Podcasting review: Studio 360 with Kurt Anderson

It is hard to categorise this podcast, except by how good it is. The podcast contains brilliant stories by novelist and journalist Kurt Andersen. They cover subject areas from creativity and pop culture, to the arts. One recent episode looks at the origins of the hymn ‘Amazing grace’, another speaks to Jordan Peele director of new film ‘Get Out’.

What do I like about it?

Each episode is a documentary in itself, often these kind of stories are either told via voice only on radio or turned into TV documentaries. Often TV documentaries are rarely enriched by the images on the screen and therefore I often sit there thinking, why didn’t they just do this as a great podcast. Well ‘Studio 360’ is just that. It uses not only good storytelling but clips, interviews and soundscapes to build the layers that a documentary should have.

Kurt Andersen is a fantastic host and he genuinely sounds interested in every subject that he talks about, whether it’s an interview or talking about history or art. The fact that he is genuinely interested means that the listener is too.

What could make it better?

Yes this podcast is made for WNYC and is therefore a podcast made in the US for American Radio. However the subject matters can often be very US central. Extending this out would make this podcast even better, after all podcasts should not only break rules but also barriers across the world. Plus, with this style of podcast the listeners are human beings that want to learn about new things.. What is more new to us than different cultures from across the world?!

Who could take inspiration from this podcast?

Do you want to make documentaries? Think about whether you need imagery or can you build the show without it. The soundscapes, music, clips, all create an incredible image in your head and inform you on a huge variety of subject. If you want to build something that informs and paints amazing pictures, then this is a great place to start… Have a listen and note the styles it uses.


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