show episodes
 
In this intensely divided moment, one of the few things everyone still seems to agree on is Dolly Parton—but why? That simple question leads to a deeply personal, historical, and musical rethinking of one of America’s great icons. Join us for a 9-episode journey into the Dollyverse. Hosted by Jad Abumrad. Produced and reported by Shima Oliaee. Dolly Parton’s America is a production from OSM Audio and WNYC Studios.
 
On Assignment brings you some of the best conversations from the Columbia Journalism School, produced and hosted by the school's Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards. The duPont-Columbia Awards honor the best in audio-visual reporting across platforms including broadcast, documentary, local investigative, radio and interactive journalism. We started the On Assignment Podcast to go behind the scenes and bring you the conversations we were having with the leading journalists in the fiel ...
 
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show series
 
Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht discuss their 2021 duPont Columbia Award-winning documentary Crip Camp. The directors of the film, which was also nominated for an Oscar, speak candidly about topics like disability representation in the media, the film's relationship to present-day grassroots movements, and what it was like to get edit notes from th…
 
Hi, Dolly Parton's America fans! We're sharing a new trailer for our new 6-part series The Vanishing of Harry Pace -from the creators of Dolly Parton's America, Jad Abumrad and Shima Oliaee - now premiering at Radiolab. It was Motown before Motown, FUBU before FUBU: Black Swan Records. The label founded 100 years ago by Harry Pace. Pace launched th…
 
Radiolab's Jad Abumrad and Shima Oliaee join duPont-Columbia Awards Director Lisa R. Cohen to discuss how they reported "The Flag and the Fury" which won a 2021 duPont award. They explain how what started as an historical audio documentary turned into a breaking news story in the summer of 2020 and the ways they handled that change.Visit our websit…
 
KSTP News Director, Kirk Varner discusses the difficulty of reporting on the murder of George Floyd and the protests that rocked Minneapolis throughout the summer of 2020. In this conversation with duPont Awards Director Lisa R. Cohen, Varner tells behind-the-scenes stories about split second newsroom decisions, like when a truck drove through prot…
 
David Ushery, discusses reporting on coronavirus last spring, as New York City became the epicenter of a pandemic. The WNBC team brought viewers vital life and death information about COVID, day after day, in real time. Their reporting won a 2021 duPont-Columbia award. In this conversation with duPont Awards Director, Lisa R. Cohen, Ushery recounts…
 
Nadine Ajaka, The Washington Post’s senior producer for visual forensics, talks about her team’s reconstruction of the crackdown on peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square in Washington D.C which won a 2021 duPont-Columbia award. By analyzing visual evidence, Ajaka and her team meticulously recreated the moments leading up to Donald Trump’s infamou…
 
In this conversation with duPont Awards Director, Lisa R. Cohen and Executive Director of Prizes, Abi Wright, Radiolab's Latif Nasser discusses his podcast "The Other Latif". Tune in as Nasser talks the challenges of reporting on Guantanamo Bay, reveals how he initially found this story via a tweet, and reflects on his own identity as a Muslim livi…
 
The New York Times’ Science and Health Reporter Donald G. McNeil Jr., was months ahead of the general public, as he foretold the disastrous effects of COVID-19 early last spring. The winner of the 2020 John Chancellor Excellence in Journalism award-winner has been informing audiences of The Times’ podcast The Daily, and he’s joined here by The Dail…
 
In our latest episode of On Assignment, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and duPont juror Mark Whitaker reflect on the lessons learned from Gates’ 2020 duPont-winning documentary series Reconstruction: America After the Civil War. The conversation is timely, as the nation reckons with the current fragile political climate, and the country’s legacy …
 
In this month’s On Assignment episode, listen to the 2018 duPont-Award winning filmmakers describe the tenacious reporting required to produce “Let it Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992.” Director John Ridley and ABC News Producers Jeanmarie Condon, Melia Patria and Fatima Curry revisit the newly relevant documentary about the decade preceding the Rodney …
 
In this episode of On Assignment, CBS News 60 Minutes producers Michael Rey and Oriana Zill de Granados go behind the scenes of their duPont-winning reports on the US-Mexico Border. They describe basement meetings, months of back-and-forth with government sources, and having a U.S. president criticize their reporting. They also talk about how they …
 
In this episode of On Assignment, we revisit a conversation with Kai Wright and Kaari Pitkin, creators of the award-winning podcast Caught: The Lives of Juvenile Justice. The WNYC series showed the human side of the web-like juvenile justice system by giving young people the chance to tell their stories in their own words.…
 
In this episode of On Assignment, we revisit a conversation from 2016 between New Yorker Staff Writer and Columbia Journalism Professor Jelani Cobb, FRONTLINE Producer James Jacoby, and Columbia Journalism Professor Betsy West about Cobb and Jacoby’s documentary Policing the Police. The film examines the troubled Newark, New Jersey police departmen…
 
