Podcasting as Public Media: The Future of U.S. News, Public Affairs, and Educational Podcasts

Patricia Aufderheide, David Lieberman, Atika Alkhallouf, Jiji Majiri Ugboma


This article identifies a U.S.-based podcasting ecology as public media and then examines the threats to its future. It first identifies characteristics of a set of podcasts in the United States that allow them to be usefully described as public podcasting. Second, it looks at current business trends in podcasting as platformization proceeds. Third, it identifies threats to public podcasting’s current business practices. Finally, it analyzes responses within public podcasting to the potential threats. The article concludes that currently, the public podcast ecology in the United States maintains some immunity from the most immediate threats, but there are also underappreciated threats to it, both internally and externally.


podcasting, public media, platformization, business trends, public podcasting ecology

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