Created by The Big Issue’s Future Generations team, the weekly interview show tells stories from the worlds of politics, culture, science, design and beyond. Every episode looks at ways we can act today for a better tomorrow, says The Big Issue.
The first edition of BetterPod features Wales’ Future Generations Commissioner, Sophie Howe, who reveals how a small country is making waves around the world with their joined-up approach to secure the wellbeing of the unborn.
She was interviewed by 21-year-old Katerina Sivitanides, a Glasgow-based member of the Future Generations team, alongside Future Generations Editor Laura Kelly.
“As someone who comes from a working class background and a mixed ethnic background, there’s not many opportunities for people like me because journalism is considered an upper class job,” said Sivitanides.
“This opportunity at The Big Issue is really important to me. I came into The Big Issue with no podcasting experience, and I never expected to enjoy it as much as I do now. I’ve had great opportunities to talk to people who have really important insights and I’ve have grown more confident.”
Coming up in the next few weeks, the podcast will also welcome writer and rapper Darren McGarvey, Love Island star and anti-fast fashion campaigner Brett Staniland, Everyday Sexism’s Laura Bates plus many more.
“BetterPod covers a wide range of topics, some of which may be unexpected – but that’s the most exciting thing about working with a team of young people with new ideas,” said Kelly. “We are listening to the concerns and the hopes of the next generation, which is vital for anyone who wants to leave behind a better society than the one we live in now.”
For her first podcasting experience Naomi Forbes, 24, from Falkirk, interviewed poet and mental health activist Hussain Manawer. She said she was excited to meet people who are making a difference.
“I was a teen mum, and people like me don’t usually get opportunities to work in the media,” she added. “I enjoy being part of BetterPod and have had the opportunity to speak to some interesting people who I would never have otherwise come into contact with. It’s so important to be aware of the impact everything we do has on future generations. BetterPod reminds us of this.”
London-based Future Generations team member Sophie Dimitrijevic, 18, agreed that the programme had offered her a unique opportunity. “Coming from an Eastern European background, I felt like I’ve never really had the privilege to speak on topics that I really felt were interesting. As I’ve had the opportunity to talk to a host of different people, I’ve learnt skills as a journalist and I’ve grown in confidence as an interviewer and public speaker,” she said.
“Until I applied to The Big Issue, journalism didn’t seem accessible or a realistic career path for me, even though I was always interested in the field,” added 20-year-old Jade Kabaku, from London. “I’m incredibly grateful to be a part of the Future Generations team.”
“A recent study by the NCTJ showed that some 80 per cent of journalists come from professional and upper-class backgrounds. At The Big Issue we believe those aren't the only voices that matter,” said Big Issue editor Paul McNamee.
“Through the Future Generations team, we offer a platform for exciting young journalists from underrepresented backgrounds to address the long-term challenges facing our country and our planet.”
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