Toronto Star Podcasts

The Toronto Star, Canada's most read daily newspaper, has quietly started podcasting - and they've chosen some cool content as their curtain raisers.

In addition to running a regular podcast feed of John Sakamoto's popular and influential "Anti-Hit List" column of new alternative music, the Star podcasts page also features two superb examples of "professional" podcasting - showcasing what the deep resources of a mainstream media organization can bring to the fast-evolving podcast medium.

Storm Chasers, from the May 21 feed, channels the "Twister" vibe:

"Feature writer Scott Simmie ventures to the American midwest with people who choose to spend their vacations under stormy rather than sunny skies. Drawn by the natural drama of funnel clouds and hailstones, these storm chasers criss-cross Kansas and Nebraska – and visit the world's biggest ball of twine on their day off." (10.7 MB MP3)

And in the very first podcast on The Star's site, there's this:

VE Day vets, in their own words.

To many, World War II may seem like a distant struggle in a far-away black-and-white world, but for three veterans – from Burlington, Richmond Hill and Toronto – the vast global conflict is still the stuff of living memory. Listen to their wartime experiences – in their own words. (6.8 MB MP3)

That's the first podcast I've heard that has brought a lump to my throat.

(Full Disclosure: I'm currently chasing a job at The Star as their head of communications. Does that mean this post is biased in their favour? Perhaps. But how could I resist wanting to work for a big paper that so clearly gets it?)