Press Play: The Best Podcasts Made Here in the District
There is a bustling crowd at Penn Social’s happy hour before a Capitals game. The bar is a popular hangout spot for locals. And on any given night you’ll find people mingling, drinking, and playing hours of cornhole.
At a place like this, Stephanie Logan feels right at home.
Stephanie Logan & The DC Diary Podcast
This is an ideal crowd for her award winning podcast- DC Diary, which typically records during happy hour. A vibe that has led Logan and her team to winning gold at the DC Web Fest in April.
“It is really hard to get people to be personal when they are sitting in their office,” Logan says. “When I first started doing the show, I would interview people but the responses were more like a job interview. I wasn’t getting the kind of vulnerability, the kind of emotional connection I wanted. That's when we started doing interviews over drinks.”
Logan says the city is what inspired her to start DC Diary in the first place- “What I heard about DC and the narrative that I had was not my lived experience.”
Ronald Young Jr & The Time Well Spent Podcast
Ronald Young Jr, 34, a DC native and creator of Time Well Spent can say his interest in podcasts started with NPR, an internship in radio at Hot 99.5 at 23, and interest in radio that peaked when he started a job as an IT consultant.
“When I first got into the IT industry I started listening to a lot of NPR. That kind of opened the door for me to want to learn more about this podcasting stuff. I started listening to it, and the more I heard it the more I thought that there was a gap that I could fill, it took me some time though. I started listening to podcasts in 2012, and I only started my own at the beginning of 2017.”
Morgan Givens & The Dispatches Podcast
Storyteller, audio producer, and creator of the Podcast Dispatches, Morgan Givens toes the line between both worlds. He has performed at Out/Spoken a Speakeasy DC's Pride Show in DC, Story District, collaborated with NPR’s podcast Invisibilia, and participated in the Art of Nonfiction Podcasting panel at the AFI Documentary Film Festival.
“In Dispatches, I talk about things that could be considered more vulnerable like my relationship with my wife or how I am treated as a black trans man,” says Givens.
Places like, Podcast Village, a communal coworking space for podcasters located on Wisconsin avenue, has popped up to help grow and nourish the podcasting community.
Co-creator of the village, Charlie Birney along with Oscar Santana Zeballos often host monthly meetups for budding podcasters.
They encourages podcasters to come use the space and give advice freely. If you are an established pro or just starting out, Birney wants to help you.
“If you are looking for a place that is a hub of content its gotta be Washington, DC, says Birney. There’s so much content, so much history here, so many people.”
“I don't worry about running the risk of telling the same story, because there are so many types of people, cultures and beliefs. DC doesn’t get the shine and recognition it deserves as a cultural center and not just a political center.”