Reveal

Sundays at 4 p.m. on 89.7 NPR News
  • Hosted by Al Letson

Reveal is the Peabody Award-winning investigative journalism program for public radio. We’ve heard the news, but we want to know what really happened.

That’s what Reveal is all about: finding out what’s going on behind the scenes, hidden from public view.

School haze

Feb 17, 2017

Across the country, thousands of public schools are within 500 feet of pollution-choked roads like highways and truck routes. Next time on Reveal, we investigate the high levels of exhaust surrounding U.S. schools and how the bad air is affecting the millions of children who are breathing it in.

Deadly waters

Feb 10, 2017

The U.S. Navy spends tens of billions of dollars each year building and repairing ships. But how safe are the shipyards where that work is done? Reveal investigates how lax safety has been allowed to persist at shipyards that thrive on military contracts. The hour also will explore one of the newest warships in the Navy’s fleet and whether it’s living up to expectations. And we'll tell the story of one man’s unexplained disappearance on the high seas.

Trial by fire

Feb 2, 2017

In 1988, two powerful explosions shook Kansas City, Missouri, killing six firefighters. Nine years later, five people were convicted of arson and sent to prison for life – but were they innocent? Reveal investigates problems in the case and whether federal agents pressured witnesses to lie. This month, one of the defendants will make his case for freedom before a federal judge.

Split down the middle

Jan 27, 2017

At a time when Donald Trump is assuming leadership of a divided nation, Reveal heads to Jacksonville, Florida, one of the most divided cities in America. We look at policing, immigration, education and other issues through the eyes of people with very different perspectives and find out that residents here are not on the same page.

This week, Reveal revisits the story of a woman who decides to confront the man she says abused her decades earlier. Reporter Tennessee Watson was sexually abused by her gymnastics coach when she was a kid. Over 25 years later, when she learned he still was coaching children, she called the police. Her inside account of the arduous process of seeking justice in her own case exposes discrepancies in prosecutors’ responses to reports of child sexual abuse and spotlights a lack of accountability.

Water Wars

Jan 13, 2017

Next to the air we breathe, it’s the planet’s most precious resource: fresh water. And it’s disappearing. The world’s largest food company describes the lack of water as a looming catastrophe that is expected to play out in the coming decades. In this episode of Reveal, we look at what’s happening in places that already are running out of water.

America's digital dumping ground

Jan 5, 2017

You got that new computer or phone you wanted for the holidays – but what happens to your old gadgets? They might not end up where you expect. Next time on Reveal, environmentalists follow the global trail of America’s electronic castoffs.

The year in Reveal

Dec 29, 2016

This year on Reveal, we’ve dug into the issues that affect people's lives across the country. We told stories about worker abuse, toxic schools, women’s sports and private prisons. And so we decided to round out this season with something different: This hour, we look back at stories you, our listeners, said were the most memorable.

Our holiday gift to you is a story we first brought you back in May. It touches on corrupt politicians and keeping the public in the dark. Don’t worry, it has nothing to do with this year’s election. In fact, this story takes us back more than 40 years. Consider this show a trip with the ghost of investigations past, where we take a look back at the Pentagon Papers – how they became public and why they’re so important.

Turbulent times, turbulent skies

Dec 15, 2016

On this episode of Reveal, we explore the backstory of Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon. Plus, just in time for the holidays, we take a look at some real travel nightmares and the airlines that cause them.

Secrets of the Watchtower

Dec 8, 2016

For the past two years, Reveal reporter Trey Bundy has been uncovering how the Jehovah’s Witnesses hide sexual abuse in their congregations – in fact, it’s official policy. The religion's leaders have been going to extreme lengths to keep the details from public view. On the next Reveal, we track down people who know the religion’s dark secrets.

Glare of the spotlight

Nov 16, 2016

Oscar season is upon us, and one of the best picture nominees is a film that hits pretty close to home for us here at Reveal: “Spotlight.” In case you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a movie about The Boston Globe’s investigative team that exposed the Catholic church sex abuse scandal. In this hour of Reveal, we’re going to take you behind the scenes of that investigation, look at the legacy of the groundbreaking story and see how other journalists went on to expose more crimes by Catholic priests around the world.

The secret Trump voter

Nov 15, 2016

It’s over. One of the longest, craziest and most lurid elections in memory is, thankfully, over. So, now that the ballots have been cast, what were the biggest lessons learned? We cut through the noise and ask what matters most: Did democracy win on Election Day? In the first presidential race since the Supreme Court seriously weakened the Voting Rights Act, Reveal examines where the U.S. lived up to its democratic principle – and where our history of voter suppression reared its ugly head.

REVEAL Fundraiser Episode 2016

Sep 19, 2016

For the 2016 fall fundraising season, here are three of our favorite Reveal stories from this year.

Reporter Tennessee Watson was sexually abused by her gymnastics coach when she was a kid. Over 25 years later, when she learned he still was coaching children, she called the police. Her inside account of the arduous process of seeking justice in her own case exposes discrepancies in prosecutors’ responses to reports of child sexual abuse and spotlights a lack of accountability.

