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10 Can't-Miss Media and Journalism Podcasts

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As some of us head back to the office, one positive of the return to commuting is more time for podcast listening. And it looks like we’ll have plenty of company.

According to Pew Research, 41% of Americans ages 12 and older say they listened to a podcast in the last month and 28% say they listened in the last week.

No matter your interest, there’s a podcast for it. Listeners can find shows for daily news, true crime, comedy, talk shows, and even journalism. So we decided to highlight a few of our favorite journalism podcasts created by and for the media.

This is definitely not an exhaustive list and we’d love to hear about your favorites. Have one that’s not on the list? Tweet us @BeyondBylines!

1. The Digiday Podcast

This weekly show from Digiday covers “the big stories and issues that matter to brands, agencies and publishers as they transition to the digital age.” If you haven’t listened before, there are more than 200 episodes to choose from to catch up.

The podcast discusses a range of topics, including subscriptions, commerce, the modern newsroom, audio, streaming, and more.

An episode with Emily Atkin, founder of the popular Heated newsletter, is a good listen for those making the transition from staffer to freelancer. Atkin discusses her decision to move to Substack and what it’s taken to succeed. The episode is part of a series that highlights independent content creators and “how this segment of the media industry is becoming more mainstream and setting standards for how digital media companies should approach these platforms themselves.”

Where to listen: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Podchaser

2. Freelancing for Journalists

Speaking of freelancing, if that's the life you're interested in, this is the podcast to check out. Hosted by UK-based freelancers Lily Canter and Emma Wilkinson, the podcast provides freelancing tips, advice, and insider secrets. The pair has also published a book and offers training for freelance journalists.

The podcast episodes feature two guests who have found success in freelancing. Since many journalists found themselves moving from staff roles to freelancing due to the pandemic, this podcast is especially helpful in the current climate.

The episode about crowdsourcing stories features guests Charlotte Godart, an investigator for Bellingcat, and Eric Reidy, a freelancer investigating migrant-related stories. Crowdsourcing is becoming more routine for many publishers. ProPublica, for example, recently sourced 5,000 stories for a report on the high rate of death in pregnancy and childbirth in the U.S. In the episode, Godart and Reidy discuss the best practices for crowdsourcing, how it works, and pitfalls to avoid.

Where to listen: Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Audible, Podtail

3. It’s All Journalism

This is “the broccoli of media-focused podcasts.” The team of experienced journalists has created nearly 500 episodes of the popular show.

The series talks to working journalists about how they do their jobs and the changing state of digital media. A newsletter is also available if you want to receive the latest updates in your inbox.

A recent episode features Deborah Dwyer, a 2020-21 Reynolds Journalism Institute resident fellow. In it, she discusses how newsrooms should ethically handle requests to unpublish old stories. Dwyer explains, “The public doesn’t see this as a police issue or a criminal justice system issue, they see it as a news issue and you’re not allowing me to live a fruitful life today because of the person I was five years ago.”

Where to listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, PodcastOne, Google Podcasts, Audible

4. Journalism History

If you’re a history buff, look no further than this unique podcast. Journalism History is a scholarly journal covering the history of mass media in the U.S. It’s been continually published since 1974 and also features a podcast, now in its third season.

Check out these interesting episodes:

Where to listen: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Podtail, Podchaser, TuneIn

5. The Kicker

This podcast is created by Columbia Journalism Review (CJR). The weekly show covers all things journalism and media.

A recent episode discussed how the press will handle the Tokyo Olympics. Given COVID-19 protocols at the Games and recent moves by athletes like Naomi Osaka, the future of sports journalism could be changing. Kyle Pope, editor and publisher of CJR, spoke with Andrew Keh, a sports reporter for the New York Times. When it comes to getting access to athletes in Tokyo, Keh explains, “You know, I think a lot of reporters, myself included, are trying not to be pessimistic about this, but ... it seems like it's going to be really, really tough."

