Reveal is an investigative journalism podcast similar to PBS’ Frontline. Some of the content featured on Reveal has also appeared on Frontline (Rape on the Night Shift, 6/23/15). It is a part of PRX and affiliated with the Center for Investigative Reporting, a non-profit news organization known for shining light on corruption, fraud, government abuses, and scandals. The podcast contains stories not just from the CIR but also from other public news reporting organizations across the country.
Reveal is hosted by Al Letson. Episodes are pretty short, which often leave me wanting more. Some episodes are less than 15 minutes, which is really short for something that is distributed once a week. I hope as the podcast grows they think about increasing the length of the episodes. Reveal makes up for this a bit by offering multiple episodes as part of a series on a topic – the most recent was on missing persons/unclaimed dead bodies. You still have to wait a week to hear the next installment, but I like the thread woven through several episodes.
I was previously introduced to Al Letson as a charismatic, engaging radio host on State of the Re: Union, a podcast he hosted for about 5 years. It is an excellent production also worth reviewing and I will spend some time on it in a future post. I started listening to it as the series was ending and he mentioned he would be starting Reveal. I would have listened to it anyway just to hear him host, he’s that good. But I quickly found I loved the format, quick pace, and content of Reveal.
The podcast has been published in its current format since about March 2015 as far as I can tell. Content includes police corruption, a series on guns, fracking, an expose of working conditions, among others. I don’t think there are a lot of other great podcasts like it on the air. If you like shows like Frontline, 60 Minutes, Nova, or Dateline, or documentary specials on MSNBC, Nat Geo, HBO, or PBS, you’ll probably enjoy Reveal.
Audible Feast Ratings
Educational Value (5 / 5)
Pop Culture Value (4 / 5)
I’m giving 4 stars here because while Reveal doesn’t address entertainment or celebrities, it does give insight into a lot of current events and topics in the news.
Host Listen-ability (5 / 5)
Flow (both planned podcast flow and advertisement-impacted) (3 / 5)
Humor (1 / 5)
Investigation (1 / 5)
Storytelling (4 / 5)
Makes Me a Better Person (5 / 5)
This is one of those podcasts that makes me feel like I can converse more intelligently with friends, family, and co-workers. It has given me several “Did you know …” openings to start a conversation (usually with my husband!). And I love when I hear something on TV or read it in the news and I’ve already heard something about it on Reveal.
Overall Audible Feast Rating: (4 / 5)
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Criminal, Sword and Scale, Planet Money, Radiolab, This American Life, Serial, Freakonomics Radio, Slate’s Working, Science Vs, State of the Re:Union, Documentaries, Frontline: Audiocast