59 episodes

A new generation of journalists are reporting on the ground, documenting the most important stories of their time. Hosted by Charles Sennott, founder of The GroundTruth Project, in partnership with WGBH News.

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    • News
    • 4.7 • 114 Ratings

A new generation of journalists are reporting on the ground, documenting the most important stories of their time. Hosted by Charles Sennott, founder of The GroundTruth Project, in partnership with WGBH News.

    On the Ground: Election Episode – 2020 and Counting

    On the Ground: Election Episode – 2020 and Counting

    The turmoil of the 2020 presidential election campaigns has raised questions about just what it means to vote.

    Who gets to pull the lever? How can someone cast their ballot? Will all of the votes be counted in time?

    GroundTruth’s Voting Rights Fellows share local stories of voters, activists and election officials working to preserve the process this Nov. 3.

    Explore our Election 2020 reporting: https://thegroundtruthproject.org/election-episode-2020-and-counting/

    Keep up with our on-the-ground reporting: https://bit.ly/2Jj1BRL

    • 46 min
    On the Ground in Kentucky's District 67

    On the Ground in Kentucky's District 67

    When you think about Kentucky's deep red politics today, it's likely the face of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his laconic drawl that comes to mind. But one northern corner of this solidly Republican state is streaked blue by its state house representation.


    Covering local government in northern Kentucky through our Report for America program, reporter Julia Fair with the Cincinnati Enquirer has been following this trend just across the Ohio River. It’s there, in Kentucky's District 67, that she’s been covering a race for the Kentucky general assembly. And though you may think you know where this story is headed, it’s not politics as usual. As Julia says, in her time reporting on local politics, she’s never seen a race quite like this – one that is starkly framed by a time of deep political divides.

    Sign up for the On the Ground newsletter for the latest dispatches from across the United States

    • 12 min
    On the Ground in the Mississippi Delta

    On the Ground in the Mississippi Delta

    The origins of Blues music is a complex weave of traditions, and the genre echoes suffering and endurance through centuries of hardship. Evolving from blended musical forms brought to the United States by enslaved Africans, then taking on the rhythm of work in the fields and heart of spirituals, the oppressive environment of the Jim Crow South ultimately shaped the Blues as we know it today.

    Today, the Blues are more often romanticized as the ballads of down and out troubadours, rambling and poor, but following their passion for music. Blues legend Robert Johnson’s story epitomizes these hard realities and an enduring mythology that surrounds his memory. Legend has it that Johnson signed a deal with the devil to perfect his guitar playing. And like so many legends, mystery shrouds the actual person and what really happened in his 27 years on earth, how he died and where he is buried. Until 2002, nobody knew for certain where the King of the Delta Blues Singers was laid to rest.

    Report for America corps member Alexandra Watts takes us on a journey to Robert Johnson’s final resting place in the Mississippi Delta.

    Listen to our Blues playlist: https://bit.ly/3imgIWn


    Get weekly On the Ground updates: https://bit.ly/3duok6K

    • 23 min
    On the Ground with Report for America: Woods Hole, Massachusetts

    On the Ground with Report for America: Woods Hole, Massachusetts

    For most of us, it's hard to ignore the rising threat of climate change. But the sheer magnitude of the devastation it could cause is daunting. For those journalists trying to convey the sense of urgency to the public, it can become overwhelming. Living on Cape Cod, where towns and residents are trying to beat back rising tides with seawalls and sand, WCAI climate change reporter Eve Zuckoff is finding it difficult to build barriers of her own – between the existential threat she covers professionally and her life outside of work.

    Learn more: https://gtruth.co/35kZh5Z

    • 13 min
    On the Ground with Report for America: Chicago's South Side

    On the Ground with Report for America: Chicago's South Side

    For many growing up in Chicago, the barber shop is a refuge. Raised on the Windy City's West Side, Report for America corps member Manny Ramos knows that fact well.

    "Barbers do more than just cut hair," he says, "they record history."

    They hear about the aspirations of the people whose hair they trim, and whose major life events they mark together. Ramos' reporting shows us how the barber shop has come to play a key role as a "community center" in Chicago, and how the loss of one barber rippled through the South Side.

    Learn more: https://gtruth.co/2E8THIN

    • 19 min
    On the Ground with Report for America: Inside Mississippi's Prison System

    On the Ground with Report for America: Inside Mississippi's Prison System

    In August 2018, well before any thought of a pandemic sweeping the country, Mississippi’s prison system saw a spike in inmate deaths. Correctional officials attributed many of these to “natural causes.” But these deaths aren't the only concerns for inmates and their families. Conditions in some of these prisons – men sleeping five to a cell or the sparse and unappetizing meals they get on a day to day basis or what the showers look like – have come to light through documentation by the inmates themselves. For this episode, Report for America corps member Michelle Liu takes us inside her investigation into these unexplained deaths, why the victims’ families remain in the dark and what life is like for the inmates within the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Read Liu's in-depth reporting and further reporting on inmate rights, along with some of the sounds behind the story here: https://gtruth.co/3fEo4TY

    • 19 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
114 Ratings

114 Ratings

Abbie Shull ,

Deadly Force

Fantastic episode showcasing the reporting being done by RFA journalists. Looking forward to more episodes.

cadoyle_18 ,

“Almost Independence Day”

I really appreciate the attention to detail in this episode. You feel immersed in Jackson (listening to the cacophony of cicadas and chirps of birds you can almost feel the humidity in the air). It was heartbreaking to hear Marilyn talk about Lee Eric and her loss. And I really appreciate how Eric shares how emotional he was and felt about reporting on the story.

habibinumber5 ,

Love S9 E3

This particular episode is a testament to the strengths of the GroundTruth podcast: a mix of news reporting, behind the scenes journalism, and angles on national stories you can’t get anywhere else

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