October 31, 2021

Happy Halloween! If all goes well, by the end of today my six nieces will be completely surprised to find that the prize at the end of their annual fall-themed scavenger hunt is … me!

Can you imagine their disappointment that it’s not candy? Me neither. That’s why I’ll be packing king-sized chocolate bars for my surprise visit. It’s the latest stop in my cross-country road trip visiting colleges and seeing friends, family and natural wonders I missed during the pandemic.

One of the ways my navigator (aka my husband) and I have been entertaining ourselves is through podcasts, and I thought this might be a great time to push not just a Poynter podcast, but journalism podcasts in general.

Obviously one of my favorites is the one I help produce — WriteLane, featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning feature writer and all-around excellent human Lane DeGregory, and her unbelievably talented editor Maria Carrillo. If you’ve ever seen “Beaches,” I suspect it’s loosely based on their relationship. Or maybe it’s just the song “Wind Beneath My Wings.” I don’t know. I haven’t actually seen “Beaches.” But I’ve seen them work together, and it’s amazing. Listening to them converse about their life’s work is a joy, and you can partake as well by subscribing to WriteLane wherever you listen to podcasts.

Poynter is proud to serve as WriteLane’s host and online home. I wanted to flag it and a few other shows for you to suggest to your students.

In no particular order, here’s a handful of podcasts about journalism, with some others by journalists. I choose them specifically because they either talk about the craft and culture of journalism, or are created by journalists and showcase great techniques and storytelling.

What did I miss? Send me your list and I’ll keep them coming next week.

Podcasts about doing journalism:

WriteLane (Tampa Bay Times and Poynter) — “A podcast about telling true stories from Pulitzer Prize-winning Tampa Bay Times journalist Lane DeGregory and her editor, Maria Carrillo. Some episodes explore a piece of the writing process: finding ideas, interviewing, seeking structure. Others dive deep into a single story, breaking down the how and why. Some include interviews with other journalists.”

Reveal (The Center for Investigative Reporting) — “Our investigative reporting consistently contributes to real-world impact, from civil and criminal investigations to new laws and policies, better-informed conversations and community-driven solutions.”

Longform Podcast (longform.org) — “The Longform Podcast is a weekly conversation with a non-fiction writer on how they tell stories.”

IRE Radio Podcast (Investigative Reporters and Editors) — “Go behind the story with some of the country’s best journalists on this radio program … Sit in on conversations with award-winning reporters, editors and producers to hear how they broke some of the biggest stories of the year.” (Note: This hasn’t been updated in a while but the archives are solid gold!)

It’s All Journalism — “The broccoli of media-focused podcasts.”

Podcasts from journalists doing journalism:

I’m Not A Monster (BBC Panorama and FRONTLINE PBS) — “How did an American family end up in the heart of the ISIS caliphate? Over four years, journalist Josh Baker unravels a dangerous story where nothing is as it seems.”

VERIFIED (Stitcher and the Investigative Reporting Project Italy) — “Him: well-reviewed, a policeman, and a perpetual predator. Them: the very women that took him down. How far would you go to get justice? Hear the incredible true story …”

The Other Latif (Radiolab)  — “How did this nerdy suburban Muslim kid come to be imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay?”

The Nobody Zone (RTÉ in Ireland and Third Ear in Denmark)— “In a forgotten London underworld, a homeless Irishman kills multiple times without detection, unseen in a world where nobody seems to care.”

The Canary | Washington Post Investigates —  “Two women and a shared refusal to stay silent. A seven-part podcast hosted by investigative reporter Amy Brittain.”

My Mother’s Murder (Tortoise)  — “‘My Mother’s Murder’ is an investigation by Paul Caruana Galizia into the life and killing of his mother Daphne Caruana Galizia. It’s an examination of the arrogance of power and the vast big-money corruption in a modern European country.”

White Lies (NPR) — “In 1965, Rev. James Reeb was murdered in Selma, Alabama. Three men were tried and acquitted, but no one was ever held to account. Fifty years later, two journalists from Alabama return to the city where it happened, expose the lies that kept the murder from being solved and uncover a story about guilt and memory that says as much about America today as it does about the past.”

The Line (Apple) — “Explore the impact of the forever wars on the U.S. Navy SEALs through the lens of the Eddie Gallagher case.”

The Lazarus Heist (BBC)  — “‘Almost a perfect crime.’ The hacking ring and an attempt to steal a billion dollars. Investigators blame North Korea. Pyongyang denies involvement. The story begins in Hollywood.”

In the Dark | Season Two (American Public Media) — “We investigate the case of Curtis Flowers, a Black man from Winona, Mississippi, who was tried six times for the same crime. Flowers spent more than 20 years fighting for his life while a white prosecutor spent that same time trying just as hard to execute him.”

News of note

Last year, Poynter worked with USC Annenberg’s Media Center as their students devised and implemented an equity board for their work. These student journalists and their advisers continue to work on the cutting edge of DEI initiatives in newsrooms, this time with “Annenberg Media introduces new policy for revisiting published stories.”

The deadline is today for the Reynolds Journalism Institute’s 2022 Student Innovation Competition.

Food shortages on campus may be worth examining as the holidays approach, especially now that Swipe Out Hunger and the College and University Food Bank Alliance have merged. What nonprofits service your hungry students? Can students donate their unused meal plans and cash to support them?

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the great series penned by University of Wisconsin Oshkosh professor Vince Filak last week, in which he addressed student stress and burnout on his blog, Dynamics of Writing. I read every word.

College headlines

Great journalism to share with your students

Diverse headlines

One valuable way that you can reinforce diversity, equity and inclusion in your classroom is by sharing journalism about, by and for diverse communities — not just stories that are predominantly by and about cisgender white people. Consider ways in which you could use these stories in your curriculum. Here are a few examples I saw this week. I also include headlines about DEI news and issues.

Internship Database

This week, we’re featuring our own PolitiFact, the nation’s largest team of fact-checkers and misinformation fighters. From the application: “As a summer intern at PolitiFact during the run-up to the 2022 midterm elections, you’ll hold politicians accountable for their words and promises. You’ll deconstruct the rhetoric of PACs and pundits. You’ll debunk social media hoaxes and myths. You’ll supply context and nuance to daily news coverage through fact-checks and explainers. You’ll research, analyze, report, write and publish. You’ll be a force for truth, transparency and democracy.”

Apply here, and find more opportunities in Poynter’s Internship Database, your go-to list for paid journalism internships.

The Lead

This week, we featured “New to editing? Follow these four steps to streamline the process.” Subscribe to The Lead, Poynter’s weekly newsletter for student journalists, and encourage your students to do the same.

This week’s Professor’s Press Pass

In this week’s Professor’s Press Pass: Recently, editors of The Wall Street Journal’s opinion pages ran a letter from former President Donald Trump, who was banned from Twitter and Facebook for spreading false information and promoting violence, that condemned “election fraud,” which mainstream journalists have found none of. The decision to run the letter was widely condemned by media observers as irresponsible and reckless. Check out this week’s case study for curated discussion questions about this issue for your classroom.

One last thing

In continuing my trend of looking at New York Times think-pieces about work culture in this space, I give you “The 37-Year-Olds Are Afraid of the 23-Year-Olds Who Work for Them.” Normally I would say 😂 but I guess I can’t anymore.

Resources for Journalists

Support high-integrity, independent journalism that serves democracy. Make a gift to Poynter today. The Poynter Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and your gift helps us make good journalism better.
Barbara Allen is the director of college programming for Poynter. Prior to that, she served as managing editor of Poynter.org. She spent two decades in…
Barbara Allen

More News

Back to News