News Beat

News Beat
A social justice podcast

UPDATE: Federal Court Strikes Blow to Voting Rights in Florida
Sep 21 • 15 min
A federal appeals court earlier this month affirmed a controversial Florida law requiring people with felony convictions to pay court fees in order to have their voting rights restored. With less than 50 days until the November election and with the…
Death Sentence: COVID-19 Cases Are Soaring in Jails & Prisons
Aug 28 • 24 min
The warnings were clear: COVID-19 would spread like wildfire in jails and prisons. It has. The top COVID-19 clusters across America are overwhelmingly jails and prisons, and efforts to reduce jail populations have stalled amid a surge in infections. Among…
Return To Sender: Saving the USPS is a Racial Justice Issue
Aug 21 • 23 min
Black Americans have long relied on the Postal Service as a source of stable employment, with our guest tracing this history back to the legal end of slavery. Amid the uproar over recent efforts to undermine the USPS, we examine this history and the role…
#SayHerName: Confronting 400 Years of State Violence Against Black Women
Jul 2 • 39 min
The 2020 rebellions have sparked renewed discussions surrounding a host of racial issues, including police brutality toward black men. Advocates argue that black women are similarly exposed to excessive police violence yet routinely forgotten or ignored.…
Black Ops: COINTELPRO & The U.S. Government’s Ongoing Demonization of Black Activism [2020]
Jun 19 • 28 min
In commemoration of this year’s Juneteenth, as countless people flood the streets all across this country calling for justice, equality, and an end to police brutality, among other demands—testament that the struggle is far, far from over—we’re…
Defund Police: What It Means & How It Would Really Work
Jun 15 • 22 min
In the wake of the police slaying of George Floyd in Minneapolis, protesters have not only flooded the streets, but they’re actively pushing reforms that go well beyond traditional solutions. The defund police movement would represent a seismic shift in…
Criminalizing Protest [2020]
Jun 8 • 21 min
Anti-racism protesters nationwide have been met with chemical agents and aggressive force by police at demonstrations sparked by the modern-day lynching of George Floyd. This episode explores how our right to protest is being criminalized, through laws,…
Why The 2020 Anti-Racism Uprisings Feel Different
Jun 5 • 40 min
In recent days, commentators have compared the mass demonstrations taking place in cities and neighborhoods across the country to the waves of protests that engulfed America in the 1960s. A veteran of the 1967 Newark Rebellion discusses George Floyd’s…
Why We Riot
May 28 • 50 min
Our compelling, award-winning examination of the factors that exist when overly-oppressed and tormented communities have finally had enough, and, much like the incidents that lay at the foundation of our democracy, are forced to rise up in rebellion.…
[BONUS] Exclusive: San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin Talks Bail, Sentencing Reforms & COVID-19
May 1 • 23 min
A career public defender is now on the other side of the law. We speak to San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin about embracing reforms as district attorney of a prominent U.S. city, and combating COVID-19. News Beat is an award-winning Morey…
Redlining & Climate Change: A Deadly Combination
Apr 27 • 24 min
The areas victimized by racist federal housing policies in the 1930s are now among the most vulnerable to the severe impacts of climate change, according to a landmark study. And although the Fair Housing Act of 1968 banned redlining and housing…
How Racism Fuels Higher Coronavirus Death Rates
Apr 22 • 32 min
While the coronavirus has indiscriminately ravaged communities across the nation, African Americans are dying at disproportionately higher rates, according to preliminary data. Those who study racial health disparities aren’t surprised, considering that…
Coronavirus Behind Bars: Florida Jails + Effects of Visitation Bans
Apr 10 • 52 min
As part of our continuing coronavirus coverage, we examine the threat the virus poses to correctional facilities in Florida, which acted much later than other states to enact bans on nonessential workers. In the second part of the episode, we explore how…
Coronavirus Behind Bars: Crisis In New York
Apr 8 • 18 min
On March 13, the foremost expert on healthcare in correctional settings appeared on this podcast and warned of a “perilous and looming threat” inside these facilities. Rikers Island now has more than 200 coronavirus cases and recorded its first…
When Epidemics Collide: Coronavirus, Criminal Justice & Poverty
Mar 24 • 25 min
As the coronavirus pandemic exposes long-standing inequities in the United States, advocates say marginalized communities are going to suffer the worst from the consequences of a broken economy, neglect, and a decaying social safety net. Featuring Rev.…
Expert Warns Of ‘Perilous’ Coronavirus Threat In Jails & Prisons
Mar 13 • 23 min
