Radio and Audio Features and Documentaries

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about Adam

radio career


Adam Phillips has been a radio features journalist and audio documentarist and oral historian since 1986, both as public radio freelancer and, since 1993, as a career journalist at the Voice of America.

Adam has won nearly twenty international, national and in-house awards for his work, which highlights the experiences and realities of everyday people with extraordinary stores to tell, and which makes extensive use of found sound and music to create a “theater of the mind.”  Adam teaches Audio Documentary Making at the New School’s Graduate School of Media Studies, and Oral History at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur. His combines his lifelong interests in mythology, theater and community building in his celebrancy practice, which uses ceremonies to mark life’s milestones and the processes of nature. 

Adam was ‘born, bred and buttered’ in New York City.

Radio Experience (26 Years)

Radio news, features and documentaries correspondent for Voice of America, New York and Washington DC (10/93 to present)

Freelance radio reporter/producer (NPR, CBC, Monitor Radio, Pacifica Radio, Radio Smithsonian, VOA, etc.) (1986-’93)

Editor/wire service reporter for NBC/Mutual Radio, Alexandria VA (1993)

WOMR-FM radio producer/talk show personality, radio theater director, Provincetown MA (1982-’86)

Prizes, Grants and Awards

2004 Voice of America [VOA] Award for Excellence in Programming

2002 Religion Reporter of the Year (Radio), Religion Newswriters Association

2000 Special VOA “September Eleventh” Award, for features and background reports from New York City

2000 Special VOA Excellence in Programming Committee Award, The Century in Sound: An American’s Perspective

2000 New York Festivals Grand Award and Gold Medal, for The Century in Sound: An American’s Perspective

1999 VOA Annual Award for Best Feature Script, Blackfeet Indian Culture and Its Prospects

1997 VOA Annual Award for Best Original Script, Nanotechnology and the Coming of Molecular Machines

1996 VOA Award for Excellence in Programming: Willis Conover: A VOA Original

1995 Korean Broadcasting System Prize, North Korea and the Bomb

1995 VOA Annual Award for Best Original Script, Gifts of the Rainforest

1994 Catholic University of America Gilbey Award for Sound Design, for The Orestes Trilogy

1993 VOA Award for Excellence in Programming, Christopher Columbus: All-American Rorschach

199 DC Council on the Arts teaching grants, for teaching radio drama

1989-90 Two competitive $5000 artist grants in aid from the DC Council on the Arts and Humanities

Writing and Teaching (partial list)

New School University, Graduate School of Media Studies, Adjunct Professor (2008)

Esalen Institute, Big Sur California “Oral History: Deep Listening, Shared Worlds” proposed 2008

“Journalist as Participant/Observer,” in Religion and the Media (Baylor Univ. Press, 2004)

Conceived and wrote original proposal for Carnegie Foundation $1,500,000 + Grant for VOA series on conflict resolution and peacemaking. Produced core teaching series; traveled to South Africa and Los Angeles to cover psychology of conflict, its causes and resolution efforts.

Taught professional radio writing, radio drama and production at Voice of America and in private classes in Washington DC. Skills taught included story planning and research, interviewing, creative use of sound in storytelling, voicing and post-production.


B.A., Vassar College, Poughkeepsie NY (psychology, religion, philosophy)

Expert at Dalet and Cool Edit audio editing system

Graduate studies in conflict resolution at George Mason University, Fairfax VA

Founder of FamilyLore.Com, an oral history company

Traveled to 3-plus countries and 47 states

Speak French and passable Hebrew

New York City “born, bred and buttered”

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