Welcome to the golden age of audio. The world has (re)discovered podcasting. And for us, the real lesson of the post-Serial boomlet isn’t that podcasts are great — they’ve been great for a while! — but that people actually care what reporters do before the story gets written or recorded. Which is to say, we always knew you cared about the murder mystery, but we didn’t know that you cared about how we try to report it.
It’s with this in mind that we’re excited to bring you Actuality, a bi-monthly podcast jointly produced with our friends at Quartz. We’re friends because, frankly, we like to come at stories in some similar ways — finding the accessible and conversational in those stories that used to wither and die on the business pages of serious publications.
Some of the best things that happen in a newsroom are the conversations between journalists before and after the story gets published. An audio product is so much more visceral and immediate: the best way to recreate the moment when someone leans over from the next desk and says, “get a load of this story.” We’re also bringing people connected to the story — experts and participants — into every conversation we have, to point out when we are wrong (and vice-versa).
So, every other week, we’ll endeavor to bring you into a new story about the global economy and plug you into the conversation behind the news. Marketplace and Quartz try not to take ourselves too seriously, and we hope you find the podcast both informative and entertaining.
Actuality seemed like the perfect name for it; it’s what those of us in the audio business call the clips of tape from interviews that go into our stories. Those, and other “pops” of sound, will give us a nice starting point for many of our discussions.
But where those conversations go from there will surprise you, just like the word “actuality,” for its earlier meaning: things as they really are, not as we expect them to be.
Marketplace and Quartz are committed to finding new ways to bring news about the changing world to our audiences in whatever medium they prefer. We hope our podcast will combine the best of Quartz’s digital journalism with Marketplace’s award-winning radio broadcasts in a mix that brings you the best of our sensibilities as journalists — and our curiosity about the world and what makes it run.
You can subscribe to Actuality here.