Personal narrative journalism and podcasting

Mia Lindgren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


In her book Speaking Personally (2013), Rosalind Coward maps the rise of a new cultural form – confessional storytelling in journalism. She refers to this first-person writing as perhaps the ‘biggest growth area of journalism’ (12). Interviewees and journalists alike are sharing their real-life experiences, especially suited for the more intimate and personal environments of online media. These personal stories often deal with topics that might appear trivial and domestic, and ‘the inner emotional life, the opposite of subjects considered proper journalism’ (2013: 8). This is an area that has so far received limited critical attention. This article investigates the rise of personal audio narratives in the context of podcasting. It argues that the movement towards personal narratives is intrinsically linked to the intimate nature of the audio medium. Nowhere is this trend more obvious than in recent podcast developments, where US podcasts lead the way with personal and subjective approaches to storytelling. The rapid growth of this storytelling style is escalated by recent experimentation in form and genre, afforded by podcasting, liberated from broadcast conventions and schedules. This article builds on Coward’s study of print journalism and extends it to audio forms in those podcasts. It identifies through a critical analysis of three US podcasts an emerging genre of personal narrative journalism in podcasting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-41
Number of pages19
JournalThe Radio Journal: international studies in broadcast and audio media
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • intimacy
  • personal narrative journalism
  • podcasting
  • radio journalism
  • storytelling
  • subjective journalism

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