When I started this new podcast writing endeavour back in January, I linked to an old piece of mine calling for podcasts to be written about like any other kind of cultural product, rather than a tech innovation. I still think that’s really important, and it continues to be what I’m trying to do with this newsletter. However, I no longer think it’s the case that nobody is really doing this, so I wanted to use this week’s letter to point out some (other) places where you can find great writing about podcasts.
Dana, Brittany, Ashley, Galen and their collaborators have created a vibrant, always surprising publication that combines lists, reviews, industry reflections and analysis. Find out more about it and sign up for their emails here.
Sara’s gif game is incredible (those of you who subscribe to my Friday newsletter will know that this is high praise from me) and her podcast writing is pretty excellent too. She’s based in Germany and provides a useful corrective to the unavoidably US-centric nature of a lot of podcast coverage.
Fiona is the podcast critic for the Financial Times in the UK, and her reviews there are always insightful. I particularly appreciate how widely she ranges in her selections — while she does tackle the hot pod of the moment, she also lifts up obscure shows that more people should have heard.
The “podcast department” column in the New Yorker has become required reading for me, because of the way that Sarah Larson takes the big, mainstream topics (eg the Making Obama podcast and what it says about how politics has changed) and finds something new to say about it. Her pieces make me sigh for a podcast writing staff job where I could spend all my working life doing this.
I like to think of Nick as the godfather of podcast newsletter-writing — his Hot Pod has become a bit of a Bible for the podcast industry. However, he also writes excellent previews, reviews and analysis at Vulture, which are definitely worth keeping up with.
I’ve put this one at the bottom of the list and I don’t know why, because Miranda is a brilliant writer and the critic I aspire to be. She writes a weekly column for the Observer about radio and podcasts, which combines criticism and recommendation. She doesn’t pull punches and is resolutely independent about her choices. Stop reading this and go and check out her archive immediately.
The podcast recommend
“I live in Central Manchester and The Shetland Times Podcast is like putting on a soothing instrumental playlist. The Shetland accent is so great and it immerses you into a community where local seals visit everyday. My recommended start is ‘Frank Robertson on Crofting’.”
Do you have a podcast you’ve been listening to that you’re burning to recommend to someone? Tell me about it! I’ve set up an easy submission form here where you can do that. With your permission, I’ll include the best recommendations in a future edition of the newsletter.
The podcast links
As podcasts evolve, so do their stories — Blue Banner
Dispatches from the podcast revolution — Oregon Artswatch
Interview with Nick Quah — The Idea
It doesn’t add up — Bill Rogers
That’s everything for today. Thanks for reading! Don’t forget that you can currently subscribe at a discount to get two extra emails about podcasting from me every week: I do commentary on industry news on Thursdays, and playlists of great shows to listen to on Sundays.