John Biewen

Audio Program Director/Instructor


1317 W. Pettigrew St. B208



(919) 660-3667

John Biewen (he/him) is audio program director at CDS and host of the Center’s audio documentary podcast, Scene on Radio. During a thirty-plus-year career as an audio journalist and documentary-maker, he has told stories from forty American states and from Europe, Japan, and India. John grew up in Mankato, Minnesota, and studied philosophy at Gustavus Adolphus College. He began his radio career as a 22-year-old reporter at Minnesota Public Radio. He later reported from the Rocky Mountain West for NPR and spent eight years producing long-form documentaries for American RadioWorks (ARW). He came to CDS in 2001 — then “in residence” while working for ARW — and became the Center’s full-time audio director in 2006. He teaches undergrad and continuing education students, and his work for CDS has aired on programs such as All Things Considered, This American Life, and the BBC World Service. In 2015 Biewen launched Scene on Radio, which, starting with the Seeing White series two years later, became “a podcast whose focus…would be perspective itself,” as the Columbia Journalism Review put it. With his CDS colleague Alexa Dilworth, John is co-editor of the book, Reality Radio: Telling True Stories in Sound.

A black and white photo of John Biewen