Bright future for podcasting in Wales

L-r: Colin Paterson of BBC Audio, producers Steven Rajam, Ffion Clarke and Georg
L-r: Colin Paterson of BBC Audio, producers Steven Rajam, Ffion Clarke and Georgie Kemp Walker, and Marin and Meilir of Welsh-language podcast Cwns, discussed ’Why Wales is brilliant’

Big names from the world of podcasting have discussed the future of the industry in Wales as part of PodCon Cymru.

Three hundred people attended the event at Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture, which was delivered in partnership with The Centre for the Creative Economy and Audible and is one of the largest conferences of its kind in the UK.

An opening panel hosted by Colin Paterson of BBC Audio, featuring producer Steven Rajam (A Positive Life), Ffion Clarke (Go Love Yourself) and Marin and Meilir of Welsh-language podcast Cwns, explored "Why Wales is brilliant", discussing the commitment to collaboration and the benefits of being a bilingual nation.

Other notable sessions included ITV journalist David Williams, talking about the award-winning Partygate: The Inside Story, a behind-the-scenes examination on the reporting of what became a huge political scandal.

Investigative journalist Poonam Taneja talked about her series Bloodlines, the story of a search for a missing three-year-old in Syria.

Jack Davenport of Goalhanger Podcasts, which is behind some of the most listened to podcasts, including, The Rest Is series, shared the opportunities to reach wide audiences.

Daily Mail northern correspondent Liz Hull and producer Caroline Cheetham also discussed the challenges of reporting court stories, following their podcast on the trial of Lucy Letby.

Sali Collins, Head of Practice and course director for the MA in Broadcast Journalism at the School of Journalism, Media and Culture, who organised the event, said: "This year’s PodCon Cymru was the most successful to date. We’re pleased to able to offer a platform to industry experts from across the UK to share their insights and expertise. We know Podcon Cymru has already inspired some of those attending to start their own podcasts or innovate in this area. Wales is fast becoming a centre of excellence for podcasting and audio, providing creative and exciting career opportunities for graduates and creatives."

Professor Sara Pepper, director of the Creative Economy Research Unit based at Cardiff University, said: "It’s clear that there is something very special happening in Wales at the moment and that we are building a base where podcast production is thriving. It was inspiring to see so many creatives in one room, sharing ideas, thoughts and expertise at all levels. All reports suggest that this is a rapidly growing industry. I’m looking forward to seeing how it develops further here in Wales."

Creative Cardiff Manager Jess Mahoney said: "Events like PodCon Cymru are a key part of supercharging the growth of the region’s media sector, and building Cardiff’s growing reputation as a hub for bilingual audio content creation. PodCon 24 brought together a stellar line-up of thinkers and do-ers in this exciting format, pulling together emerging discourse, building connections and collaboration opportunities and inspiring the next wave of successful podcasters with new formats and content, as well as practical advice. The Centre for the Creative Economy - through Creative Cardiff and Media Cymru - are looking forward to working with the PodCon team and building on this success."