Jordan: We’re recording now?
Jordan: Oh, good. Okay, welcome to a very special episode of The Big Story, one that I didn’t wanna make. Today though is our first birthday, and we asked our listeners how they wanted us to celebrate, and it turns out for whatever reason, you wanted us to talk. Just us. Claire and I. So we did, and there is no script, no guests and very few edits. If you ever thought to yourself, I wonder what this podcast would sound like without everything that made me listen to it in the first place, then this one’s for you, and actually, it really is for you, because this is probably as sincere as I’m gonna be at any point for the next 15-20 minutes, but you are the reason we made this show. The fact that you kept listening is the reason we kept making it, and the fact that you shared us on social media, or you told your friends, or you went out and rated us and reviewed us, that is literally the only reason we made it to year two. So thank you very much. From Claire, and myself, and Ryan and Stephanie, and Annalise for listening and subscribing. You, my friends, are the real big story. It’s horrible. Just roll the music. Start the show.
Jordan & Claire: Happy Birthday!
Claire: Birthdays, they happen once a year.
Jordan: Only once a year.
Jordan: Somehow, Claire, we are still here.
Claire: We’re still here.
Jordan: I’m a little stunned
Claire: Me too. Not gonna lie, when we first launched, I was like, is anyone really gonna listen to this? And they do listen.
Jordan: Yeah, and they actively listen.
Claire: How crazy is that? People like us.
Jordan: They like you.
Claire: No, I think they like you.
Jordan: I think we did this bit already. It’s the only bit we have. So here is how it’s going to go, Annalise Nielsen dug into a ton of data on our show over the past year because, unlike some other forms of media, we can actually look at who’s listened to what, where they’ve listened from, where they’ve downloaded from, how many times they’ve listened, all that kind of stuff. We also put a question or two out to our audience and asked them what we should talk about and, uh, shoutout to Arnaldo Quintini because he actually stole my idea. He wrote, “You guys should do a TBSP uncut where you have an in depth discussion on the most listen topics of the year, just a thought.” But I had that thought, like three or four days earlier, I just didn’t tweet it because I didn’t want to give it away.
Claire: We’re gonna share some stats, tell some stories.
Claire: It’s gonna be a fun episode.
Jordan: So if you ever wondered what the big story would be like with no story, this is that.
Claire: Ta-da! Okay, I want to start with some interesting stats.
Claire: So over the past year, we’ve had listeners from guess how many countries?
Jordan: Uh is it over 100?
Jordan: Over 150?
Jordan: I’m gonna say 183.
Claire: We’ve had listeners from 209 countries and six continents only missing Antarctica.
Jordan: Well, there’s no WiFi in Antarctica.
Claire: That’s true.
Jordan: You have to download on like a sat phone. So, listen, if you were planning your next vacation, we could use that seventh continent, help us out.
Claire: So our top country, obviously is Canada.
Claire: 86% of our listeners air from Canada, which is kind of surprising.
Jordan: That’s a little low to me to be honest, cause we, uh…. I will tell you when we started this podcast, we did lots of stories from all over. We even talked about Donald Trump, talked about international relations, we talked about things going on in Mexico, and we quickly realized that there were, like, a billion podcasts doing that….
Jordan: and more every day. Nobody was doing a daily news podcast in Canada that actually focused on Canadian stories. And part of that is because when you do a podcast you want everybody in the world to listen to you. Really I don’t care about people beyond Canada.
Jordan: I want them to listen to our stories, I want them to learn about our country, but they’re being well served, especially Americans by literally a dozen or more daily news podcasts.
Claire: Well on that note, let me name the other countries that do listen to us.
Jordan: Sorry, guys.
Claire: Ah, we have listeners from the US, the UK, Australia, Germany, South Africa, Mexico. We have some in India, France, Brazil, and at the bottom of the list, we have one download from Paraguay.
Jordan: Nice. One download?
Claire: One download.
Jordan: What about our stories, where do they come from? Because I know, Annalise was looking at where in Canada we found all our stories.
Claire: As you mentioned, we do have some international stories, but mostly Canadian stories. The stories that we’ve covered all across the country, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Manitoba, BC, PEI, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Nunavut and Yukon.
Jordan: So we are missing Northwest Territories and Newfoundland.
Jordan: We didn’t do a Newfoundland story yet? I don’t think we did.
Claire: Oh, interesting.
Jordan: It honestly shocks me that there are still places in Canada that we haven’t covered. So if you are in Newfoundland, or the Northwest Territories hit us up, come on we’re @thebigstoryfpn on Twitter in case you haven’t heard me say it like every episode, we take suggestions. You want to know what I have?
