The curious-minded will find this short (less than 10 mins), daily, long-running BBC World Service podcast a deeply satisfying addition to their listening schedule. Traversing decades and continents, Witness brings us documentary stories from the last hundred years or so in history, told in the voices of the people who were there. Each broadcast is a adventure in some new place or moment, often an obscure historical nugget. But even when turning to well-trodden ground (World War II, for example) Witness finds new ways into the story, and distinctive voices by which to tell it. It's difficult to convey the sheer range of subject matter covered without devolving into list-making, so we'll do just that: episodes this year have featured the 1992 truce between the Bloods and the Crips; the formation of The Monkees; the mass mercury poisoning of a Japanese town; the division of Korea into North and South; the opening of the first McDonald's in Russia; and on, and on. No bit of history is too big or too small, because all of it together makes up the strange, shifting, ever-growing Story of Us.
Gateway episodes: A Bizarre Poisoning Plot in Oregon (Aug 20 2015) / CIA Mind Control Experiments (Jul 19 2015) / The Eichmann Tapes (3 Jun 2015) / Bloods and Crips Truce (14 Apr 2015) / The Beginning of Reality TV (Dec 29 2014)