The results of our podcast survey are in
And only some of you hate them with a passion. Hooray!
If you read the comments on our blog post about podcasts, you’d think most WikiTributors can’t stand them.
But the survey results tell a different story, with lots of you suggesting ideas for a WikiTribune podcast and telling us what you like from the ones you listen to already.
We know podcasts aren’t for everyone, and it’s understandable you’d be concerned that we’re working on this instead of the website. Rest assured, our developers are 100% focused on the WikiTribune site: the podcast is a project among some of the journalists while they wait for a platform to publish their work.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at some of your answers.
1. How do you listen to podcasts?
It seems the majority of you listen to podcasts on your phones, with Overcast and Pocket Casts being two of the most popular apps. However, quite a few of you mentioned playing your favourites out loud while you’re getting things done (washing the dishes was popular), some request them through virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, and some listen in the car.
Bonus points to the person who said “through headphones.” Thanks for that.
2. Which podcasts do you listen to most often?
As well as teaching us a lot about your preferences, this question serves as an excellent source of quality podcast recommendations.
Your favourites include:
- Hello Internet
- The Tim Ferriss Show
- Pod Save America
- This American Life
- TED Radio Hour
- The Vergecast
- The Adventure Zone
- Planet Money
- The Rachel Maddow Show
- The Daily
- The Ezra Klein Show
Also, thank you to the person who pointed out that “most often” is not a useful metric for listening to podcasts when some are weekly and some monthly. That’s the WikiTribune spirit: always ready to pull us up on our wording. Please never change.
3. Which podcasts (if any) do you think are really nailing news? Why?
Unsurprisingly, many of you named the same podcasts as in the previous question — if you didn’t think they were doing a good job, you wouldn’t listen, after all.
Some insightful comments included:
- “While the Ezra Klein Show is not exactly a news podcast, it has a great format for interviews that really gives the interviewee a chance to express their views in long-form style. I think this is especially useful when covering controversial topics. It avoids the ‘gotcha’ questions, and looks to open the audience up to another way of thinking about a topic.”
- “On The Media — They’re busting myths, but not in a heavy-handed way. They study language — one of the most important and underrated parts of our current media landscape and political understanding.”
- “I like Planet Money, because it manages to make economics both interesting and entertaining. The Economist’s podcasts are also really good, because they’ve got personality and edge to them.”
- “The Private Eye podcast — good investigative journalism, excellent at explaining away misconceptions and giving background primers when covering stories — for a good example of this, check out the episode on private financing initiatives for public works.”
- “BBC World News covers the world, not exclusively one country.”
Of course, plenty of you also said you don’t use podcasts for news, and that you don’t think anyone’s nailing it currently. Fair enough.
4. What would you like to see from a WikiTribune podcast?
The big question. As ever you gave us a smörgåsbord of opinion, which is exactly what we wanted. Thank you for taking the time.
Here’s a small selection of your 500+ excellent suggestions:
- “A follow up on big stories/cases”
- “Expert analysis of one topic a week”
- “In depth unbiased news, ideally twice per day in time for commute.”
- “Unorthodox connecting of various facts. No matter how much we try to be impartial and objective, we are always creating a worldview. I would like to hear a fresh way of connecting the dots of what is happening in the world, and that, I believe, can be done best if you stay away from flashy, obvious news and information. A lot of times, you need to dig way below the surface to understand the dynamic of an issue, and WikiTribune can achieve it in a splendid way through authentic community contributions.”
- “Entertaining, intelligent hosts with good chemistry. Good journalists don’t always make good podcast hosts.”
- “Debunking misreported news with guest experts on the topic in question. Not giving ‘both sides’ equal exposure when the split among experts is 98/2, i.e. climate science.”
Lots of you also advised us to include humour and personality, and steer away from dry recitations of facts. You want the issues presented in an engaging way, not the podcast equivalent of a lullaby. Sounds reasonable to us.
5. As a community member, would you want to be involved in our podcast? If so, how?
We’re happy to see so many of you keen to roll up your sleeves and get involved. Understandably, others couldn’t see quite how they’d fit in, but some suggestions included:
- Helping with production
- Putting questions to experts
- Suggesting and voting on potential topics
- Commenting and giving feedback
We’ll keep thinking about how we can make the podcast collaborative — we want the community to be involved in everything we do.
6. Any ideas you’d like to suggest to us?
Some of you pointed out that this is basically the same question as #4. Fair point. However, you still gave us lots of good (and different) answers:
- “Give ‘ordinary’ people who may not normally be interviewed a voice.”
- “Keep it short”
- “No ads”
- “Include voices from different cultures, ethnicities etc”
- “Some insider tips/stories from journalists about doing their jobs”
- “I would suggest providing curated podcasts from other news sources, perspectives and opinions that could enhance the objectivity of the WikiTribune platform”
And of course:
“A catchy jingle is key.”
We’ll get on that.
7. Anything else you’d like to tell us?
- “Keep up the great work. oh, and get a mastodon account!!” [Thank you! We’ve got enough on our plates with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at the moment, but Mastodon is cool and we’re keeping it on the middle burner]
- “ I’m confused by Medium and how it plays in things. Not sure I’m comfortable with them” [We use Medium for the blog. Everything else will be on WikiTribune’s own website, it’s just useful to have a third-party platform for various reasons. Not least, our site isn’t built yet]
- “Keep going!”
And our favourite:
“Good luck with Ricky tribune.”
Thank you for your support.
– Team RickyTribune 😉