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The Documentary Podcast

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

Shipping’s dirty secret

The Documentary Podcast

  • 290 views
  • over 1 year ago
  • 26:41

The shipping industry is worth millions to the world economy and we depend on it for most of our goods. Assignment lifts the lid on the dangerous and polluting world of shipbreaking and investigates why ships once owned by UK companies end their lives on beaches in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. (Image: Bangladeshi labourers and docked ships at a shipbreaking yard. Credit: Farjana Khan Godhuly/AFP via Getty Images)

A constitutional conversation

The Documentary Podcast

  • 230 views
  • over 1 year ago
  • 27:56

How do you solve a problem like America? A land where speech is free - but hate rules the airwaves. A land of opportunity - where 40 million people live in poverty. A land of democracy - where the majority of Americans are under-represented in national government. Award winning journalist Brian Palmer asks if the near sacred text is fit for modern governance. Does the electoral college deliver adequate representation for everybody? Is the Constitution key to solving America’s ills?

World of wisdom: Love

The Documentary Podcast

  • 210 views
  • over 1 year ago
  • 51:41

Eckhart Tolle, Dr Shefali Tsabary and Sister Dang Nghiem offer advice to members of the public from across the world as they respond to the challenge of the pandemic. In a series of intimate pone explore more life-lessons in this series of two programmes. In a series of intimate one to one conversations presented by the BBC’s Nuala McGovern, for the BBC World Service Festival they explore life-lesson on recovering from trauma, coping with kids in lockdown, personal growth after bereavement and learning to love yourself.

World of wisdom: Breathe

The Documentary Podcast

  • 290 views
  • over 1 year ago
  • 51:39

Eckhart Tolle, Dr Shefali Tsabary and Sister Dang Nghiem offer advice to members of the public from across the world as they explore life-lessons in this series of two programmes. The last year has brought challenges like no other year, leading to dramatic personal changes all over the world. People struggle to endure the restrictions, or to cope with grief, or perhaps they wonder suddenly see their life in a new way. In a series of intimate conversations presented by Nuala McGovern, people ask for guidance on anxiety, recovering from illness, children’s screen dependence and how to learn from lockdown.

Social influencers and the perfect body

The Documentary Podcast

  • 270 views
  • over 1 year ago
  • 27:51

In the age of social media and the selfie, the perfect look is everything. That's what online influencers tell their followers. Some are also happy to provide a 'how-to’ guide to obtaining the perfect body through cosmetic surgery. Often though, they are cashing in – taking payment and perks to promote certain clinics – and not always declaring the fact. Those who read their reviews and watch their videos can easily be misled into thinking that their recommendations are impartial. What’s more, the surgical procedures that influencers push can be risky or even downright dangerous. For Assignment, Joice Etutu hears from women whose lives have been changed after booking surgery in Turkey through one clinic where procedures have gone wrong – and where influencers themselves regret ever getting involved. Producer: Kate West Reporter: Joice Etutu Editor: Gail Champion (Image: Plastic surgeon marking a woman’s body for plastic surgery. Credit: Getty Images)

The digital human: Sacred

The Documentary Podcast

  • 230 views
  • over 1 year ago
  • 26:47

Sacred objects and places are often imbued with memories - memories we cherish, which define who we are. Aleks Krotoski asks if technology can be a conduit for sacredness and give us a greater understanding of our relationship with the sacred.

Coronavirus: Intensive care

The Documentary Podcast

  • 270 views
  • over 1 year ago
  • 24:00

As vaccines begin to be administered in several countries, many places are experiencing worrying rises in cases and deaths from Covid-19. One effect is that hospitals have to try and cope with the increasing number of patients. Host Nuala McGovern hears from three doctors working in ICUs in South Africa, Brazil and the United States on the stressful frontline of intensive care.

