For immediate release
April 9, 2004
Contact: Laura Gross, 202-513-2304

"Mandela: An Audio History" on NPR's All Things Considered Series will air the week of April 26, 2004

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA-A rare recording of the 1964 trial that resulted in Mandela's life sentence. A visit between Mandela and his wife, Winnie, secretly recorded by a prison guard. Marching songs of guerilla soldiers. Government propaganda films. Pirate radio broadcasts from the African National Conference (ANC). More than a year in the making, "Mandela: An Audio History" is a groundbreaking project that weaves together an unprecedented collection of archival sound materials documenting and preserving the story of Nelson Mandela and the struggle against apartheid.

This five-part radio series will be presented on NPR's All Things Considered every day during the week of April 26, 2004 to mark the 10th anniversary of South Africa's first democratic election.

Much more than a biography of Nelson Mandela, this may be the most comprehensive radio history of apartheid ever broadcast. Many of these recordings have never been broadcast before. Award winning producers Sue Johnson and Joe Richman of Radio Diaries collected more than 150 hours of interviews and archival recordings to make the documentary series.

Produced with no scripted narration, the story is instead told through the first-person accounts of former ANC activists, National Party politicians, South African Defense Force generals, Robben Island prisoners and guards, and ordinary witnesses to history. A range of voices from Bishop Desmond Tutu to former President F.W. de Klerk to Nelson Mandela himself, brings to life this remarkable chapter of modern history.

For more than 10 years, Radio Diaries Productions has been creating ground-breaking, first-person documentaries for NPR. Past projects include "Teenage Diaries," "Prison Diaries," and "My So-Called Lungs." Award-winning producer, Joe Richman, is the founder of Radio Diaries and an adjunct professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

Sue Johnson is a journalist who has pioneered work in new media for more than 10 years. As a co-founder of Picture Projects, she has collaborated with NPR and many of the country's leading independent radio producers."Perspectives on the US Criminal Justice System" won the Online News Association's Award for Most Creative Use of the Medium, and "The Sonic Memorial Project" won the Peabody Award in 2002-the first ever given to a Web site.

All Things Considered, NPR's daily, afternoon newsmagazine was first broadcast in 1971, and according to recent reports is the third most listened radio show in the country, attracting a weekly audience of 11.5 million people on 605 public radio stations nationwide.

Additional information about this series is at:

Radio Diaries is a not-for-profit production company founded by Joe Richman in 1996. It is one of the leading producers of radio documentaries in the United States. Radio Diaries productions are broadcast on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, archived online, and distributed as educational resources to schools throughout the United States.

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