2
0
1
9

Podcasting battles East Coast bias

“Podcasting as an industry has to be bigger than New York. And we have to be intentional about making it so.”

I’m a Metrocard-carrying New Yorker, so I say this from a place of love.

In 2019, New York, and by extension the East Coast, will have to accept that it simply cannot be the center of podcasting if we want our industry to grow and thrive while avoiding the pitfalls legacy media still faces because of its East Coast bias.

[Ducks for cover.] Hear me out.

The fact that New York has always been a mecca for creatives is a big part of why so many industries congregate there: fashion, music, theater, visual arts, culinary arts. But that gravitational pull often results in a type of reinforced groupthink that can stifle inclusion, repel difference, and alienate swaths of the country. (See any New York Times headline that includes the word “we” and the choral response that follows.)

I was part of New York media for many years, so I know the insulating effect it can have on writers and editors, on reporters and producers. Most of the time, our insularity only leads to the rest of the country rolling its eyes and calling us elitists. But in recent years, that East Coast bias has had serious consequences, like leaving most of us blindsided by the election of Donald Trump.

Establishment media wasn’t paying enough attention to what the rest of the country was saying, how they were aligning locally, what resentments they were harboring, and where they were misplacing blame for their lifes’ woes. Most outlets were focused on the usual powerful suspects in politics and eager to cash in on the clash of titans that they believed would inevitably end in the swearing in of the first woman president. But we know how that story ended.

As its ranks grow, podcasting seems to be on course to repeat this New York-centric mistake. City officials have declared it the podcasting capital of the world. They created a podcasting certification program. They’re challenging anyone who steps up for geographic supremacy. As a marketing ploy, it’s admirable.

But podcasting as an industry has to be bigger than New York. And we have to be intentional about making it so.

We have to embrace and celebrate producers from all parts of the country and from all social strata. We have to seek out the unusual suspects telling stories from unexpected places. We have to put them in our “best of” lists, tell our listeners about them, get behind their social campaigns, recognize them with awards, and make room for them on our conference panels.

And we have to do this for our industry as much as for ourselves. Podcasting has the potential to be a much more democratic medium than any before it — but that won’t happen by accident. And it won’t happen if we start off copying standard practices of legacy media.

Thankfully, we’re off to a promising start.

Pockets of podcasting greatness have already popped up around the country. Boston is a standout with PRX’s Podcast Garage, RadioPublic, and the wonderful Sound Education Conference at Harvard. Denver’s been put on the map in a big way by the brilliance of House of Pod. The Bay Area has scores of gifted producers and is home to the inimitable Reveal. My new home, Washington, headquarters NPR, the mothership of public radio, and will soon welcome a its own Podcast Garage.

While I’m optimistic that podcasting is already more welcoming and geographically inclusive, I also see how it sometimes recreates old patterns born out of a decidedly East Coast point of view. So I encourage us to be intentional about seeking out, including, celebrating, and partaking in worthwhile work everywhere it’s happening. We’ll be better for it, and so will our beloved industry.

Heather Chaplin   Agree we’re partisan — for the democratic system

Gabriel Snyder   Journalism doesn’t fit well in a funnel

Darryl Holliday   Let’s talk about power (yours)

Michael Rain   The year of the culturally relevant curator

Geetika Rudra   The year of actionable (local) journalism

Josh Schwartz   A pullback from platforms and a focus on product

Reyhan Harmanci   Selling more stories to Hollywood

Taylor Lorenz   Personal branding is more powerful than ever

Meredith Artley   Huge demand for…anything but politics

Ruth Palmer and Benjamin Toff   From news fatigue to news avoidance

Brian Moritz   The subscription-pocalypse is about to hit

Cory Bergman   Journalism as a technology service

Efrat Nechushtai   Journalism wants to be your friend, not your teacher

Emma Carew Grovum   The year of the loyal reader

Elizabeth Dunbar   Local reporters reflect on what’s not important

Sarah Marshall   A return to destination journalism

Kate Myers   Journalism continues to be bad for democracy

Alyssa Zeisler   We expand what (and how and who) we serve

Manoush Zomorodi   Tech will do for information overload what it did for mindfulness

Hossein Derakhshan   The news is dying, but journalism will not — and should not

Julie Posetti   The year of the fight back

Adam Smith   Platforms will have to help rebuild trust in news

james Wahutu   Think 2018 was bad? Wait until you see 2019

Matt Waite   “I went to Node.js because I wished to live deliberately”

Mario García   The rise of content “pilots”

Renée Kaplan   Our future could lie within our own organizations

Eric Nuzum   The year of the DIY podcast network

Bill Adair   Another year fighting Trump’s falsehoods

Borja Bergareche Sainz de los Terreros   Entering a more balanced era

Carrie Brown-Smith   Advocating a healthy civic life is no journalistic crime

Matt Skibinski   Quality and reliability are the new currencies for publishers

Jean Friedman Rudovsky   Cross-newsroom collaborations strengthen communities

Jesse Brown   Canada’s subsidy for news backfires

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Readers are only getting started

