CJF brings together true crime podcasters for J-Talks Live virtual event

The first online J-Talk of CJF's 2023 Winter season will feature podcasters Basia Cummings, Kathleen Goldhar and Connie Walker, discussing the true crime podcast as a vehicle for deeply reported investigative stories. (CNW Group/Canadian Journalism Foundation)

The Canadian Journalism Foundation’s (CJF) J-Talks Live series kicks off its 2023 season on Thursday with an exploration of the growing role played by podcasting in long-form investigative crime journalism.

The virtual event will bring together independent podcaster Kathleen Goldhar and Tortoise Studios partner Basia Cummings, with investigative journalist and podcaster Connie Walker moderating the discussion on how podcasts have changed the way we think about investigative crime narratives and how the medium is building relationships with audiences.

Goldhar, former Executive Producer of CBC’s The Current, left Antica Productions earlier this month to go out on her own as an independent producer. Goldhar was the executive producer behind Antica’s True Crime Byline, produced in partnership with Postmedia, featuring its journalists discussing their work on career-changing stories. Goldhar also served as executive producer for USG Audio’s The Lost KidsMadness of Two & House of Prayer as well as Toronto Star’s Hustled. She also co-produced and co-created Uncover’s first season, Escaping NXIVM, among other projects.

Cummings is an editor and partner in UK-based Tortoise Studios, the audio wing of Tortoise Media. The studio is known for its award-winning narrative podcasts, including weekly investigative show, The Slow Newscast, Sensemaker Daily, Hoaxed, and Sweet Bobby, a multi-part investigation in search of one of the world’s most sophisticated catfishers.

Walker is currently the host of Stolen: Surviving St. Michael’s, which made The New Yorker’s list of Best Podcasts of 2022. She left the CBC after 20 years in 2019 to join Gimlet Media as an investigative reporter. While with the public broadcaster, Walker hosted two seasons of Missing & Murdered, examining cold cases involving missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

“We are thrilled to welcome three journalists who have brought innovative storytelling, painstaking research and skilled reporting to investigative podcasting,” said Angela Pacienza, CJF programming co-chair and Executive Editor at The Globe and Mail, in a release. “Podcast series such as Do You Know Mordechai?, Sweet Bobby and Finding Cleo represent deeply rooted features that go well beyond formulaic crime stories, bringing audiences into the journalistic process and producing deeply reported features.”

The free virtual event will take place Jan. 26 at 1 p.m. ET as part of the CJF’s J-Talks Live program exploring pressing journalistic issues.


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