Radiolab is known for its deep-dive journalism and innovative sound design. Created in 2002 by host Jad Abumrad, the program began as an exploration of scientific inquiry. Over the years it has evolved to become a platform for long-form journalism and storytelling.
Radiolab has been around since the beginning, created by Jad Abumrad, the series takes a journalistic approach to… pretty much everything. They have covered more random topics like falling - falling in love, over Niagara Falls, falling cats, etc. and then they’ve also covered more political topics such as defunding the police.
I will say that because the podcast covers such a variety of topics, every episode is incredibly unique and that’s definitely a draw of the series. You know once you press the play button you’ll start learning about everything and anything. The investigative, journalistic approach definitely is needed for a series like this when there isn’t a clear, niche topic. The different voices and stories are what keeps the listener engaged.
But I do have to add, although this series has been around since the beginning of podcasts and they truly pride themselves on their sound design, I find that it can be a little overwhelming. Great sound design takes balance, you want the perfect amount of music, sound effects, etc. Radiolab uses just a little too much of it. It can get confusing and choppy listening to the different voices within the story. When the host is leading the conversation with snippets from the interview being added for context, I find that it flips back and forth so fast that sometimes it takes a moment to try to understand who’s speaking. Because of this, it makes it difficult to follow the story being told.
Alison Osborne is the Head of Marketing at Quill Inc, the world’s first dedicated creation hub for podcasters. She has also co-founded Origins Media Haus, a podcast production agency that focuses on producing content for all sizes of brands. In addition to this, she’s the producer of various podcasts such as Create Community and The Tech Haus.