Slow Newscast

Tortoise Media

The Slow Newscast is a weekly narrative investigative podcast hosted by Basia Cummings that tells a different story each week.

It uses the slow news ethos of Tortoise, which prioritises helping its audience understand the forces that are driving a story, instead of rushing to break news.

At its core, it aims to be an investigative podcast, but with a human heart. This is demonstrated by Louise Tickle’s work in episodes such as ‘After the Fall’ which looked into the story of one woman’s death in a council estate, and how her death revealed biases by the police in how they investigate crimes in locations such as the estate.

The Slow Newscast is not afraid to take risks in its reporting either. In ‘Octopus: the allegations against Crispin Odey’, Paul Caruana Galizia tells the story of several new women who allege sexual assault or harassment against the hedge fund manager Crispin Odey. Through anonymised accounts, the women tell the story in their own words, while the podcast tells the broader story of why this matters. It is more than just a #MeToo moment, Crispin Odey is a Conservative party donor who has benefited financially from key policy decisions made in Westminster. It raises real questions about who our politicians do business with.

On top of investigating new areas, the Slow Newscast reports in-depth on issues which might have gone under-reported. In the Six Million Pound Man, the political editor Catherine Neilan investigates who is funding Boris Johnson. His personal finances were a story that lurked in the background of his time in Downing Street, and since then stories have come out, including about the £800,000 line of credit facilitated by Richard Sharp. For the Slow Newscast, Cat pieces together what is known about Boris Johnson’s financial situation, and combines it with her own original reporting to shine a light on how Boris Johnson funded his lavish lifestyle while still Prime Minister. It explores how a system of donors, loans, and free gifts link together to create an obscure network of cash and people that help fund his lifestyle.

Over the course of 2022 and 2023, the Slow Newscast increased its listenership by 38 per cent, and its demographic continues to be predominantly young adults with almost three-quarters of its listenership under 35 years old, and during the year was listened to in 195 countries.