The Google Podcast creators program selected 20 podcasting teams for 2020-21. Thousands of creators from nearly 120 countries applied to this year’s Google Podcasts creators program. To make a hard decision even more difficult, Google and PRX were only looking for creators who had an existing podcast.
The selected teams will participate in 12 weeks of free, virtual training conducted by PRX alongside international industry experts. During that time they’ll get regular feedback on all aspects of their production; work on storytelling, sound design, marketing, and more; equipment and software to help meet independent production needs amid the COVID-19 pandemic; and $12,000 in funding.
The 20 Selected Creators Are:
- A3deh — قعدة (“Gathering”) — Amman, Jordan — Arabic. Based on a monthly support group where participants connect and share their personal experiences and stories as non-binary and queer individuals from the Middle East and North Africa region.
- Beyond the Newsroom — San Antonio, Texas and Orlando, Florida — English. Veteran broadcast journalists Crystal Chavez and Renata Sago convene inspiring conversations devoted to disruptors redefining how journalism is done.
- Buddha and the Beard — Brooklyn, New York — English. From navigating mental health journeys and the emotional complexities of miscarriages to stretching the boundaries with BDSM and polyamory, Buddha the 4th and Hugh Zeau define and identify toxic and healthy love frameworks, and more.
- Contes et légendes du Queeristan (“Tales and Legends from Queeristan”) — Toronto, Canada — French. In this bi-monthly fiction podcast, intersectional storyteller and comedian Jo Güstin weaves fantastic tales and legends from the land of Queeristan. Jo Güstin’s multimedia work has been featured by the Paris International Lesbian & Feminist Film Festival and at the Paris Lesbian Book Fair (Salon du Livre Lesbien).
- El Estornudo (“The Sneeze”) — Havana, Cuba — Spanish. A sound-rich narrative podcast in Spanish that catches the common time of ordinary people contrasted with the clock of power.
- FAXINA — Boston, Massachusetts and Brasília, Brazil — Portuguese. A Portuguese word signifying thorough cleaning, raising the rug to examine what lies beneath, “FAXINA” shares the ignored, forgotten, unheard, and first-person accounts of Brazilians and Portuguese-speaking immigrants who are domestic workers in the U.S.
- Indomables (“Indomitable”) — Panama City, Panama — Spanish. Journalists Melissa Pinel and Leila Nilipour craft intimate stories of the human experience, revealing the intricacies of cultural, historical, and social issues while bringing us closer together.
- K’nın Sesi (“Voice of K”) — Istanbul, Turkey — Turkish. The letter “K” carries multiple meanings, referring to concepts such as Kadın (woman), Kuir (queer), Korona (corona), Karantina (quarantine), Kavga (struggle), and Keşif (discovery). Raising queer voices and women’s voices from Turkey, “K’nın Sesi” will feature empowering audio dramas and conversations reaching those who might feel isolated and underrepresented.
- Leading Ladies — Lusaka, Zambia — English. Featuring historical, hidden narratives of women leaders in Zambia who held prominent positions of power, pre-colonialism, “Leading Ladies” challenges existing ideas around women and leadership vital to Africa’s development. “Leading Ladies” is a podcast from the Women’s History Museum of Zambia.
- Letters to Boys — Lagos, Nigeria — English. “To be a man is not a day’s job,” the age-old proverb says, and the journey from ‘boyhood’ to ‘manhood’ is complex. “Letters to Boys” is a podcast that explores issues on manhood, diving into the workplace, relationships, marriage, and more.
- Literacy Kings — Houston, Texas — English. Musician Corey Paul and entrepreneur JaMorcus Trayham grew up in a neighborhood with a 30% school drop-out rate, and didn’t start reading books until adulthood. Together, and with a mix of education and entertainment, Corey and JaMorcus break down popular financial books in a way that resonates with people of color and marginalized communities while also sharing their own life experiences.
- On Spec — Istanbul, Turkey — English. Reported from different corners of the world, “On Spec” features documentaries from independent journalists about global issues through the lens of local communities.
- Pequeños Viajes Sensoriales (“Little Journeys for the Senses”) — San José, Costa Rica — Spanish. Through experimentation and evocative sound, “Pequeños Viajes Sensoriales” visits fantastic settings that stimulate the senses and emotions, inspiring creativity and taking the power of imagination to the limit.
- Prato Cheio (“Full Plate”) — São Paulo, Brazil — Portuguese. Based on rigorous research and investigation, “Prato Cheio” promotes a democratic debate on a fundamental issue of the 21st century: food. A team of journalists with a diverse background — ranging from sustainability to human rights — examines all things food politics with a systemic approach to the topic, aiming to spark interesting conversations among those who listen to the show.
- Self Evident: Asian America’s Stories — Brooklyn, New York and Oakland, CA — English. “Self Evident” presents reported stories, audio documentaries, and conversations from Asian diaspora communities across the United States, to reveal and challenge the narratives that shape our lives.
- Tales of the Text — Chicago, Illinois — English. An unfiltered audio fiction podcast for teens and young adults and wrapped in Black culture, “Tales of the Text” features stories of relationships, friendships, peer pressure, drugs, sex, secret societies, drama, secrets, and plot twists.
- The Food Griot Chronicles — Brooklyn, New York — English
A special series from The Food Griot & Market Road Films delving into American food and drink history, The Food Griot Chronicles delivers history from the perspective of those responsible for our foodways more than any other: Black culinary architects whose legacies carry through today.
- Tres Cuentos (“Three Stories”) — Georgia and Texas — English and Spanish. With episodes in both Spanish and English, “Tres Cuentos” is dedicated to Latin America’s literary, historical, and traditional narratives while bringing to life literature and reflecting on it from various cultural and historical perspectives.
- Valle de Cielo Gris (“Valley of the Grey Sky”) — Tijuana, Mexico — Spanish. An audio drama about love, revenge, prejudice, and the things we fear most, “Valle de Cielo Gris” is a cosmic horror fantasy satirizing the absurdities of the human condition and our everyday monsters, while also shining a light on our need for hope and humor in our darkest of times.
- Vietnamese Boat People — Montclair, New Jersey — English. Almost two million Vietnamese risked their lives to flee oppression and hardship after the Vietnam War, in one of the largest mass exoduses in modern history. Escaping by boat, many were captured and brutally punished, many were denied asylum in neighboring countries, many died along the journey, and hundreds of thousands eventually resettled in western countries. This population of people are known as the ‘Vietnamese Boat People.’