Podcasting the Urban: Five-Part Series

What’s at stake in podcasting the urban? There might be more to this question than you think.

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Podcasting the Urban is a five-part series where we turn the academic gaze back onto our podcasting practice.


The Series


In 2018 City Road organised four public panel discussions to critically interrogate the idea of academics podcasting the urban, and we recorded two of them for this series. We ran the two recorded panel discussions as live listening events in front of a studio audience. At each event we played podcast excerpts from some of our favourite podcasts and we talked about them.

We discuss:

  • Oral storytelling and Indigenous methodologies as radio practice
  • The history of Aboriginal community radio in Sydney
  • Podcasting as an engaged research methodology
  • Podcasting as a research dissemination tool
  • The politics of representation and voice
  • Working across sound, text and images
  • Podcasting technology and narrative
  • Journalism verses academic ethics
  • Urban sounds as data
  • And more

You can listen here:


The Proposition


Podcasting is not just a communication medium, audio recording offers a unique way of engaging with city spaces. It can produce different types of data to complement written text and visual images. Podcasting can be an engaged research methodology, a research dissemination medium, and a pedagogical teaching tool.

This means there’s much more to microphones, audio recorders, and audio editing suites than their utility as communication tools. If we accept that podcasting can be many things, then this makes podcasting an act with ethical dimensions. For me, it raises questions about the form and quality of the content I’m putting out into the world.

When I was starting out in podcasting I gave surprisingly little thought to the politics of initiating an urban-focused, academic podcast. I was caught up with questions about which microphone to use, who would make a good interviewee and where to find a quiet room. Better questions might have been what am I aiming to achieve? Who will be involved and why? What are the ethics and politics of academic podcasting?

We want to explore these types of questions in this series.

Host, Dallas Rogers


The Voices


In order of appearance

Dr Dallas Rogers

Dallas Rogers

Dallas is passionate about community radio and podcasts on a broad range of contemporary urban issues. He studied radio production at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and is a Broad Member of Radio Skid Row, which has a strong history of social justice broadcasting. He was a founding producer of City Road Podcast and SoundMinds Radio, both of which air on the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia’s Community Radio Network (CRN).

Joel Sherwood-Spring

Joel Sherwood-Spring

Joel is a Wiradjuri man raised between Redfern and Alice Springs. He is a Sydney-based Architecture graduate and interdisciplinary artist working between solo works and the FutureMethod studio. Working across research, activism, architecture, installation and speculative projects, his current focus is on the contested narratives of Sydney’s and Australia’s urban culture and indigenous history in the face of ongoing colonisation. Joel is working on a radio project called The Survival Guide about the redevelopment of Redfern/Waterloo in Sydney.

Lorna Monro

Lorna Monro

Lorna is a proud, young Wiradjuri/Gamilaroi woman. This dynamic writer and poet calls the Redfern/Waterloo area home. She has been strongly influenced and nurtured by her activist parents, and mentored by many other members of the Black Power Movement, who she affectionately refers to as her Aunties and Uncles. She has been an active member of her community since the age of thirteen. She travelled to New Zealand and South America for cultural exchange and youth leadership programs before she was nineteen.

Nicola Joseph

Nicola Joseph

Nicola has 40 years of radio broadcast and audio production experience specialising in diversity and youth markets. She is an award winning producer and leader in the field of diversity and the media. She has worked in paid positions at 4ZZZ2SER and Radio Skid Row. She has also worked for the National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters’ Council (NEMBC) and the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA). More recently she was the CEO of the Community Media Training Organisation. Nicola was the Executive Producer of City Road Podcast in 2017 and trained the City Road team.

Cheyne Anderson

Cheyne Anderson

Cheyne Anderson is a producer for the award winning tech culture podcast Think: Digital Futures exploring the ethical issues of emerging technologies. She’s an experienced producer in the community radio space, and is a regular presenter of the Community Radio Network’s live Federal Budget Coverage. She’s also produced for ABC Radio National’s This is About and Unravel podcasts. Cheyne graduated from the University of Technology Sydney with a Masters in Journalism, and has an Honours degree in anthropology from the University of Sydney.

Dr Justine Lloyd

Justine Lloyd

Justine is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and the Centre for Media History (CMH). Her research is broadly concerned with the relationship between spatial and social change, particularly investigated through cultural histories of domesticity and urban space. Justine has published in the area of transnationalism and border theory. She worked as a producer and presenter in community radio following her first late-night radio show on 2NUR in 1990. From 2005 until 2010 she was a board member of the Newcastle-based media collective, the Octapod.

Dr Anja Kanngieser

Anja Kanngieser

Anja is a Vice Chancellors Fellow with the Faculty of Social Sciences in the School of Geography and Sustainable Communities. Anja’s  research investigates how shifts in economic and social geographies are registered in, and through, sound. Anja is particularly interested in the politics of sound: the potential and power of silence; what sounds are heard and what sounds are inaudible; what it means to translate sound into language; how sound reiterates race, class, and gender; and how listening can invite intervention. Anja’s current projects use testimony, field recording (recordings of environments) and data sonification (turning scientific data into sound) to document and amplify responses to the effects of climate change and ongoing environmental violence in the Pacific.

Dr Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor

Dr Elizabeth Taylor is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University. Elizabeth undertakes policy-focused research across urban planning, transport, housing, property rights and locational conflict. A recent research focus has been car parking policy. She is co-host of the podcast This Must be the Place and a founding member of the Urban Broadcast Collective.