Where to listen: SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Luminary, Stitcher, Spotify, iHeartRadio

6. Media Voices Podcast

This weekly podcast is a great way to catch up on major media industry news. It's created by a team of three experienced freelance journalists: Chris Sutcliffe, Esther Kezia Thorpe, and Peter Houston.

“The team behind the podcast take a common sense approach to media analysis, from the practices of journalism to deep dives into publisher business models,” the site says. Show topics include editorial strategy, business models, social responsibility, innovation, and more.

I’m a big fan of winners/losers analyses, so a recent episode in May about which media companies and personalities won or lost during the pandemic immediately caught my eye (ear?). Each of the hosts chose a winner and a loser. Outlets include BuzzFeed, Future plc, and travel magazines. Check out the episode if you’re curious about where each one landed.

Where to listen: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Acast, Soundcloud

7. On the Media

This is WNYC’s “weekly investigation into how the media shapes our worldview.” The award-winning program airs weekly on more than 400 public radio stations and also includes the biweekly podcast.

On the Media (OTM) is hosted by Brooke Gladstone, an award-winning journalist and book author. Gladstone "examines threats to free speech and government transparency, casts a skeptical eye on media coverage of the week’s big stories, and unravels hidden political narratives in everything we read, watch, and hear."

An episode in early June examined the AP’s firing of entry-level reporter Emily Wilder and how newsrooms should respond to bad faith campaigns against the media and “cancel culture.” OTM reporter Micah Loewinger explains, “Wherever you land on this debate, the fact is the AP has a strict doctrine of impartiality, and maybe that's worked. People seem to like their journalism … But at what cost?”

Where to listen: Apple Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, TuneIn, Amazon Music

8. Reliable Sources

CNN’s Brian Stelter hosts this popular weekly podcast. He covers “how journalists do their jobs and how the media affect the stories they cover.”

Local media’s coverage of the recent Surfside condo collapse in Florida has been a standout. Stelter recently spoke with Monica Richardson, executive editor of the Miami Herald. Richardson discussed how the newsroom mobilized, how reporters are dealing with the trauma, and the transition of many of them to disaster reporters. She explains that their mission is to dig in, find answers, and tell the stories of those affected in a sensitive manner.

Where to listen: Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, TuneIn, iHeartRadio

9. The Tip Off

While the end stories can be hard-hitting, sometimes the work that went into the investigation can be even more fascinating. The Tip Off takes listeners behind the scenes of standout investigative journalism stories.

It won a British Journalism Award in 2018 for best new podcast. The show is hosted by investigative reporter Maeve McClenaghan.

If you need more convincing, this ought to do it: “There’ll be car chases, slammed doors, terrorist cells, meetings in dimly lit bars and cafes, wrangling with despotic regimes and much more. So if you’re curious about the fun, complicated detective work that goes into doing great investigative journalism- then this is the podcast for you.”

In a recent show, McClenaghan speaks with Pete Murimi of the BBC investigations team about their research into disappearing homeless children in Kenya.

Where to listen: Acast, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Podchaser, Audible, Stitcher

10. Two Writers Slinging Yang

Best-selling author and experienced sports journalist Jeff Pearlman hosts this podcast that’s all about the writing. It’s described as an “in-depth, no-holds-barred conversation with a writer on writing.”

A recent episode featured Jon Wertheim, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated and correspondent for "60 Minutes." Wertheim and Pearlman discuss clichés about aging (and how they’re all true) in addition to Wertheim’s new book, “Glory Days: The Summer of 1984 and the 90 Days That Changed Sports and Culture Forever.”

There are more than 200 episodes of the show, so start digging into these writer-to-writer chats.

Where to listen: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Podchaser


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Rocky Parker

Rocky Parker is the Digital Content Lead at Cision and has been with the company since 2010. In addition to writing content for Beyond Bylines and the Cision blog, she works with journalists, bloggers, and content creators to create their targeted newsfeeds from PR Newswire for Journalists. Rocky also counsels on SEO and content writing best practices.