Media future

New on public radio: An investigative reporting show


KCRW on Saturday aired a new pilot for "Reveal," a show from the Center for Investigative Reporting in the Bay Area and the Public Radio Exchange. The one-hour show features several investigative stories, including an investigation by public radio station WBEZ and the Chicago Reader into the big business of drug running from El Paso to Chicago and a look at teens in solitary at the Rikers Island jail in New York. Also on the show, the Hollywood Reporter's Gary Baum talks about his story on the reality behind that line on the credits of Hollywood movies saying that no animals were harmed.

The first pilot of "Reveal" was released last September and aired on more than 140 public radio stations. According to the producers, that show broke CIR’s investigation about unusually high rates of uncontrolled opiate prescriptions by the Veteran’s Administration to troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Listen here:

Here's some more background on the project.

Reveal is a first-of-its-kind radio show that brings listeners deep into current investigations, captures the drama and high stakes of the reporting process, follows the impact of stories and reports to the audience what happened – or did not happen – as a result of the investigation. A third pilot will air in June.

In addition to the audio, Reveal expands on the stories heard on the air with digital elements, offering original video, animation and interactive components on and for public radio stations that broadcast the show to use on their websites. Data and reporting resources are shared with stations to provide local reporters and producers with information to localize stories and maximize impact in their markets.

“One of our core goals at CIR is to produce stories that have an impact,” said Robert J. Rosenthal, CIR’s executive director. “Public radio's ability to reach wide and diverse audiences across the country through compelling and distinctive story is special. Reveal combines that with a robust online presence allowing us to create content across platforms and allowing the public opportunities to dig deep into an investigation.”


The show’s executive producers are CIR’s Director of Digital Media Susanne Reber and Ben Adair, a veteran of public radio. Al Letson, host of the public radio show State of the Re:Union, is host of the pilot episodes. John Barth, managing director of PRX and a founding producer of Marketplace, oversees PRX’s editorial and distribution role and works with Joaquin Alvarado, CIR’s Chief Strategy Officer, on Reveal.

CIR we know. That's the investigative reporting non-profit based in Emeryville that has taken home a lot of prizes and awards and that oversaw California Watch when that site was still around. But what is the Public Radio Exchange, or PRX? They explain:

PRX is an award-winning nonprofit public media company, harnessing innovative technology to bring compelling stories to millions of people. operates public radio’s largest distribution marketplace, offering thousands of audio stories for broadcast and digital use, including “The Moth Radio Hour,” “Sound Opinions,” “State of the Re:Union,” “Snap Judgment” and “WTF with Marc Maron.” PRX Remix is PRX’s 24/7 channel featuring the best independent radio stories and new voices. PRX is also the leading mobile app developer for public media, with apps such as Public Radio Player, Radiolab, This American Life, WBUR, KCRW Music Mine and more.

PRX was created through a collaboration of the Station Resource Group and Atlantic Public Media and receives support from public radio stations and producers, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Knight Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Sloan Foundation.

Fix made: CIR has moved a short ways from Berkeley to Emeryville.

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