From Black Lives Matter to COVID-19

From Black Lives Matter to COVID-19: Daily news podcasts and the reinvention of audio reporting

Authors: Kyle J. MillerKim FoxDavid O. Dowling

Globally daily news podcasts have exponentially grown in popularity. To build on the increased interest in this podcast format, this study examines three distinct programmes in this genre. The focus of our research specifically highlights the significant news events during the summer of 2020: the killing of George Floyd, and subsequent Black Lives Matter protests, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Using a set of genre conventions adapted and expanded from previous podcast and radio news scholarship, this research analyses the impact podcasting has on daily audio news production. Our findings indicate the podcast host’s empathy and intimacy, coalesced into powerful, immersive deep dive discussions. Those kinds of conversations have strongly influenced and transformed daily news production, while still maintaining journalistic ethics and aesthetics.