The First Podcast to Document a Massive Criminal Investigation


PodMov Daily: Tuesday, September 22

Episode 290: Testing, One Two-sday

The First Podcast to Document a Massive Criminal Investigation

The FinCEN files, a landmark investigation by Buzzfeed News and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), has been released. The massive trove of “suspicious activity reports” and other US government documents reveals the role of global banks in industrial-scale money laundering.

Simultaneously, BuzzFeed and Pineapple Street Studios released Suspicious Activity, a five-part podcast series. According to Podnews, it’s the first time a podcast has accompanied an investigation of this scale. BuzzFeed News editor Azeen Ghorayshi hosts the show, which documents 18 months of interviews.

“When we heard about the FinCEN Files, our jaws dropped to the floor and we knew we had to be a part of this project,” said Pineapple Street co-founder Jenna Weiss-Berman. “Making the podcast version has been a wild ride.” Suspicious Activity is giving unprecedented access to a public that deserves to know.

How Back Issue Rewinds Pop Culture in a Podcast

Tracy Clayton and Josh Gwynn believe in the power of nostalgia. On their podcast Back Issue, they “rewind to some of the pop culture moments they have always wanted to know more about, with an authority on the episode at their side.” Sandra E. Garcia of The New York Times calls it a balm for overwhelmed listeners.

Clayton’s first podcast was Another Round, a culture and interview series co-hosted by Heben Nigatu. Despite being crowned the best of 2015 by iTunes, Slate and The Atlantic, it was pulled by BuzzFeed in 2017. As the co-hosts seek ownership of the catalog from BuzzFeed, Clayton is exploring a lighter kind of archive.

In 2020, Back Issue’s listeners are safe in 1998. “There is a reason these moments stuck with us and why they are so fundamental,” Gwynn reflected. The podcast's description brings it back around: “Remember when Monica allegedly punched Brandy right before they performed live at the MTV Video Music Awards?”

Adobe MAX: Free, Virtual, and Featuring Mike Russell

Inspiration is the heart of every great podcast. Adobe MAX: The Creativity Conference is a uniquely immersive digital experience, guaranteed to inspire. From October 20–22, join the free virtual event packed with luminary speakers, global collaborative art projects, and 350+ sessions.

Ready to build podcasting skills with none of the cost? Adobe MAX features sessions like “Audio Essentials for Editing Audio Like a Pro” and “Elevating Your Brand with Podcasting” from renowned producer Mike Russell. Expert instructors will dig deep into all Adobe apps, from Adobe Audition to Premiere Pro. 

At Adobe MAX, creative icons like Ava DuVernay, Keanu Reeves, and Annie Leibovitz will take the stage to inspire your next great idea. Now’s the time to celebrate design, video, illustration, 3D, and more — podcasters welcome. Register now to build your schedule and get sponsor giveaways.

Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Signed up: Podimo and Audible have launched unlimited-subscription services for audio content in Spain, joining audiobook company Storytel. Porter Anderson of Publishing Perspectives describes it as a “three-way battle” that will benefit the entire Spanish publishing sector.
  • Wide net: Acast has launched in Canada. The podcast analytics and adtech company “now has on-the-ground operations in 10 countries” after a year of international expansion. Acast Canada has partnered with major publishers as well as indie creators from the region.
  • Get koozie: Is podcast merch a worthwhile investment? Tae Haahr explains how to assess your bandwidth and start wisely. Beginning with print-on-demand, Haahr shows independent podcasters how to pick products, commission designs, set up shop, and promote.
  • A verdict: Helen Zaltzman of Answer Me This! reveals her favorite episode to Spotify for Podcasters. Episode 200 leads the large and charming archive. Zaltzman, her husband, Martin Austwick, and co-host Olly Mann have been making the dispute-settling podcast for 13 years.

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