Firstly, podcasts aren’t constrained by time, they can be as long or as short as the producer and host wants them to be. This means you often get a much richer and more in-depth interview discussion around really interesting topics, and it gives the interviewer the space and time to dig deep into meaty, complex issues in a way that just isn’t possible in a live interview on air, for example. I have worked in both live TV and radio news and have seen so many fascinating discussions cut short because we needed to move onto the next segment of the show, which can be really frustrating.
Secondly, by default, podcasts aren’t designed for breaking news. They are not where you go to get your headlines, but instead where you can go to spend a little longer hearing about a certain topic in a little more depth. This means the sorts of newsy, political podcasts we typically recommend in The Venn are less reactive and more reflective and analytical. In our increasingly click-bait, hyper-sensationalist news culture, this type of longer-form, analytical journalism is more important than ever and I think podcasts are therefore proving the perfect antidote to this type of content.
Thirdly, we learn through stories. Abstract political issues can make so much more sense when understood through the prism of personal experience, which is why in-depth interviews are such a powerful and important way of accessing politics. The podcast world is rich with interview-led shows that focus on just that - the first-person narratives that shine a light on pressing social and political issues.