229: Farm to fork

Jul 19, 2016

This week, Reveal revisits an hour of stories dedicated to food. We take a look at the complicated networks of labor, trade and regulation that carry meat, produce and other products to our tables.

The student loan program was supposed to help open the door to higher education, but it’s become something else: a profit center for Wall Street and the government. Now the program is making things worse for some of the people it was designed to help. On this episode of Reveal, we explore how this happened and who’s winning and losing as a result.

After Orlando

Jun 20, 2016

This week’s attack on a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, was the largest mass shooting in American history. Reveal goes to Orlando to hear from survivors and learn how the FBI investigates potential terrorists. We explore how security companies screen potential employees such as Omar Mateen, the nightclub shooter. We also investigate how the NRA and gun control groups use data on gun violence to shape the debate.

Women's sports: A man's game

May 8, 2016

In this hour of Reveal, we’re looking into Title IX, the historic law meant to bridge the gender gap in schools. We mostly see this rule play out in school sports teams, but behind the athleticism and fanfare, there's a story of failure. Reveal reporters go inside campuses to discover that there’s actually been a decline in female coaches since the law’s outset. And how exactly does the government make sure that a school is following Title IX? These answers and more on the next Reveal.

New day dawning on the night shift

Apr 7, 2016

Every day, invisible armies of men and women head to work, where they’re tasked with doing something that helps make our lives a little bit easier. Some clean buildings, some assemble the devices we can’t live without, and some cook our favorite cheap eats. On this hour of Reveal, we revisit our investigation of sexual assault against female janitors: Rape on the Night Shift. Since the story first aired, a group of workers has been organizing and is speaking out. Now, a bill to protect them is in the works.

Billion-dollar scam

Apr 7, 2016

California’s workers’ compensation program covers 15 million workers across the state. If you get hurt on the job – fall off a ladder, for instance – it’s the system you turn to. Most employers are required to carry workers' comp insurance, which helps cover medical bills and lost wages for injured employees. But Reveal reporter Christina Jewett has discovered serious fraud in the system after reviewing thousands of documents. They show that in the last decade, more than 80 people have been accused of cheating California’s workers' comp medical system out of $1 billion.

You know those Planet Aid clothing donation boxes you see on the side of the road? Those clothes and over $100 million in U.S. grant money are supposed to help people in southern Africa. But when Reveal went to Malawi to find out what actually happened, people told us that some of the projects didn't pan out. Our investigation finds that the U.S. government knew an international fugitive was linked to the projects, but kept the money flowing. Reveal goes behind the bin and across an ocean to find out what's going on.

When Mad Men meet dark money

Mar 16, 2016

 

Mighty Ike

Mar 7, 2016

Texas is home to the Houston Ship Channel, one of the world’s busiest maritime waterways. Also in Houston, and along the Ship Channel, are refineries and chemical plants that make up the nation’s largest refining and petrochemical complex. It’s a major economic hub. But what would happen to the area if a major hurricane hit? In 2008, Hurricane Ike swept through Texas, and resulted in billions of dollars in damages. But it could have been much worse. The storm turned at the last minute and didn't hit Houston head on.

The religious freedom loophole

Feb 27, 2016

America was built on the idea of protecting religious liberty. But what happens when religious groups take advantage of these special freedoms to make money, skirt rules or hurt children?

This hour of Reveal explores the tricky territory of religious freedom and how different groups have exploited this loophole.

On this hour of Reveal, we take another look at three of our major investigations that explored energy production in the United States, and we’ll bring you up to date on what’s happened since they originally aired. From Washington to North Dakota and Oklahoma, we’ll revisit how fracking has opened new realms of oil and gas production and examine some of the complex consequences of so-called energy independence.

On this hour of Reveal, we take another look at three of our major investigations that explored energy production in the United States, and we’ll bring you up to date on what’s happened since they originally aired.

From Washington to North Dakota and Oklahoma, we’ll revisit how fracking has opened new realms of oil and gas production and examine some of the complex consequences of so-called energy independence.

Anyone who serves time for a federal crime will end up in what prison experts say is the best-run prison system in the country: the Federal Bureau of Prisons. But if you're not a U.S. citizen, you could end up in one of a dozen facilities that don't have to follow the same rules – and are run by private companies instead of the government. This hour of Reveal investigates medical negligence at this parallel private prison system for immigrants. And exposes the shift in criminal justice policy that helped fill up these prisons.

Pumped on Trump

Jan 28, 2016

Rallying for Trump in Sin City

Reporter Katharine Mieszkowski hops on a plane to Nevada to attend a Donald Trump rally at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. To experience the event the way supporters do, she made sure to stand in the eye of the storm. She navigates herself through a sea thick with Trump supporters and records what she hears there in the middle of the crowd.

You will hear tense events unfold as protesters disrupt the rally and are thrown out by security.

One mother’s quest to put a cap on toxic tap water

What do you do when the water’s not safe to drink, bathe in or even swim in?

Lee Anne Walters, a mother of four who lived on the south side of Flint, Michigan, turned to bottled water. That’s right – store-bought bottles and jugs of water used for everything from cooking to brushing teeth.

She took those extreme measures after her kids started getting sick.

Pages