Specials and Documentaries

That Democracy Show
rlpaulproductions and WAMU - Washington, DC
How do American youth deal with politics, power, race, fairness and government? Comedy Central's Mo Rocca hosted this three-hour live special, giving youth a chance to discuss and argue their views of democracy and the culture it has spawned. During the show, listeners joined a live Webcast and online chat about democracy, and called in.

Listen and read more
Exporting Democracy
WNYC - New York City and BBC - London
The United States exports grain, computers, movies - and democracy. Today all eyes are on Iraq and Afghanistan, where America and its allies are trying to impose self-government. In Exporting Democracy, WNYC's Brian Lehrer and the BBC's Robin Lustig invite you to join a worldwide call-in on what Iraq's and Afghanistan's future means to all of us. (Live Saturday, Nov. 8, 2003, 1-3 p.m. EST)
Listen live at WNYC.org (Saturday, 1-3 p.m. EST)
Make your voice heard! The BBC is asking for your input

Read More
Whose Vote Counts?
American RadioWorks and the Center for Investigative Reporting - St. Paul, MN
In the last presidential election, as many as six million votes weren't counted because of antiquated voting machines and confusion at the polls. America pledged to overhaul its voting system, but are we ready for 2004? American RadioWorks and the Center for Investigative Reporting try to find out. (51:45)

Listen with RealAudio Read More
Democracy on the Block
WFUV - New York City
John Flansburgh of the band They Might Be Giants moonlights as a tour guide in this sound-rich, music-filled hour looking at informal, overlooked and sometimes quirky democracies. Stops on the tour include a playground, a coop apartment building, and Coney Island's freak show. New Yorkers explain why their mini democracies work in their communities, and how they fit into the ever-changing American democracy. (59:00)

Listen with Windows Media Read More
The President Calling
American RadioWorks - St. Paul, MN
Three of America's most compelling presidents - Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon - tapped their telephones, leaving behind a trove of secretly-made audio tapes, recording thousands of conversations, from momentous to mundane. In this project, American RadioWorks eavesdrops on presidential telephone calls to hear how each man used one-on-one politics to shape history. (50:45)

Listen with RealAudio Read More
What Can I Say?
Sara Fishko/WNYC - New York City
Right now, as "loyalty" and "treason" are being redefined by world events, so are cultural expressions of patriotism and dissent. From "message" pictures in the old Hollywood, to morale-building songs, to satirists' comic visions, politics and mass culture have been inexorably linked. (54:06)

Listen with RealAudio Read More
Studio 360 Explores Art and Democracy
Studio 360/WNYC - New York City
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright joins Kurt Andersen to talk about what kind of art a democratic society produces — and if there's really such a thing as democratic art. We look at voting for your art, on American Idol and in movie focus groups. We hear how jazz broke down hierarchies and changed our politics. And we visit the Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Plaza in Albany, New York, a place one critic called an example of fascist architecture.

Read More
The Religious Roots of American Democracy
Speaking of Faith - St. Paul, MN
With conversation, readings, music, and sound, host Krista Tippett explores the religious impulse in American democracy with philosopher Jacob Needleman. Needleman took a sounding of the inner beliefs of the American founders. His thought-provoking findings suggest how Americans today might fill familiar patriotic sentiments with new meaning. (53:00)
Listen with RealAudio Read More
Killing and Dying for Democracy
To the Best of Our Knoweldge - Madison, Wisconsin
What would you die for? And what are you willing to kill for? Democracy? We’ll hear from writers Alice Walker, Sherman Alexie, Isabel Alende and Margaret Atwood. And, Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International, on why democracy may be the wrong idea for a developing country. (52:30)

Listen with RealAudio Read More
Does Your Vote Count?
The Diane Rehm Show/WAMU - Washington, DC
Voting is the central expression of our democracy, but does your vote really count? It used to be that on Election Day, you punched a card or pulled a lever, and walked away confident your choice was recorded. But three years ago, the dimpled chads of Florida shook that confidence. With the next presidential election one year away, the Diane Rehm Show takes a look at the accuracy and integrity of our voting system. (Live broadcast Monday, Nov. 3, 2003 - 11 a.m. EST)

Read More
Fourth Estate or Fourth Branch?
On the Media/WNYC - New York City
Thomas Jefferson once remarked, "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was and never will be." During this special edition of On The Media, we examine the role of media - its successes and failures - in informing a democratic nation.
Read More
Local News, Local Democracy
Good Radio Shows, Inc./Paul Ingles - Albuquerque, NM
Local broadcast news shapes what many people know about their community and about how to participate in their democracy. In this hour long special, producer Paul Ingles convenes two panels of national media experts and news professionals to debate how well local TV and radio news programs inform citizens. (59:00)

Listen with RealAudio Read More
Independent Media in a Time of War and Elections
Democracy Now! - New York, NY
Democracy Now!'s live hour broadcast links the invasion and occupation of Iraq and the human stories of both Iraqis and U.S. soldiers and their families, to Washington power politics and the presidential election. Join Amy Goodman at the Media Reform Conference in Madison for an online chat on Nov. 8. (59:00)

Listen with RealAudio Read More
You Can Fight City Hall (... and Win)
WBEZ/Long Haul Productions - Chicago
Two grassroots fights against Chicago's machine, demonstrating the power of a motivated few to beat an entrenched political foe. (1:00:00)

Listen with RealAudio
Dissent and Democracy
Chicago Public Radio - Chicago, IL
Dissent has long been a powerful element of democracy - from the Boston Tea Party to civil disobedience in the 1950s and 1960s, from book burnings to flag burnings. For many, the right to dissent, without fear of repercussion, is a definitive hallmark of a democratic system. In this two-hour special edition of Odyssey, host Gretchen Helfrich and her guests engage in a comprehensive exploration of the role of protest in a democratic state.
Listen with RealAudio
California Recalled
KPCC - Southern California
The California Recall election tested many of our notions about direct democracy. This documentary outlines the events leading up to the recall and the race. It also asks key players to look back on these events and assess whether they'll change the way we think about democracy.

Listen with RealAudio Read More
Mississippi Becomes a Democracy
Soundprint - Laurel, MD
It wasn't too long ago when black Southerners risked everything trying to register to vote. Their stories are chilling - cross burnings, beatings, and murder. But in the 1960s, a group of civil rights activists in Mississippi fought back and their battle reached the highest offices in the land. (1:00)

Read More
Catching Up with Granny D: A Humankind Special
Human Media/David Freudberg - Belmont, MA
At age 90, Mrs. Doris Haddock ("Granny D") walked across America to protest the corrupting effect of big money in our electoral process. Now, at 93, she's on a new journey - this time by car - hoping to leave her 16 great-grandchildren a gift: restored democracy. (29:00)

Listen with RealAudio Read More
Separating Church and State
Interfaith Voices - Washington, DC
Seldom in recent history has religion stirred the controversy in our democracy that it does today, from faith-based initiatives, prayer in public schools, religious freedom in the workplace, the use of public money for historic preservation of churches to the push for school vouchers.
Read More
Home | Stories | Activities | Web Links | For Teachers | About
Major funding for Whose Democracy Is It? is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
WhoseDemocracy.org is comprised of the collective work of public radio stations, producers and networks around the world. Copyright to individual programs is held by the producing entity. All other copyrights are held by Minnesota Public Radio, 2003. All rights reserved. Site produced and hosted by Minnesota Public Radio.