New Publication: Intimacy in Podcast Journalism

Intimacy and Emotions in Podcast Journalism: A Study of Award-Winning Australian and British Podcasts

Mia Lindgren – Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia

As news podcasts increase in number and popularity, conventions are emerging for how this genre of audio journalism constructs compelling storytelling that takes advantage of the specifics of the medium.

This qualitative study examines 11 shortlisted and award-winning journalism podcasts in the 2019 Australian and British Podcast Awards through a narrative journalism framework, with a focus on the use of emotions and techniques to build experiences of intimacy. The analysis is done through the lens of Hilmes soundwork concept to understand both the impact of audio on journalistic storytelling and podcasting as an emerging journalism genre.

This study demonstrates that award-winning podcasts feature personalised journalism that is afforded by the intimacy of the audio form. In contrast to journalistic norms of objective, disembodied reporters, podcast journalism uses narrative elements forged around emotions and first-person reporting to build intimate relationships between the journalist and the listener. The study also supports Dowling and Miller’s findings that self-reflexivity and transparency of the reporting process have become “staple ingredients” of podcasting