of his story. It was produced by Samantha Broun and Jay Allison.

  • Living With Murder: Part One
    Thu, Nov 16, 2017

    At 15, after committing a brutal murder, Kempis Songster was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. But now he has a chance to be free, thanks to a series of recent Supreme Court rulings that found the sentences of thousands of inmates who, like Songster, committed their crimes as juveniles, to be unconstitutional.

    This is Part One of his story. It was produced by Samantha Broun and Jay Allison.

  • A Life Sentence: Victims, Offenders, Justice And My Mother
    Thu, Nov 09, 2017

    There are more than 2,000 people in prisons around the country who were convicted of murder as juveniles and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. But recent Supreme Court decisions have found these sentences unconstitutional and set in motion a process for re-evaluating these “juvenile lifers.” 

    To close out the first season of The FRONTLINE Dispatch, we have three stories about juvenile lifers. This first is the story of a violent crime committed by a juvenile lifer whose second chance went horribly wrong. It is an intensely personal documentary, but it carries far-reaching implications that extend into public life and into the heart of our political and correctional systems.

    This piece was produced by Samantha Broun and Jay Allison. It was originally made in 2016 for the public radio website Transom.org. Listen to it here: http://transom.org/2016/a-life-sentence-victims-offenders-justice-and-my-mother/. We are presenting an update to a version that aired later that year on This American Life: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/604/20-years-later

    Next on The FRONTLINE Dispatch: the mini-series continues with two more stories about juvenile life without parole from producers Samantha Broun and Jay Allison.

  • Notes from an Invisible War
    Thu, Oct 26, 2017

    Children describing the sounds that bombs make as they fall. Streets covered with rotting garbage. Doctors and nurses who have gone months without pay, at hospitals struggling to care for an influx of cholera patients and malnourished infants.

    In Yemen, two-plus years of airstrikes by a coalition being led by Saudi Arabia and receiving weapons and tactical assistance from the United States, have led to what the United Nations has called the “largest humanitarian crisis” in the world. FRONTLINE filmmaker Martin Smith and his team witnessed chaos on a rare trip inside the country, a peek inside a largely invisible war. Few foreign journalists are given permission to enter Yemen.

    “People are not seeing what’s going on. We’re talking thousands of civilian dead,” said Smith.

    This story is from correspondent Martin Smith. Michelle Mizner and Sara Obeidat produced this story originally as a short film. They, along with Sophie McKibben, adapted the film for the podcast. Scott Anger recorded the sound in Yemen. The reporting for this story was done as part of an upcoming FRONTLINE special on the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Airing in 2018, the documentary will trace the roots of the Sunni-Shia divide, and explore how a proxy war between the two countries is devastating the Middle East.

    The FRONTLINE Dispatch is made possible by the Abrams Foundation Journalism Initiative. Major support for this story was provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with additional support from the Henry Luce Foundation.

    For more in-depth reporting on the crisis in Yemen – visit pbs.org/frontline.

  • The Housing Fix
    Thu, Oct 12, 2017

    Millions of Americans can’t afford rent and only a quarter of those who need government help get it. What happens to everyone else? For many, it means they live in squalor. But figuring out who’s responsible is harder than you think. In this episode of the FRONTLINE DISPATCH, NPR correspondent Laura Sullivan heads to Dallas where the city, low income residents and a prominent landlord sometimes described as a slumlord, become the moving pieces in a century-and-a-half old problem.

    This episode was done in collaboration with NPR.

  • Boom Town
    Thu, Sep 28, 2017

    In 2016, a 5.0 magnitude earthquake hit the small town of Cushing, Oklahoma, severely damaging the town. Cushing isn’t the type of place that’s supposed to have such a problem with earthquakes. Until about 2009, they only had one or two a year. But in the last few years, tied to an increased use of wastewater disposal (a by-product of the oil industry) the number of earthquakes has risen dramatically, and now Cushing, along with much of Oklahoma, shakes hundreds of times a year.

    Cushing is a major hub of American oil — known as “the pipeline crossroads of the world,” the Keystone pipeline and many other major pipelines run beneath it, and above ground, the town stores tens of millions of barrels of oil in its tank farms. Oil is the town’s economic lifeblood, and so the big quake, and the question of who to hold responsible for it, caused real division between neighbors.

    In this episode of The FRONTLINE Dispatch, reporter Sandy Tolan goes to Cushing to find out how the earthquakes impact a town built on oil.

    This story was produced by Jamie York and Sophie McKibben.

    Find us on the web at pbs.org/frontlinedispatch

  • Child Marriage in America
    Thu, Sep 14, 2017

    In the summer after 9th grade, 14-year-old Heather discovered she was pregnant. Her boyfriend Aaron was 24. At the time, marriage seemed like it could be a solution to their problems — and maybe a way to keep Aaron out of jail.

    In this episode of the FRONTLINE Dispatch, reporter Anjali Tsui and producer Sophie McKibben go inside a battle playing out over child marriage in America.

    Anjali Tsui is an Abrams Journalism Fellow through the FRONTLINE/Columbia Journalism School Fellowships.

    For more on child marriage in America – visit pbs.org/frontlinedispatch.

    Editor’s Note: After publication of this episode, the Tennessee Department of Health alerted us to an error in the marriage data they provided to FRONTLINE. According to the department, children as young as 10, 11 and 12 were not given marriage licenses in their state. 

  • Coming September 14th
    Tue, Sep 05, 2017

    Some stories are meant to be heard. A new narrative podcast from the producers and reporters of the PBS investigative documentary series FRONTLINE. New episodes biweekly. Subscribe now.

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