Futures Lab Update #143: Expanding via Podcasts

    by Reuben Stern
    March 10, 2016
    A screenshot from this week's Futures Lab Update video.

    This story first appeared on RJI’s Futures Lab. Reporting by Katy Mersmann.

    This week we find out what it takes to expand into podcasting successfully.


    The popularity of podcasts has prompted several news outlets that weren’t previously focused on audio to embrace the medium. We visited BuzzFeed and Quartz to find out how their forays into podcasting enable them to reach diverse audiences in a different way.


    • BuzzFeed has produced several different podcasts over the past year.
    • Actuality,” a podcast created jointly by Quartz and Marketplace, launched last year and will be back for a second season starting this month.
    • In January, the New York Times, in collaboration with the NPR station WBUR in Boston, launched a “Modern Love: The Podcast” based on the Times’ popular print series. As the people overseeing the podcast explained to Current, the idea is to adapt each personal essay into “a movie for your ears.”
    • Many of CNN’s TV shows also have related podcasts. The network also recently announced a partnership with the University of Chicago to produce a political podcast called “The Axe Files.”
    • Vox Media launched “The Weeds” in October. The podcast takes an in-depth look at political topics.



    Reuben Stern is the deputy director of the Futures Lab at the Reynolds Journalism Institute and host and co-producer of the weekly Futures Lab video update.

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    The Reynolds Journalism Institute’s Futures Lab video update features a roundup of fresh ideas, techniques and developments to help spark innovation and change in newsrooms across all media platforms. Visit the RJI website for the full archive of Futures Lab videos, or download the receive email notification of each new episode.

    Tagged: actuality buzzfeed cnn futures lab marketplace modern love quartz rji the axe files the weeds

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