👁 Un-Obscured: Social Impact Podcasts
Sounds Like Impact: A newsletter for audio and action - Vol. 33
Welcome to Sounds Like Impact!
This week you’ll hear from some familiar voices in the podcast industry about what social impact related content they are listening to. Also, I interview Stephanie Marudas and Emily Previti from Obscured podcast. But first…
ICYMI: Last week we I did a special Giving Tuesday edition where I shared what independent journalism I am supporting this year, and beyond.
🗞 #SoundsLikeImpact community member Andy Bosnak launched a new newsletter on LinkedIn called The Pod Garden Ponderings about creating and collaborating along with sharing technical audio advice. Andy has worked on many social issue related shows. You can check out the first edition here.
💼 NPR is hiring an early or mid-career journalist to be a Reflect America Fellow (1-year position). This individual will be assigned to work on the climate desk. Applications are due January 26th.
Tink Media’s Audio Delicacies list is here! And I helped contribute. Make sure to check out this list for some wonderful recommendations across podcasting genres. As for Weight For It, you’ll see I am not the only one singing this show’s praises once you read on!
Reminder: To guest curate, be interviewed, advertise and more, click here. Curations and interviews are now being considered for the 2024 editorial calendar.
Stephanie Marudas (she/her) is the founder of Kouvenda Media and co-creator of Obscured. Prior to founding Kouvenda Media, she reported for WYPR in Baltimore and WHYY in Philadelphia. At WHYY, as a reporter, she covered subjects like education, healthcare, and immigration, while also working on the "Impact of War" series, a collaboration with NPR and went on to become a producer at the station in various roles. As executive producer of the award-winning podcast Grapple, she collaborated with Obscured co-creator Emily Previti during their time working together for Keystone Crossroads.
Emily Previti (she/her) is executive editor and co-creator of Obscured. Before joining Kouvenda Media, she covered voting rights and election administration for NPR affiliate WITF and The GroundTruth Project during 2019-2021. Emily was the senior reporter for statewide public media collaboration Keystone Crossroads – where, in addition to collaborating with Stephanie on Grapple, she led data-driven projects and reported overlooked stories about government dysfunction, refugee resettlement, criminal justice and other challenges facing communities across Pennsylvania. Her work – including from staff reporting for print-based outlets earlier on – has been recognized by PMJA, PAPME, RTDNA’s Edward R. Murrow Awards and the New Jersey and Illinois press associations.
You can reach Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @emily_previti.
Stephanie and Emily’s latest season of Obscured looks at trauma developed as a result of negative encounters with police. While a difficult issue, it’s a season that you should not miss because there is work for all of us to do. But first, join me in learning the who, what and why behind the show by clicking below!
🎧 Recs with Friends
Some Sounds Like Impact Interviewees share some listens!
For this newsletter I have been fortunate to interview 23 podcast creators. Tis’ the season for end-of-year lists, and while the rest of mine is coming, I’ve asked some of audio creatives I’ve interviewed for their social issue related recommendations.
But don’t worry, it’s not all serious all the time. They’ll also share some fun or reflective podcast recs too! And of course, don’t forget to check out the impactful shows these individuals have worked on, and my interviews with them to learn more.
Enjoy and please leave us comments if you have listened to these shows, plan to listen, want to recommend similar shows, or have something else to share!
🌏 Pippa Johnstone, Creator of Expectant
Social Impact: Crackdown is a podcast about the overdose crisis, set in Vancouver but applicable too many cities. It’s made by drug users, for drug users, and is beautifully produced.
For Fun: Handsome – It’s so, so fun!
🦑 Ruxandra Guidi, Host of The Catch
Social Impact: You Didn’t See Nothin* – This series blew me away in its framing and execution--you can tell that it did not follow any of the conventions of "true crime" or audio documentary that have become so commonplace in podcasts. I loved Yohance's voice and reflections that are critical of not just the criminal justice system and society but also of the journalism industry that is meant to keep both in check.
*Ronald Young Jr. also recommended this podcast, as did I in my 2023 so far roundup.
For Reflection: The Slowdown: Poetry & Reflection Daily
🏳️⚧️ H Conley, Producer of “Refused: When You Are Too Fat For Top Surgery”
Social Impact: One of my favorite podcasts of the year was Weight For It from Radiotopia. Ronald Young Jr.'s vulnerable and honest discussion of anti-fatness in culture, medicine and within himself is eye opening and conversation starting. I think this is such a successful issue podcast because it it so personal and really brings the listener into Ronald's mindset around his body and how others interact with him.
For Fun: The Animals from Everything is Alive. When everything is devastating and it's hard to believe in humanity, a little fictional interview with a butterfly or a jellyfish is incredibly comforting to me.
👤 Ronald Young Jr., Creator of Weight for It
Social Impact: I Am America – This show very casually introduces the idea of Americans being not all male and not all white. In the majority of the episodes it is Black women talking about their contributions to the tapestry of this country. Great storytelling and brilliant production from Nichole Hill.
For Fun: Diss and Tell – I love this show because it breaks down the celebrity beefs that I thought I knew with a nuanced hand. Everything from Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell, to Britney and Jamie Lynn Spears. I enjoyed being reminded of how these feuds came to the public eye.
🚑 Ann Marie Awad, Producer of National Emergency
Social Impact: The Vibe Check Book Club episode with Matthew Desmond – Okay this is a little meta, but the Vibe Check fellas mentioned this book – Poverty, By America –a while ago and I picked it up and burned through it immediately. I haven't been able to shut up about it since. And then to my delight, they announced they were going to interview the author! I really loved hearing Desmond go into more detail about the need for dignity and care in anti-poverty programs. I have never really latched onto a book club before, but I can't wait to see what they recommend next.
🚨 Adell Coleman, Co-Creator of Say Their Name
Social Impact: Queer News This is a great and informative show, this is the one stop shop for Queer news but even if you aren't part of the LGBTQ community these are stories that impact all of us!
For Fun: Black People Love Paramore
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Sounds Like Impact is written and curated by Ayo Oti. Please consider several ways you can contribute to this important mission – providing a platform for social change through audio storytelling and calls to action for the change-maker that lives within all of us.