Reveal

Fridays at 9 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.

Where criminals get their guns

Mar 23, 2018

Across the country, criminals are arming themselves in unexpected ways. In Florida, they’re stealing guns from unlocked cars and gun stores. In other places, they’re getting them from the police themselves, as cash-strapped departments sell their used weapons to buy new ones. On this episode of Reveal, we learn where criminals get their guns and what cars can teach us about gun safety.

The kids aren't all right

Mar 14, 2018

Federal law requires colleges and universities to report sexual assaults on campus. But that’s not true for kindergarten through 12th grade – and the Associated Press found a shocking level of that violence among students under 18. On this episode, Reveal delves into stories from this continuing investigation.

Wildfires raged across Northern California in October, burning through the state’s famed Napa and Sonoma wine regions. In all, more than 170 blazes ripped across an area the size of Maryland and Delaware combined. Scores awoke to flames at their doors, and 44 people were killed in the deadliest fire event in state history. On this episode of Reveal, we team up with KQED to examine what led to delays in evacuations and why so many fire victims received no warnings at all. As wildfires grow more intense, are first responders keeping up?

REVEAL Fundraiser Episode Spring 2018

Mar 1, 2018

For the 2018 Spring fundraising season, here are three of our favorite Reveal stories from the past year.

Deja Nuke: Return of the Nuclear Threat

Mar 1, 2018

With the threat of nuclear war once again a part of the national conversation, Reveal looks at nuclear threats both foreign and domestic. The show takes listeners to Iran, and finds out what life is actually like inside North Korea. As the Trump Administration pushes for the biggest increase in spending on nuclear weapons since the Cold War, Reveal explores how nukes have changed. Instead of annihilation, think “flexible” nuclear weapons that can threaten “limited” nuclear war. That’s the idea anyway.

My Town, Chi-Town

Feb 23, 2018

Chicago is experiencing a reversal of the great migration that propelled African Americans northward in search of opportunity. In this century, a quarter-million black Chicagoans have moved away. The reasons include decades of bad policy and broken promises on affordable housing, education and public safety.

The red line: Racial disparities in lending

Feb 16, 2018

It’s been 10 years since the great housing bust and lending is back. But not everyone is getting loans. In dozens of cities across the country, lenders are more likely to deny loans to applicants of color than white ones – even when you take into account how much money they make. Sound illegal? Yes, this type of housing discrimination was outlawed 50 years ago. But it’s making a comeback. On this episode of Reveal, we dig into the new redlining.

Bernard Madoff may be a fading memory from the past, but for reporter Steve Fishman, the fallen financier’s story holds lessons for today. Madoff masterminded one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in history, duping thousands of investors out of tens of billions of dollars. His scam rocked Wall Street for years. In this episode, we trace the rise and fall of Madoff through Fishman, who spent years interviewing investors, regulators and even Madoff himself from inside federal prison. We learn how Madoff pulled off his scam, and why nobody caught on for decades.

Too Many Pills

Jan 24, 2018

On Reveal, we share how the government failed to stop the opioid epidemic. A Washington Post/60 Minutes partnership with Reveal tells the story of how a DEA insider and his team of lawyers and investigators tried to stop drug distribution companies from flooding America with truckloads of pain pills. His effort was met with backlash from his own agency, the drug industry and Congress. We also hear the intimate chronicle of one wife’s discovery of her husband’s video diaries after his death from a fentanyl overdose.

#MeToo: Rape on the Night Shift

Jan 18, 2018

The #MeToo movement has swept from Hollywood to Capitol Hill. The careers of powerful men ended as women spoke out against workplace harassment and assault. On this episode of Reveal, we look at what happens when the people involved aren’t celebrities or powerful. We team up with KQED, the UC Berkeley Investigative Reporting Program, FRONTLINE and Univision to investigate sexual violence against female janitors. They usually work alone at night and that isolation can leave them vulnerable. A lot of them are immigrants, some living in the country illegally.

The mystery of Mountain Jane Doe

Jan 11, 2018

Investigators dig up an unidentified murder victim, 45 years after she was buried, in an attempt to give her back her name. The exhumation leads to a series of unexpected revelations about who she was and why she may have been killed. Her case speaks to the complexity – and importance – of opening up cold cases. This story from last year is just one of thousands from the crisis of America’s unidentified dead.

The Tide is High

Jan 4, 2018

The damage inflicted on the United States by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria will likely make the 2017 hurricane season the costliest in our history. But what is the government doing to prepare for the storms yet to come? In this hour, Reveal goes to Texas, Louisiana and Puerto Rico to investigate the government policies that let people build in harm's way, make it difficult to move them to safety and fail to accurately tally the dead.

A Revealing Year

Dec 27, 2017

Reveal has had a busy year – our team has chased stories from Oklahoma to Bermuda. We exposed a rehab program that provides labor at a chicken processing plant that’s been called a slave camp and followed the money trail of the Paradise Papers, leaked documents that revealed international tax shelters for some of America’s biggest companies. We reported on the rise of hate crimes and investigated hate groups. In this episode, we look at some of our best reporting from 2017 and how Reveal has made an impact in our world.

Fire and Justice

Dec 21, 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. We also follow the life of one of the defendants and his bid for freedom.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. elections seems to yield a new bombshell every week. Amid such high-profile revelations, we revisit a decades-old story that echoes to this day among the powerful in the nation’s capital. This episode of Reveal tells the story of Daniel Ellsberg, a former government strategist responsible for leaking the Pentagon Papers – thousands of classified documents that called into question America’s war in Vietnam.

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