Public Radio Presents

Sundays 7 p.m.

Public Radio Presents is a rotating collection of some of the best productions in public radio. Any given Sunday you'll hear debates, storytelling, historical programming, panel discussions, documentaries, and more. Past programs have included: Intelligence Squared US, America Abroad, State of the Re:Union, Destination DIY, Here's the Thing with Alec Baldwin, and locally produced documentaries and panel discussions.

Have a suggestion for this rotating block? Let us know.

Winston Vargas / Flickr

Join us this Sunday for a comparison piece, "Campaign '68" from American Public Media.

Many see similarities between the presidential election campaign of 2016 and one almost half a century earlier. The 1968 presidential campaign was one of the most dramatic and significant contests for the White House in the 20th century. It was a close, bitterly-fought campaign in a raucous, bloody year.

Tune in for the latest in the Intelligence Squared U.S. series, this time examining the "Trump phenomenon" and the forthcoming election.

The elites of both parties have expressed contempt for Donald Trump, and Trump has succeeded in part by channeling his voters' contempt for the elites. Does support for Trump reflect an uninformed populism and misplaced anger by a large swatch of the American electorate? Or have the elites failed to empathize with their struggles, and failed to craft effective policies to help them cope?

Coming up this Sunday, the Political Junkie returns! Join Ken Rudin for a review of many great moments from the history of televised presidential debates, with commentary from several journalists and historians on how those moments may have helped pave the way for the winner to reach the White House.

Join us for the last in our special series on education from American RadioWorks. "Rewriting the Sentence: College Behind Bars" explores how providing education to inmates can reduce recidivism.

For decades, the United States' prison population has grown exponentially and today, more than two million Americans are incarcerated. But most people who enter prison eventually come out, and every year about 700,000 prisoners return to society. About half of those released will be back behind bars within three years.

This NPR News special will examine the characters of both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The 2016 Democratic and Republican presidential candidates are the most unpopular candidates since modern polling began. But why is that the case?

The latest in our series on education, "What it Takes: Chasing Graduation at High Poverty High Schools," examines the reason why nearly 20 percent of students don't finish high school.

There is virtually no way to make a legal living these days without at least a high school diploma. Still, this 20 percent exists. Why?

Another broadcast in our series on education this month, we bring you "Spare the Rod: Reforming School Discipline" this Sunday.

Kids who are suspended or expelled from school are more likely to drop out and more likely to wind up in prison than kids with similar behaviors who are not kicked out. Kids of color are more likely to be suspended or expelled than white kids are. Schools are struggling to reduce suspensions and to find other ways to make sure classrooms are calm and safe.

From American RadioWorks and American Public Media, join us this Sunday for "Stuck at Square One: The Remedial Education Trap."

When students go to college, they expect to be in college classes. But in fact, 4 in 10 students end up in basic math and English, re-learning what they were supposed to learn in high school. The vast majority of them never get a college degree. What's going on? Most people point to failures in the nation's K-12 education system, but this documentary probes deeper, exploring how students are placed into these classes, what skills people really need to be successful in college, and how best to learn those skills.

IQ2US: Do hunters conserve wildlife?

Jul 29, 2016

Join us this Sunday for Intelligence Squared U.S. -- the debate program you here occasionally on WRVO. This time the question at hand is "Do hunters conserve wildlife?"

Whether in America’s state game lands or the African bush, hunting has become one of the most hotly debated issues in the media and online. Internationally, the killing of Cecil the lion triggered a firestorm of criticism over trophy hunting rules and regulations.

Obama's Years, Part Two

Jul 18, 2016
Nick Knupffer / Flickr

Obama's Years is a two-part radio documentary that explores how life has changed for Americans over the last eight years.

In the second hour of this special coverage, Steve Inskeep will sit down with President Obama at the White House and ask the president how he thinks the country has changed during his presidency. Inskeep will also talk to the President about the thoughts, ideas and lives of the people he met during the reporting for this documentary.

Join us this Sunday, July 24 at 7 p.m. on WRVO.

Obama's Years, Part One

Jul 11, 2016
Claudine Ebeid / NPR

Obama's Years is a two-part radio documentary that explores how life has changed for Americans over the last eight years.

Andrew Forsthoefel /

Andrew Forsthoefel set out at age 23 to walk across America, East to West, 4000 miles, with a sign on him that said, "Walking to Listen". This hour, co-produced with Jay Allison, tracks his epic journey. It's a coming of age story, and a portrait of this country -- big-hearted, wild, innocent, and wise.

Join us this Sunday, July 10 at 7 p.m. for "Walking Across America," or listen online if you missed the broadcast.

From Andrew Forsthoefel:

Obama's Years: An NPR News special

Jun 29, 2016
Claudine Ebeid / NPR

"Obama's Years" is a two-part radio documentary that explores how life has changed for Americans over the last eight years.

Thirsty Planet, from American RadioWorks

Jun 22, 2016
American RadioWorks/APM

Scientists say most people on Earth will first experience climate change in terms of water -- either too much or too little. This documentary, from American RadioWorks, explores some of the most salient problems and solutions regarding water by visiting two countries where water issues are critical: India and Israel.

A vast and ecologically diverse country, India suffers from water problems found across the globe: flooding, drought, pollution and lack of access by the poor.

Join us on Father's Day, Sunday, June 19, for "Father Figures" from Hearing Voices. It's an hour of paternal praise, pride, disappointment and love.

Stories include Scott Carrier giving his son Milo a ski lesson, some reflections of bugs and dads, a wish to a divorced dad, a doctor telling his daughter about her grandfather, remembering dad moving out and more.

Join us Sunday night at 7 p.m. for "Father Figures" on Public Radio Presents. If you missed the broadcast, it's available online via PRX.

