200 episodes

From prisons to protests, immigration to the environment, Peabody Award-winning Reveal goes deep into the pressing issues of our times. The Atlantic says “the experience of each episode is akin to a spoonful of sugar, even when it’s telling a story about Richard Spencer’s cotton farms or a man’s final days as a heroin addict.” Reveal is a project of The Center for Investigative Reporting and is co-produced with PRX. The show is hosted by Al Letson and partners with reporters and newsrooms around the world, including The Washington Post, ProPublica, APM, The Marshall Project and The Investigative Fund. Reveal is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and has won many broadcast journalism awards, including a duPont and three national Emmys.

Reveal The Center for Investigative Reporting

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From prisons to protests, immigration to the environment, Peabody Award-winning Reveal goes deep into the pressing issues of our times. The Atlantic says “the experience of each episode is akin to a spoonful of sugar, even when it’s telling a story about Richard Spencer’s cotton farms or a man’s final days as a heroin addict.” Reveal is a project of The Center for Investigative Reporting and is co-produced with PRX. The show is hosted by Al Letson and partners with reporters and newsrooms around the world, including The Washington Post, ProPublica, APM, The Marshall Project and The Investigative Fund. Reveal is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and has won many broadcast journalism awards, including a duPont and three national Emmys.

    Mississippi Goddam Chapter 1: The Promise

    Mississippi Goddam Chapter 1: The Promise

    Billey Joe Johnson Jr. was a high school football star headed for the big time. Then, early one morning in 2008, the Black teenager died during a traffic stop with a White deputy. His family’s been searching for answers ever since.

    Ten years ago, Reveal host Al Letson traveled to Lucedale, Mississippi, to report on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. While there, locals told him there was another story he should be looking into: Johnson’s suspicious death.  

    During a traffic stop with a White deputy, police say Johnson died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. But for Johnson’s family, that explanation never made sense. 

    In the first episode of this seven-part series, Letson returns to Mississippi with reporter Jonathan Jones to explore what happened to Johnson – and what justice means in a place haunted by its history.

    • 50 min
    When Abusers Keep Their Guns

    When Abusers Keep Their Guns

    Reveal’s Jennifer Gollan leads an investigation that exposes the consequences of passing gun laws with no teeth. For the first time, Reveal tallies the number of intimate partners, children and bystanders whose lives are shattered by abusers who fail to give up their firearms. Our analysis of 21 states finds that from 2017 through 2020, at least 110 intimate partners, children and bystanders were killed by suspects using guns they weren’t allowed to have under federal law and, in some cases, state law as well. This is likely a massive undercount because the federal government does not track the number of people killed by intimate partners who are prohibited from possessing guns. 

    We meet Chad Absher, who even as a young man could not control his rage. He was convicted of shooting at an ex-girlfriend's house, which meant he could never have a gun again. Absher’s story with guns should have ended there, but it didn’t. 

    Gollan picks up his story years later when Absher starts dating another young woman, Ashlee Rucker. It isn’t long before he becomes controlling and abusive, and Rucker wants out of the relationship. But Absher won’t let go and, once again, threatens violence. Despite the law, he has a firearm. 

    In the final segment, Gollan tracks the law enforcement failures that make it possible for felons such as Absher to possess guns. From the local sheriff to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and a member of Congress, Gollan discovers that laws that have been on the books for decades have very few enforcement mechanisms. She also speaks with a prosecutor in King County, Washington, which is trying to make the laws work as they were originally intended.

    • 51 min
    Preview Mississippi Goddam: The Ballad of Billey Joe

    Preview Mississippi Goddam: The Ballad of Billey Joe

    Sometimes one story can tell you everything about race and justice in America. Reveal’s new series, “Mississippi Goddam: the Ballad of Billey Joe” is that story. With a title inspired by Nina Simone’s civil rights anthem, Reveal weaves the history of the criminal justice system with the case of a Black high school football star who died during a traffic stop with a white deputy.

