The documentary unit of APM Reports (formerly American RadioWorks) has produced more than 140 programs on topics such as health, history, education and justice.
In Deep: One City's Year of Climate Chaos
Most scientists believe climate change is increasing the severity of the storms we experience, and how quickly they intensify. After suffering two hurricanes, a winter storm, and devastating flooding in less than a year, Lake Charles, Louisiana, offers a troubling view of the wrenching, disturbingly inequitable effects of climate change.
In Deep: One City’s Year of Climate Chaos offers a rich journalistic portrait of a working-class city and its residents at a perilous moment in our planet’s existence.
Read the story.
Under Pressure: The College Mental Health Crisis
Even before the pandemic, campus counselling services were reporting a marked uptick in the number of students with anxiety, clinical depression and other serious psychiatric problems. What is a college’s responsibility for helping students navigate mental health challenges, and how well are colleges rising to the task?
Read more: Inside the college mental health crisis
Who Wants to Be a Teacher?
Many schools around the country are struggling to find enough teachers. Large numbers of teachers quit after a short time on the job, so schools are constantly struggling to replace them. The problem is particularly acute at rural schools and urban schools. The most common level of experience of teachers in the United States now is one year on the job.
At the same time, enrollment in teacher training programs at colleges and universities is plummeting, and schools are looking to other sources to fill classrooms.
In Nevada, a desperate need for teachers this year led to allowing people with just a high school diploma to fill in as substitutes. Oklahoma recently changed its law to allow people with a bachelor’s degree — in anything — to teach indefinitely on emergency teaching certificates. Schools in Texas are increasingly turning to for-profit teacher training programs.
Data we obtained shows that nearly one in four of the teachers hired in Texas last year came through a single for-profit online program — one that’s now making its way into other states. We’ll look at the implications of these changes, both for children and for the teaching force.
Read more: Texas company fuels rise of for-profit teacher training programs
Fading Beacon: Why America is Losing International Students
Colleges and universities in the United States attract more than a million international students a year. Higher education is one of America’s top service exports, generating $42 billion in revenue. But the money spigot is closing. The pandemic, visa restrictions, rising tuition and a perception of poor safety in America have driven new international student enrollment down by a jaw-dropping 72 percent.
Read more: The U.S. may never regain its dominance as a destination for international students. Here's why that matters.
The Jail Tapes in the Dumpster
Sixteen-year-old Myon Burrell was sent to prison for life after a stray bullet killed an 11-year-old girl in Minneapolis in 2002. Amy Klobuchar, who was Minneapolis’ top prosecutor, brought first-degree murder charges as part of a national crackdown on gang violence — a crackdown that engulfed young men of color.
Burrell maintained his innocence for 18 years in prison. AP reporter Robin McDowell spent a year looking into Burrell’s case and found that multiple people had lied about Burrell’s involvement in the shooting, and police didn’t talk to his alibi witnesses. In December 2020, the state commuted Burrell’s sentence, allowing him to walk free.
This end to a prison sentence is rare: Burrell’s case was the first time in at least 28 years that Minnesota commuted a sentence for a violent crime case. But the factors that put Burrell in prison are not rare at all. According to The Sentencing Project, there are 10,000 people serving life sentences in the U.S. for crimes committed when they were juveniles. Half of them are Black. Burrell’s longshot reveals just how difficult it is to right a wrong in our criminal justice system. How many other Myons are there?
The Bad Place
More than 40 states have sent their most vulnerable kids to facilities run by a for-profit company named Sequel. Many of those kids were abused there. Read more.
Thank you Lauren Brown for sharing your and other Black students’ experiences at Mizzou. May it inspire us all do (much) better.
I love history so I love this podcast
Well reported and interesting
Always enjoy listening to this one. The series on Japanese internment was especially riveting.