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Media Masters
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Media Masters

Author: Podcast Partners

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Extended one-to-one interviews with the key people in the industry. Find out their tips for career success, and peek behind-the-scenes at their workplace. Candid, thoughtful and reflective - a chance to share the insight of those at the very top of their game. Presented by Paul Blanchard.
449 Episodes
Sophie started off as an actor, and founded her own casting agency in 2015, working predominantly with high-end TV, film and theatre productions. She has collaborated to source talent for The Witcher and Wednesday among others, and advocates for casting more diverse talent into leading acting roles to encourage broader representation in Hollywood.Sophie reflects on the impact of social media on acting, both the way it has transformed the industry since the #MeToo movement, making it a safer and more inclusive place to work; and how social media followings can affect casting decisions based on the impact it has on promoting the show or film. She also explores how finding actors who perfectly embody a character is not the goal—they need to be able to push the boundaries of the role.
Lawrence is a sought after public speaker, university lecturer, and bestselling author of several books, including "The Physics of Star Trek," and "A Universe from Nothing", which explain complex scientific ideas clearly to the general public. He’s also the host of “The Origins” podcast, which explores human experiences through science and culture.Lawrence posits that our fear of A.I actually stems from a larger fear—the fear of the unknown. He argues that science is actually about celebrating the secrets of the universe rather than needing to explain everything, but we need to become more skeptical as a society.
In 2012 inspired by her son’s diagnosis, Emily founded Duchenne UK, a charity dedicated to finding a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Coming from a background in TV news, Emily shares how their successes in raising millions of pounds to support research were in part due to her understanding of the media from within and having connections to high-profile journalists. She discusses some of the progress, such as groundbreaking drug treatments and the development of exoskeletal suits to assist the afflicted, and shares about the impediments they face, from battling slow bureaucracy for drug approvals to the ticking clock Duchenne puts on to all those suffering from the condition.
Martin spent over a decade working for some of the biggest names in German media, including the Financial Times, Gruner + Jahr, and Capital Magazin. In 2021, frustrated with “wasting time sifting through the overwhelming ‘wild west’ news feed” and the escalating problem of misinformation – he founded the app Informed.Starting as a newsletter, he saw the potential to move beyond the convenient curation of news for the reader and realized that important journalism was being lost, and the opportunity of holding power to account was being eclipsed by a news feed of vanilla content. Now a successful app, Martin deliberately employs a human curation team – giving access to paywalled content for no extra charge.
Inzamam kicked off his career on regional BBC radio in 2016 before making his way into TV, covering breaking news, politics, and human interest stories. He has reported on major events such as the Manchester Arena bombing and the Grenfell Tower fire and won two awards for his pandemic coverage.Inzamam shares his experience transitioning from radio to TV in the dynamic world of journalism, shedding light on the challenges he faced due to racism – and how this is improving – and providing valuable advice to those hoping to break into TV news. He delves into some of the breaking news stories he has covered, giving his insights on navigating the fast-paced media landscape while reporting on stories in a reliable and trustworthy manner. He also highlights the need to report on more positive and inspiring stories, particularly from the North of England.
Known for being one of the most influential people in the music industry with the “best ears”, Robin has been awarded 150 gold and platinum discs and has produced 44 number one hits alongside prominent musicians including Elton John, Sting, Sade, Everything but the Girl, and Boy George. Blind since the age of 16, he’s been an outspoken advocate for facilitating the inclusion of disabled people in all aspects of society and life.Robin shares his experiences and insights on working in the music industry as a person with a disability, emphasising that it’s not the lack of sight that gifts his ears, but listening without the distraction of the other senses that gives him an edge. He discusses the  internalised shame surrounding disability, with 8 out of 10 people not disclosing theirs, and his belief that interdependency not independency is vital to normalising disability and creating a more inclusive society.
From campaigning for Aboriginal rights in Australia in the 1960s to attempting to arrest Robert Mugabe in 2001, Peter made a name for himself over a six-decade-long career as an international human rights and social justice activist, challenging preconceptions around transphobia, homophobia, and xenophobia around the world.Peter reflects on how activism has changed from his early efforts in the 60s to now, harnessing social media as a tool for mobilizing a wider – previously unreachable – audience, and the unfortunate “bullhorns” it creates, which threaten that progress. He also shares how by challenging the status quo, he’s opened himself up to a near-daily barrage of violent threats — all of which must be taken seriously — and how he no longer believes in laws that would ban hateful speech.
