"If the news media were to disappear tomorrow, what would that mean for our democracy?" asked Nick Parker, longtime journalist and host of The News Nirvana Podcast. "That's not going to happen. But the ground has shifted, and it's critical we identify new, sustainable ways to engage audiences, tell stories, and hold people accountable.
"This new project—The News Nirvana Podcast—is about talking to the visionaries who are reimagining journalism for tomorrow and beyond."
The News Nirvana Podcast features conversations with media professionals representing a wide variety of specialties, including editorial, production, advertising, management, and information technology. Experts from web-native, newspaper, television, radio, nonprofit, and student media organizations will appear.
"There's not a single silver bullet that's going to solve all of the issues our business is facing, so we're going to look at this from every direction," Parker said. "We want to learn what's working and what's not from the people who are actually producing the news each and every day."
The first three episodes, now available, showcase the breadth of the project:
- Eric Reinert, director of digital media at WFMZ-TV in Allentown, Pennsylvania, joins the show for a conversation about the ever-changing technologies used to collect and deliver the news.
- Alan Fisco, president of the Seattle Times, discusses the state of the paper following the social unrest of 2020.
- Anika Anand, deputy director of LION Publishers, talks about the organization's efforts to support the growth of the hyper-local and independently-owned news organizations across America.
Parker also sees The News Nirvana Podcast as a platform for combating the media distrust permeating today's political discourse.
"My hope is that by giving people a look behind the curtain—really showing how thoughtful and conscientious these media professionals are—we can do our part to counter these destructive narratives," Parker said.
"Most people in the news industry are just doing their best to deliver the news that's important to their readers and keep them informed, especially at the local level."
The News Nirvana Podcast is fully underwritten by TownNews, a leading provider of digital technology, services, and solutions for the media industry.
"Our solutions are built to lead our customers, and the entire media industry, into the digital future," said Rick Rogers, Chief Revenue Officer at TownNews. "The News Nirvana Podcast is another piece of that puzzle. There are a lot of smart people with great ideas in this business, and this initiative creates a space where those ideas can be heard."
The News Nirvana Podcast is now available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and other popular podcasting services. New episodes are posted twice monthly.