Radio Diaries

by Radio Diaries & Radiotopia ( · · · · 25 subscribers

First-person diaries, sound portraits, and hidden chapters of history from Peabody Award-winning producer Joe Richman and the Radio Diaries team. From teenagers to octogenarians, prisoners to prison guards, bra saleswomen to lighthouse keepers. The extraordinary stories of ordinary life. Radio Diaries is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at

Back in the 1990s, Joe Richman gave tape recorders to a bunch of teenagers and asked them to report on their own lives. These stories became the series “Teenage Diaries.” 16 years later, in “Teenage Diaries Revisited,” we check back in with this group to see what’s happened in their lives. ** Make your mark. Go to to donate today. #RadiotopiaForever


Tags: radiotopia, prx, society & culture, stories, long

Older Episodes

Thembi Ngubane carried a tape recorder from 2004 to 2005 to document her life. She was willing to speak out at a time when few South Africans were willing to say, “I have AIDS.”
The Last Witness Nov. 29, 2019
For this episode, Radiotopia gave all of us in the network a prompt: if we were to create another show, any show, what would it be? Well, we’d make an obituary show.
The Press is the Enemy Nov. 13, 2019
On November 13, 1969, Spiro Agnew delivered the most famous speech ever given by a vice president. His message: the media is biased.
On July 28, 1945 an Army bomber pilot on a routine ferry mission found himself lost in the fog over Manhattan. A dictation machine in a nearby office happened to capture the sound of the plane as it hit the Empire State Building at the 79th floor.
The Dropped Wrench Oct. 3, 2019
Sometimes, we make mistakes. Human error. It happens all the time. It just doesn’t always happen in a nuclear missile silo.
Prisoners of War Sept. 19, 2019
The forgotten story of an uprising at an American military prison in Vietnam.
In the early 1970's, author Studs Terkel went around the country with a reel- to-reel tape recorder interviewing people about their jobs.
It's not easy being last.
Today…there’s “The Squad.” But 50 years ago, there was only one woman of color in the U.S. Congress, and she was the first. Shirley Chisholm, of New York City, was elected to Congress in a historic victory in 1968. And like the squad...Chisholm made her voice heard.
The Square Deal June 20, 2019
Some people call it "Welfare Capitalism." George F. Johnson calls it "The Square Deal."
This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, a turning point in the gay rights movement. Here at Radio Diaries we have our own small time capsule of how much has changed since then. The very first audio diary we ever did, with Amanda Brand.
Olivia Hooker was six-years-old during the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921.
Many years ago, we gave Juan a recorder to document his life as an undocumented teenager. Almost two decades later, he documents his life again, as an undocumented adult.
The Bonus Army April 18, 2019
In 1932, 20,000 WWI veterans set up a tent city in Washington. They called themselves the Bonus Army.
The Working Tapes April 4, 2019
In the early 1970’s, author Studs Terkel went around the country with a reel- to-reel tape recorder interviewing people about their jobs.
The Story of Jane March 21, 2019
In the decade before Roe vs. Wade, an underground collective of women in Chicago performed 11,000 abortions.
The Ski Troops of WWII March 7, 2019
The men of the 10th Mountain Division led a series of daring assaults against the Nazis in the mountains of Italy. After returning home, many of these soldiers helped to create the modern ski industry.
80 years ago, 20,000 American Nazis threw a party at Madison Square Garden.
A Voicemail Valentine Feb. 11, 2019
Audio love letters from 1930s and 1940s.