Happy Monday! Here's what I've been thinking about lately...
1. Radiotopia's Podquest is here! If you're on Twitter, then surely you've heard about Radiotopia's Podquest. If you haven't, here's the gist: the network is on the hunt for a new story-driven show, and they're calling for your ideas from now until April 17th. In the official announcement, they say, "We're looking to grow and diversify the network, nurture fresh talent, and reach new audiences." Ten semi-finalists will be announced in June, three finalists will be announced at the July Podcast Movement conference, production will take place between then and October, and a winner will be selected in November at the Third Coast Conference. It's exciting, even for someone with no plans at all to submit an idea. The winning show will undoubtedly be fantastic and deserving, but I'm most looking forward to hearing about the process as it unfolds in the months ahead. And obviously, I've got my fingers crossed that the contest inspires hundreds of exciting new voices in podcasting.
2. A magazine for podcast enthusiasts. Have you been reading Podster? It's a new magazine about podcasts and their creators, and I'm really enjoying it so far. The new issue -- which features chats with Roman Mars, Mignon Fogarty, and more big names in podcasting -- just dropped a few days ago. It's definitely worth a read, especially the five-page interview with Anna Sale, host of WNYC's Death, Sex & Money. She talks about the way her guests are selected, her intimate interview style, what it's like talking about her personal life on air, how her big move to the west coast will impact the show, and the podcasts she's currently loving. If you haven't checked out this month's issue yet, I'd definitely recommend it.
3. NPR's new podcast policy. Did you hear about NPR's decision not to promote podcasts or its NPR One app on air anymore? The ethics policy was announced late last week in an attempt to keep journalism separate from the world of marketing and advertising, in the words of Christopher Turpin (NPR's VP of news programming and operations). It's an understandable position to take, I think, but it's also one that won't last long if the podcast industry continues to grow and the public radio listener base continues to fade. The unexpected decision -- and the strong reaction to it on Twitter -- clearly illustrates that there's a complicated relationship between the two. NPR is investing heavily in podcasts like the brand new one Embedded, and my local station even has an hour-long weekly show featuring podcast recommendations called The Big Listen. It's unclear how the new ethics policy will impact these and other podcasts, but for now, there are lots of great journalists out there weighing in.