There have been some really rather interesting developments in podcasting that I thought to let you know about this week.

A little while ago we told you that Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis and North America editor Jon Sopel, who both presented Americast, were both leaving the BBC to make a news podcast for the media group Global (who run LBC). This week we learnt that their new podcast will be daily! As the production company making the new podcast, Persephonica, is run by the creator of the BBC’s daily Newscast (and Americast) series, it’ll be interesting to see both news podcasts now head to head.

It was also announced this week that Andrew Neil will be launching a new podcast with the ‘slow news’ publisher Tortoise later this Spring. The Backstory will feature interviews with leading names in politics, business and entertainment to help shine a light on some of the big issues of the day. It’ll be interesting to see how this will land after his high profile falling out and exit with GB News late last year.  

Next, some great news from Radio Lento, a podcast providing soundscapes from all across the world. We recommended listening to this podcast via headphones a lot during the national lockdowns because it brought a little bit of the outside world in. It is also the perfect audio accompaniment if you are working or relaxing. This week Radio Lentot announced that their archive of more than 100 sound recordings will be preserved by the British Library and will remain on their Sound and Moving Image catalogue for future generations to enjoy. Of course, we don’t know exactly how podcasts will change and be saved in the years to come, so hopefully might encourage other shows to think about how they can best preserve their rich archive.


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Here are our podcast picks for the week ahead

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28ish Days Later This new podcast looking at the menstrual cycle, created by the podcaster and broadcaster India Rakusen, is the result of a year of research and interviews. “I discovered just how little I knew about how my body actually worked,” Rakusen says. “My body was a mystery to me. I, hand on womb, knew nothing. Nada. And when I started talking to friends about it, I realised that they were a bit clueless too.” 

Split over 28 short episodes, this new BBC Radio 4 podcast looks at the whole cycle, trying to fill the gaps of knowledge that you may not have been taught at school or even in adulthood. With sensitivity it looks at health related issues and the people whose pain and concerns have been ignored or pared down by doctors. And it looks at how changes in modern healthcare, such as tracking apps, has helped many users, but has also caused concerns over how such personal information has been used. It’s a recommended listen.

DeparturesThis series by the Migration Museum is fascinating, simply because it spins the often discussed topic on its head. Instead of focusing on people who decide to come and live in Britain, it looks at how and why so many people in history have emigrated from Britain and how this movement has shaped the world that we live in today. Why? Because Britain has one of the highest emigration rates in the world.

Mukti Jain Campion, radio producer and Chair of the Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity, is the host of this comprehensive new series. It weaves in topics such as the exportation of children overseas through the centuries, to the impact of emigration caused by the slave trade. Surprisingly, we don’t count the number of people who leave Britain to move overseas, so has to be estimated.

The Big Steal – Originally released in 2020, this series chronicles the rise of Putin, his contemporaries and their theft of Russia’s resources. Presented by Gavin Esler it looks at the transition from emerging democracy to kleptocracy. 

A new episode was released at the beginning of the month looking at the war in Ukraine, but the original series will give you lots of context for much of what we see in the news today.

Adventures in CoffeeGod, I need a coffee. Anyway, our final podcast recommendation this week is handy because it is all about the stuff. It is presented by Scott (good name) Bentley, the founder of Caffeine Magazine, and content creator Jools Walker. The emphasis is trying to tell you more about what is in your cup, trying to help you make better coffee buying decisions whilst guiding you through topics such as the ethics and why beans are harder to find than others. 

One thing I found about from listening to an episode is that the best time to grind the beans is within the first month of roasting, whilst up to three months is still acceptable. Beyond six months, the coffee doesn’t go ‘off’ (it won’t ever), but will taste stale.

Before we go, if you’re a podcaster I thought to let you know that the British Podcast Awards (powered by Audible) have officially opened for submissions ahead of the 2022 ceremony. There are 26 (!) categories that you can apply for this year, including a new Climate Award and Rising Star Award. To enter, just head to their website. Just to get the date in your calendar (because I know how often we all start working on things directly before the deadline) … the deadline is April 11th! Oh, and if you’re a listener, be sure to remind your favourite show to enter!

Categories: Weekly Picks