Wilbert Rideau, Prison Journalist

Friday, June 11, 2010


For over 25 years, Wilbert Rideau was a reporter and editor for The Angolite, the prison newspaper of the Louisiana State Penitentiary known as Angola. He and his staff of fellow inmates were given an unfettered access to investigate and report that exceeds most major media outlets. Rideau describes his life and career reporting from behind bars.

Comments [4]

Fran Rossi Szpylczyn from Albany, NY

What a wonderful program. I used to listen all the time when I lived in Nyack, but have lived in Albany for 3 years now. Yes, I know - podcast, but I don't typically get to it.

Today I tuned into VPR while driving and heard this story. I was so moved by it, I pulled over. I am writing about it on my blog right now.

Jun. 13 2010 07:09 PM
RMD from Washington, DC

Thanks for an uplifting story that I hope inspires people to buy Mr. Rideau's book. I hope he's asked to speak to many audiences, increasing the impact of the possibility of redeeming one's life.

Jun. 13 2010 05:34 PM
AN from Cambridge, Ma

1. Am thoroughly enjoying listening to this piece. You forget how literate and able prisoners can be, or pehaps the caliber of person sent to prison today has diminished? I wonder about all these poor, uneducated youth in the inner-city who spend their lives toggling between hostile streets and hostile cages because of petty, gratuitous imprisonments.

2. Re Bill's comment:I suspect that because this is ostensibly a "family show," there is only so more juice that can be squeezed on the topic of sexual slavery in prisons. Also, Mr. Rideau perhaps does not want to give away everything in the interview.

3. Along that note, his teaser on civil rights not reaching the prisons makes me definaitely want to read the book. I always wonder about how news and how movements (women's lib, civil, gay rights...) reach places that are removed from society.

All in all, very strong piece, with a compelling guest. Good luck to Mr. Rideau and thanks to OTM for bringing the story of this entreprising, earnest Black man.

Jun. 13 2010 11:14 AM
Bill from Canada

Good story. Too bad it was so poorly
edited (censured by NPR?) as to be almost

How, for example, did prison officials use
sex to control inmates?

You'll never find out here. Just another
example of the smug, pretentious, gutless and
ineffectual journalism practiced by
NPR. Thought you were better than the rest.

But you're not.

Jun. 12 2010 09:49 PM

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