Over the next six months, NPR will launch three new enterprise storytelling podcasts and usher in a new era for a listener favorite.
These include NPR Music reporters’ examination of power, hip-hop, and the prison industrial complex; Member station KQED’s investigation into California police misconduct, and how police try and fail to police themselves; a public radio reporting collaborative series about gun rights advocates who believe that the National Rifle Association is too soft in their advocacy; and a new iteration of Invisibilia with two new hosts.
Three of these forthcoming podcasts – Unsealed, a podcast from NPR Music, and No Compromise – were developed with support from NPR’s Story Lab, a creative studio at the heart of NPR that cultivates new voices, new approaches to storytelling, and the evolving sound of public radio.
Untitled NPR Music Podcast – coming September 2020
This short-run narrative series traces the interconnected rise of hip-hop and mass incarceration. But is it coincidence or by design? We’ll delve into some of the biggest names and cases in hip-hop to reveal just how much the criminal justice system has impacted the culture. Hosted by Rodney Carmichael, NPR Music’s resident hip-hop critic, and Sidney Madden, NPR Music reporter and editor.
No Compromise — coming Fall 2020
An eight episode, limited-run investigative series that explores the world of Second Amendment advocates who believe that the National Rifle Association is ‘too soft’ on guns. The series looks at national and state-level organizations and reveals a world that is more complicated than it appears to outsiders. Reporters Chris Haxel (KCUR, Kansas City, MO) and Lisa Hagen (WABE, Atlanta, GA) have been investigating the story for more than six months as part of the public radio reporting collaborative Guns & America.
Unsealed — launching early 2021
A limited-run podcast that explores how police police themselves through an analysis of hundreds of police misconduct files, body camera footage and audio recordings of internal investigations that have been kept secret for decades. Unsealed will be hosted by KQED’s criminal justice reporter Sukey Lewis and produced by KQED’s race and equity reporter Sandhya Dirks.
Passing the torch at Invisibilia — coming winter 2021
When it launched at the top of the podcast charts five years ago, Invisibilia presented a strikingly original storytelling frame. Fresh, rigorous, layered, and disarmingly intimate, the show built a large and devoted audience drawn to its arresting exploration of the invisible forces that shape human behavior.
It was the first chart-topping narrative podcast in the industry created by women. Alix Spiegel, with Lulu Miller and editor Anne Gudenkauf built the first season after incubating the idea on the NPR Science desk. More than 100 million downloads and five innovative seasons later, the current hosts, Alix Spiegel and Hanna Rosin have decided to pass the torch to a new generation.
They will be handing off the show to their enormously talented team, led by Yowei Shaw. Over the last four years, Shaw has been the creative and editorial force behind many episodes of Invisibilia, including the critically-acclaimed “A Very Offensive Rom Com.” Shaw and producer Kia Miakka Natisse will co-host the new Invisibilia.
They will reinvent the show with the help of key staffers Abby Wendle, Liana Simstrom and Deb George. We are tremendously grateful to Alix Spiegel and Hanna Rosin for their unforgettable storytelling and contributions to NPR. We’re also grateful that they have given producers and storytellers whom they have mentored an opportunity to meet this cultural moment in a fresh new way.