GroundTruth Global reporting on the front lines of the planet's most urgent issues — from terrorism to global warming to income inequality. Veteran correspondent Charles Sennott partners with the next generation of international reporters to tell stories that will change the way you see the world and the journalists who cover i
GroundTruth

GroundTruth

From WGBH Radio

Global reporting on the front lines of the planet's most urgent issues — from terrorism to global warming to income inequality. Veteran correspondent Charles Sennott partners with the next generation of international reporters to tell stories that will change the way you see the world and the journalists who cover i

Most Recent Episodes

On the Ground with Report for America: Bird Singers of the American Southwest

Bird Singing is an oral tradition that has been passed down for centuries among the tribes across the American Southwest. These stories are sung by male members of tribes – from young boys to elders – whose only accompaniment is a gourd fashioned into a shaker. But the threat of COVID-19 has forced these traditions online, in isolation. See video of Bird Singers performing here: https://gtruth.co/2X4lyjh

On the Ground with Report for America: Bird Singers of the American Southwest

On the Ground with Report for America: Deadly Force--An Investigative Report

"Deadly Force," a new podcast series from Report for America host newsroom WPLN in Nashville, focuses on the trial of the first Nashville police officer to be charged with murder for shooting someone in the line of duty. Through newly uncovered documents, original interviews and audio footage, Deadly Force gets a glimpse into the mind of a police officer struggling to make sense of when to use his gun and the culture in Nashville surrounding the use of force. We speak with reporter Samantha Max on how the investigative report unfolded, and the status of the murder trial, which had been delayed due to COVID-19. https://gtruth.co/3jcoyUd

On the Ground with Report for America: Deadly Force--An Investigative Report

On the Ground with Report for America: Almost Independence Day

July 3, 20-18. It was almost Independence Day. Lee Eric Evans straightened a flag pole on his aunt's front porch. He carefully unfurled an American flag so that it hung properly, making sure it didn't touch the ground. Lee, who is 26 years old, was fussing over the flag for the 4th of July celebrations in the Farish Street Historic District which would happen the next day. I was working on a story about the importance of the District as a hub of black-owned businesses in the 1920's and 1930s. I wanted to understand how this once-thriving economy had descended into neglect and how the city had become seized by violence. I told Lee Eric why I thought the story was important, and asked if I could talk with him about the neighborhood. Within days, Lee Eric Evans would be shot dead. https://thegroundtruthproject.org/portrait-struggle-violence-mississippi/

On the Ground with Report for America: Pandemic and Protest, Coast to Coast, Part 2

Report for America corps member Chris Ehrmann continues on his road trip across America, picking up in St Louis, where economic recovery depends on where you live. Chris listens to protesters from Denver to Los Angeles, in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, who are wondering, is this a tipping point? https://thegroundtruthproject.org/on-the-ground-with-report-for-america-pandemic-and-protest/

On the Ground with Report for America: Pandemic and Protest, Coast to Coast, Part 2

On the Ground with Report for America: Pandemic and Protest, Coast to Coast, Part 1

Report for America corps member Chris Ehrmann embarked on a road trip across America, literally, from Times Square to Los Angeles, California. He traced the new landscape of COVID-19 across time zones and state lines. He spoke to those whose loved ones have been directly impacted by the virus, squaring off against those impacted by a devastated economy. In the wake of the killing of George Floyd, his journey to witness a nation under lockdown was suddenly layered with thousands of protestors pouring into the streets demanding justice. https://thegroundtruthproject.org/on-the-ground-with-report-for-america-pandemic-and-protest/

On the Ground with Report for America: Pandemic and Protest, Coast to Coast, Part 1

On the Ground with Report for America - Trailer

The 9th season of the GroundTruth Podcast is a playlist of stories from across America. We shadow our Report for America corps members as they bring us into their communities, and share the stories of people who've often felt unheard. Amid a pandemic and nationwide demands for justice and reform, the audio road trip begins with an actual road trip from coast to coast.

The Authoritarian's Playbook: Bonus Episode - Guardrails of Democracy

As a thick morning fog was still lifting over the hills here above the San Francisco Bay, Ellsberg sat at his dining room table, sipping a cup of coffee and reading The New York Times. It was Friday, December 13th, the House Judiciary Committee had just sent the articles of impeachment for a full house floor vote. It feels like deja vu, 50 years on. Dan Ellsberg was reflecting on then and now. To some, the whistleblower is a hero, to others, a traitor. But at their core, at least, whistleblowers are vested with secrets--it's just part of their job. If the whistleblower protections are functioning, they are anonymous. These individuals have the highest security clearances, they've built careers around protecting their country from external threats. But it is the internal threat that challenges civil servants to defend the fundamental tenets of the constitution, to risk everything they've worked for, and to blow the whistle on corruption, abuse of power, and criminal activity, carried out by their fellow citizens, even colleagues. For this epilogue to the Democracy Undone series, we reflect on the role of the whistleblower. Their proximity to the veiled, inner workings of government puts them in the unique position to monitor the integrity of our elected officials.

