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The father of modern horror literature, grammar rules to live without, and a podcast recommendation: newsletter, January 17, 2020

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,6xx) on Friday, January 17, 2020.   {% if subscriber.first_name != blank %} Hello {{ subscriber.first_name }}, {% else %} Hello, {% endif %} News from Major League Baseball in January is never plentiful, and what there was this week was not good: two team managers were fired […]

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Accused: a top-notch true-crime podcast, now into Season 3

After June 18, 1984, no one ever saw David Bocks again. He was a divorced father of three and, despite the divorce, a devoted dad. He worked as a pipe-fitter at the Fernald Feed Production Center, which was a cover for a U.S. Department of Energy facility that processed high-grade uranium for use in nuclear […]

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Podcast: From the NYPD: Break in the Case 

If you are a fan of true-crime police procedurals and looking for a good podcast along those lines, there probably isn’t a better source than the New York Police Department. The NYPD has just begun a new podcast called “Break in the Case” that will follow some complex cases through multiple episodes to their conclusion. […]

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Podcast: Countdown to Capture – Peter Chadwick: Murderer and Fugitive

Countdown to Capture – Peter Chadwick: Murderer and Fugitive is another of the police-produced podcasts (I recommended one, Break in the Case, from the New York Police Department last week) that examine and a crime and the subsequent investigation purely from the police point of view. But this one is different. It was produced by a […]

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Edmund Morris and Richard Ben Cramer and unworthy subjects, a police procedural podcast, and reactions to the World Series: newsletter, Nov. 8, 2019

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,666) on Friday, November 8, 2019.    Baseball is a game you can share with others. That was the message I got from a large number of emails sent after the special report on my trip to the World Series in the last newsletter. Those emails […]

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Podcast recommendation: Secrets and Spies: The Untold Story of Edith Cavell

Edith Cavell was a British nurse working in German-occupied Belgium in 1915 when she formed an escape network for British and allied soldiers who found themselves behind enemy lines. She helped hundreds of soldiers and put herself in great danger in the process. German authorities realized what was happening, and Cavell was arrested, tried for […]

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Tunnel 29, another podcast hit from the BBC

First, there was the Ratline, the story of a high-ranking and much-wanted Nazi who escaped justice after World War II. Now, the BBC’s Intrigue series has come up with another podcast hit: Tunnel 29. This is the true story of a group of people, mostly students, who found themselves in West Germany in the early […]

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Podcast recommendation: The Ratline from BBC Sounds, a gripping, intriguing tale

Hundreds of Nazi criminals escaped justice at the end of World War II through something called the Ratline. But few were as high on the wanted list as Otto von Wächter, an Austrian SS officer whose administrative positions during the war had him overseeing the deaths of thousands of Jews, Poles, gypsies, and others who the […]

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A new podcast examines the Jeffrey Epstein case

Julie K. Brown, the reporter for the Miami Herald who would not let the Jeffrey Epstein story go when just about every other reporter and prosecutor would, has a just-out series of podcasts about this sad and sorted tale. Epstein recently committed suicide rather than face a trial for his multiple assaults on underage girls, but his name […]

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America’s chief WWII codebreaker, language and dialect in Appalachia, new season for Serial; newsletter, September 14, 2018

This newsletter was emailed to everyone on Jim’s email list (x) on August 30, 2018 At this writing, a major hurricane is about to slam into the east coast of the U.S., and predictions are that it will cost lives and do great damage. In the middle of this past week, as we were traveling […]

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Slow Burn, Season 2: Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky, and impeachment

It’s been almost two decades now (really? that long!), and the impeachment of Bill Clinton still rubs up against raw feelings on the part of Clinton’s supporters and opponents. And even if you don’t have feelings about it that were generated at the time (maybe you weren’t old enough to really remember), you should list […]

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Buried Truths podcast: a very American story, unfortunately

If you were an African-American in the 1940s and you wanted to participate in state and local politics, rural Georgia was not a kind or forgiving place. In fact, it could be very dangerous. That’s the story told by Hank Klibanoff, a journalist and now faculty member at Emory University in Atlanta, in the Buried […]

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Sam Ervin, chairman of the Senate Watergate Committee

Slow Burn: a podcast series about Watergate

If you lived through the Watergate crisis (1972-1974), you probably remember a lot about what happened and about the major characters, such as John Dean, Richard Nixon, John Ehrlichman, etc. And you probably remember how it felt to have a new development in the story just about every day. It was an interesting, often thrilling, […]

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The 10 best true crime podcasts, profiled

For the past few weeks, I have been listening to true-crime podcasts and making recommendations to my newsletter readers. There are lots of such podcasts out there, and you have to admire the effort, dedication, and skill that it takes to put these together. The reporting on some of them is excellent. Here are the best […]

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Audio journalism I: Defining the field – the power and importance of sound

A clarion call for journalism instructors to think beyond the strictures of radio and to teach audio journalism — using sound as a reporting tool — to all of their students. Now that the web has freed sound from the confines of radio, audio journalism needs to be a part of the skill set of […]

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