I blogged about the BBC’s unpopped podcast a while ago, and in reply Scott kindly made a further recommendation (below). I’ve also recently begun to listen to a few more podcasts and so I thought I’d do another quick post that recommends some podcasts that some of the readers of this blog may find interesting…
Scott Rodgers recommended the podcast 99% Invisiblewhich is ostensibly about design but covers all sorts of things and I’ve enjoyed listening to this over the last couple of months. They have a website with lots of additional info and articles based on the topics of each show. The show is part of the Radiotopia stable, which has quite a few well-regarded podcasts.
One of the recommendations that I’ve been incredibly thankful for, actually from the BBC’s Podcast Radio Hour, is the sublime Everyone Else – a podcast ‘telling the stories of strangers’. One of the many things I love about the podcast is the sound design – there are all sorts of wonderful atmospheric effects and incidental music. The stories themselves are fascinating, often moving and always evocative of a very human experience of life.
Another recommendation from Podcast Radio Hour is The Tip Off – a podcast concerning investigative journalism. Maeve McClenaghan from The Bureau of Investigative Journalism takes you through the processes of investigative journalism. Again, some really evocative audio production and some gripping stories.
Whilst I’m thinking about it, and maybe I’ll blog about this another day – one thing I am beginning to find a little frustrating about the majority of recommendations from the BBC’s Podcast Radio Hour and other folks who are, for want of a better word, podcasting ‘insiders’ is what I’ve come to think of as a weird kind of fetishisation of a privileged position as a listener being party to some kind of apparently authentic or intimate story or truth. These sorts of podcasts are becoming the norm – a presenter, often a comedian for some reason, talks to someone else and apparently intimate or frank conversations ensue. Either that or we are invited into an otherwise hard-to-access or ‘edgy’ context, such as a prison, and allowed to gawp. Most of the time, in my limited and partial experience, recommendations of podcasts (and sometimes the podcasts themselves) presuppose a white middle-class audience, who most likely are metropolitan and/or university-educated – one might look at the winners of the recent British Podcast Awards and ask questions along these lines. The fact that many are hosted by women often performing either/both of what comes across as earnest concern or compassion or a confessional revelation of intimacy also seems worthy of critical reflection. I’m just sort of uncomfortable about the aesthetic that seems to have become a norm in British, perhaps BBC-favoured, podcasting. Maybe I’m wrong. I hope so.
If you’ve read this far and have any thoughts I’d be really happy to hear from you – especially with other podcast recommendations!