Directors of the duPont winning documentary Love them First, Lindsey Seavert and Ben Garvin, talk with Director of the duPont-Columbia Awards, Lisa Cohen (Serving Life) about their film. The documentary, built on unprecedented year-long access, is an intimate portrait of a North Minnesota elementary school and its visionary principal. Seavert and G…
 
As Dolly will tell you, so much of who she is - her creativity, her music, her stance on life - emanates from her faith, but what exactly is that faith? The answer is deeply surprising. In this episode, Dolly tells a story of finding God in an abandoned church filled with X-rated graffiti. And she speaks of her plans for how she'll be remembered af…
 
In this second bonus music episode, we play two live songs we recorded, sung by bluegrass musicians Nora Brown and Amythyst Kiah. You can find Nora on facebook @norabrownbanjo, instagram @little.nb, and her music at jalopyrecords.org and on Spotify.Amythyst is on facebook, instagram, and twitter at @amythystkiah, and her music can be found at amyth…
 
This episode delves into the controversy surrounding Dolly Parton’s Stampede (formerly known as “Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede”)—a dinner theater that presents the Civil War as a friendly competition between neighbors. In the wake of the Charlottesville Riots in 2017, the Dixie Stampede was called out by the press, and then became embroiled in the …
 
At the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, we drop in on a history class called “Dolly Parton’s America.” (We borrowed the name for our series!) Taught by Dr. Lynn Sacco, the class is filled with college students who grew up in rural Appalachia, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college. Dr Sacco gives the class an assignment…
 
Music performed by: Justin Hiltner (@hiltnerj, http://justinhiltner.com) Esther Konkara (@esther_konkara) Steph Jenkins (@slhjenkins, http://www.stephaniejenkins.info) Stephanie Coleman (@stephiecoleman) Courtney Hartman (@courthartman, https://www.courtneyhartman.com) Shelley Washington (@shelleyplaysaxy, http://shelleywashington.com) Bora Yoon (@…
 
One of Dolly’s most iconic and successful songs is “Jolene,” a song that, at first listen, is about a romantic rival trying to steal her man: a prime example of the classic “cheating song.” But some see it as flipping a popular country music trope on its head. This idea takes shape when Nadine Hubbs, a professor at the University of Michigan, write…
 
Dolly Parton and politics have always had an interesting relationship. On the one hand, she wrote 9 to 5, the anthem for working women and the theme song for a movie inspired by a new labor union. On the other hand, she refuses to answer questions about President Trump, or any question on politics period. Her nephew calls this “Dollitics”: Dolly do…
 
In this episode, we go back up the mountain to visit Dolly’s actual Tennessee mountain home. But, can you ever go home again? Dolly tells us stories about her first trips out of the holler, and shares with us where she lives now. Back on the mountaintop, standing under the rain by the Little Pigeon River, the trip triggers memories of Jad’s first v…
 
Revisit directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen, with executive producer Amy Entelis, as they talk about their blockbuster documentary RBG. Hear them tout the power of optimism and other helpful tips they learned while making their 2019 duPont award winning film.Moderated by professor June Cross.By On Assignment
 
We journey into the Dollyverse dimension: "Tennessee Mountain Home."Like all law abiding Tennesseans, Jad grew up with the song on a loop. He hadn’t planned to talk with Dolly about it, but much to his surprise, he is drawn into a Tennessee Mountain Trance. The trance opens a portal to many questions about country music, authenticity, nostalgia and…
 
Porter Wagoner led the most successful country music television show of its time, and in 1967 he needed a new “girl singer.” He turned to a 21 year old songwriter named Dolly Parton, who’d just recorded her first hit “Dumb Blonde.” So began a nearly decade-long partnership that, behind the scenes, was as contentious as it was commercially successfu…
 
We begin with a simple question: How did the queen of the boob joke become a feminist icon? Helen Morales, author of “Pilgrimage to Dollywood,” gave us a stern directive – look at the lyrics! So we dive into Dolly’s discography, starting with the early period of what Dolly calls “sad ass songs” to find remarkably prescient words of female pain, slu…
 
In this intensely divided moment, one of the few things everyone still seems to agree on is Dolly Parton—but why? That simple question leads to a deeply personal, historical, and musical rethinking of one of America’s great icons. Join us for a 9-part journey into the Dollyverse. Hosted and created by Jad Abumrad and Shima Oliaee.…
 
This American Life Host and Producer Ira Glass has taken home seven duPont silver batons for the radio documentary series since he created it in 1995. In our special 50th episode, find out what goes into the making of one of the most listened to radio shows - one that spawned a generation of podcasts.Bonus: Hear Ira’s sage advice from his speech to…
 
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