Libya's Brothers from Hell

The Documentary Podcast

  • 280 views
  • over 1 year ago
  • 27:23

Amid the anarchy of post-Revolution Libya, seven brothers from an obscure background gradually took over their home town near Tripoli. They're accused of murdering entire families to instill fear and to build power and wealth. They created their own militia which threw in its lot, at different times, with various forces in Libya's ongoing conflict. And they grew rich by levying taxes on the human and fuel traffickers crossing their territory. Now, the full horror of their reign of terror is being exposed: since they were driven out in June, more and more mass graves are being discovered. The Libyan authorities - and the International Criminal Court - are investigating what happened. But the four surviving Kani brothers have fled. Will they ever face justice? And what does their story tell us about why the 2011 overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi brought not democracy, but chaos, to Libya? Tim Whewell reports. Editor: Bridget Harney (Image: A defaced mural depicting Mohsen al-Kani in the town of Tarhuna. Credit: Mahmud Turkia/AFP via Getty Images)

Reza's story

The Documentary Podcast

  • 250 views
  • over 1 year ago
  • 28:31

A death-defying migrant's story... Said Reza Adib was a TV journalist in Afghanistan. In 2016, about to break a story about the sexual abuse of children by Afghan men in authority, he received a threat to his life. Reza fled across the border to Iran. But journalism was in his blood, and in Iran he began to investigate sensitive stories related to the war in Syria. When Iranian authorities confiscated his laptop, he knew his life was again in danger. That same day, with his wife and two small children, he began a perilous journey to safety in Finland – an odyssey that would last four years. The family would survive shooting on the Turkish border, a voyage across the Aegean Sea on an overcrowded makeshift vessel with fake lifejackets, and then the nightmare of refugee camps in Greece. It was here that Chloe Hadjimatheou met Reza, and for Assignment she tells the story of a remarkable journalist who’s continued to ply his trade - in spite of the odds stacked against him. Producer: Linda Pressly (Image: Said Reza Adib. Credit: Sayed Ahmadzia Ebrahimi)

Dyslexia: Into adulthood

The Documentary Podcast

  • 260 views
  • over 1 year ago
  • 29:41

Stella Sabin, who has dyslexia herself, looks at the impact of the condition in adult life, and asks what difference does it make to know the name of what you are experiencing? Dyslexic people are disproportionally represented in low paying jobs and in the US and the UK 50% of the prison population are dyslexic. She visits the intelligence and security organisation GCHQ who are positively recruiting dyslexic thinkers, who are able to find unusual and imaginative solutions to complex problems…like cracking codes.

Spitfire stories

The Documentary Podcast

  • 280 views
  • over 1 year ago
  • 52:22

In September 1940, in two factories in Southampton, one of the most iconic planes of World War Two was being painstakingly assembled, piece by piece. This sleek and beautiful fighter, with record breaking top speeds and a deadly reputation for precision, was to be Britain’s most notorious weapon against the Nazi air invasion. But, the factory making them was about to be destroyed by devastating German bombing raids. How could the Battle of Britain be fought without the Spitfire? With the factory a smoking ruin, a plan was hatched to keep the planes coming, against some pretty extraordinary odds

Portland, prisons and white supremacy - part two

The Documentary Podcast

  • 220 views
  • over 1 year ago
  • 27:18

The second part of this two-part documentary continues the story of Portland, Oregon and its struggle with white supremacists. Portland has a reputation as one of the United States’ most liberal and tolerant cities. Since the death of George Floyd, it has been at the forefront of protests and violence as anti-racist demonstrators and far right groups have battled with each other and with the police. Yet, in 2016, the killing of a young black man sparked a national debate about race hatred. Nineteen year old Larnell Bruce died after a white man called Russell Courtier drove his car at him. A trial for murder and a hate crime followed, and exposed a culture of white supremacy in Oregon, rooted in the state’s history and which endures today despite its easy-going image. In this two-part documentary for Assignment, Mobeen Azhar follows the trial of Russell Courtier and investigates the issues it exposed. Part Two follows Mobeen as he leaves the courtroom to meet Portland’s white supremacists and find out how they operate. He discovers that violent gangs are thriving because of the very institution meant to prevent crime – the prison system. Then, it is time for the verdict. (This programme was adapted for radio from the feature-length TV documentary, “A Black & White Killing: The Case That Shook America”, made by Expectation Entertainment.) (Photo: Prisoner being escorted by guards. Credit: BBC)