What We’ve Been Up To in 2022

Holiday greetings from Bear Radio! 

We hope you are all able to spend some quality time with loved ones this holiday season!

2022 has been a busy year for the Bear Radio team. We wanted to share a ‘Year in Review’ a la Spotify Wrapped (Bearify Wrapped?).

To kick off the year, we started producing a new in-house series called URSA. We wanted to make a show that not only showcased the talented work of audio producers living in Europe, but provided our listeners with exciting updates about the food and culture scene in Berlin. In each episode we also share European news headlines and a feature from a local musician or artist. This series has challenged and excited us – and it’s shown us why we love to make podcasts. We’re looking forward to growing the project throughout 2023. 

In the spring, we taught two podcasting Professional Development Courses at The Hertie School of Governance, showing 30 Master’s students how to create audio stories to bolster their education in Public Policy and International Affairs. We always love teaching, and the students at Hertie were very engaged and had some excellent podcast ideas. 

We also collaborated with Are We Europe, Stars4Media and Vrije Universiteit Brussels to produce stories for an Audiomap prototype. We made two pieces focusing on disinformation, one about Serbia and one about Hungary, and interviewed investigative journalists about how the prevalence of disinformation led to widespread distrust in media within the two countries. The Audiomap evolved into a project called Heare, and we joined the team as board members. 

For Are We Europe, we conducted a survey of independent podcasters living in Europe, including Ben Miller of Bad Gays, Frank Juong of Halbe Katoffel, and Pedro Duarte of La Vida De Los Otros. We learned about why they started their projects, how they’ve grown an audience, and what challenges they’ve experienced. The data from the interviews will be used to build new digital solutions geared towards independent podcasters. 

We partnered with Earlybird VC to produce a six part podcast about how VC funding can help startups and scale ups make a greater impact. The episodes were released throughout the Fall. Host Louise Beaumont spoke with 18 entrepreneurs and experts and took listeners through the entrepreneurial journey from pre-seed through unicorn, with a final conversation about how the investment ecosystem can create more opportunities for underrepresented founders. It was incredibly rewarding to create this series, and we learned so much about impact, giving back to our communities, and the business ecosystem along the way. 

We also hosted a number of events throughout the year, and we were honored to lead a workshop and host a live podcast recording at the second edition of Podfest Berlin! We continued to host the Berlin Podcasting Meetup, and had some fantastic speakers. 

In October, both Jill and Julia escaped the Berlin cold and headed to warmer climates. Jill did a fellowship in Spain, and Julia traveled home to South Africa to work remotely and spend some valuable time with family and friends. In November, Jill headed off to India as a scholarship recipient for the 10-day ‘Intersecting Winter School’ at O.P. Jindal Global University in Sonipat, outside of New Delhi. 

Last but not least, Julia started producing the fourth season of our first in-house podcast, ‘What’s The Mate?’! We had a live Halloween show complete with costumes at Comedy Cafe Berlin, and Julia has had a BUNCH of fantastic improvisers as guests. 

Have a wonderful holiday season, and we look forward to bringing you more podcasts in 2023!

Jill & Julia

Jill’s Podcast Recommendation: 

La última copa/The Last Cup – Futuro Studios & NPR

Ok so I never ever thought I would be recommending a sports podcast… because I don’t do sports. BUT this podcast produced by Futuro Studios and NPR has made me turn over a new leaf. Each episode of the podcast is released in both Spanish and English, and covers the story of Lionel Messi, the world famous Argentine football player. Argentine journalist, Jasmine Garsd, covers the ups and downs of Messi’s long career, his story of immigration, and how people in his home country feel about the sports star. The fact that Garsd does each episode in Spanish and English is one of the things that drew me to the podcast – I’ve been becoming more and more interested in multilingual productions and La última copa/The Last Cup is an excellent example. Half the time I don’t understand the sports references, but Garsd does a wonderful job of making sure this is a story that resonates with everyone. 

Julia’s Podcast Recommendation: 

Drilled – Critical Frequency

Do you have a white-girl guilty pleasure for True Crime? How about I get you to channel your love of the morbid towards something that will 100% affect you and your life? Drilled is a true-crime podcast about climate change, hosted and reported by award-winning investigative journalist Amy Westervelt. In their first season, the one I’ve listened to, Westervelt goes into detail about the history of big oil and how fossil fuels became our fuels of choice, even when we knew they were causing catastrophic damage to the environment. We hear from journalists and experts who take us back to the 1980s and earlier to explain the disinformation campaigns and PR strategies that companies like ExxonMobil, Shell and BP implemented so that they could preserve business, influence policy and ultimately ensure that we lost 30 years, not taking action against climate change. The podcast launched in 2016 and has since released over 6 seasons worth of content. I implore you to give it a listen. The more you know, you know?

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