Have you ever switched on the telly or the radio, only to see a sea of middle-aged white guys? Yeah, I get sick get sick of that too. Never fear, there are alternative media streams which you can listen to, which don’t just focus on your ovaries.
When I’m travelling to and from uni, which takes up more time than I care to recall, I like to get into the zone by listening to podcasts. It’s no big surprise that I love podcasts, as my addiction to radio started in my mid-teens. The year was 2000, and Wil Anderson and Adam Spencer were filling the airwaves with dick jokes and mathematics. Adam Spencer had Word Of The Day, which I followed religiously, writing down the new words and meanings in my journals. Yes dear reader, I loved the radio.
Now days, I’m still plugged into the ABC, but I prefer Radio National or News Radio. Boring I know, but if you’re a political junkee like me, there is nothing quiet like listening to Fran Kelly grill the Treasurer about the GST. While listening to the ABC, and from my undergraduate days, I am more than aware of how fantastic the website is, and the great content produced by the media outlet. It’s not just soundbites, at ABC covers a broad range of topics, and the journalism investigates the wider picture, meaning numerous experts are interviewed, not just opinionated white dudes. Which is how I started podcasting. I was listening to Margaret Throsby, and I just had to listen to the interview again. When I realised, there’s an app for that, it changed the way I lived my life. After subscribing to the ABC, vacuuming would never be the same again. I listened Professor Marcia Langton, I listened to Wendy McCarthy and I listened to Fran Kelly grill pollys like there is no tomorrow. I was in heaven.
Currently, I’m loving Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales’s podcast, Chat 10 Looks 3. The website is great, and I’ve made the lentil and tomato soup, YUM! I found it insightful, and I’m always learning about new works of fiction
which I don’t have time to read which one day I’ll get round to reading. I find it incredibly refreshing to listen to talented and professional women, who talk about all different aspects of life, without focusing solely on their kids. Kids are great (Even better when you can hand them back!), but women are more than their families or what their uteruses produce, and Chat 10 looks 3 is the perfect balance of talking about women’s lives experiences and the intellectual issues. It’s also a great cheat sheet, so next time you’re at a dinner party, and someone asks, “Oh, have you read that book by Helen Garner?” you can say, I heard it was good, Leigh Sales loved it.
Both Politics with Michelle Grattan and The Big Picture with Lenore Taylor tick all the right boxes as far as I am concerned, since they are lead by a woman, and its all politics. Michelle interviews a politician for around 20 minutes, and you can guarantee she’ll ask the right questions. It’s not so much as a grilling, as a slow roast. You’ll feel smarter for listening. As for The Big Picture again, it’s lead by a woman, but this time, Lenore usually has a variety of interviewees, and sometimes all at once. she even played Fantasy Cabinet one episode, and it rocked my socks. Again, this one is a great way to stay onto of the bigger issues and the interviewees are usually leaders in their field and or politicians, so it’s straight from the horses mouth.
Big Ideas from Radio National was probably, where it all started for me, and I think it covers the broadest range of topics. Again, as this is the ABC, the panelists or experts are more than likely to be industry leaders or actual experts so you will feel like you’ve learnt something at the end of it, probably because you have. When Paul Barclay interviews or facilitates a panel discussion, he has a unique manner of allowing the participants to speak, and extracting their stories without making you aware that he is even there. Definitely a great technique to have as an interviewer.
Finally, Bitch Media. Bitch is my least favourite word, but this podcast is pure intersectionality feminism and I love it. The only down side, it is is made in America, so some of the topical issues they discuss, are based around American topics, however since Australia has imported plenty of cultural ideas and shows, you won’t be too far behind on anything the ladies discuss. I say intersectionality, as the presenters acknowledge concepts of privilege, colour, ethnicity, class and recognise there is more to structural repression than whether you are a man of a women. Definitely worth a listen if you’re tied of boring old white men telling you what to wear, how to cook and what to think.