Connect with us

Media Storm: “You’re not bound by editorial conventions”

Media Storm interview


Media Storm: “You’re not bound by editorial conventions”

One of our favourite podcasts about politics and current affairs, Media Storm is a news podcast that starts with the people who are usually asked last. Hosts Mathilda Mallinson and Helena Wadia covered many stories that help better equip listeners to identify the truth, and in 2022 they won an International Women’s Podcast Award for their episode covering different perspective of transgender headlines. Now heading into the fourth series, we caught up with Mathilda and Helena to find out more about the inspiration behind the series…

It’s been said that “More than a podcast, Media Storm is a campaign” – why did you choose podcasting as the medium for these conversations?

Media Storm is an ethical news venture with the aim to execute and embody targeted editorial reform in the news sector. We set out on this aim for reform after we discovered ingrained malpractices while working together at leading national news outlets. Podcasting is the perfect medium for these conversations – you’re not bound by traditional editorial conventions, some which are so fixated on appearing “balanced”, they end up platforming fiction as much as fact. Plus, podcasting provides a much-needed balm for the fast-paced 24 hour clickbait news cycle – you can take your time to reach out to communities who may be wary of speaking to traditional media.

What do you consider when taking on a new topic?

Our core principle is to provide ‘right of reply’ to marginalised groups that are denied due representation in everyday news coverage. This means prioritising refugee voices in immigration coverage, indigenous and frontline voices in climate coverage, or people with experiences of homelessness, disability, prison, addiction, sexual assault, or racism (and so on) in social policy discussions affecting them. When taking on a new topic, we ask ourselves: who are the critical missing voices in the biggest news stories? And crucially: what expertise can they provide? Too often, “case studies” in the news are valued only for their trauma, heartstring tugs for the end of the story. But those with experience are also experts: they have knowledge of the system, knowledge of the cause, and knowledge of the impact.

Did you take inspiration from any podcasts in particular before you started?

Most current affairs podcasts take a more traditional approach to news, but we have been inspired by those taking a slower approach to stories – such as Serial, Tortoise’s The Slow Newscast, or more recently, A Bit Fruity. We’ve also been inspired by dynamic female duos, whatever the genre! 2 Dope Queens, Closet Confessions, All Killa No Filla, to name a few.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from creating Media Storm?

Don’t give up when the going gets tough. Trying to build a podcast from the ground up without massive financial investment or celebrity fronting is not a goal with many models of success. Nor is trying to sustainably monetise ethical, non-sensationalist, source-led journalism. We are not following a well-trodden path here, and sometimes we lose the trail or struggle to see the way ahead, but we have always found a way to continue and it has always been worth it – it just takes a bit of determination and unconditional support for each another as partners. Just because the path isn’t clear, doesn’t mean there isn’t a way through. And we have learned time and again that there are enough people who value our work and share our frustrations with modern news practices to make Media Storm work in the long-term. Lessons are: trust yourself, think creatively about obstacles ahead, and never compromise on the standards of your work.

Is there one thing that excites you the most about Series 4 you can’t wait for listeners to hear?

There’s so many things it’s hard to choose! We’re excited to launch our new weekly current affairs format, digging more directly into the biggest news story of each week. We’ve got special investigative episodes coming up, the first on the 13th June about the opaqueness of rape ‘justice’ trials. We’ve got a killer guest-host, a segment that will help take listeners outside of the Western worldview on news, and plenty of speakers that will help us find the facts behind the fear-mongering. Most importantly, we’re excited to leave people after each episode with something to talk about.

Do you have any podcast recommendations for listeners to continue learning between episodes/seasons?

We would always encourage listeners to continue learning from people with lived experience! We recommend Life After Prison – hosted by Zak Addae-Kodua and Jules Rowan, who have both spent time in prison. It’s a podcast for people whose lives have been affected by the criminal justice system – but also for people who have no experience with it to learn directly from people who have! We’d also recommend Homo Sapiens: conversations, stories and a good old laugh with LGBTQ+ icons and allies, and Maintenance Phase – debunking the junk science behind health fads, wellness scams and nonsensical nutrition advice.


Media Storm cover art

Listen to Media Storm series 4 now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other popular podcast apps >>


Pod Bible Newsletter

  • Sign up to our weekly newsletter for podcast news, bonus recommendations and the latest magazine sent straight to your inbox!

Popular Posts


To Top