Guardian Unlimited has today become the first ever publisher to join the UK Podcasters Association, and the first podcast producer to join radio industry body the Radio Academy.
The move comes four months afterMatt Wells was appointed to the newly-created role of head of audio at The Guardian.
The Guardian’s online division has signed up as a patron member of the Radio Academy – an industry-wide charity which aims to promote excellence in radio broadcasting.
Wells said Guardian Unlimited had “a lot to learn” from the rest of the radio industry, and wanted to be seen in the same sphere as major players such as the BBC.
“It’s a reflection of the scale of our ambition in this area,” he said. “I think we’re now a significant force in quality speech programming. For the first time, I think the BBC have got a huge rival in this area. Channel 4 have done a lot of talking, but we’re doing a lot of doing.
At present, the Guardian Unlimited audio desk produces around a dozen podcasts, from news and sport to specialist output such as Islamophonic, the Muslim programme which won best podcast at this year’s Association of Online Publishers awards.