300 episodes

Download the latest documentaries investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

The Documentary Podcast BBC

    • History
    • 4.4, 1.2K Ratings

Download the latest documentaries investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

    Milton Nkosi: The apartheid child who changed Africa’s story

    Milton Nkosi: The apartheid child who changed Africa’s story

    As a child of Soweto, apartheid South Africa’s most notorious black township, Milton Nkosi could easily have become an embittered adult; in June 1976 he witnessed the Soweto uprising in which white police brutally suppressed protests by black schoolchildren, leading to many deaths. Yet, as apartheid began to collapse in the early 1990s, Milton found himself drawn into TV journalism; enabling him to question his former tormentors and helping viewers around the world to see the moral case for change. So began a career that took him from translator and fixer to producer and eventually, the head of bureau for the BBC’s news operation in South Africa, where he then sought to diversify coverage of a fast-changing continent. As Milton explains in this conversation with Owen Bennett-Jones, his humble beginnings turned out to be an asset: Among his childhood neighbours in Soweto were anti-apartheid activists including Nelson Mandela’s wife and children, many of whom would become valuable contacts. However, after the transition to democracy in 1994, Milton also had to ask uncomfortable questions of some of them, as claims of corruption emerged within the ANC government. Moral dilemmas such as this defined his working life: Is it even possible to be an impartial reporter when your subject might be a close associate? For Milton, the issues need to be seen in context. As he points out: “Nobody can ever justify apartheid based on the mistakes of the post-apartheid leaders”.

    Produced by Michael Gallagher
    Editor Bridget Harney
    Image: (Milton Nkosi) Christian Parkinson

    • 26 min
    Fighting talk: How language can make us better

    Fighting talk: How language can make us better

    When we talk about cancer it’s often hard to find the right words. As we search for the perfect thing to say, we find ourselves reaching for familiar metaphors; the inspiring people fighting or battling their cancer. Cara Hoofe is currently in remission from Stage 3 bowel cancer, she says it would be easy for her to say she has beaten cancer. Cara asks experts what impact these militaristic metaphors actually have on those living with cancer, and asks current and former patients what we should talk about when we talk about cancer.

    • 27 min
    Introducing The Bomb

    Introducing The Bomb

    Emily’s grandad worked on the bomb that fell on Hiroshima. Could another man – Leo Szilard - have stopped it? This is the new series from the BBC World Service – search for The Bomb wherever you get your podcasts.

    • 2 min
    Vaccines, money and politics

    Vaccines, money and politics

    Nearly every person on the planet is vulnerable to the new coronavirus, SarsCoV2. That’s why there are more than 100 projects around the world racing towards the goal of creating a safe and effective vaccine for the disease it causes, Covid-19, in the next 12 to 18 months. But this is just the first part of a long and complex process, working at a pace and scale never attempted before. In Vaccines, Money and Politics, Sandra Kanthal looks at the vast ecosystem needed to deliver a vaccination programme to the world in record time.

    • 27 min
    BBC OS Conversations: After the Beirut explosion

    BBC OS Conversations: After the Beirut explosion

    Beirut has been left destroyed by this week’s massive explosion: more than a hundred are dead; thousands injured and hundreds of thousands have been left homeless. It has devastated lives, belongings, buildings, businesses. Lebanon was already struggling from challenges on several fronts, including Covid-19. With many questions still to be answered, it is unclear what the longer term effect of this week’s tragedy will be. Nuala McGovern talks to people in Beirut. She hears from eye witnesses who experienced the blast, three young adults who share their fears for the future of Lebanon, and the doctor who helped a mother give birth after the hospital was badly hit by the blast.

    • 24 min
    Worlds Apart

    Worlds Apart

    The pandemic has accelerated de-globalisation. Governments worry now about the length and strength of medical supply chains and cross-border trade and travel. But globalisation has had its critics for quite a time. Nationalism has been powered in many countries by the belief that a globalised world has led to rising inequality and fewer middle income jobs in richer countries. And our global institutions - the IMF, World Bank and World Trade Organisation - are under attack too. Philip Coggan considers the long view, looking back to the last great wave of globalisation that ended abruptly with the Great War of 1914-1918.

    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
1.2K Ratings

1.2K Ratings

BillBlaster1 ,

Interesting Subject Matter

A very well-researched and presented podcast, with professional presenters and it is usually less than 45 minutes in length. Occasionally, the subject will be political, but it is the current events and historical events I enjoy most.

crazyleggs77 ,

Balance in reporting

In order to provide some balance to the “Black America Speaks” podcast you could interview black Americans with a different view of the problem such as Larry Elder or Candace Owens. I will look forward to hearing this podcast from the BBC. However, I am not holding my breath.

sdweller ,

Real news

This podcast is a breath of fresh air during a time when so much news/info is so biased. Real stories presented in a fair and balanced way, fantastic!

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