Join us this Sunday for another "Intelligence Squared U.S." debate.

The auto industry, agriculture, the energy sector -- what do they have in common? These industries benefit from government subsidies in the form of loans, tax breaks, regulation and other preferences. Critics from the left and right say that not only do these subsidies transfer wealth from taxpayers to corporations, they distort the markets and our economy.

Jennifer Simonson and Emily Haavik

Advocates for kids are pushing for a new approach to combating underage prostitution: treating young people caught up in sex trafficking as victims, not delinquents. This documentary looks at how police and lawmakers are increasingly turning to a public health approach to help vulnerable young people break free of sex trafficking.

This hour, we explore efforts to stop traffickers and buyers by embedding in a police sting, visiting a horse ranch for young victims of trafficking in Minnesota, and speaking with sex-buyers trying to change their ways.

We're airing the third season of Re:sound in May. You can join us each Sunday at 7 p.m. and you won't miss an episode! Re:sound presents unforgettable audio stories curated from all over the world. Each episode explores a new theme through a variety of lenses, a refreshing mix of storytelling styles and joyful use of sound.

Sunday, May 1 at 7 p.m. | The Cathy FitzGerald Show

Adam Baker / Flickr

Join us this Sunday at 7 p.m. for funny, poignant and thought-provoking stories and conversations that touch on the plagues, on slavery, on food, on the act of storytelling and more -- meant to apeall to people of all religious (and non-religious) backgrounds.

Hosted by Sara Ivry and Jonathan Goldstein.

Tune in Sunday, April 24 at 7 p.m. for Public Radio Presents, or listen online.

As technology rapidly progresses, some proponents of artificial intelligence believe that it will help solve complex social challenges and offer immortality via virtual humans. But AI’s critics say that we should proceed with caution. That its rewards may be overpromised, and that the pursuit of superintelligence and autonomous machines may result in unintended consequences. Is this the stuff of science fiction?

Should we fear AI, or will these fears prevent the next technological revolution?

Join us on Public Radio Presents for "A Life Sentence: Victims, offenders, justice and my mother," this Sunday night.

Jay Allison, a co-producer of this piece, says: "This is a story about a terrible crime and everything that followed. It's an intensely personal documentary, but it extends into public life and into the heart of our political and correctional systems. Some stories take a long time. This one is an hour long, took two and a half years to produce, after 20 years of living with it."

Join us on Sunday, December 27 for a year-end special remembering the encouraging news stories of the past year -- from the United States, overseas and outer space. Stories about employment, cars, drones, planes, weather, awards, mountain climbing, sports and more.

You'll hear the assuring words and music of world leaders that followed some of the somber events of 2015, plus the anniversaries of Hurricane Katrina, V-Day, the Selma March, even Charlie Brown and Snoopy.

Tune in Sunday, December 27 at 7 p.m. on WRVO. 

frankieleon / Flickr

Join us this week on Public Radio Presents for a special from our friends at Marketplace! The "Marketplace Weekend" team takes a look at where the holidays meet money in "Marketplace Takes Care of Holiday Business" this Sunday, December 6 at 7 p.m.

In this special, we explore the intersection between the holidays and money, tell some stories, and help you financially navigate the holiday season -- figuring out how to make your cousins get along is up to you.

mskeet / Flickr

Join us on Sunday, December 13 for "RISK!" with true stories perfect for the holiday season.

"RISK!" is the show where people tell true stories -- true stories they never thought they'd share with anyone. Writers, actors and ordinary people tell their most intimate secrets. It's hilarious, heartbreaking, and often wonderful. Some stories are told on stage at live shows and others are radio pieces.

Personal Creations / Flickr|

Get ready for some laughs the weekend before Christmas! Tune in for "Right Between the Ears," a Christmas special on Sunday, December 20 at 7 p.m.

This hour-long live sketch comedy show includes a spoof of the classic "It's a Wonderful Life," updated for our economically-challenging times; commercials for Jiffy Pants, the popcorn you make in your pants; and a special episode of Pimp My Turkey, where the turkey goes home with a 500-horsepower police interceptor engine.

Garret Ziegler / Flickr

This production of "A Christmas Carol" returns to the heart of the 1843 story, mining the dark veins of what Charles Dickens called "a ghost story of Christmas."

Join us on Thursday, December 24, Christmas Eve, at 8 p.m. for a new, but old, rendition of "A Christmas Carol" with a cast of seasoned New York actors.

Capitol Steps

"Politics Takes a Holiday" one more time this New Year with the Capitol Steps -- faster than Joe Biden deciding whether to run for president!

Tune in Thursday, December 31 at 7 p.m. for the Capitol Steps annual year-in-review, and boy has it been quite the year! With jokes more powerful than the wind it takes to finally blow off Donald Trump's hair -- you'll be laughing (and maybe crying) in no time.

For Hispanic Heritage Month: Immigration Uncovered

Oct 4, 2015
Jonathan McIntosh, Creative Commons

Sunday, October 4th, 2015 at 7pm: Immigration Uncovered: Untold Stories of Moving North

Coming up this Sunday, August 23 is Intelligence Squared U.S. (IQ2US) as part of Public Radio Presents. This debate, "Containment is not Enought: ISIS Must be Defeated," airs Sunday at 7 p.m. on WRVO.

gavinandrewstewart / Flickr

Join us this Sunday for another Re:sound special, airing as part of Public Radio Presents. This week we look at the ups and downs of confinement with "The Tight Spaces Show."

This week -- sometimes the only way to get out of a tight space is by getting into an even tighter one; getting through, or really -- underneath, the Berlin Wall; the need for wide-open space, and the resulting case of claustrophobia; and the isolation solitude confinement happiness freedom domain (that's right).

Tune in this Sunday, August 16 at 7 p.m. on WRVO.