Podcasting: Entertainment, Outreach or Activism?

Posted by QED at 6:00pm on September 13th 2018
Condenser microphone in front of an audio editing program

In the last decade, podcasting has gone truly mainstream. A recent study claimed that more Americans know what a podcast is than who know the identity of the vice-president. The same study claims twenty-six percent of people listen to podcasts monthly.

These days, there are plenty of skeptical podcasts to choose from… but are these shows activism, or just echo chambers doing nothing but reinforcing existing biases? Are they a form of outreach, helping people who are looking for answers, or is it just entertainment for the commute to and from work? Joining QED co-organiser (and occasional host of InKredulous podcast) Andy Wilson to work out the overlaps in this Venn diagram will be three podcasters with international credentials:

  • Cara Santa Maria – With a career as a science communicator, her experience hosting Talk Nerdy, and as co-host of the Skeptics Guide to the Universe, Cara brings experience from both inside and outside of the sceptical sphere.
  • Noah Lugeons – Co-hosting Scathing Atheist, Skepticrat and God Awful Movies from an unashamedly atheist perspective Noah’s uncompromising podcast persona mixes sarcasm, humour and indignation to entertain and inform his audience.
  • Tom Curry – As one half of Cognitive Dissonance podcast Tom sets out to entertain his audience while exposing the contradictions, absurdity and in many cases immorality of the subjects he highlights.