Jordan: I have a list of our most common guests. You can probably guess most of these names. I’m gonna make you do it anyway, but first I just noticed embarrassingly that these are the top six guests and they are all male.
Jordan: That’s horrible.
Claire: Hey we, you know what though, I think we do a pretty good job of having….
Jordan: We do!
Claire: both men and women on this show. That’s something that I’m pretty proud of.
Jordan: Yeah, we can talk about that for a minute because that’s something that we talk about a lot, me and you.
Claire: Ya, and you know, that’s something that I do notice. If we have a week where there are a lot of men, I do notice that. And I think we should…
Jordan: You call us on it!
Claire: We need some more ladies!
Jordan: You know what’s funny is, um I mean, it’s funny in, like, a depressing, funny way because I send out, and you can tell me too because you sometimes send out emails, or make phone calls trying to book guests, and so do I, and so does Stef Phillips, and sometimes Annalise and Ryan do it as well. Um, and I find that sometimes, uh, women way more often than men will say, I’m not sure I’m the right person for you to talk to about this, and Lord knows I’m not in a position to diagnose anything, but I think that’s a problem we’ve heard about in lots of industries right where where men are super eager to be like you’re darn right I’m an expert, I will talk to you about this. Um, and women kind of feel like, well, you know, do I need to? I think this was something that they talked about on the Agenda. I think, if you remember that there was a controversy around them not having this many women on the show. Annalise do we have a number? Do we have a number of the gender breakdown? 60-40 men.
Claire: 60-40. Okay.
Jordan: I’m a little disappointed in that to be honest with you. I’m not going to say it’s more balanced than anybody in particular, but I am going to say that, like, I literally did a quick Google to see if there are studies done on experts quoted in Canadian media, and the number is 71-29 male. So we’re doing better, we got a way to go. Okay so you’re gonna guess it doesn’t matter how many times they’ve been on, ah but these are our top six guests.
Jordan: I know you can get it. I’d be shocked if you didn’t get five out of these six.
Claire: Oh, I’m naming them?
Jordan: Yeah name the guests.
Claire: Aaron Hutchins….
Jordan: Aaron Hutchins.
Claire: Uh…. Kyle Edwards.
Claire: Uh we’ve had David Moscrop on a couple times.
Jordan: Yes. More than a couple.
Claire: Um…. Andray Domise.
Claire: How many is that?
Jordan: You missed one!
Claire: Who is it?
Jordan: Cormac Mac Sweeney.
Jordan: Our man on Parliament Hill. Um, the title for most frequent guest on The Big Story podcast is a tie between Aaron and Cormac.
Claire: That makes sense.
Jordan: Which I think is awesome, because Aaron tells amazing feature stories from weird places that nobody else would ever find, and we love him because he tells them so uniquely and Cormac can explain almost anything, even the most complicated.
Claire: Oh my gosh…
Jordan: Yeah, the complicated federal policy. Remember when we had to have him breakdown the carbon tax?
Claire: and SNC-Lavalin.
Jordan: They do the exact opposite of each other, and they both do it so incredibly well at their own ends of the spectrum. Um, and it’s nice to see that reflected in the number of episodes they’ve appeared on.
Jordan: Moving right along, I believe, is the phrase. Now you know why we edit this podcast.
Claire: Something that I found really interesting was Annalise put out a list of the most popular episodes, and two of the most popular episodes were from special weeks that we did.
Jordan: One of them’s from Pot Week.
Claire: Yeah, so we did a pot week and we also did a woman’s week, and during the woman’s week, we just had women guest hosts. So two of our most popular episodes ever are from those weeks. So in the pot week, our most popular episode was “Daddy, Are You Doing the Weed?”
Jordan: Yes, hugely popular.
Claire: And then, actually, that’s the most popular episode ever.
Jordan: Yeah, and you know why?
Jordan: Guest was Kim Shiffman from Today’s Parent. It came out two days before weed became legal. Today’s Parent was doing a huge package on what this meant for parenting with big features, and personal stories and all that kind of stuff, and they included us in that package and parents ask questions, parents ask questions on the Internet, and every time anyone in Canada would Google legal pot parenting up they popped, up we popped and like, to be fair, that’s a huge question for parents. It’s worth looking at now how much didn’t change because at the time, if you remember like two days before it became legal, and we were doing this whole pot week and everything. It seemed like everything was gonna be a huge mess, and we didn’t know what the country would look like, and etc etc. The intro to that episode…. Ryan, play the intro to that episode.
Clip: You ever met a child? They’ve got questions.
Jordan: The main part is the….
Claire: You ever met a child?
Jordan: Can we talk for like, two seconds before we get back to the actual data here about how bad we were for the first little while? How about I was.
Claire: You aren’t bad.