Thomas Hanitzsch   The rise of tribal journalism

Zainab Khan   Publishers whose products can stand up to social media giants will win

Cindy Royal   For journalism curriculum to change, its faculty needs disruption

John Garrett   You can’t raise prices forever

Marie Shanahan   Newsrooms take the comments sections back from platforms

Andrew Ramsammy   The great re-pivot to audio

Sue Robinson   Reporters go on the offensive

Sue Cross   Return of the water cooler

Cătălina Albeanu   Being responsible for what we don’t know

Kyra Darnton   A shift to depth in video

Robin Kwong   Tech shouldn’t be the only field pollinating “news nerds”

Masuma Ahuja   Make foreign coverage less foreign

Victor Pickard   We will finally confront systemic market failure

Kawandeep Virdee   Media wants to take care of you

Rick Berke   The year of loyalty

Amy King   We should listen to the kids (especially on Instagram)

Steve Grove   A reckoning for tech’s work with news

Zizi Papacharissi   Old interface, say hello to the new interface

P. Kim Bui   The misfits become the bosses

Steve Henn   Smart speakers get smarter

Cherian George   Fake news wins in Asia

Matt Karolian   Publishers come to terms with being Facebook’s enablers

Seth C. Lewis   The gap between journalism and research is too wide

Bill Grueskin   Toward a symphony model for local news

Carolina Guerrero   Spanish-language audio blows up

Alberto Cairo   A year of uncertainty and confidence

Adam B. Ellick   Video forensic reporting goes mainstream — and local

Jeremy Gilbert   AI finally becomes helpful

Jennifer Dargan   You don’t build diversity through one-off training sessions

Dheerja Kaur   A focus on problems, not platforms

A.J. Bauer   The coming splintering of conservative media

Andrea Faye Hart   Doing less harm, not just more good

Alexandra Borchardt   Newsrooms need to build trust with their journalists, not just the audience

Mike Caulfield   Ditch the media literacy cynicism and get to work

Michael Grant   More newsrooms experiment their way to success

Julia Rubin   Meeting people where they are

Tim Carmody   Unlocking the commons

Soo Oh   Just showing our work isn’t enough

Monique Judge   Committing to the truth, calling out lies

Pia Frey   You can’t solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis

Colleen Shalby   Representation becomes more than a talking point

Rubina Madan Fillion   Fighting the reality of deepfakes

Callie Schweitzer   The rise of the conveners

Tyler Fisher   This is journalism’s do-or-die moment

Knight Foundation   A year of local collaboration

Rachel Glickhouse   Newsrooms will prioritize audience needs

Laura E. Davis   More access, but not that kind

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams   Podcasting battles East Coast bias

Joshua Darr   The nationalization of political news will accelerate

Peter Cunliffe-Jones   The focus of misinformation debates shifts south

Glyn Mottershead and Martin Chorley   When a tech company pulls the plug on your story

Andrew Donohue   Voting rights becomes the new climate change

Logan Molyneux   Seeing social media for what it is

John Saroff   The pivot to reader revenue’s unintended consequences

Mike Rispoli and Craig Aaron   Government funds local news — and that’s a good thing

Talia Stroud   Engaging people across lines of difference

Errin Haines Whack   Say it with me: Racism

John Biewen   Podcasts keep getting better

Heba Aly   The rise of international nonprofit news

Whitney Phillips   Our information systems aren’t broken — they’re working as intended

Craig Newmark   The end of “loudspeakers for liars”

M. Scott Havens   Time to swing for the fences

Nathalie Malinarich   Video — yes, video

Nico Gendron   Reaching Generation Z beyond the coasts

Rodney Gibbs   A bright — and young — year for audio

Annie Rudd   A more intimate aesthetic of politics — on Insta

Peter Bale   Venture capital runs out of patience

Jake Shapiro   Podcasting is media’s slow food movement

Rachel Davis Mersey   Local news goes minimalist

Kainaz Amaria   We consider who’s behind the camera

Almar Latour   Reported facts, weaponized in service of action

Jared Newman   AI-generated fakes launch a software arms race

Amy Schmitz Weiss   Local news isn’t where you thought it was

Winny de Jong   Data journalism goes undercover

Chase Davis   We can acknowledge what we don’t know

Adam Thomas   In Europe, foundations invest in news

Patrick Butler   Measuring impact will increase audience trust

Joe Amditis   Give the audience a seat at the table

Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau   A more sincere definition of “community”

Charo Henríquez   Pivot to journalism

Candis Callison   Learn from Indigenous journalists on covering climate change

Frank Chimero   Leave the phone at home and put news on your wrist

Stephanie Edgerly   It’s time to understand the un-audience

Kjerstin Thorson   Time to get mad about information inequality (again)

