British and Canadian Podcasts Rock

I’ve found myself listening, with notable exceptions, exclusively to English and Candadian podcasts recently. Earlier, I mentioned the Guardian’s acerbic World Cup podcast. Now that the tournament is over, I’ve returned to the Guardian’s Media Talk, which this week included:

Dawn Airey, managing director of Sky Networks and outgoing chair of the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival (as we, as title sponsors, must call it) comes into the podcast studio to talk us through the programme for this year’s event…,

as well as a discussion of Chris Anderson’s long-awaited Long Tail book and a brief interview with BBC director general Mark Thompson, who will be rolling out some big announcement later this month. Media Talk is Brit-centric, but with with and an appreciation for this brave new media world. Plus, the accents are a crack-up.

Relatedly, as Dennis Haarsager notes, the BBC’s new Annual Report, has a section on new media that looks especially interesting:

The future of broadcasting looks increasingly to lie in ‘on-demand’ – the provision of programmes and other material when, where and how audiences want them, often with an inbuilt interactive element…[M]anagement have carried out a large-scale trial of the BBC’s experimental BBC iPlayer, which allows users to access BBC television programmes for up to a week after transmission…Early findings already made public show that individuals watched on average two programmes a week – about an hour of content, equivalent to 6% of a typical household’s weekly viewing…

The Beeb’s Radio Two has made some great docs available on-demand, including a two parter on the history of Trojan Records (though it seems to have disappeared from the site). The Documentary Archive is a bit overwhelming, too.North of the border, CBC Radio 3’s New Music Canada podcast is chockful of goodies. The Puck Fest show was a fun one– with tales of co-ed bands playing hockey.
So why are non-U.S. programs so good? Is it the novelty, or is their an approach being taken by our English-speaking cousins that hasn’t clicked here yet? Is it the same reason that British novelists are so good?


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