The Wheeler Centre
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Invasion of the Pod People: June Thomas
June Thomas is the senior managing producer of Slate podcasts – and if you’ve ever listened to a Slate podcast, you’re probably already familiar with her affable Northern English accent.
Through her two decades on staff, Thomas has featured in the outlet’s popular ‘Gabfests’ (Culture, Political) The Waves (née Double X Gabfest), and helmed projects like The Americans(analysing the TV series of the same name) and Afterword (a 30-episode exploration of the art of non-fiction writing). The pioneering New York-based digital magazine joined the podcast game early, and with vigour; today, it continues to produce hugely popular talk-based shows. Thomas has been there to observe it all.
She’s also been the publication’s foreign editor, as well as the editor and podcast host of its LGBTQ+ section, Outward. A respected cultural critic, she’s known for her unorthodox tastes. She’s big on podcasts about pens and pencils – and subscribes to the member magazine of the American Dental Association.
In December, she joined Sophie Black to discuss the value of niche culture, the maturation of podcasting, and what makes a conversation worth eavesdropping on.
June Thomas is senior managing producer of the Slate Podcast Network and has worked at the magazine for more than 21 years. A former managing editor and foreign editor, she also wrote about television and popular culture and founded Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section. She started podcasting in 2005, when she produced the daily Explainer, and has since hosted series about TV shows and books and produced three seasons of a behind-the-scenes show about the TV spy thriller The Americans.
‘Women have many reasons to be wary, depressed or downright terri ed of the internet. No guaranteed safe space exists for a woman online. Especially a lippy one. And yet ... as a tool for social change, the internet, to the extent that we can still refer to it as a single entity, still offers immense possibilities.’
Sophie Black is head of publishing at the Wheeler Centre where she has worked on projects such as the national to writers scheme The Next Chapter, the multi-award-winning podcast, The Messenger, and the ABC RN program, Talkfest. Previously she was editor-in-chief at Private Media, where she headed up titles such as Crikey, Women’s Agenda, Daily Review and SmartCompany. In 2013, she delivered the Adelaide Festival of Ideas as Director. She sits on the advisory board for Melbourne University’s Centre for Advancing Journalism and the human rights publication Right Now.