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Playlist: News Station Picks for December '10

Compiled By: PRX Curators

 Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/12836528@N00/3124443099/">Kevin Dooley</a>
Image by: Kevin Dooley 
Curated Playlist

Here are December picks for news stations from PRX News Format Curator Naomi Starobin.

What Naomi listens for in news programming.

The end of the year is a time to take stock, so I've chosen some excellent pieces that involve looking back. They are contemplative, redemptive, creative, cathartic. They'll give your listeners something to think about as they themselves reflect back. Have a listen!

The Dive

From Peter Crimmins | 07:53

We start with a pretty sad yet amazing incident, a man dying while parachuting, and it unfolds from there when his daughter and son-in-law create their own tributes to him.

It's by Peter Crimmins, a writer, freelance radio producer and budding filmmaker "whose passion for telling stories is only rivaled by his insatiable appetite for cinema." He's from Philadelphia.

The Dive
Peter Crimmins

Default-piece-image-1 Dan Scary was an amateur skydiver in California who jumped out of airplanes thousands of times before his last fall. After he died of a heart attack in mid-flight, his daughter, filmmaker Kia Simon, and her musician husband created an electronica song with accompanying video. In it, they ponder the mystery of death, and the transcendence in making the Big Leap to the Other Side while free-falling thousands of feet through the air. The video was later featured on MTV.

Japanese-American granddaughter questions internment

From MPR News Stations | Part of the MPR News' Youth Series series | 06:43

Not a new story, but a very nice reminder of the Japanese internment camps in the U.S. during World War II. It's one thing to read about it in history books, but to hear it from the people involved, with a granddaughter as the guide, is so much more compelling.

Sasha Aslanian has been a producer for Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media since 1992.

Mara_resized_small Mara Kumagai Fink, a senior at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN set out on a quest to interview surviving family members who spent years in internment camps during WWII. Growing up, Mara's grandmother had told her that the internment was "fine." Mara didn't believe her. She visited the camps to piece together what life was like and the disruption it caused in their lives. She struggles to understand why she feels angrier than her relatives seem to.

Mara's grandfather worked for the military intelligence so he was free to come and go from the camps recruiting soldiers while his family was locked inside. This fall Congress is expected to approve Congressional Gold Medals for those Japanese Americans, including Mara's grandfather, who helped the war effort. 

Carole King & James Taylor: You've Got A Friend

From Joyride Media | 59:00

Almost a public radio staple...Carole King and James Taylor and others looking back at their careers, friendship and musical collaboration. It's a fine hour of music and talk.

It's by Joyride Media. Joyride "believes in learning about the larger world, hearing stories from those who lived them, and putting music and history into context." They do it beautifully here, as they weave the narrative and the music.

There are two versions, 54 minutes and 59 minutes.

Kingtaylor_small New one-hour special explores the long musical friendship of Carole King & James Taylor From the early days of LA’s legendary club The Troubadour to their extensive 2010 US Tour. Features original recordings of their early hits as well as live recordings of King & Taylor togther in 1971 and 2007. Includes interviews with both artists, as well as Graham Nash, David Wild, Lou Adler and Robert Hilburn.

Remembering the Great Depression

From Emily Corwin | 02:38

A short, narrator-less piece about the Depression from several seniors who lived through it. With all the talk about this economic recession being "the worst since the Depression," it's a good idea to help listeners understand what that means.

This is by Emily Corwin, who works at PRX and also hosts "The Neighborhood," an alternate-weekly program at MIT's WMBR.

Providence_image_small Fewer than 1 in every 50 Americans is old enough to remember the Great Depression. In this short audio collage, three residents of Providence House, an assisted living home in Brighton, MA, remember that difficult decade. Features Sigmund Ettleman, Yvonne Levelly, and Kay McGilbrey.