Podcast of the Week: The Explainer
A team from the Journal delves deep into big news topics such as Brexit
Aoife Barry is one of the Journal team on The Explainer. Photograph: Aidan Crawley
With the oncoming cloud of Brexit ever closer on the horizon, I decided it was time to start learning exactly what was going on, instead of relying on the daily blur of reportage that I can never really get my head around. Enter The Explainer.
It is hosted and produced by a team of women from the Journal, including news editor Sinéad O’Carroll, Christine Bohan and Aoife Barry. Each episode will focus on a news story and take a closer, more detailed look at how it affects people on the ground. The first episode is possibly the most insightful listening experience I’ve had about Brexit. In 30 minutes, O’Carroll and reporter Gráinne Ní Aodha take a close look at the potential damage that Brexit could do to the Irish food industry: from what we produce and how we export it, to what is available for us to buy in supermarkets, to how farmers and culinary business owners will be affected.
The tone is newsy and almost formal without being lifeless: the conversation stays on topic throughout. There is an appropriate urgency here. Ní Aodha opens the podcast in a supermarket, examining the origins of the produce. There are interviews with an oyster farmer, and a baker in Dublin, about the logistics of how Brexit could impact their livelihoods. There is also much necessary talk of how it will affect Irish people day to day: what will happen to our confectionary, given that so much of it comes from the UK?
With Brexit nearly upon us, it’s so helpful to look harder and more closely at the ways it may change Irish life. There is only so much space that televised news can give it: and people are going to be left with much deeper questions. I know where to go for my answers.