One of the foremost experts on correctional health services warned of a “very perilous and looming threat” inside American correctional facilities amid the coronavirus pandemic outbreak. [BONUS EPISODE] Support the show:…
Espionage Act & The Battle For The Free Press
Feb 19 • 32 min
Intended to prosecute actual spies during wartime, the Espionage Act has been the U.S. government’s weapon of choice against antiwar critics and whistleblowers—and is now being deployed against a publisher, setting a sinister precedent for all…
MLK 2020: What They Won’t Teach In School
Jan 17 • 30 min
In this episode, we take an alternative look at Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy, examining how the civil rights icon was so much more than simply the “I Have a Dream” soundbite, which has become known as the cornerstone of his public…
BONUS: Breaking Down the US-Iran Conflict
Jan 10 • 23 min
The US assassination of Qassim Solemani has ignited a new wave of tension with Iran. Let’s figure out how we arrived at this critical juncture by examining the 1953 US-backed coup, the 1979 Iranian Revolution, and the ramifications of withdrawing from…
Exonerated and Broke
Dec 24, 2019 • 19 min
Consider this: Alan Newton served more than 20 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit before DNA analysis proved him innocent and he was exonerated. Now, had this occurred in Alabama, he would have received $50,000 for every year of wrongful…
BONUS: New York Bail Reform and the Afghanistan Papers
Dec 23, 2019 • 54 min
In this special bonus episode, Editors Rashed Mian and Christopher Twarowski examine the impact of bail on New Yorkers and the potential impact new reforms will have on the state. Next, experts will discuss recent revelations from the “Afghanistan…
Why We Riot
Dec 17, 2019 • 50 min
Just like Home Alone and Die Hard, ‘tis the season to enjoy a couple of classic blasts from the News Beat past. Today, we’re bringing you our first big award-winning episode, Why We Riot. It’s a compelling examination of all the factors that exist…
Mentally Ill and Incarcerated
Dec 3, 2019 • 22 min
If we were to ask you to name the largest mental health facilities in the country, what would you say? We’ll save you the trouble. The answer: jails. America’s failure to effectively treat the mentally ill amid a mass incarceration crisis has only…
Climate Justice: The Youth-Led Movement to Save Our Future
Nov 16, 2019 • 37 min
From the expert voice of Naomi Klein, to the voices of teenagers taking part in the global climate strike, to incendiary lyrics from hip-hop artist Silent Knight, this powerful episode explores the ongoing climate crisis and the people who are…
BONUS: Restorative Justice Advocate Wins Pivotal DA Race
Nov 11, 2019 • 11 min
UPDATE: Chesa Boudin, the deputy public defender in San Francisco, was officially elected district attorney in a hotly contested race for the hugely important seat. Boudin is among a number of DA candidates who have run on a reform agenda and he…
Restorative Justice: Healing Instead of Incarceration
Oct 23, 2019 • 22 min
This episode introduces the concept of restorative justice, in which crime victims actually have a say in the punishment handed down to their offenders. So instead of universal prison time, atonement might come in the form of community service, or in…
New Episodes - Trailer
Oct 22, 2019 • 3 min
New episodes coming for Fall 2019
Are New Criminal Justice Reform Laws Enough?
Jul 2, 2019 • 34 min
A special News Beat bonus episode
California: Epicenter of Mass Incarceration Reform
Jun 4, 2019 • 23 min
Since a U.S. Supreme Court-imposed mandate in 2011, the Golden State has sought to address prison overcrowding through myriad reforms, including by moving people from state prisons to county jails, reducing prison sentences for certain crimes, and…
E-Carceration: Are Digital Prisons the Future?
Mar 14, 2019 • 24 min
Tens of thousands each year, and hundreds of thousands collectively, are shackled with electronic monitors—devices that track a person’s every move. In most cases, these are attached to those on parole. In others, courts may even choose to lock…
The Truth Hurts: Journalism’s Battle for Justice in the Digital Disinformation Age
Feb 21, 2019 • 34 min
How is the Fourth Estate, perhaps the single-most important defender of the public, faring in the ongoing digital revolution, where the internet and smartphones provide real-time access to posts and stories authored by anyone with a mere Wi-Fi…
Rosa Parks: What You Didn’t Learn In School
Feb 1, 2019 • 25 min
History remembers Rosa Parks as a tired, middle-aged woman who stood up to racism and segregation in the South by literally sitting down and refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger when ordered, sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott…
MLK 2019: What They Won’t Teach In School
Jan 15, 2019 • 30 min
In this episode, we take an alternative look at Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy, examining how the civil rights icon was so much more than simply the “I Have a Dream” soundbite, which has become known as the cornerstone of his public…
Is Prison Abolition Possible?
