Best return - Serial - Season 3 The season surpassed 50 million downloads after just two months to become the show's biggest to date - and all three seasons have brought in 420 million downloads collectively. Series 3 looks at the criminal justice system in Cleveland Ohio as an example of the justice system in the US overall. Podcast perfection.
Most impact - Teacher's Pet - The Australian Newspaper Been downloaded 28 million times now and resulted in the arrest and charge of Chris Dawson for his wife Lyn Dawson's murder 36 years ago. He was a high school sports teacher - says his wife Lyn went missing and he moved his teenage (year 11) student Joanne Curtis into the family home almost immediately. Series started in May 2018 - now 8 months and 16 episodes later, the podcast and this reporting has been presented by reporter Hedley Thomas.
Best Episode - Articles of Interest by 99% Invisible Women love pockets on clothes - particularly dresses. This is an entire podcast episode about the history behind why women have been forced to suffer through fake, inadequate or no pockets on their clothing? Part of 99% Invisible series (normally presented by Roman Mars) - this one presented by Avery Trufelman and she explores the history and significance of various items of clothing.
Best newcomer - Slow Burn Season 1 from Slate - looked at Watergate - which revealed to many of us just how little we understood about it-"Slow Burn" turned its focus on the Clinton impeachment. The Clinton series reveals how its scandal connects to the partisan wrangling and bad faith of today, and makes for enjoyable, illuminating listening. But by the end it's devastating. The Clintons' enemies, many still relevant, come off terribly, but time and perspective make Clinton look reprehensible, too.
Best kids podcast - Brains On! Science podcast for kids - hosted by kid scientists and grown up radio reporter Molly Bloom. Looks at everything from robots, to dinosaurs, the science of Frankenstein, how paint sticks to walls and how animals breathe underwater. Between 30 - 45 mins long so perfect for a short out of town road trip and each episode has lots of variety - including awesome questions from kids. My kids love the mystery sound each week. Good mix of education and fun for kids and grown ups. And don't pretend you don't want to know the science around farts.