Retro Report

Retro Report is a non-profit news organization that produces mini documentaries looking at today's news stories through the lens of history and context. The organization describes itself as a counterweight to the 24-hour news cycle.[1] They have covered topics including the Population Bomb theory,[2] the Tawana Brawley rape allegations, the 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak, the MMR vaccine controversy, the Ruby Ridge standoff, the Columbine High School massacre, the McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit,[3] and the history of black activism in sports.[4]

On October 7, 2019 Retro Report launched Retro Report on PBS, a one-hour news magazine series hosted by journalist Celeste Headlee and artist Masud Olufani, and featuring New Yorker humorist Andy Borowitz.

Retro Report's stories are published on their own website and also by distribution partners such as The New Yorker, Politico, PBS's American Experience, STAT News, Quartz and The New York Times, where they are featured alongside an article by longtime journalist Clyde Haberman. In a Poynter Institute for Media Studies article, Executive Producer Kyra Darnton describes Retro Report's mission as providing, "context and perspective by going back and re-reporting and reanalyzing older stories, or stories that we think of as not relevant anymore.”[5] In a 2014 Nieman Foundation for Journalism article, Ann Derry, The New York Times’ editorial director for video and television partnerships, said Retro Report's stories are "consistently among the most-watched pieces of video content at the Times."[6] Since the series premiered on May 6, 2013, Retro Report has produced more than 175 short form documentaries.[7]


External video
  Example videos
  When Pinball was Illegal, Retro Report Voices, 2:12, Retro Report[8]
  Stealing J. Edgar Hoover's Secrets, Retro Report, 13:36, December 15, 2016

Retro Report was created as a non-profit by entrepreneur and philanthropist Christopher Buck[9] (son of Subway founder Peter Buck) and is run by Executive Producer Kyra Darnton and a team of producers, reporters, and editors, who come mostly from news organizations 60 Minutes and Frontline.[1]


Nominated -- Outstanding Business, Consumer or Economic Report for "Future of Aging" (2019)
Nominated -- Outstanding Editing: News for "Operation Ceasefire" (2019)
Nominated – Outstanding Arts, Culture and Entertainment Report for "All in the Game: The Black Athlete in America" (2018)[10]
Nominated – Outstanding Promotional Announcement for "What Happens Next" trailer (2018)[10]
Nominated – Outstanding Coverage of a Breaking News Story for "Vaccines: An Unhealthy Skepticism" (2016)
Winner – Outstanding Editing for News for "Go or No Go: The Challenger Legacy" (2015)[11]
Nominated – Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story in a News Magazine for "The Shadow of Thalidomide" (2014)
Winner – Best Video for the "Future of Money" (2018)
Winner - Feature Reporting for "Future of Gaming" in collaboration with Quartz (2019)
Winner – Best in Sports for "The Black Athlete in America" (2018)[12]
Winner – Regional Overall Excellence (2017)[13]
Winner – Regional Continuing Coverage for "Unraveling Zero Tolerance" (2017)[13]
Winner – Regional Hard News for "After Bush v. Gore" (2017)[13]
Winner – Regional Breaking News for “Nuclear Winter" (2017)[13]
Winner – Best Regional Continuing and Investigative Coverage for “Atomic Vets" (produced with Center for Investigative Reporting) (2017)[13]
Winner – Best Regional Documentary for "On Account of Sex" (produced with Fork Films) (2017)[13]
Winner – Regional Overall Excellence (2016)[14]
Winner – Best Regional Video News Documentary for "Transforming History" (2016)[14]
Winner – Best Regional Continuing Coverage for "The Population Bomb?" (2016)
Winner – Best National Continuing Coverage[15]for "A Search for Justice" (2015)
Winner – Overall Excellence (2014)[16]
Winner – Best Regional Video News Documentary for "The Sleeper Cell That Wasn't" (2014)[16]
Nominated -- News & Politics for Best Overall Series (2019)
Winner -- Sports for "All in the Game: Black Athlete in America" (2019)
Nominated -- News & Politics for "Why We Can't Have a Civil Conversation About Guns" (2019)
Nominated -- Technology for "Future of Gaming" in collaboration with Quartz (2019)
Winner – Film & Video - News & Politics: Best Overall Series (2018)
Nominated – Film & Video: News & Politics for 'Why Hasn't Sexual Harassment Disappeared?' (2018)[17]
Nominated – Film & Video: Technology for "The Future of Money" (2018)News & Politics
Nominated – Film & Video: Trailer for "What Happens Next" (2018)News & Politics
Honoree – Film & Video: News & Politics for Best Overall Series (2017)[18]
Nominated – Film & Video: Technology for "The Terminator and the Washing Machine" (2017)[18]
Nominated – News & Politics: Individual Episode for "Where Does the American Dream Live?" (2017)[18]
Honoree – Best Online Video, News & Politics for "Anatomy of an Interrogation" (2016)[19]
Honoree – Best Editing for "Go or No Go: the Challenger Legacy" (2015)[20]
Nominated - Best Single Article/Story for “The Outrage Machine” (2017)[21]
Nominated – Best Single Story for "Haunted by Columbine" (2016)[22]
Nominated – Best Single Story for "Taking the Lid Off the McDonald’s Coffee Case" (2014)[23][24]
Winner – Outstanding Original Online Programming for "The Shadow of Thalidomide" (2014)[25]
Recognized in the Best Photojournalism Competition for photos take in India (2016)[28]
Winner – FOCAL International Award for use of innovative archival footage for "Go or No Go: The Challenger Legacy" (2015)


