18 Aug 2018

Caliphate: reporting on Islamic State

From The Podcast Hour, 12:15 pm on 18 August 2018
Caliphate Logo (Supplied)

Caliphate Logo (Supplied) Photo: Supplied

In the 2 years since it was set up, The New York Times' audio unit has had some notable successes.

Just look at 'The Daily', a 20-odd minute weekday news show, where host Michael Barbaro interviews some of the Times' best journalists about the big stories of the day. In no time at all it's become one of the most popular podcasts in the world with 5 million monthly listeners, and annual advertising revenue reportedly worth more than US$10 million.

Meanwhile the 10-part series 'Caliphate', which is a detailed look at ISIS and how it operates and grows, has been another major hit, with some critics already calling it one of the best podcasts of the year.

A little like the format of 'The Daily', in 'Caliphate' a journalist takes centre stage, with correspondent Rukmini Callimachi shadowed by producer Andy Mills as they try to establish the credibility of a mysterious potential source.

We play some of Episode 1 'The Reporter' and then speak to Rukmini Callimachi and Andy Mills about the role of audio storytelling in modern journalism, and why The New York Times first set up an dedicated audio unit a couple of years ago.