Through evidence gathered from sixteen interviews with producers and businesspeople in the podcast industry, this paper argues that the professionals that populated the early phase of the formalizing podcasting scene made up an interpretive community defined, in part, by their appreciation for, and experiences with, public radio. I chart how this interpretive community cast themselves against dominant public radio paradigms when they moved into podcasting, while also retaining much of public radio’s ethos, and I discuss what the central preoccupations of this interpretive community were. I assert that audio broadcasting as understood and practiced within the interpretive community is a particularly millennial medium, influenced by the norms of digital communication. And I make claims about how this is foundational to understanding podcasting’s political and aesthetic predispositions. Ultimately, this argument advances and nuances one connection between public radio and podcasting using qualitative interview data.
Laughlin, C. (2023). The Millennial Medium: The Interpretive Community of Early Podcast Professionals. Television & New Media, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1177/15274764221146475