GroundTruth

GroundTruth

At the height of the Vietnam War, a government insider named Daniel Ellsberg leaked 7,000 pages of classified documents to American newspapers. The Pentagon Papers revealed that Americans had been lied to for decades about the war. Fifty years later, Ellsberg reveals his evolution from Cold Warrior to Whistleblower in the GroundTruth Podcast series The Whistleblower: Truth, Dissent and the Legacy of Daniel Ellsberg. Based at GBH in Boston, the award-winning GroundTruth Podcast has covered global affairs from the War in Afghanistan to rising populist nationalism through shoe-leather, on-the-ground reporting.

Episodes

April 30, 2021 39 min

Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers to the press knowing he could face the rest of his life in prison. But what turned this Cold War hawk into an anti-war dove? What were the motivating events and people who influenced his transformation? At 15, a tragic car accident would shape his sense of responsibility to the wider world. His time in the Marine Corps strengthened his dedication to serving his country. But in 1968 he woul...

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In the series premiere, we pick up on Ellsberg’s first day at the Pentagon, the day he became acquainted with what he came to call the “lying machine.” It was August 4, 1964. Contradicting accounts of an attack in The Gulf of Tonkin would give President Johnson the green light to lead the country into war in Vietnam based on a lie. We follow this thread, and the deception, through his time in the field in Vietnam, where he saw how ...

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Americans across the country opened their newspapers to the first reports based on classified documents leaked by a government insider, Daniel Ellsberg. Consisting of 7,000 pages of top secret documents, the Pentagon Papers revealed in cold, analytical detail how four presidential administrations lied to the American public: the reasons for entering the war, the failures of their policies, the low chances of success, and the reason...

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The turmoil of the 2020 presidential election campaigns has raised questions about just what it means to vote.

Who gets to pull the lever? How can someone cast their ballot? Will all of the votes be counted in time?

GroundTruth’s Voting Rights Fellows share local stories of voters, activists and election officials working to preserve the process this Nov. 3.

Explore our Election 2020 reporting: https://thegroundtruthproject.org/...

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October 29, 2020 12 min
When you think about Kentucky's deep red politics today, it's likely the face of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his laconic drawl that comes to mind. But one northern corner of this solidly Republican state is streaked blue by its state house representation. Covering local government in northern Kentucky through our Report for America program, reporter Julia Fair with the Cincinnati Enquirer has been following...
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October 2, 2020 23 min

The origins of Blues music is a complex weave of traditions, and the genre echoes suffering and endurance through centuries of hardship. Evolving from blended musical forms brought to the United States by enslaved Africans, then taking on the rhythm of work in the fields and heart of spirituals, the oppressive environment of the Jim Crow South ultimately shaped the Blues as we know it today.

Today, the Blues are more often romanti...

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For most of us, it's hard to ignore the rising threat of climate change. But the sheer magnitude of the devastation it could cause is daunting. For those journalists trying to convey the sense of urgency to the public, it can become overwhelming. Living on Cape Cod, where towns and residents are trying to beat back rising tides with seawalls and sand, WCAI climate change reporter Eve Zuckoff is finding it difficult to build bar...

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For many growing up in Chicago, the barber shop is a refuge. Raised on the Windy City's West Side, Report for America corps member Manny Ramos knows that fact well.

"Barbers do more than just cut hair," he says, "they record history."

They hear about the aspirations of the people whose hair they trim, and whose major life events they mark together. Ramos' reporting shows us how the barber shop has come to ...

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In August 2018, well before any thought of a pandemic sweeping the country, Mississippi’s prison system saw a spike in inmate deaths. Correctional officials attributed many of these to “natural causes.” But these deaths aren't the only concerns for inmates and their families. Conditions in some of these prisons – men sleeping five to a cell or the sparse and unappetizing meals they get on a day to day basis or what the showers ...

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Bird Singing is an oral tradition that has been passed down for centuries among the tribes across the American Southwest. These stories are sung by male members of tribes – from young boys to elders – whose only accompaniment is a gourd fashioned into a shaker. But the threat of COVID-19 has forced these traditions online, in isolation. See video of Bird Singers performing here:

https://gtruth.co/2X4lyjh

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“Deadly Force,” a new podcast series from Report for America host newsroom WPLN in Nashville, focuses on the trial of the first Nashville police officer to be charged with murder for shooting someone in the line of duty. Through newly uncovered documents, original interviews and audio footage, Deadly Force gets a glimpse into the mind of a police officer struggling to make sense of when to use his gun and the culture in Nashville s...

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July 3, 20-18. It was almost Independence Day. 

Lee Eric Evans straightened a flag pole on his aunt’s front porch. He carefully unfurled an American flag so that it hung properly, making sure it didn’t touch the ground.

Lee, who is 26 years old, was fussing over the flag for the 4th of July celebrations in the Farish Street Historic District which would happen the next day. 

I was working on a story about the importance of the D...

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Report for America corps member Chris Ehrmann continues on his road trip across America, picking up in St Louis, where economic recovery depends on where you live. Chris listens to protesters from Denver to Los Angeles, in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, who are wondering, is this a tipping point?

https://thegroundtruthproject.org/on-the-ground-with-report-for-america-pandemic-and-protest/

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Report for America corps member Chris Ehrmann embarked on a road trip across America, literally, from Times Square to Los Angeles, California. He traced the new landscape of COVID-19 across time zones and state lines. He spoke to those whose loved ones have been directly impacted by the virus, squaring off against those impacted by a devastated economy. In the wake of the killing of George Floyd, his journey to witness a nation und...

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The 9th season of the GroundTruth Podcast is a playlist of stories from across America. We shadow our Report for America corps members as they bring us into their communities, and share the stories of people who’ve often felt unheard. Amid a pandemic and nationwide demands for justice and reform, the audio road trip begins with an actual road trip from coast to coast.

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As a thick morning fog was still lifting over the hills here above the San Francisco Bay, Ellsberg sat at his dining room table, sipping a cup of coffee and reading The New York Times. It was Friday, December 13th, the House Judiciary Committee had just sent the articles of impeachment for a full house floor vote.  It feels like deja vu, 50 years on. Dan Ellsberg was reflecting on then and now.

To some, the whistleblower is a her...

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As Donald Trump took the oath of office and became the 45th President of the United States, journalists’ role of covering the White House and the presidency was turned upside down. It started day one with the
inauguration and the very first press conference. 

Sean Spicer: “This was the largest audience to ever watch an inauguration, period. Both in
person and around the globe.”

The next day, on Meet the Press Kellyanne Conway st...

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LGBT communities face challenges in all parts of the world. But in Poland, the right-wing populist Law and Justice party spent the last year insisting that pro-LGBT stances were a western import meant to weaken Poland internally. 


They claim that progressive social values have no place in polish identity, and refer to values pertaining to the LGBT community as “LGBT ideology.” Law and Justice leader Jarosław Kaczyński describes i...

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In August, 1947, British colonial rule officially ended in India. Within 6 months, Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of India’s independence movement, was assassinated by a Hindu nationalist who rejected Gandhi’s
openness to India’s Muslims. For more than 70 years, India more or less remained a constitutional democracy granting religious equality to all.

In 2014, Narendra Modi was elected prime minister. In May of 2019, Modi and his BJP ...

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It is often said that journalism is the first draft of history. Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s dominance of Hungarian media gives him the power to not only write the first draft, but to rewrite history, in step
with his own nationalist narrative.

Over the past 9 years, media outlets in Hungary have fallen victim to Orban’s campaign to expand government control or to shut down independent media. Critics say Orban’s goal is to create...

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