Dec 20, 2018 • 24 min
Prison abolition may appear to be a radical conception, but it wasn’t always that way. In fact, in the ’60s and ’70s, the idea of prison abolition in the United States was a very real issue being discussed among academics and politicians alike. This…
Abused and Alone: Prison Rape in the #MeToo Era
Nov 29, 2018 • 27 min
In an era when women comprise the fastest-growing prison population in the U.S., those incarcerated are screaming #MeToo, too. But is anyone listening? News Beat: Social Justice Never Sounded So Good News Beat is a Morey Creative…
Abandoning The Left: Why Democrats Can’t Save Us
Nov 15, 2018 • 31 min
In partnership with Left Forum
Law & Disorder: Progressive Prosecutors Hope to Dismantle Mass Incarceration, One County at a Time
Oct 30, 2018 • 23 min
A new wave of progressive prosecutors hopes to reform the criminal ‘injustice’ system & dismantle mass incarceration by sweeping the midterm elections. News Beat: Social Justice Never Sounded So Good News Beat is a Morey Creative…
Black Ops: COINTELPRO & The U.S. Government’s Ongoing Demonization of Black Activism
Oct 18, 2018 • 28 min
The U.S. government has a long and sordid history of surveilling, infiltrating, and disrupting peaceful political and social movements it deems threatening, or adverse to the status quo. Perhaps most infamous was a secret FBI-led program codenamed…
The Truth About Puerto Rico: A U.S. Colony
Oct 8, 2018 • 25 min
The United States invaded Puerto Rico in 1898, and as colonists, Puerto Ricans—since 1917, “U.S. citizens”—have endured atrocities ranging from assassinations and bombings to covert mass sterilizations and incarcerations, and the island for…
Season Three Trailer
Oct 1, 2018 • 3 min
A look ahead at the nest season of News Beat
Trump’s Muslim Ban: Tearing Apart Families
Aug 2, 2018 • 26 min
Trump’s Muslim Ban: Tearing Apart Families Caught in Yemen’s Civil War
The Real Voter Fraud
Jul 3, 2018 • 34 min
Felony Disenfranchisement’s Civil Death Sentence
Criminalizing Protest
Jun 14, 2018 • 21 min
The U.S. Government’s Militarized & Legislative Crackdown on People’s Right to Dissent
America: Even More ‘Separate and Unequal’
May 16, 2018 • 24 min
The Kerner Report - 50 Years Later
BackBeat Episode Breakdown: Youth Prisons
May 11, 2018 • 37 min
Behind the scenes insight into our Youth Prisons episode
Youth Prisons: Juvenile Detention’s Racial Disparity, Rampant Violence & Lasting Damage
Apr 30, 2018 • 22 min
Juvenile Detention’s Racial Disparity, Rampant Violence & Lasting Damage
BackBeat Episode Breakdown: MS-13 plus Rebel Diaz Interview
Apr 19, 2018 • 69 min
Behind the scenes insight into our MS-13: Made in the USA episode
MS-13: Made in the U.S.A.
Apr 9, 2018 • 25 min
The United States under President Donald Trump is fully committed to an all-out assault on immigrants. Much of Trump’s ire is directed at MS-13, the transnational gang known primarily for its brutal slayings. But what’s often lost in the discussion is…
BackBeat Episode Breakdown: Poverty in America
Apr 6, 2018 • 46 min
BTS of ‘Land of the Rich, Home of the Poor’
Land of the Rich, Home of the Poor: America’s Poverty Crisis
Mar 21, 2018 • 23 min
One in every eight people in the richest country in the world is living in poverty. The richest country doesn’t seem to care.
Gina Haspel Covered Up Torture. Now She Might Run The CIA.
Mar 21, 2018 • 50 min
We talk to two former government insiders who warn about Haspel, who led a secret prisoner “black site” and covered up illegal torture.