Miles Herbert

Miles Herbert

Miles was raised on public radio in Chicago and is lucky enough to be making some in Sydney. Miles is a producer at 2SER in Sydney, where he makes podcasts and is the co-producer of the current affairs program The Wire. He is doing a PhD on podcasts at the University of Technology Sydney. Miles was the Executive Producer of City Road Podcast in 2018. Miles and a team from 2SER radio and The Guardian won a Walkley Award for his podcast  about an Aboriginal death in custody on 2018.


The Public Events


Podcasting the Urban: Notes from the field; sounds from the studio (Sydney)

  to 1City Road Studio, The Wilkinson Building 148 City Road, Darlington, Sydney.

Speakers: Dallas Rogers in conversation with Joel Sherwood-Spring, Lorna Monro and Nicola Joseph.

Blurb: What is at stake in podcasting the urban? There might be more at stake in this question than is at first obvious. In this live recording of City Road Podcast a panel of experts discuss how academic podcasting is different to other podcasting modalities. As urban scholars, we need to consider our position within the broader ecosystem of podcast production because, ontologically, the sonic itself is a specific dimension of the urban. While analysing the sonic realm is not new to urban studies, we need to address some important questions as we build podcasting into our teaching, urban scholarship and research dissemination. As an initial entry point into this debate, the panel consider how and why we initiate podcast projects, how we are expressing ourselves as urban academics, the ethics and quality of the urban podcast content, the channels we are broadcasting through, to whom we are disseminating our content and the impression we are making. We conclude that academic podcasting is a political and ethical process, and that we need to intervene into the socio-political world at every stage of the podcast production process.


Podcasts and Urban Studies: Notes from the field; sounds from the studio (Auckland)

Thursday, July 12th, 2018, 4:50 PM to 6:00 PM, University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Speakers: Dallas Rogers in conversation with Jason Byrne, Natalie Osborne and Anja Kanngieser.

Blurb: What is at stake in podcasting the urban? There might be more at stake in this question than is at first obvious. In this Practice Review, I argue that academic podcasting is different to other podcasting modalities. As urban scholars, we need to consider our position within the broader ecosystem of podcast production because, ontologically, the sonic itself is a specific dimension of the urban. While analysing the sonic realm is not new to urban studies, we need to address some important questions as we build podcasting into our teaching, urban scholarship and research dissemination. As an initial entry point into this debate, I consider how and why we initiate podcast projects, how we are expressing ourselves as urban academics, the ethics and quality of urban podcast content, the channels we are broadcasting through, to whom we are disseminating our content and the impression we are making. I conclude that academic podcasting is a political and ethical process, and that we need to intervene into the socio-political world at every stage of the podcast production process.


Podcasting Cities: A Users Guide (Melbourne)

 to The Toff, 252 Swanston Street, Melbourne.

Speakers: Elizabeth Taylor in conversation with Dallas Rogers, Kulja Coulston, Carly Godden and Lee Hooperas part of the Festival of Urbanism.

Blurb: Most of us have heard of podcasting and just over half of Australians claim to be listening to one, how do you make a podcast on cities and why? From initiating a podcast to thinking about the ethics of expression and voice. Experts advise how to disseminate high quality podcast content.


Podcasting Cities: A Users Guide (Sydney)

  to City Road Studio, The Wilkinson Building 148 City Road, Darlington, Sydney.

Speakers: Dallas Rogers in conversation with Anja Kanngieser, Justine Lloyd Macquarie, Miles Herbert and Cheyne Anderson as part of the Festival of Urbanism.

Blurb: Most of us have heard of podcasting and just over half of Australians claim to be listening to one, but How do you make a podcast on cities and why? From initiating a podcast to thinking about the ethics of expression and voice. Experts advise how to disseminate high quality podcast content.


The Podcast Excerpts


In order of appearance

The Survival Guide is a Radio SkidRow production about the redevelopment of Redfern/Waterloo in Sydney. It is produced by Joel Sherwood-Spring and Lorna Monro.

I Was Here is a Think Digital Futures production by Cheyne Anderson.

Planning Multispecies Cities is a City Road production by Dallas Rogers.

Winston is a set of poems written and read by Atueta Rabuka, Krystelle Lavaki Danford, Amelia Rigsby and Peter Sipeli. Produced By Anja Kanngiesera and the Poetry Shop Fiji.

Interview with Dr Elizabeth Taylor by Dallas Rogers (unpublished).

Fanon’s children: the idealistic rage of Dispossessed on ABC AWAYE!, produced by Daniel Browning.

Ghetto Life 101; in 1993, David Isay gave thirteen-year-old LeAlan Jones and fourteen-year-old Lloyd Newman audio recording equipment and told them to record their daily lives in and around the public housing ‘projects’ on the South Side of Chicago.

Uncivil provides a counter-history of the Civil War. The story of slavery, confederate monuments, racism — is the story of America. Produced by Chenjerai Kumanyika and Jack Hitt for Gimlet media.

 a Walkley Award for his podcast about an Aboriginal death in custody. Produced by Miles Herbert and a team from 2SER radio in Sydney and The Guardian.

In One Ear and Out the Other takes a bizarre trip inside the brain of Danish documentary producer Tim Hinman, as he does his best to follow the pathways of cognition to the source – only to be confronted with a stranger and stranger inner universe. Broadcast on ABC Radiotonic.


* Disclaimer – Dallas Rogers is a Board Member of Radio Skid Row. Dallas was a named recipient of the 2018 Community Broadcasting Foundation grant for The Survival Guide. The University of Sydney was a financial contributor to The Survival Guide.
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