As one of the foremost experts on the science of sound, Julian’s five TED talks have been viewed over 150 million times, with “How to Speak so That People Want to Listen” ranking in the top ten all-time most popular. He founded The Sound Agency in 2003, focusing on helping brands through ‘soundscaping’, which “uses sound to connect with customers on a deeper emotional level”.Julian discusses the growing evidence of how sound affects people psychologically, emphasising the benefits of schools teaching “conscious listening” as a crucial skill for professional settings and, more importantly, within our relationships – as often, feeling valued is tied to being heard. He advocates intentionally seeking out and listening to opposing views to stop the cycle of polarisation and echo chambers perpetuated by the media, combating the rise of conspiracy theories – as “listening is the sound of democracy”.
Describing himself as an “accidental journalist”, John joined the FT in 1989. In the three decades since, he was Moscow correspondent in 1994 following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and led six editorial teams around the world – including Asia and Europe. As Innovation Editor since 2016, he widened the publication's technology coverage, even creating an innovation of his own: Sifted, which reports on the vibrant European tech startup scene as an antidote to Silicon Valley culture.Sifted focuses on the human element of entrepreneurialism which is driving innovation from the front, and shows the tough reality of running a startup. John shares his concerns with the rapid advancement of deepfakes and AI, which make telling the difference between truth and lies almost impossible – but how he ultimately sees this as an opportunity for consumers.
Gizmodo was the first independent tech blog, which launched in 2002, reporting on technology, science and internet culture. With over 40 million actively engaged monthly readers the site is growing, with a new section focusing on the technology and business of spaceflight and exploration.David shares how his career began working at his university’s newspaper to becoming editor at The Wall Street Journal and Reuters, before joining Gizmodo as editor-in-chief in 2021. He offers insights into the advancements of VR technology and the role of AI in the modern workforce—and how it will change the way we live.
Outernet is an all-inclusive entertainment district in London, reimagining the musically iconic Denmark Street – where acts such as David Bowie and the Sex Pistols kicked off their careers – bringing together music, art, film, gaming and retail. Using advanced screen technology, Outernet offers a new way for creatives and leading brands to produce and experience content, partnering with the likes of Ridley Scott and the Royal College of Art.Philip began his career learning the technical aspects of broadcasting, becoming Senior Vice President of Global Digital Media for MTV Networks in 2007, and then Executive Vice President and Managing Director of its parent company Viacom a year later. He explores how his extensive knowledge of tech led to his team launching the first music video on a mobile phone – and explains what the metaverse really is for the uninitiated. 
With more than 10 million monthly readers, Jalopnik is the automotive industry’s most influential publication – with news and analysis not only covering cars, but also planes, boats, trains and even spaceships.A lifelong car enthusiast, Bob has dedicated his journalism career to his love of automobiles. Starting out as a reporter at Gizmodo, he then spent 7 years at Road & Track magazine, ultimately being promoted to Deputy Editor, before leaving to take over the helm of Jalopnik in 2022. He credits Tesla’s influence on the rise of electric vehicles for personal use – predicting a complete takeover in the next three decades – and the critical need for Tesla’s buy out.
Since taking over as editor in 2018, Hugo has driven Openly’s mission to become the world’s most trusted destination for impartial LGBT+ news. Reaching Reuters’ one billion clients daily, the platform aims to uncover breaking stories and investigates the queer narratives inside major global events, typically untold by mainstream media, made possible through shifting from spot news to social media reporting.Hugo is also the author of ‘The Diaries of Mr Lucas’, and explores how he uncovered this fascinating account of queer life in London before the partial decriminalisation of gay sex in 1967, and what led to Mr Lucas giving him his indiscreet journals for publication—revealing an affair with a member of the Kray twins gang.
After three decades with the BBC reporting from South Asia and Afghanistan, David's expertise was called upon by the former Afghan President as an advisor; he now consults for the Foreign Office and trains mid-career diplomats. Amongst many other accolades, his 1998 reporting from behind the lines of the Kosovo Liberation Army earned him ‘Journalist of the Year’ from the Royal Television Society.David reveals one of the least reported consequences of 9/11 — the surge in PTSD amongst journalists covering the attacks — and details his campaign for news organisations to provide better mental health support. He shares how a “freelance adventure” in Poland spamming LBC’s news desk led to him becoming their official correspondent, and gives his top tips for uncovering a breaking story.
