The Lead is a podcast for aspiring journalists. The show has had a variety of hosts through the years, but the show's mission stays the same. The series title comes from a journalistic term.
Jacqueline GaNun is an incoming graduate assistant at the University of Georgia, Athens. She started hosting The Lead in May 2022. In each podcast episode, she interviews storytellers and news educators. Her guests share their stories and advice for people who want to start or advance in the industry. These conversations are personal and honest. They may be helpful for people who are still deciding if they want to start working in this industry.
In one of the latest episodes, Jacqueline asks Long Haul author Ryan Prior why he chose journalism. He replies that he wanted to write books but needed money. Journalism is one way to make money with writing. Ryan also discusses how his experiences led him to report on people managing complex diseases. He was ill in high school and later learned he had a complex disease. His illness was due to myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome.
In another episode, Jacqueline talks to Dr. Denetra Walker, whose class she has taken at UGA. Denetra explains the importance of seeing Black folks in news management. Representation is impactful. She once spoke to a reporter who was an intern when she was assistant news director. Denetra inspired that reporter. Denetra and Jacqueline also discuss the complexity of teaching the foundations of journalism. The media, like health care and criminal justice, is harmful.
Award-winning Lylla Younes describes writing at the intersection of environmentalism and justice. In this episode of The Lead, Lylla talks about working at the nonprofit Grist. At the end of the episode, Jacqueline asks what advice Lylla has for aspiring journalists. Lylla advises people to read a lot of different kinds of work by journalists. She offers the caveat to always stay critical while reading. These leadership lessons make this podcast valuable. Anyone wondering what's next in their journalism career or how to get started might enjoy it.