Black Male Fiction Podcasters Rewriting the Narrative


PodMov Daily: Monday, June 14

Episode 450: Your Monday Mix

Black Male Fiction Podcasters Rewriting the Narrative

This Thursday, June 17 at 8:00 pm ET, the WGA Audio Alliance will host a free virtual panel about the stories Black male podcasters are telling in fictional work. Five creators plan to explore “how they are rewriting the narrative of Black men that is often perpetuated by the ongoing climate of racism in America.”

From science fiction to workplace comedy, the panelists’ projects couldn’t be more different. One tells the story of a relationship formed during the pandemic, 20 years later. Another captures the drama and comedy of working in an American call center. The creators will discuss why and how they’re expressing them.

Screenwriter, author, and filmmaker Monice Mitchell Simms will moderate panelists Mark Millien (The Hidden Scribes, COVID39), Tavion Scott (Majoring in Me), Richard Seneque (Visionaries Audio Drama), Henry Sylverain (How Can I Help You?), and Morgan Givens (Dispatches, Flyest Fables). RSVP here.

Party Foul: Podcasting's “Notorious” Hype House

In February 2019, the podcasting startup Himalaya launched with its own player and a list of exclusive shows. Its $100 million investment, however, was largely fictional. In “The Podcasting Hype House from Hell,” Ashley Carman of The Verge profiles Peter Vincer, the mind behind a shady, would-be empire.

Vincer became the CEO of a spinoff company, and things got out of hand quickly. The center of HiStudios was a rented Beverly Hills “hype house” in the style of TikTok-influencer party mansion. HiStudios, since renamed Notorious, is no longer associated with Himalaya, and has left a trail of lawsuits and unpaid bills.

The saga feels much like the Fyre Festival, the disastrous 2017 ‘luxury music festival’ that was neither. (Fittingly one of Notorious’ biggest podcasts is Dumpster Fyre, briefly hosted from prison by the event’s founder.) Every industry has its opportunists. May pieces like Carman's encourage better behavior.

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Here's what else is going on:

  • Trophy case: The second-ever Pulitzer Prize for Audio Reporting goes to No Compromise, an NPR podcast about three brothers “on a mission to reconstruct America” using guns and Facebook. The award is shared by Lisa Hagen, Chris Haxel, Graham Smith and Robert Little.
  • Siren song: “Some podcast advice I’ve never seen given: Do not put loud, annoying sounds in your podcast,” says Mignon Fogarty (Grammar Girl) on Twitter. “You might think it’s funny or important for the art, but it’s not.” We concur: One “long, loud, awful sound” is all it takes to bounce.
  • Crowd source: Is Anchor really full of ‘dead’ podcasts? Does it matter? It’s often said that the platform’s surplus of abandoned shows is bad for SEO, writes Podnews editor James Cridland. He uses data from the Podcast Index to answer these questions in a Mythbusters-style experiment. 
  • Another world: A translated podcast, while imperfect, “connects us to stories we would likely not otherwise hear,” writes Bello Collective editor Galen Beebe. Bello’s Translation Issue explores the practical aspects, artistic implications, and business case for translating audio work.

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