Doctoral student from Monash's School of Media, Film and Journalism, Louisa Lim has won the 2018 national Australian Podcast Award in the news and current affairs category for her podcast The Little Red Podcast.
The Little Red Podcast, hosted by Graeme Smith of the ANU and Louisa Lim, focusses on China beyond the Beijing beltway, focussing on topics as diverse as: moves to muzzle foreign academics, the geopolitics of Beijing's involvement in South Pacific and the environmental consequences of China's appetite for sea cucumbers.
The monthly podcast, which has been running for more than two years, with companion essays in the LA Review of Books' China Channel, was started by her co-host, Graeme Smith, who is now at the Department of Pacific Affairs at ANU that started the Little Red Podcast. Ms Lim joined him soon after it started.
“We were trying to bridge the gap between journalism and academia,” Ms Lim said.
“I'm a journalist who was posted in China for a decade, and he's a political scientist specialising in China's role in the South Pacific, and we both felt we could use our expertise, and our contacts, to dig deeper into stories that have not been fully covered by the mainstream media.”
“We also wanted to help bring the great work done by Australian academics on China to a wider audience.”
The podcast's tagline, ‘China Beyond the Beijing Beltway' is a nod to the duo's attempt to cover areas they feel aren't being adequately covered.
Ms Lim says they have a very wide remit and look at issues ranging from China's geopolitical influence in the South Pacific to the environmental impact of the growing Chinese appetite for sea cucumbers.
“We've done several episodes on Chinese influence in Australia for example in Chinese-language media here, in Australian universities and on academic freedom,” Ms Lim said.
“We do try to bring new voices into the debate, and particularly Chinese voices that might not have been heard.”
Of the award, she says they are both “delighted and very surprised” to win this award, as they are a very small podcast operating on a tiny budget, and were up against some very big media giants and institutions.
“We hope that it will help universities to see the value of podcasting as a tool of education, engagement and research, and to fund more podcasts,” Ms Lim said.
Ms Lim's undergraduate degree is in Modern Chinese Studies, and is currently undertaking a practice-led practice-based PhD in the School of Media, Film and Journalism at Monash on the role of the Hong Kong press in creating identity.
Winners in the APA included podcasts produced by both independent producers as well as work by some of the country’s largest media organisations.