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The Guardian to launch new daily news and current affairs podcast as Economist partners with US publisher Slate for joint audio series

The Guardian is preparing to launch a new daily news and current affairs podcast to take listeners behind the headlines and “cut through the noise”.

The title has hired six audio journalists to produce the podcast, which will run each weekday by the end of the year.

Joint political editor Anushka Asthana (pictured) will host the podcast, which the Guardian aims will bring listeners closer to its journalism as it becomes an essential part of its daily digital offering.

Asthana, who joined the Guardian at the start of 2016 and was previously senior political correspondent at Sky News, said: “People are busy, but they want a deeper understanding of the world.

“We’ll be delving further into the big stories and cutting through the noise to take our listeners behind the headlines.”

The Guardian previously ran a daily news and current affairs podcast hosted by multimedia journalist Jon Dennis between 2006 and 2010, starting under the name Newsdesk before rebranding to Guardian Daily.

Guardian Media Group chief executive David Pemsel said he believes an investment in audio journalism is vital to grow audience relationships and revenue.

“More than 50 per cent of The Guardian’s revenues are now digital,” he said.

“This significant investment in audio journalism is an important part of our strategy to develop deeper relationships with our audiences and grow new revenue streams.”

Among the new hires for the podcast is executive producer Leo Hornak, who has made documentaries and news for BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service and This American Life.

He will be joined by the Guardian’s Nicole Jackson as deputy executive producer plus BBC Digital Current Affairs senior producer India Rakusen, New Yorker Radio Hour lead producer Mythili Rao, and audio producers Joshua Kelly, Elizabeth Cassin and Rachel Humphreys.

Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner said she was “confident” the podcast would “become essential listening in our readers’ busy lives, bringing them even closer to our award-winning journalism”.

She added: “I can’t wait to hear Anushka every day – her broadcast experience and accessible style makes her the perfect host.”

Last year the Guardian produced 550 podcast episodes across series including Politics Weekly, Science Weekly, Brexit Means, Culture Podcast and Books Podcast.

This week the Economist also announced a new podcast series, The Secret History of the Future, in collaboration with US publisher Slate.

The ten-part series looks into modern anxieties about technology, with topics including the world’s first cyber attack, why an 1899 road death in New York has lessons for the makers of today’s driverless cars, and the 19th-century origins of virtual reality.

The podcast is presented by Economist deputy editor Tom Standage and Slate contributor Seth Stevenson under executive editors Anne McElvoy for the Economist and Steve Lickteig for Slate.

McElvoy said: “Partnering with Slate gives us the chance to bring the expertise of our experts together in an accessible form that will make for informed but relaxed listening.

“Partnering also allows both sides to bring our radio journalism to wider audiences and learn from each other’s skills in the podcast market across the Atlantic.”

Picture: The Guardian

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