This Week in Podcasts: 6/16/19 – 6/23/19

This Week in Podcasts is a weekly roundup of the goings-on in podcasting, from highlights to pitfalls to updates and more. Have updates or crowdfunding campaigns you want listed? Check here for directions on how to get in touch.


Why’d You Push That Button?
“Death Online: Mourning a Robot”
Release date: 6/19/19
Runtime: 39 minutes
No transcript available, but article available

Why’d You Push That Button?The Verge’s podcast on how we interact with tech, continues its series on digital death with a touching, surreal story about a family mourning their robot, Jibo. The “social home robot” quickly became a family member, but when the company that owns Jibo gets bought out, the family has to learn to cope with Jibo’s death, hitting the children in the family hardest. The parallels between this episode and Black Mirror (especially the recent, divisive, “Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too”) are abundant, but Why’d You Push That Button? is not only nonfiction, it’s also soft, tender, and empathetic.

A RadioPublic embed of the episode, which can also be found here

In the Dark
“The Decision”
Release date: 6/22/19
Runtime: 16 minutes
No transcript available, but article available

This episode of In the Dark discusses the overturned conviction for subject Curtis Flowers (see Updates below), but spins the decision with nuance and no small amount of suspicion. While the episode could have played as a celebratory discussion of positive change in the Flowers case, In the Dark chooses instead to focus on the greater ramifications of what this means not just for Flowers, but cases like his: Flowers could be tried for a seventh time, his case does nothing to stop racial discrimination in juries for other cases, and he’s not yet free to go home.

A RadioPublic embed of the episode, which can also be found here


Conviction for Curtis Flowers, Subject of American Public Media’s In the Dark, Overturned

Curtis Flowers, who has been tried six times for the same case and incarcerated for 22 years, had his conviction overturned by the Supreme Court this week. The subject of American Public Media’s In the Dark is not free just yet: because his conviction has been overturned, he may be tried for a seventh time.

Nancy Joins the Radiolab “Podcast Family”

WNYC’s Nancy joins the Radiolab “podcast family” alongside More Perfect. Host Kathy Tu previous contributed to Radiolab, and host Tobin Low previously produced More Perfect.

Hug House Productions Drops First Episode of Scoring Magic, Announces Casting Call for VALENCE

Hug House Productions, a podcast production collective of myself, Anne Baird, and Katie Youmans, has released the first episode of out podcast Scoring Magic: a documentary about the making of an audio drama, and that audio drama itself. We have also announced the casting call for that audio drama, VALENCE. The casting call can be found here.

A RadioPublic embed of the episode, which can also be found here

The Rockefeller Foundation Partners with Maeve Higgins, Malcolm Gladwell, Jacob Weisberg on Solvable

The Rockefeller Foundation has launched the first season of Solvable: “Solvable, hosted by Maeve Higgins, showcases the world’s most innovative thinkers proposing solutions to our most daunting problems. The interviews, conducted by journalists like Malcolm [Gladwell] and Jacob [Weisberg], launch a dialogue that both acknowledges the complexity of the issues while inspiring hope that the problems are, in fact, solvable. [. . . ] We’ll tackle problems like homelessness, refugees, AIDS, poverty, food waste, education, clean water, and more.”

A RadioPublic embed of the episode, which can also be found here


ENDING SOON: Childish: A Podcast Musical Crowdfunding its First Season

Podcast production house Whale Bus (The VanStory BlocksLooking Back at Tomorrow) is crowdfunding the first season of their upcoming musical audio drama, Childish: A Podcast Musical via IndieGogo. The campaign has a flexible goal of $2000 USD and will be running until June 28th, 2019. The podcast will be about “A college student wants to be the world’s most famous rapper [Childish Gambino], so he becomes an RA.”

PodTales Crowdfunding its First Festival

Upcoming fiction podcast festival PodTales is crowdfunding its first event via IndieGogo. The event will be based in Cambridge, MA, and held on October 20th, 2019. The campaign has a flexible goal of $4000 USD and will be running until July 15th, 2019. The event hopes to spotlight indie fiction creators: “Independent podcasting has put the tools of broadcast media into the hands of more people than ever before, tapping into the power of sound and voice as storytelling media; contemporary story podcasts span the full gamut of fiction genres, from fantasy, sci-fi, and horror, to romance, psychological drama, and thriller, to the literary and experimental. This growing form incorporates a variety of powerful artistic elements—writing, voice acting, and sound design and production—to create a unique and immersive story experience.”


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