One nonfiction audio recommendation with two thumbs up.

Twice each month, I’ll share one quality nonfiction podcast or audio piece to listen to.

Think of it like the Staff Picks shelf at your favorite bookstore. The weekly special at a slow food restaurant. I’ll focus on new releases but occasionally I’ll dig into my archive of favorites from the last few years and suggest some of those, too.

I’ll tell you briefly what I listened to and what I liked about it. I’ll keep it short so you can get on with your listening.

What makes this different? I work in the creative and editorial part of the audio industry. Not business, PR, or marketing. Think of it like this: where do chefs go out to eat? Where do dentists get their teeth cleaned? Put another way: what would a producer listen to? WWAPRLT? (lol)

What I’ll Recommend

It might be a full episode, just a segment, or maybe a full series if it's especially noteworthy. I’ll write about a paragraph. This won’t be criticism, review or endorsement, just a thought-provoking, brain-fueling recommendation. The focus here is on 'nonfiction,' a category I’m finding is way too broad. IMO, nonfiction really means

  • journalistic*

  • documentary

  • reported interviews

  • newsworthy, etc

I’ll consciously elevate indy, BIPOC and LGBTQ creators whereever possible.

Bonus points for things not written about elsewhere, the genre-bendy and arty, but still solidly in the nonfiction category.

Double bonus points for pieces made by independent creators, small shops, and local stations.

And I’m open to recommendations from you, too! You’re welcome to hit me up with suggestions. Send me a note!

*Maybe you just saw the world “journalistic” and thought “news” and then thought headlines went “ew, no, anything but that!” But wait. Don’t click the x yet. Everything featured here will include some combination of fact-based information sharing (fun!), original interviews (more fun!), and research (wow yes). Maybe you don’t like the news or think journalism (read: mainstream media) is out of touch. This is for you.

Oh, and I’ll make you a promise. If journalism really does die, if podcasts go bust completely, I’ll quit this newsletter. Pinky swear. Until then, here’s what I recommend.

What you won't find here: pure audiobooks, fiction, audio drama (unless it’s nonfiction), non-journalistic talk radio, unverified true crime stories. (There will sometimes be true crime stories.) Oh, and I won’t be using AI to write anything. At least not yet, I don’t think. If I do, I’ll tell you. In the future I hope to include occasional guest posts by your favorite podcast makers, behind the scenes talk and previews, etc.

Why pay for a subscription?

I’m just one gal with two ears at her desk sending you these notes every month. I’m a FT freelancer deeply dedicated to sustaining the lane of journalistic audio. No sponsors (at least not yet!). Your contribution helps compensate for the big labor behind this little newsletter.

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About Claire Tighe

I’m an audio journalist, podcast producer, and professor. In my classes, I use a specific method. I don’t focus on “what not to do,” but rather what I think we should strive for and attempt as audio journalists. I only put things on the syllabus I think are worth studying, understanding, and maybe replicating. That’s what you’ll find here.

Why am I doing this?

There’s a lot of despair in the industry right now, but there’s also a lot of beautiful work being made still. I’ve never believed “journalism is dying; there are no jobs in media,” etc., etc. But the news industry does have its constant booms and busts and it will continue to. I’ve chosen this field despite that. For more than a year now, I’ve been shouting into the void that someone should do this! Someone should curate good nonfiction audio, to help us define the lane of journalistic podcasts. I’m tired of saying, someone should. So now that someone is me.


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Award-winning podcast producer, writer, and journalism professor.