Jordan: I talked so fast.
Clip: Unless you’re a high roller and really care about investments, you might have totally ignored the finance pages and Canada’s interest rates for the past decade.
Jordan: I didn’t know anything.
Claire: The second most popular episode from one of those weeks was from our women’s week, and we had Sarah Boesveld and Anne Kingston who talked about Jody Wilson-Rabould. Right.
Clip: and she testified in the most kind of extraordinary way, like just very calm, very methodical, very meticulous, never sort of giving away any sense that she felt, you know, angry or anything like that. It was just very calm.
Claire: She was like, right in the middle of the SNC Lavalin stuff, and so everyone was wondering who this woman was, so they talked about her, and, yeah, it’s one of the most popular episodes that we’ve ever done.
Jordan: That’s because it was what we do when we do things well. Is like here’s a big topic that everybody’s gonna talk about, and here is an in depth focus on one person at the centre of it so you actually learn something about them, as opposed to just, like, give me the facts. I’m proud of that episode even though I had nothing whatsoever to do with it. What subjects have we covered the most? I have the top five I think.
Claire: I think I’m guessing these?
Jordan: Number one?
Claire: Climate change.
Jordan: Climate change is number two.
Claire: Number one. Housing?
Claire: Um…. like tech?
Jordan: No that’s number three.
Claire: Oh my gosh.
Jordan: Give up?
Jordan: Federal politics. It’s okay.
Claire: Well, yeah, that makes sense.
Jordan: Once you think about it, you’re like, yup.
Claire: Yeah, that makes sense.
Jordan: Just wait till the end of October and look at the numbers again. We have covered federal politics 37 times over the course of this podcast. Now, some of those bleed into other areas, like we’ve covered federal politics and climate change obviously, um and that counts for both of them.
Claire: and tech….
Jordan: and tech. We’ve definitely done that. So I will give you a quick breakdown, you tell me what stands out to you. Canadian federal politics: 37 episodes. Environment: 25 episodes. 23 episodes on crime and justice. Technology and the internet: 23 episodes. Health: 23 episodes. And sports: 20 episodes.
Claire: 20 episodes on sports. How did I allow that?
Jordan: They’re good episodes. They’re good episodes Claire. Last one, Annalise also asked us for our favourite episodes each. So what I really wondered was if there was any overlap?
Claire: I’m sure there was.
Jordan: Okay. You want to go first?
Claire: Okay. This is in no particular order.
Jordan: Okay. Ya me too, and if you get one of mine I’ll ding you.
Claire: Okay, so one episode that I really liked was with Julie Van Rosendaal, who was a cook, and a cookbook author, and she talked to us about how our eating habits are changing, and how a lot of people are going vegan and vegetarian.
Clip: The interesting thing about the popularity of the neighbourhoods, and cookbooks, and the restaurants is that not everybody who consumes them, or visits them or uses them are committed to a vegan lifestyle.
Claire: I just thought it was a really interesting conversation. Um, because I’m kind of one of those people…. I’m always kind of wondering, like, should I be changing how I eat? I think I’m…. yeah, I’m among that crowd, and she had a lot of really interesting things to say about it, and she’s not even vegan or vegetarian.
Jordan: Right, and since that episode we’ve seen the rise of beyond meat to crazy levels. So….
Claire: Which is delicious.
Jordan: It is pretty good, I got to say, um…. I always like when were proven to be on trend months later. Okay, keep going.
Claire: Okay, I also really like the episode about campus press.
Jordan: Oh, nice one. Eyeopener!
Claire: Yeah, we talked about a scandal that happened with Ryerson Eyeopener.
Clip: Luckily for us, what a lot of prominent journalists have said in our defence online, especially on Twitter, is that yes, the Ryerson student union did this and your ancillary fees go towards them, but your ancillary fees also go towards the student newspaper who broke the story.
Claire: We also talked about the province of Ontario making cuts to non essential services in universities and colleges and whether or not, um, school newspapers fell into that category.
Jordan: And what would happen to the media if they did? I wouldn’t be here without the Eyeopener.
Claire: Um, you may have this one on your list. Our conversation with Kim Campbell.
Jordan: I do have that one on my list because she was amazing.
Claire: She’s a former prime minister, she talked to us about women being likeable in Canadian politics, sex and politics in general.
Clip: I think it’s a kind of alchemy, a chemistry of… it’s not just about being friendly, I think it’s also being able to have that warmth while at the same time having the sense of strength, because I think just to be friendly, you might not even get to that stage of the conversation.
Claire: She’s Kim Campbell, she’s so smart, so interesting.
