Each week on The Lede, we delve into the biggest ideas, events and personalities from around the world.
The Lede serves as a complement to New Lines magazine. While our initial objective in launching the podcast was to create a space for in-depth conversations about culture, art and politics in the Middle East from those on the ground, we have over time expanded our remit beyond the region, building our community and gaining loyalty from audiences from South Asia and Western Europe to Africa and North America. We understand that no story is truly foreign in today’s interconnected world and that each needs an approach that is both globally minded and grounded in local perspective. In this vein, we continue to expand our content to include points of view from across the globe and from different ends of the ideological spectrum, as demonstrated by our selection of guests. Our mission is focused on amplifying voices that transcend tidy, prefabricated narratives to expound on the changing nature of important topics.
The Lede podcast builds on the content in New Lines Magazine, featuring extensive interviews that cover a wide variety of subjects. The series originally focused primarily on the Middle East because we felt that this region, for so long the center of U.S. foreign policy, needed far more coverage from those who have lived and worked there. The media landscape in the region tends to be dominated by partisan agendas, superficial outside coverage, or controlled and stifled by authoritarian regimes and our show brings a more nuanced approach to the issues that matter. We want to help draw a more complete picture of the region that transcends the typical, dominant tropes of war, famine and disaster.
In our second season, we rebranded the podcast as The Lede, unrolling weekly episodes that delve into world events and big ideas with a more expansive purview. Continued upheaval at home and abroad has convinced us of the necessity of journalism and storytelling produced by people fluent in the language and culture, with experience and deep knowledge of the context about the place they’re writing about. Among these are journalist and writer Fatima Bhutto, a global figure who hails from one of Pakistan’s most prominent political dynasties. In conversation with New Lines magazine’s Faisal Al Yafai, Bhutto casts a critical look at a label that is often affixed to her work: “political fiction.” As a renowned writer of both fiction and nonfiction, Bhutto’s work explores the vital and universal subjects of our age, like radicalization, globalization and democracy. Her responses provide the sort of nuance and contextualization that we have always hoped to bring by centering such voices, at first from the region, and now beyond.
The Lede has been shortlisted under the “Best Political Podcast” category at this year’s Publisher Podcast Awards, while this specific episode was recently nominated for a prestigious American Ambies Award by the Podcast Academy, where it has been recognized in the “Best Interview” category. Our episode with Ece Temelkuran was nominated for Best Political Podcast and shortlisted at the 2022 Publishers’ Awards last year.
The Lede attracts a loyal audience that tunes in every week to listen directly through the site as well as on other streaming platforms. Since its inception, we have hosted award-winning authors and figures who have made waves in their field. Conversation snippets from these episodes have been viewed thousands of times across our social media accounts.
The Lede continues to draw praise for its coverage of events from major media outlets, such as Fareed Zakaria’s Global Briefing (CNN) recommendation list.