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2019 Excellence in Audio Digital Storytelling, Ongoing Series finalist

Throughline

About the Project

Throughline provides the history we sometimes forget — or didn’t know in the first place — of events in the news and ideas dominating our national conversations. The series provides the stories and perspectives often missing from history textbooks to help us understand our world today. Hosts/creators Rund Abdelfatah and Ramtin Arablouei noticed that NPR was missing a podcast that provides context to the issues that come up in the news and drive discussions around politics and policies. So, they developed Throughline to address that.

Throughline tackles history and connects to our present in new and surprising ways. As Americans were hearing more and more about the protests and the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, we published “El Liberatador” which looks at how two of the its most important leaders contributed to the rise and fall of the country. The “American Shadows” episode demonstrated how conspiracy theories helped to create the U.S. and have always influenced our politics. And “On the Shoulder of Giants” explored the long history of black athletes using their platforms for protest the same week that Colin Kaepernick and the NFL reached a settlement. Most importantly, Throughline wants history to feel alive and dynamic through cinematic, sound-rich storytelling. This comes through in every single episode, including with the very first episode (“How the CIA Overthrew Iran’s Democracy in 4 Days”), which recreates a detailed timeline of multiple coup attempts in 1953.