Jonathan Gill   Publishers build a common tech platform together

Seema Yasmin   We will create our own spaces

Kelsey Proud   Journalism becomes the escape

Ben Werdmuller   The platform tide is turning

Don Day   Timewalls and other reader revenue experiments

Mat Yurow   Content competition from the tech companies

Tushar Banerjee   Interactive ads will be the new face of display advertising

Alexis Lloyd & Matt Boggie   The year product leads media

Shannon McGregor   More bogus embedded tweets in our stories

Becca Aaronson   From bridge roles to product thinkers

Celeste LeCompte   Local news needs local conversation to survive

Renan Borelli   Developing loyalty means developing your talent

Ariel Zirulnick   Participation gets professional

Raney Aronson-Rath   We learn “digital” doesn’t have to mean “short”

Francesco Marconi   The year of iterative journalism

Mike Isaac   The old exit doors for digital media companies are closing

Gideon Lichfield   Goodbye attention economy, we’ll miss you

Elva Ramirez   News — but make it cinematic

Jack Riley   Facebook refugees, from ad revenue to news habits

Claire Wardle   Forget deepfakes: Misinformation is showing up in our most personal online spaces

Angilee Shah   The year news orgs say “yes” to real leaders

Jim Friedlich   Meet Citizen Kane 2.0

Carl Bialik   Fatigued news consumers will pay more for less news

Francesco Zaffarano   Towards a rethinking of journalism on social media

Tamar Charney   Seriously: What do you do for people?

Pablo Boczkowski   Reimagining the media for post-institutional times

Stefanie Murray   Local news wakes up and starts collaborating

Rebecca Searles   From silos to Swiss Army knife teams

Dave Burdick   Seeing our blind spots

Shalabh Upadhyay   A culture clash on India’s growing Internet

Nisha Chittal   The homepage makes a comeback

Rebecca Lee Sanchez   We are all actors in the running rampant of political theater

Kristen Muller   Local news fails — in a good way

Kevin Douglas Grant   A year to embrace journalism as public service

Sarah Stonbely   Mapping the local news ecosystem — with scale but detail

Simon Rogers   Data journalism becomes a global field

Angèle Christin   Algorithms and the reflexive turn

Umbreen Bhatti   The story doesn’t end for the people we quote

Jenée Desmond-Harris   It finally sinks in that some people aren’t white

Nikki Usher   Three ways national media will further undermine trust

Salem Solomon   Correcting our corrections

Rishad Patel   A design system for responsible publishing

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   The most beautiful sentence in 2019 is “No.”

Linda Solomon Wood   The year of the climate reporter

Nicholas Jackson   More transparency around newsroom decisions

Jonathan Stray   More algorithmic accountability reporting, and a lot of it will be meh

Axie Navas   The traffic hunt, CMS battle, and magazine identity crises loom

Alexandra Svokos   Good luck convincing us millennials to pay

Joanne McNeil   Building a digital hospice

Sarah Alvarez   Simplify and redistribute

LaToya Drake   Listen up: New stories, new storytellers

Matthew Pressman   The battle over objectivity intensifies

Hearken   Pivot to people

Christa Scharfenberg and Vickie Baranetsky   The year of the lawsuit

Millie Tran   There is no magic — you’ve got this

Ståle Grut   A new dawn for 3D tech in journalism

Eric Ulken   The year you actually start to like your CMS

Justin Kosslyn   Text hits a tipping point

Mariana Moura Santos   From pageviews to impact

Joel Konopo   Influencers become the new liberated power in Africa

Simon Galperin   After capitalism’s fire, journalism’s secondary succession

Mandy Jenkins   Fight the urge to run away from social media

Heather Bryant   We are responsible for how we use our power

Jonas Kaiser   Catching up with “Neuland”

An Xiao Mina   The death of consensus, not the death of truth

Elizabeth Jensen   Going where the Acela can’t take you

Ole Reißmann   The rise of vertical storytelling

Libby Bawcombe   Haikus of the news

Johannes Klingebiel   We all grow hooves

Jeff Chin   We detox from Chartbeat

Ben Smith   The pendulum starts to swing back

Dan Shanoff   Bet on sports gambling

Cristi Hegranes   A year to invest in the security of local journalists

Moreno Cruz Osório   Damaged credibility and a new threat in Brazil

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   A long, slow slog, with no one coming to the rescue

Tshepo Tshabalala   Ahead of African elections, unlock partnerships with fact-checkers

Lauren Katz   Community becomes a core newsroom value

Robert Hernandez   Racists and sexists get replaced

Elisabeth Goodridge   Yes, they signed up — but our job’s not over

Steve Myers   From trying to cover it all to covering what matters

Elite Truong   What do we owe the next generation?

Frank Mungeam   Tonight at 11: News, sports, and climate change

Jesse Holcomb   We’ll get better at making the case for local journalism

Mandy Velez   Putting the social back in social media

Zuzanna Ziomecka   News leadership gets an overdue upgrade

Ernie Smith   The year we step back from the platform

Greg Emerson   Power to the user