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Programs BBC Docs & Specials

Each month, the BBC World Service offers new documentaries and specials selected specifically for U.S. audiences, with in-depth, relevant reporting. Typically one-hour, or two half-hours on a similar topic, they offer great content for any time of day, and satisfy audiences' needs for deeper narratives and more reflective listening.

Monthly offerings are available via ContentDepot, complete with promos and billboards. Click on individual titles to visit and subscribe to unique ContentDepot pages, where you can access programs as air windows open.

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Ground Shift: The Farming Revolution
Two one-hour episodes

Anna Jones visits Ghana, Australia and the U.S. to investigate what young farmers make of the agriculture they've inherited, and how they are transforming the way food is produced.

Episode one: Survival and Online
August 7–September 17
One hour

Anna Jones explores the challenges facing family farms in the American Midwest and Australian Outback, and how Millennial farmers are embracing change to ensure their survival.

She also examines how digital technology is changing farming and boosting prosperity in rural communities around the world.

Episode two: Scale and Sustainability
August 21–September 17
One hour

Get big, get out or go niche? From Big Ag and 'factory farming' to urban micro farms, Anna Jones explores dramatic differences in the scale of modern agriculture.

Then, Anna asks young farmers how they plan to feed the world while protecting the land they've inherited. Can we balance commercial food production with the needs of our increasingly fragile natural environment?

Why Woodstock Still Matters
August 18-24
One hour

Joan Baez presents a celebration of the Woodstock spirit that still carries important social lessons on how ordinary people can effect change.

Now that the Woodstock generation has indeed inherited the world, what lessons from their utopian dream are still being implemented today? How has the '60s hippie ethos that cherished the value people placed on one another that weekend permeated society in general?

My Very Extended Family
August 25-31
One hour

Two years ago, Julia, a high school student from Ohio, received an email from a woman in New York she had never met, claiming that her daughter and Julia shared the same biological father. The phone call that followed changed Julia's life forever, as she discovered she had not only one half-sibling, but more than she could ever have anticipated.

As she investigates these new relationships and her remarkable family history, Julia explores the meaning of family and identity in an age of scientifically assisted reproduction.

Media Front
September 4–October 15
Two one-hour episodes

Episode one: September 4–October 15
Episode two: September 18–October 15

In India, the Philippines, Ukraine and the U.S., Andrea Catherwood investigates the new world in which media and journalism must work, the challenges to independent journalism around the world, and how journalists are adapting to a new future.

World War II: The Economic Battle
September 22-28
One hour

The story of World War II is usually told in terms of heroism on the battlefield, but perhaps the most important struggle was on the economic front. Around the world, countries were fighting to feed their populations, maximize production from their factories and fund their armies.

Economist Duncan Weldon marks the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II by examining how the economies of the European powers, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and the Soviet Union set the scene for the war's conduct in 1939 and 1940, and how the economies of Japan and China made war in Asia inevitable.

America's Child Brides
September 29–October 5
One hour

In 48 out of 50 states, a child can marry, usually with parental consent or a judge's discretion. Jane O'Brien investigates why and how this happens and talks to the people trying to stop it.

October 3–November 13
Two one-hour episodes

Episode one: October 3–November 13
Episode two: October 17–November 13

Set in Holland, Zimbabwe, India and Scotland, and building on J.M. Coetzee's story The Lives of Animals (1999), this series explores attitudes to non-human animals at a point in history when it is more important than ever to consider the human impact on the natural world.

Visit BBC Partners for detailed program descriptions, new program rundowns, content downloads, and more.

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