The Authoritarian's Playbook: Eroding Truth in America

As Donald Trump took the oath of office and became the 45th President of the United States, journalists' role of covering the White House and the presidency was turned upside down. It started day one with the inauguration and the very first press conference. Sean Spicer: "This was the largest audience to ever watch an inauguration, period. Both in person and around the globe." The next day, on Meet the Press Kellyanne Conway stepped forward to defend the president's exaggerations. She coined a phrase that would define the trump era. Kellyanne Conway: "You're saying it's a falsehood, and they're giving, Sean Spicer, our Press Secretary, gave alternative facts to that." Politicians lie, they always have. But it seems to be a go-to strategy for the trump administration. From dealing with an issue as serious as the president's justification for firing FBI Chief James Comey, to something as trivial as the crowd size at his inauguration. But spreading disinformation has consequences...long-term consequences, which will shape how united these United States of America will actually be. How do we, as a nation, decide which truths are self-evident? ABOUT THE SERIES In a six-month reporting project titled Democracy Undone: The Authoritarian's Playbook, GroundTruth reporting fellows in India, Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Poland, Italy and the United States chronicled how seven nationalist leaders in each of these countries seem to be working from the same playbook. It is a playbook that can be pieced together from the speeches and techniques in use by an interconnected web of populist leaders and their strategists as a way to gain power, impose their values and implement their agenda. Scholars on democracy say they seem eager to join China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and other leading authoritarian states in stamping out democratic protections and reshaping the global order. Democracy Undone: The Authoritarian's Playbook, A GroundTruth Podcast/Atlantic Magazine Collaboration

The Authoritarian's Playbook: Dividing and Conquering in Poland

LGBT communities face challenges in all parts of the world. But in Poland, the right-wing populist Law and Justice party spent the last year insisting that pro-LGBT stances were a western import meant to weaken Poland internally. They claim that progressive social values have no place in polish identity, and refer to values pertaining to the LGBT community as "LGBT ideology." Law and Justice leader Jarosław Kaczyński describes it as a battle. "The LGBT ideology is an offensive. Look at the traveling circus going through our cities...First they provoke us, and when we react they cry and claim they are the victims. This must be unmasked and rejected. There must be order in our homeland." For populist politicians, real or invented enemies are key to creating divisions in society. These divisions help win elections. They mobilize voters to conquer the enemy at the ballot box. If the ruling Law and Justice party can convince the people that the so-called LGBT ideology is a threat to Polish identity, and by extension, Poland – it makes it easier for them to rule by the playbook tactic of divide and conquer. ABOUT THE SERIES In a six-month reporting project titled Democracy Undone: The Authoritarian's Playbook, GroundTruth reporting fellows in India, Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Poland, Italy and the United States chronicled how seven nationalist leaders in each of these countries seem to be working from the same playbook. It is a playbook that can be pieced together from the speeches and techniques in use by an interconnected web of populist leaders and their strategists as a way to gain power, impose their values and implement their agenda. Scholars on democracy say they seem eager to join China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and other leading authoritarian states in stamping out democratic protections and reshaping the global order. Democracy Undone: The Authoritarian's Playbook, A GroundTruth Podcast/Atlantic Magazine Collaboration

The Authoritarian's Playbook: Exploiting Religion in India

In August, 1947, British colonial rule officially ended in India. Within 6 months, Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of India's independence movement, was assassinated by a Hindu nationalist who rejected Gandhi's openness to India's Muslims. For more than 70 years, India more or less remained a constitutional democracy granting religious equality to all. In 2014, Narendra Modi was elected prime minister. In May of 2019, Modi and his BJP party swept the elections with an overwhelming majority. This mandate gave Modi the power to reforge India in the mold of a Hindu nationalist ideology. To many observers, Modi literally unleashed the forces of Hindu nationalism that Gandhi feared, and that motivated his assassin. Ever since 2013, candidate Modi has made three campaign promises: He would cancel a provision in the Indian constitution that granted the troubled region of Kashmir its autonomy. He would weed out "illegal immigrants" from the country through a process called the NRC or National Register of Citizens. And third, he would enable construction of a Hindu temple on the site of a mosque used by Muslims for centuries. GroundTruth Global Reporting Fellow Soumya Shankar tracked Modi's progress on each of these campaign promises. She begins in Kashmir, where she witnesses the upheaval of Modi's latest policy shift on the only Muslim majority state in the country. It's early August. Day 5 of the lockdown in Kashmir... ABOUT THE SERIES In a six-month reporting project titled Democracy Undone: The Authoritarian's Playbook, GroundTruth reporting fellows in India, Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Poland, Italy and the United States chronicled how seven nationalist leaders in each of these countries seem to be working from the same playbook. It is a playbook that can be pieced together from the speeches and techniques in use by an interconnected web of populist leaders and their strategists as a way to gain power, impose their values and implement their agenda. Scholars on democracy say they seem eager to join China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and other leading authoritarian states in stamping out democratic protections and reshaping the global order. Democracy Undone: The Authoritarian's Playbook, A GroundTruth Podcast/Atlantic Magazine Collaboration

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