2020年12月18日 星期五

The Daily: 10 Powerful Episodes From 2020

Here’s a holiday playlist of the episodes that Michael Barbaro and our team can’t forget.
Protesters marched in New York in June as anger spread across the country.Demetrius Freeman for The New York Times

In moments of crisis, the journalistic urge to chronicle and memorialize becomes a kind of civic duty. That’s what 2020 was for “The Daily.” A rolling catastrophe that summoned us — to track down the most memorable characters, the most searing sounds, the most unforgettable scenes.

That’s what we tried to do, day after day, for the past 12 months. What follows is a list of what we think are our best shows of the year:

The pandemic

The pandemic is a story of unrelenting awfulness: lockdowns, infections and death. But it was also a story of resilience, and, in rare cases, joy. These episodes tell both stories — making them worth revisiting, even months later.

Around the world, people spent far more time at home this year than usual. In São Paulo, Brazil, residents gathered at their windows in March to protest the government’s pandemic response.Victor Moriyama for The New York Times

This was an unusual episode for us. The central event occurred half a century ago. But the parallels between the life-altering catastrophe that befell Anchorage in 1964 and the pandemic felt unmistakable, a connection captured in the opening words of “This is Chance!,” the book by Jon Mooallem that inspired the episode:


“There are moments when the world we take for granted instantaneously changes; when reality is abruptly upended and the unimaginable overwhelms real life. We don’t walk around thinking about that instability, but we know it’s always there: at random, and without warning, a kind of terrible magic can switch on and scramble our lives.”

Genie Chance’s voice steadied Alaska after an earthquake, and, for a moment, it steadied us too.

— Michael Barbaro, host of The Daily

I remember exactly when I realized that the coronavirus was about to change all of our lives: The morning of Feb. 27, 2020, when Donald G. McNeil Jr. came on The Daily and said that this thing was serious — that it had most likely spread further than we know and that it was something we needed to start preparing for right now.


Just a few weeks later, as new travel restrictions and forced business closures began spreading through the United States, and with more and more Americans concerned we might be overreacting, we interviewed a doctor in Italy trying to care for the overwhelming number of coronavirus patients that he was seeing every day. There was no way for me to hear his account and remain confused as to why we all needed to protect the most vulnerable. — Andy Mills, a producer

Early in the year, the virus hit Western Europe harder than any other place in the world. In March, a coronavirus patient was examined at his home in Cenate Sotto, Italy.Fabio Bucciarelli for The New York Times


Gregg Breinberg and the chorus of Public School 22 on Staten Island reminded me that we can still find meaningful ways to connect in the midst of Covid. After listening to Mr. Breinberg inspire his students, and lead them through a pandemic, I was left only wishing I had him as my teacher. I still think about this episode from time to time. — Laura Kim, an editorial manager

Barbara Krupke won the lottery. Fred Walter Gray enjoyed his bacon and hash browns crispy. Orlando Moncada crawled through a hole in a fence to reach the United States. John Prine chronicled the human condition. Cornelia Ann Hunt left the world with gratitude.

“We made this episode after we lost 100,000 people to coronavirus in the United States. In doing so, we broke form, took a chance and made something entirely different than we’ve ever made before. Months later, this audio portrait is still a powerful vigil honoring — and celebrating — these lives.” — Lynsea Garrison, a producer

Protests against racial inequity

How do you cover the effects of centuries of systemic racism? By listening closely to those affected by it. This summer, we captured the sounds of the Black Lives Matter movement, unprecedented in scale, by traveling to the protests’ front lines. Then, we spoke with Black police officers and union leaders at the center of the debate over defunding.

The killing of George Floyd in May inspired mass demonstrations against police brutality across the country. In Minneapolis, officers confronted protesters on May 31.Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

The protests after the killing of George Floyd brought thousands of people out to the streets — some for the very first time — to voice the intensity of their emotional responses. This episode captured that moment through voices from across the country and across generations, showing that those feelings of anger and pain weren’t just for Mr. Floyd, but for many Americans who’ve experienced the effects of racial injustice and inequality. Sydney Harper, a producer

View the rest of our list here, and follow our playlist on Spotify.
Thanks for listening along. Happy holidays!

That’s it for The Daily newsletter. See you in January 2021.

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