BackBeat: A Discussion about the War on the Freedom of the Press
Mar 15, 2018 • 50 min
An in-depth look at the issues raised in our ‘Enemy of the American People’ episode
Enemy of the American People
Mar 1, 2018 • 25 min
The U.S. Government’s War on Journalism and Press Freedom
BackBeat Episode Breakdown: America’s Black Hole
Feb 21, 2018 • 50 min
A deeper dive into detention, torture and terror at Gitmo
America’s Black Hole: Indefinite Detention, Torture & Terror at Guantanamo Bay
Feb 9, 2018 • 24 min
Indefinite Detention, Torture & Terror at Guantanamo Bay
BackBeat Episode Breakdown: Freedom For Sale
Feb 7, 2018 • 40 min
A behind-the-scenes, deep dive into our look at the money bail system
Money Bail: Freedom for Sale
Jan 25, 2018 • 23 min
How Money Bail Crushes America’s Poor & Inflates The World’s Largest Prison State
BackBeat Episode Breakdown: Why We Riot, MLK & Season Two
Jan 24, 2018 • 47 min
This special BackBeat episode introduces our second season opener, our acclaimed episode, MLK: What They Won’t Teach You In School, giving a bit of behind the scenes context as to how that episode came about and why it’s so important. We also touch on…
MLK: What They Won’t Teach In School
Jan 8, 2018 • 20 min
In this episode, we take an alternative look at Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy, examining how the civil rights icon was so much more than simply the “I Have a Dream” soundbite, which has become known as the cornerstone of his public…
Why We Riot
Dec 18, 2017 • 54 min
Institutionalized Inequality, Racism & Oppression
BackBeat: Episode breakdown - Radical Caucasian Extremism
Dec 11, 2017 • 39 min
A behind-the-scenes look at our Extremism episode
Radical Caucasian Extremism
Nov 30, 2017 • 21 min
In an era in which Islamic terror is covered wall-to-wall, it is actually right-wing zealots that have carried out even more attacks in the United States since 9/11. News Beat is an MP Studios production, a division of Morey Publishing: …
BackBeat: Behind the Scenes of “AUMF: America’s Illegal Perpetual War”
Nov 24, 2017 • 37 min
On this episode of BackBeat, the team elaborates on the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, and how this one sentence, passed almost unanimously by Congress, has continued to allow America to engage in military conflicts around the…
AUMF: The Latest Weapon in America’s Illegal Perpetual War
Nov 16, 2017 • 22 min
The U.S. Constitution dictates Congress as the sole governmental body possessing the power to declare war, yet it hasn’t done so since World War II. So how have we been waging wars for the past 75 years, and what justifies our current global…
BackBeat: The Making of “Chelsea Manning: Collateral Murder Cover-Up”
Nov 9, 2017 • 36 min
On this episode of BackBeat, the team elaborates on the Chelsea Manning leaks from seven years ago and discuss why her revelations remain relevant today. You’ll hear from Michael Conforti, AKA Manny Faces, Christopher Twarowski and Rashed Mian as they…
Chelsea Manning: Collateral Murder Cover-Up
Nov 2, 2017 • 22 min
Chelsea Manning is perhaps the most important whistleblower in history. Yet she and her revelations remain largely distorted, misunderstood and covered up, obscured by US government- and mainstream media-manufactured hysteria about her patriotism and…
BackBeat Special Edition: ‘Hijacking Jihad’ Follow-up
Nov 1, 2017 • 13 min
A special ‘on the road’ edition of BackBeat, from Washington, D.C.
BackBeat: The Making of “Exonerated and Broke”
Oct 5, 2017 • 29 min
On this episode of BackBeat, the team discusses the inspiration for the episode Exonerated and Broke, providing more insight on the fight for exonerees to receive compensation for their wrongful convictions. In this BackBeat, you’ll hear from News…
Exonerated and Broke
Sep 26, 2017 • 20 min
The horror of wrongful conviction is made excruciatingly more painful by the fact that many states don’t offer compensation to exonerees
BackBeat 003: Hijacking JIhad
Aug 31, 2017 • 19 min
Behind the scenes of our ‘Hijacking JIhad’ episode
Hijacking Jihad
Aug 24, 2017 • 16 min
Reclaiming Islam’s ‘Personal Struggle’
BackBeat: The True Origins of the War on Drugs
Aug 22, 2017 • 19 min
On this episode of BackBeat, the News Beat team goes behind-the-scenes of episode 0002, “The True Origins of the War on Drugs,” to provide additional insight as to how the episode came together and why it was important to tell this story. News Beat…
The True Origins of the War on Drugs
Aug 9, 2017 • 16 min
Racism, Weed, Jazz and Harry Anslinger [Episode 0002]
BackBeat: The introduction to News Beat
Jun 26, 2017 • 48 min
A behind-the-podcast look at News Beat
News Beat: MLK, Jr. - Unfinished Business
Jan 15, 2017 • 30 min
A look at Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy