PodMov Daily: Tuesday, May 5
Episode 198: Testing, One Two-sday
This American Life Honored with the First Pulitzer Prize for Audio Journalism
For “The Out Crowd,” a piece of “revelatory, intimate journalism that illuminates the personal impact of the Trump administration's ‘Remain in Mexico' policy,” This American Life has been awarded the first Pulitzer Prize ever given to audio journalism. In an acceptance post, host and producer Ira Glass acknowledges the individuals involved.
The honor has been specifically awarded to the staff of This American Life, with Molly O'Toole of the Los Angeles Times and Emily Green, freelancer, Vice News. Ren LaForme of Poynter confirms that “The Pulitzer Prizes are generally regarded as the highest honor that U.S.-based journalists and organizations can receive.”
“It’s an honor to be recognized this way by the Pulitzers,” Glass writes of his iconic radio show, aired since 1995. “Fun fact: the Peabody Awards were established in 1940 partly because the Pulitzers wouldn’t give out awards to this newfangled medium called radio. I guess they decided audio journalism is finally here to stay.”
Miranda Sawyer: Despite “Boom Time,” Podcasting's Magic Persists
Miranda Sawyer, radio critic at The Guardian, asks of podcasting: “Now, as star names pile in, they’re big business. Can the quality survive?” Known as ‘The Pod Doc’ of the publication, Sawyer has reported on podcasts since the summer of 2006, when “they rescued [her] from aural monotony.”
In a wide-ranging article, she discusses the medium’s independence alongside its ongoing capitalistic pitfalls. What’s changed in the 15 or so years since podcasting was first labeled the Next Big Thing? Speaking with longtime creative veterans like Helen Zaltzman of The Allusionist, Sawyer illustrates a realistic horizon.
Contrasting podcasts (“emphatically not a shared experience”) with true celebrity-fueled media, Sawyer concludes that ‘Big Niche’ may stay so. “Podcasts, in the end, are just too personal. Too niche, whether small niche or big,” Sawyer concludes. “Which is, of course, why we fans love them. They’re ours.”
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Here's what else is going on:
- Gimme shelter: How can creators learn to overcome less-than-glowing podcast reviews? In a realistic guide that includes expert advice, Larell Scardelli explains how “learning to manage negative feedback early on will set you up for a happier podcast journey.”
- True honor: For the opening essay of The 1619 Project, Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times has been awarded the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. Hannah-Jones also hosts the 6-episode audio series exploring slavery and the legacy of Black Americans.
- Wrapper's delight: Need a gift for a fellow podcaster? This guide from Lindsay Harris Friel of The Podcast Host will help “figure out not just what gear to buy, but how to offer real sustainable support” with practical, intangible presents like tools and online courses.
- Dog-eared dollar: The Financial Times takes a look at the “huge transformation” of children’s audiobooks. “We need to find new formats to get children hooked to stories and storytelling,” says a publisher at HarperCollins. “Podcast[s are] an interesting way forward.”