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Boots on the Ground podcast recognised at Bookmark Awards

30 July 2021 - 12:31 By TimesLIVE
The award-winning 'Boots on the Ground' podcast was born out of the first lockdown in SA when we followed Sunday Times reporters on the streets as they covered the biggest stories.
The award-winning 'Boots on the Ground' podcast was born out of the first lockdown in SA when we followed Sunday Times reporters on the streets as they covered the biggest stories.
Image: DAILY DISPATCH

Arena Holdings’ podcast division took home a bronze on Thursday night at the IAB Bookmark awards for its innovative Boots on the Ground podcast which uses the best of mobile journalism to document the people behind SA’s biggest news stories.

The podcast series, which was born from the first lockdown of March 2020 and sought to document the daily experience of our citizens from street level, grew into a broader, behind the scenes expose of the real stories that make up SA’s national headlines.

“It began as a passion project developed by Arena Holdings’ most enthusiastic, creative and experimental young journalists. Working closely with Sunday Times reporters Graeme Hoskin and Alex Patrick we tracked, recorded and caught their reflections in voice notes as they covered events and people in real time, often when the action could be heard in the background,” said series producer Paige Muller.

Muller said: “‘Boots, as it has fondly been nicknamed, is truly the first of its kind in SA. It is very much an experimental podcast. It is a mix of a scripted narrative and a live-action podcast. Every sound and voice used for the podcast is recorded on smartphones, making it a true marvel in the mobile journalism and audio space.”

Scott Peter Smith, head of news video and podcasts at Arena Holdings said: “Of course we are delighted to be recognised in this way by the Bookmarks. It’s never easy to coordinate a series like this, keep up the momentum and stay focused in such a busy newsroom, but the persistence paid off. We not only have podcast that has attracted an audience but also taken a fresh step in our journalism at Arena.”

Now in its 13th year, the IAB Bookmark Awards recognise the best digital and tech innovations in the media industry.

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