    Hear this exclusive preview of Reveal's new seven-part series, dropping weekly starting October 16, 2021.

    • 4 min
    Preview Mississippi Goddam: The Ballad of Billey Joe

    Preview Mississippi Goddam: The Ballad of Billey Joe

    Sometimes one story can tell you everything about race and justice in America. Reveal’s new series, “Mississippi Goddam: the Ballad of Billey Joe” is that story. With a title inspired by Nina Simone’s civil rights anthem, Reveal weaves the history of the criminal justice system with the case of a Black high school football star who died during a traffic stop with a white deputy.

    Hear this exclusive preview of Reveal's new seven-part series, dropping weekly starting October 16, 2021.

    • 4 min
    Weapons with minds of their own

    Weapons with minds of their own

    The future of warfare is being shaped by computer algorithms that are assuming ever greater control over battlefield technology. Will this give machines the power to decide who to kill?    

    The United States is in a race to harness gargantuan leaps in artificial intelligence to develop new weapons systems for a new kind of warfare. Pentagon leaders call it “algorithmic warfare.” But the push to integrate AI into battlefield technology raises a big question: How far should we go in handing control of lethal weapons to machines?

    We team up with The Center for Public Integrity and national security reporter Zachary Fryer-Biggs to examine how AI is transforming warfare and our own moral code. 

    In our first story, Fryer-Biggs and Reveal’s Michael Montgomery head to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Sophomore cadets are exploring the ethics of autonomous weapons through a lab simulation that uses miniature tanks programmed to destroy their targets.

    Next, Fryer-Biggs and Montgomery talk to a top general leading the Pentagon’s AI initiative. They also explore the legendary hackers conference known as DEF CON and hear from technologists campaigning for a global ban on autonomous weapons.

    Machines are getting smarter, faster and better at figuring out who to kill in battle. But should we let them?

    • 50 min
    A Racial Reckoning at Doctors Without Borders

    A Racial Reckoning at Doctors Without Borders

    For decades, Doctors Without Borders has been admired for bringing desperately needed medical care to crises around the globe and pioneering modern-day humanitarian aid. It’s an organization with radical roots, promising to do whatever it takes to deliver life-saving care to people in need. But now, it’s struggling to address institutional racism.

    The organization, also known by its French acronym MSF, has about 63,000 people working in 88 countries. While foreign doctors parachuting into crisis zones get most of the attention, 90 percent of the work is being done by local health workers. 

    In the summer of 2020, more than 1,000 current and former staffers wrote a letter calling out institutional racism at MSF. They say that MSF operates a two-tiered tiered system that favors foreign doctors, or expat doctors, over local health workers. 

    On the eve of MSF’s 50th anniversary, reporters Mara Kardas-Nelson, Ngozi Cole and Sean Campbell talked to about 100 current and former MSF workers to investigate how deep these issues run. We meet Dr. Indira Govender, a South African doctor who in 2011 accepted what she thought was her dream job with MSF in South Africa, only to get a front-row seat to the organization’s institutional racism. Even though she’s officially the second-in-command of her project, she says it feels like a select group of European expats and White South Africans are running the show.  

    Then, Kardas-Nelson and Cole take us inside the inequities MSF staffers experienced during the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. While expat doctors had their meals together and socialized, local health workers were left out. But inequities ran deeper. If expat doctors got sick, they would be evacuated out of the country, while local workers didn’t get that care – they were treated at the same center where they worked. Kardas-Nelson and Cole reported the story from Sierra Leone in the Spring of 2021 and spoke to former National MSF clinicians.

    Finally, we talk about what can change in humanitarian aid. Govender is part of a group of current and former MSF workers called Decolonize MSF. While she and others are pushing the organization to commit to changes that address racial inequities, some are skeptical about what will actually change. 

    This week’s episode was created in partnership with the global news site Insider.

    • 50 min

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