Jenna Goudreau is the vice president and managing editor at CNBC Digital.Since joining the broadcaster in 2016, Jenna relaunched their personal finance site ‘Grow’, reaching 6.5 million people in 5 years, and is the founding editor of the award-winning money news website ‘Make It’, which tackles financial illiteracy and helps people navigate their big financial firsts: from landing a dream job to starting a business.Jenna shares the risks caused by the lack of financial education – schools prioritising trigonometry and algebra over investments and tax returns. She describes her go-to interview question and the qualities she looks for when recruiting new team members – explaining what early career journalists can do to stand out to their boss.
Jon Wardle is the director of the National Film and Television School.Founded in 1971, the Buckinghamshire-based institution teaches over 750 students and has recently opened new campuses in Glasgow, Leeds, and Cardiff.The exponential growth of streaming services has hugely increased the demand for UK creative talent. To meet this, the school offers nearly 40 specialist courses – including traditional subjects such as cinematography and screenwriting, as well as “less glamorous” yet highly impactful courses, like production management and accounting.The gaming industry is bigger than ever, generating higher profits than all of Hollywood combined. The school is at the cutting edge of gaming technology, and its game design MA has become one of the most popular courses – with game engine software transforming film and TV production after being used for major shows such as ‘The Mandalorian’.
Meredith Artley is the former Editor-in-Chief and Senior Vice President of CNN Digital.During her tenure at CNN, Meredith oversaw content creation, programming, and publishing across their digital properties, leading a global team of over 350 reporters, producers, and editors—and left after 12 years with CNN enjoying the world’s largest digital audience, reaching over 160 million.Meredith reflects on her career journey—from digitising The New York Times in the ‘90s, significantly growing the online reach of the LA Times, to putting diversity at the heart of CNN’s leadership. She is now on sabbatical in Hawaii, planning her next move.
Amanda Groom is founder and CEO of ‘The Bridge’. The TV, film and animation company aims to “bridge” the gap between East and West, enabling mutually beneficial co-productions across multiple genres, collaborating with major broadcasters such as Sky and Channel 4.When ‘Parasite’ won the Oscar for best picture in 2020, it opened the West’s eyes to the wealth of creative opportunities in the East. Amanda takes us behind the scenes of her recent success, ‘Ms Ma, Nemesis,’ an asian take on Agatha Christie’s ‘Miss Marple,’ and gets us excited for the first Spanish-Korean co-production—bringing a fresh perspective from the world’s previously unheard voices.
Athena Brensberger is an astronomer and science communicator.Presenter of ‘Suppressed Science’ on Curiosity Stream, she founded the educational platform ‘Astroathens’ in 2016, with a mission to showcase her passion for science and astronomy to the general public. She’s already partnered with NASA, The Science Channel and Spaceport America among others.In a wide-ranging discussion, she shares the challenge of unlocking complex scientific ideas for diverse audiences—where life on Earth really began, designing biological systems not compatible with ours, and how plants are our unlikely ally in the search for alien intelligence.One Line: Inspiring the curious to explore the big questions—the great beginnings of the universe, planet Earth… and life itself.
Robin Ritch is President and Publisher of Deseret News.From advising startups to transforming the longest-running news organization in the American West, Robin has grown Deseret News, founded in 1850 by the Mormon Church, from a local paper into a national media powerhouse, with over 10 million readers across their platforms. As Utah’s oldest continuously operating business, their name derives from the geographic area of Deseret, and just like the settlers that named the area, it is a pioneer in its own right.Robin shares their commitment to tackling fake news by “being a standard-bearer of journalistic integrity and principled reporting” and discusses their mission to “elevate understanding, challenge assumptions and illuminate context” about the Mormon Church, while remaining editorially independent. Having identified a clear gap in the national news market, and looking to provide a balance to the typically right or left-wing political dialogue, Robin lead the paper towards a centrist political approach, based on values that are important to their readers: family, faith and community. Robin also examines how the paper famously came out against Trump, and continues to oppose him on moral grounds.
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