Uncovering the truth
Investigative reporting has become a staple of journalism, and podcasting is the newest way to experience it. Offering engaging stories that dig deep into the subject, the hosts assume the role of detective, bringing listeners along with them as they follow leads and unravel the story.
The American show, Serial may have put this genre of podcasts on the map, however there are many great investigative podcasts to broaden your mind while keeping you on the edge of your seat. Here are a few of our favourites.
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QAnon and the plot to break reality. A year on from the Capitol Insurrection in Washington DC on 6 January 2021, Gabriel Gatehouse journeys into the dark undergrowth of modern America. He’s looking for the origins of the story that drove the crowds to storm the heart of US democracy. From conspiracy-soaked barrooms in 1990s Arkansas, via spies in hotel rooms in the shadow of the Kremlin, to anarchic chatrooms on the early internet, this is a search for the answer to one big question: did this just happen, or is somebody trying to break reality?
Hosted by journalists Jean Lee and Geoff White, The Lazarus Heist explores the cybercrimes carried out by the Lazarus Group. Was it the most daring bank theft ever attempted? From hacking Hollywood to a billion-dollar plot. North Korea stands accused but says it had nothing to do with it. A fascinating and intriguing story.
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In 2011, five men were sentenced to a total of 104 years for conspiracy to import £53m worth of cocaine. They have always said they are innocent. As new evidence is due to be put before the court of appeal, Anushka Asthana and Today in Focus investigates the case of the Freshwater Five.
The fertility doctor Jan Karbaat was renowned for getting amazing results. Women who were desperate for children would visit him at his Rotterdam clinic, and many would leave pregnant. But when the clinic closed, rumours circulated about the methods Karbaat used to achieve his success. The Immaculate Deception is a story about a doctor who was determined to create life – by any means possible. Reported and hosted by Jenny Kleeman.
It’s 1990. The Berlin Wall just fell. The Soviet Union is on the verge of collapse. And the soundtrack to the revolution is one of the best selling songs of all time, the metal ballad “Wind of Change” by the Scorpions. Decades later, journalist Patrick Radden Keefe heard a rumour: the song wasn’t written by the Scorpions. It was written by the CIA. This is his journey to find the truth.
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For 40 years, journalists chronicled the eccentric royal family of Oudh, deposed aristocrats who lived in a ruined palace in the Indian capital. It was a tragic, astonishing story. But was it true? On a spring afternoon, while on assignment in India, Ellen Barry of the NY Times got a phone call that sent her looking for the truth.
When we face challenges in life, we seek answers from people we believe can help us. When tragedy strikes an exclusive retreat with a self-help superstar, many people are left to wonder: how far is too far? James Arthur Ray was an Oprah-endorsed self-help teacher who achieved fame, fortune, and influence. But friends and family members of his followers questioned his unorthodox methods, and tried to stop him. Hosted by journalist Matt Stroud.
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The Tip Off Podcast
The Tip Off podcast takes you behind the scenes of some of the best investigative journalism from recent years. Each episode digs into an investigative scoop, hearing from the journalists behind the work as they talk about the leads, the dead-ends and of course, the tip offs. So if you’re curious about the fun, complicated detective work that goes into doing great investigative journalism, then this is the podcast for you.Listen here
The Longform Podcast is a weekly conversation with a non-fiction writer on how they tell stories. Really interesting interviews with writers, journalists, filmmakers, and podcasters about how they do their work. Hosted by Aaron Lammer, Max Linsky, and Evan Ratliff.
In this episode they talk to Jenny Kleeman investigative reporter who you might have heard in The Immaculate Deception Podcast. “It’s better to cover one thing in a really illuminating way than to try and explore every single aspect of a topic in a really superficial way”.Listen here
This American Life – The Out Crowd.
This podcast, from This American Life, won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for audio reporting, the first ever given for audio journalism. It reports from the frontlines of the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” asylum policy. We hear from asylum seekers waiting across the border in Mexico, in a makeshift refugee camp, and from the officers who sent them there to wait in the first place.Listen here