  1. ^ a b Klein, Jessica. "NY Times and 'Retro Report' Provide 'Slow Journalism' in New Assisted Suicide Doc". VideoInk. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  2. ^ "Population Bomb: The Dire Prediction That Fell Flat". 2015-06-01. Retrieved 2018-07-12.
  3. ^ "U.S. & Politics". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  4. ^ "The Black Athlete in America". 2017-12-21. Retrieved 2018-07-12.
  5. ^ "Media missed questionable science in 'Nanny Murder Trial,' new doc shows | Poynter". Retrieved 2015-09-28.
  6. ^ O’Donovan, Caroline. "The third draft of history: Retro Report looks back at media-hyped stories of the recent past". Nieman Lab. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Retro Report Archive". Retro Report. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  8. ^ "When Pinball was Illegal…". Retro Report. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  9. ^ "Retro Report: Our Origin". Retro Report. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  10. ^ a b "NOMINEES FOR THE 39th ANNUAL NEWS & DOCUMENTARY EMMY® AWARDS ANNOUNCED | The Emmy Awards - The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences".
  11. ^ Wilson, Sianne. "NOMINEES FOR THE 36th ANNUAL NEWS & DOCUMENTARY EMMY® AWARDS ANNOUNCED". The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  12. ^ Pedersen, Erik (2018-06-19). "Edward R. Murrow Awards: CBS News Wins Overall Excellence For Second Straight Year". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-07-12.
  13. ^ a b c d e f "RTDNA - Radio Television Digital News Association". Retrieved 2017-05-18.
  14. ^ a b "Radio Television Digital News Association".
  15. ^ "RTDNA – Radio Television Digital News Association". Retrieved 2015-10-22.
  16. ^ a b "2014 Region 11 Murrow Winners". Radio Television Digital News Association. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  17. ^ "News & Politics". Retrieved 2018-07-12.
  18. ^ a b c "2017 | The Webby Awards". Retrieved 2017-05-18.
  19. ^ "Webby Awards".
  20. ^ "Honoring the Best of the Web". International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  21. ^ "Newhouse School announces finalists in 2017 Mirror Awards competitionMirror Awards | Newhouse School, Syracuse University". Retrieved 2017-05-18.
  22. ^ "Mirror Awards Finalist".
  23. ^ O'Shea, Chris (1 April 2014). "2014 Mirror Awards Finalists Announced". Adweek. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  24. ^ "» Winners announced in 2014 Mirror Awards competition". Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  25. ^ "2014 Gracies Award Winners". Alliance For Women In Media. Archived from the original on 26 February 2015. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
  26. ^ "Jackson Hole Science Media Awards". SCIENCE MEDIA AWARDS & SUMMIT.
  27. ^ "2017 Best in Business Honorees «  SABEW". Retrieved 2018-07-12.
  28. ^ "The Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting".

External linksEdit