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July 31, 2017 | by  | in Podcasts |
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Podcasts have a real problem showcasing diverse voices. In general, the podcasting scene is dominated by white men with too many opinions (sounds familiar, right?). A 2016 survey of iTunes US, the world’s largest podcast directory, found that 66% of podcasts had at least one white male host, while only 7% were hosted by women of colour. A cursory glance over the iTunes NZ top ten podcast chart at the time of writing revealed that only three shows consistently featured women as hosts or recurring guests. Achieving authentic representation of women and gender minorities, especially people of colour, is something that many forms of media fail to accomplish, and podcasts are no exception. Representation is important because it allows us to hear different stories and perspectives. It can also be a catalyst for change, by amplifying the voices of the marginalised.

What needs to happen for us to hear more awesome ladies in podcasts? Firstly, established studios (Earwolf, Acast, RadioLab) with money and resources need to set the pace, and recruit more women and gender minorities to host and produce podcast content. Secondly, if you find a great podcast with diverse hosts, spread the word! Tell the studio that you like it; bully your friends into listening to it. Thirdly — and this is my favourite option —  start your own podcast with the voices you want to hear (don’t forget to email editor@salient.org.nz and we’ll review it).

In the meantime, check out these podcasts:

  • 2 Dope Queens: Comedians Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams talk about pop culture, dating, feminism, and race. There are sets from other stand-ups (Eric Andre, Maria Bamford, Pete Holmes) and great guests dropping by for a chat (Broad City’s Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, Jon Stewart).
  • Call Your Girlfriend: Long-distance best friends Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow catch up every week, and record the whole thing as a podcast. Ann and Amina are just as comfortable talking about healthcare reform as they are deconstructing the Rob Kardashian, Blac Chyna debacle. Also features the great segment “This Week in Menstruation”.
  • Boners of the Heart: New Zealand’s own Rose Matafeo and Alice Snedden explore their weird celebrity crushes. Both these ladies are crushing it in the comedy world (Rose won the Fred Award at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival this year, and Alice is head writer on Jono and Ben), and you’ll love hearing them crack each other up as they pine for the stars of ’80s movies.
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