Agriminders: Chris Russell remains optimistic about our future
Mediaweek first interviewed PodcastOne’s host of Agriminders, Chris Russell, just over 12 months ago. He told Mediaweek he remains optimistic about the future despite some serious challenges facing the planet.
Russell has been a longtime agricultural scientist and was the agricultural judge on ABC TV’s New Inventors for seven years. He’s also been an agricultural contributor to Newstalk ZB in New Zealand for around 20 years.
Russell reminded us this week the reasons behind the series: “I wanted people in agriculture to find it be useful to hear from experts they couldn’t normally access. The second aim was to speak to urban Australia who often get news about agriculture from a sometimes-uninformed media, telling them all sorts of things that aren’t necessarily correct. Telling them things about everything from water, animal welfare to genetic modification.”
For his third season, one of the things Russell wanted to explore further was climate change. “This series I have interviewed Phillip Mulvey, who is a soil scientist. He thinks if we can even fix the soil problem, we will be overwhelmed by another problem which will impact the amount of rain farms get. This is another man-made issue we have to address.”
After three seasons of speaking with specialists, Russell said he remains optimistic about the future. When he is not podcasting, Russell sits on committees for the Institute of Agricultural Science and does speaking engagements.
Each Agriminders episode takes him plenty of time. “I hope people find them as fascinating as I have when I did them. Each podcast takes a lot of research. I am only talking to CEOs and professors. If I don’t have enough knowledge to properly chat to them then it is not going to be good listening. It has been good for me in that it forces me to keep up-to-date.”
Commercial Radio and AFTRS announce CRA Podcast Scholarship
AFTRS, the national screen and broadcast school, and Commercial Radio Australia (CRA), the national industry body representing Australian commercial radio broadcasters, this week announced a new scholarship to support a regional student moving to Sydney to study AFTRS’ Graduate Diploma in Radio which covers all aspects of audio including podcasting.
The CRA Podcast Scholarship will provide $7,500 in 2020, to support the student’s living expenses and re-location to Sydney plus a 4-week internship at Podcast One.
“Podcasting has been growing at a substantial rate both nationally and internationally. AFTRS foreshadowed this exciting emerging field for Australian broadcast storytellers and began teaching podcasting in 2006. AFTRS Graduate Diploma Radio curriculum includes opportunities for students, working alongside industry experts, to regularly create, edit and publish radio and podcast content, preparing them to work professionally as podcast producers,” said AFTRS head of radio Fyona Smith.
CEO of Commercial Radio Australia Joan Warner said: “We are pleased to announce the CRA Podcast Scholarship to support a regional student studying at AFTRS. Many of the radio students AFTRS produces invariably find employment in commercial radio across Australia, including within the podcasting space, and several have gone on to win prestigious radio awards. Through the CRA Podcast Scholarship, the commercial radio industry is investing in the development of the next generation of industry talent and showing our continued commitment to supporting the growth of podcasts in this country.”
The Australian’s David Murray hosting The Lighthouse
From the team behind the award-winning podcasts The Teacher’s Pet, Bowraville, Who the hell is Hamish? and Lost in Larrimah, The Australian last week launched its latest investigative podcast, The Lighthouse, about the mysterious disappearance of Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez.
At the request of Theo’s family, The Australian’s national crime correspondent, David Murray, joined the unofficial search party to investigate what happened to Theo who hasn’t been seen since leaving a Byron Bay bar in May this year.
As a range of theories for his disappearance emerge, The Lighthouse delves into all possible scenarios highlighted by a major police investigation and takes you inside the extraordinary search by local volunteers who’ve never met Theo.
The podcast also explores the stark contrast between Byron Bay’s millionaires and the homeless community living in hidden bush camps, along with the role technology has played in the case and how it will continue to transform the search for missing people.
The Onion partners with Sony Music
The Onion, the US comedy and news satire brand owned by G/O Media, and Sony Music Entertainment this week announced a strategic partnership to develop original podcast content. The companies will co-create a new daily satirical podcast focused on current events called The Topical, which is to launch in January 2020. It will be a parody of The Daily from The New York Times.
Sony Music said the partnership will bring to comedy fans a whole new way to experience The Onion’s distinctive voice and insightful commentary on a daily basis across a wide variety of platforms. The Onion will oversee all creative aspects of the podcast, including writing, production and recording.
The agreement further advances Sony Music’s creator-first approach to collaborating with unique creative talent. As a partner in podcasting, Sony Music provides its expertise in content creation, marketing and new technology monetisation to help storytellers enhance the scale and scope of their work.
Broadcaster records Audible series about Rupert Murdoch
David Dimbleby, the British broadcaster who has watched the life and times of the Australian media mogul for over five decades, will separate fact from fiction in a podcast that chronicles the real Rupert Murdoch story, reports The Observer.
The series will launch on Audible later this month and will be 81-year-old Dimbleby’s first journalistic work since stepping down from the helm of BBC’s Question Time program last year.
“The podcast I have made explores the controversial use of the media he owns to exert political power,” said Dimbleby, of The Sun King, which will launch on 18 November. “I first interviewed Rupert Murdoch for BBC’s Panorama when he bought the News of The World in 1968 and then again when he bought the Times,” said Dimbleby. “From the Sun to Fox News I look at his motives and methods through the eyes of his colleagues and opponents. I know a great deal more about him now than I did back in 1968, but he remains an enigma.”