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The Power of Podcasting: Telling Stories Through Sound

 NewSouth Books, UNSW Press, Feb 2022.

Hard to describe this book: it’s a crazily ambitious attempt at a cultural survey and critical analysis of podcasting as a new medium, that’s also part-manual, part-memoir and huge part ode to the global audio storytelling community. Here’s the sell.

Podcasting is hailed for its intimacy and authenticity in an age of mistrust and disinformation. This portable audio format is hugely popular, with journalists, entertainers, corporates, celebrities, artists, activists and hobbyists all dipping a toe in the podcast pond.

But while it is relatively easy to make a podcast, it is much harder to make a great one. That’s because audio storytelling is an invisible art, whose secrets are not well understood.

In The Power of Podcasting, award-winning podcast producer and audio scholar Siobhán McHugh provides a unique blend of practical insights and critical analysis of the exciting new medium of podcasting. Packed with case studies, history, tips and techniques from the author’s four decades of experience, this original book brings together a wealth of knowledge to introduce you to the seductive world of sound.   

  • A rare blend of academic depth and insider professional knowledge, the book places podcasting in the broader context of radio and international audio storytelling.
  • McHugh draws on her extensive networks to interview key figures in podcasting. She also provides rigorous analysis of landmark podcasts including Serial, S-Town and The Daily.
  • The book includes actual script iterations and detailed description of the production process of the making of hit podcasts the author worked on.
  • The book surveys current podcasting trends, including the push for inclusion, equality and diversity in the industry.

AUTHOR:

Siobhán McHugh is an award-winning writer, documentary-maker, academic and podcast producer. She has won six gold awards at New York Festivals for co-produced podcasts including Phoebe’s FallWrong Skin and The Last Voyage of the Pong Su, and has been shortlisted for a Walkley, a Eureka science award, the NSW Premier’s Audio-Visual Award, NSW Premier’s History Awards and the United Nations Media Peace Prize (twice). She is the author of The Snowy, which won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award for non-fiction, and is founding editor of RadioDoc Review, the first journal of audio storytelling criticism. McHugh is Honorary Associate Professor in Media and Communications at the University of Sydney and Honorary Associate Professor of Journalism at University of Wollongong.

“Essential reading for anyone aspiring to make memorable audio. This is the ultimate guide to podcasting from a master of the craft.”

– Richard Baker, multi-Walkley-awardwinning host of Phoebe’s Fall, Wrong Skin

                           and The Last Voyage of the Pong Su

smchugh@uow.edu.au

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