Get the PDF

Podcast Review: Reply All

I have listened to Reply All pretty much since it launched back in 2014, I have enjoyed every single episode and feel the show has grown in amazing ways. Long time readers of our review blogs will know we try to avoid the bigger networked podcasts, as a lot of people already know about them or are listening. However this review isn’t just of the podcast, but of two very specific recent episodes.

Reply All started out as an internet show, a very broad subject but it meant that the hosts could cover any story that links to the internet. PJ and Alex were recruited by US Podcast Network ‘Gimlet’ after being heard together on an indie show. They have a great relationship that has developed two-fold since Reply All began. You feel a part of it, and feel like you know them more and more with each listen.

The show has regular segments including “Yes, Yes. No”. Where Gimlet owner Alex Blumberg brings a tweet he doesn’t understand to the studio and the hosts try to explain it to him. Additional producers such as Sruthi Pinnamaneni, often bring investigative stories to the studio to present to Alex and PJ.

This review focus’ on two specific episodes, that take that investigative feel to the next level. They remind us of a time when journalism wasn’t a career frowned at, and it didn’t involve camping outside of Kim Kardashian’s house.

Episodes 102 and 103, named Long Distance Part 1 and 2; are the episodes I refer to. Without giving away too many spoilers a synopsis would be… One of the hosts gets one of those scam messages… “Your Apple ID has been compromised, call us”. But in short, they tried to scam the wrong person! The host calls them, traps them, and follows up in a way which is simply the best investigative journalism I have heard in a long time.

The amount of time and effort (and probably money)… that must have gone into this episode, to bring you the full and brilliant story. That is exactly what it is though, it’s a brilliantly told story based on fact. Where the journalist (host) goes to the end of the earth to get that story.

Normally these reviews have headings such as what did I like, what could I improve?… But I have left them out as I cannot analyse these episodes in that way. However the one subheading I will use:

Who can learn / take inspiration from this? If you are a podcaster telling stories, getting answers from people, or interviewing. If you build any kind of podcast with a narrative. Or if you want to hear a “how-to journalism properly” guide, then this is the one to listen to. My recommendation is listen to both episodes twice… Once for enjoyment, then the second time taking notes.

Are you an aspiring podcaster? Here are some more awesome blogs:

Thinking of podcasting? Check out our podcast all about podcasting, it’s a bit like inception but makes starting a podcast simple and doesn’t have Leonardo Di-Caprio in it. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or Soundcloud.