Casting out empire: Dipsaus and the challenge and promise of Black independent podcasting in the Netherlands

Chenjerai Kumanyika

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    What has become of the promise of podcasting? Like all digital media, those most optimistic about podcasting’s democratic potential promise expanded lowered barriers to access, increased creativity, radical counter-publics, and innovative forms of sonic transportation and intimacy. It is a medium that can be produced using relatively inexpensive sound technology for millions of listeners who are willing to engage with long-form content that is thoughtful, idiosyncratic, marginal, and substantive. The narrow but deep focus of some podcasts can lead to both a deeply important investigative journalism and an immersive, transportation listening experience that teaches us about everything from cooking to criminal punishment through an intimate lens that centers on the peculiarities of the human soul. Indeed, it seems that we can and should all be curating our listening to the right podcasts, and if we are all storytellers, then we might even all be potential podcasters. As work, podcasting appears to be a fulfilling, important, or at least engaging calling. Telling your story becomes an opportunity to be paid to do what you love and disseminate widely. But those are all representations of podcasting in the abstract, anecdotal and fantastic. In reality, podcasts are produced in a material world, situated in social and economic arrangements. This chapter highlights the milestone of Dipsaus, the independent Black Dutch Women’s podcasting/media company, which started on 7 November 2016. It demonstrates the potential of podcasting to serve as a form of much-needed popular, progressive, political media under the corporate institutionalized mode of production, ultimately identifying some major threats to that potential. The chapter proceeds in two parts. A brief introduction will survey how podcasting - particularly in its corporate network form - is a medium that is also both reflective of and uniquely structured to function in sync with contemporary economic and work arrangements, embedded as they are in neoliberal sensibilities. The second part of the chapter uses discussions with the hosts of Dipsaus to explore the emergence of podcasting as part of the European media ecology and how activists have used podcasts to speak back to mainstream media and foster an independent transnational social justice community.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationMilestones in Digital Journalism
    PublisherTaylor and Francis
    Number of pages24
    ISBN (Electronic)9781040002902
    ISBN (Print)9781032326771
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2024

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Arts and Humanities
    • General Social Sciences
    • General Business, Management and Accounting


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