In Podcasts We Trust? A Brief Survey of Canadian Historical Podcasts

Nathalie Picard 1  and Cassandra Marsillo 1
  • 1 MA Public History Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
Nathalie Picard and Cassandra Marsillo

Abstract

In this article, we highlight the exciting and growing historical podcast scene in Canada. We chose a variety of podcasts to represent the diverse institutions, communities and individuals who are telling histories through this medium. To represent popular history, we looked at Our Fake History a project that delves into historic mythologies and conspiracies. For the academic perspective, we looked at Active History, produced by Sean Graham of Carleton University, and at the museum-based podcast, Kitchen Stories, from the Jewish Archives of British Columbia, as an example of institutionally produced media. Community podcast The Nameless Collective and student-run podcast 3600 secondes d'histoire round out our survey. Each podcast shows a different approach to telling history, and allowed us to explore the issue of authority. Asking the question, “Can we trust historical podcasts?”, we examine how each podcasters establish their relationship to their audience, and conveys their expertise on the topics they discuss. Regardless of the perceived level of formal authority, from individual to institution supported podcaster, we found that trust was formed primarily through the intimate listening experience. Listeners are invested in keeping the podcasters accountable and therefore help produce trustworthy historical podcasts.

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