This week on the ReMarket Podcast, why do people listen to Marketplace?
I know why I started in the mid-’90s, back in the David Brancaccio days, during my afternoon commute in Washington D.C.
It’s because Marketplace made me care about economic and business news. The show surprised me. It made me laugh. It was really cool. It challenged my assumptions. And now, fortunately, I work here. So I wanted to explain why I think Marketplace is STILL so much fun.
The first thing we think about is our audience — it’s not enough to just ask big questions or find good scenes. You have to know how to write extremely well to be a Marketplace reporter. You need to figure out what the audience wants to know, or needs to know. Then you have to deliver that info in a casual manner. We do it well here, like this story from Stacey Vanek Smith. It’s about a toilet paper company, marketing a new product with a major “ick” factor. It can be really hard to be funny, but Stacey just knows how to talk to people. She approaches topics with just the right amount of humor and tact. Same with our man in London, Stephen Beard. He’s got that perfect British wit.
Then there’s the guests we’re able to book — exciting, relevant and all across the spectrum. Just this week, we had Sir Richard Branson of the Virgin Group, comedian and actor Michael Ian Black, and none other than U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, among a number of other voices.
And, finally, as an editor, I had to highlight the use of clichés and overused words. Sr. editor Celeste Wesson put a big piece of paper on the wall of our conference room a couple of years ago, and it simply said, “Cliché Wall.” From there, terms like “massive” and “mountain of debt” and “tough economic times” landed on the paper. The Cliché Wall kept growing, and it’s a reminder here at Marketplace to avoid such phrases and words. I think it challenges us to keep everything fresh.
So enjoy listening to this week’s ReMarket. And let us know your own reasons why you think it’s fun to listen to Marketplace.