Jordan: She went on like a three minute monologue at the end of that episode that sounded like she’d written a speech the day before. But she wasn’t, she was just talking because you know she’s eloquent as all hell cause she’s prime minister. Amazing. Anyway, Yeah, that one’s on mine. So that’s one.
Claire: I obviously really liked our episode with Nav Bhatia.
Clip: So he called my name in the half time, he took me to the centre court in SkyDome, and gave me a very special jersey with the dinosaur and Number One Superfan written on it, and he announced to the whole arena, this is our Superfan.
Jordan: Yep, good one. I don’t have that on mine yet, but that would be a close, like, a close six or seven.
Claire: Yeah, his story of basketball and being an immigrant in Canada, and it was great. And then my 5th one is the burnout syndrome episode we did.
Claire: Yeah, I really like a good mental health story.
Clip: We often saw burnout as a symptom of something deeper, w saw it as symptomatic of stress and the way that a runny nose is symptomatic of a fever. But now, in describing burnout as something that is tied directly to chronic workplace stress, we now can speak with it with a level of specificity, and use the right language to validate people who are experiencing actual medical conditions that lead down the path of burnout.
Jordan: I like it when we do mental health things. It makes me feel better, too. It’s my way of getting free psychological advice.
Jordan: So you got Kim Campbell off my list. I like weird ones. I liked The Memeing of Life.
Claire: A great one.
Clip: The meme was always social, it always had something to do with a shared understanding. But the technology to bring people together and facilitate sharing exploded in the post internet world.
Jordan: It takes a really simple thing and goes like, oh, hey, this is actually way more crazy me than you ever thought about. I had inside The Secret Finances Behind the Housing Crisis.
Clip: It is the biggest business on the planet, and people with money or they don’t… they are not so amazingly brainy, they just run after where the best business is, and this is where they are right now.
Jordan: I really like exploring things that, like really frustrate people and people feel a certain way about them, but the people who are actually doing the work can tell you that there’s a whole other set of forces at play that are just pulling us along and we don’t even understand them. And that documentary….
Jordan: Yeah, Push, that they made was phenomenal. Last two. So a couple of eco warriors walk into a Fort Mac bar.
Claire: Oh, yeah.
Clip: Global warming is emerging as a genuinely perilous threat to forms of existence on the planet as we’re familiar with. As you will read and most everybody who reads any kind of contemporary media, you will know that virtually every single climate scientists working today is issuing dire warnings.
Jordan: A trio of folks who were hippies in BC, and decided to do some research out in Fort Mac and ended up talking to people about common ground. I think one of the themes we’ve had a lot is like how to talk to people on the opposite side of the political spectrum about things that legit impact both sides. And the last one, Let’s Talk About Your Name.
Claire: Ah, yeah, that was a great one.
Jordan: With Elamin Abdelmahmoud.
Clip: I don’t think names have to be boring. I think names are partially a story, and so if we stop telling those stories and we start to invent new ones, part of that means digging for some really strange names.
Jordan: Anyway, those are my five favourite episodes.
Clip: So we sent out a tweet just asking people to send us their comments and questions, and we got some really good responses. We got one from Renee and she said the grizzly, and the flood stories were excellent. So the grizzly one, she’s referring to the one about the bear attack, deadly bear attack and the flood would be, the flooding in Toronto. So she says, the grizzly story was very sympathetic and offered a new viewpoint into it. The flood story was horrifying and pointed out that Toronto and the province need to do something to address climate change. And that’s, you know, that’s exactly what we’re going for both those episodes. So that’s really awesome.
Jordan: Yeah, also, can I just give a shout out to this guy and I don’t really want to give a shout out to him, so I’m not actually gonna say his name here, but ah, we post our stuff on a lot of outlets, and this guy finds where our stories are posted every single day and responds with a simple, like four word, crappy comment. So the other day we did this in depth story on pharmacare with Cormac, you remember, trying to tell people what was up, what it’s gonna look like. etc etc. This dude’s comment: “Trudeau is corrupt.”
Claire: We also have Tilly on Twitter, who said thank you for the deep dives behind the scenes on the biggest stories of the day, keep up the good work and Happy Anniversary. Thanks Tilly.
Jordan: That’s nice. Marce or Marce? I don’t know how to say it. The problem with Twitter, it’s Marce. How did you pronounce that? Anyway, Marce or Marce, depending on how you want to pronounce it, and I don’t know which writes I heart this podcast so much I devour nearly every episode the moment it’s live. It goes live at 4 a.m, so getting up early. No idea how you do such great stories daily, but never stopped. The rat one was super interesting. I don’t come across many rats which makes this important for me because I would have stayed ignorant. I would have liked to stay ignorant. The rat one by the way, a lot of people felt a way about the rat one.
Clip: So if you have rats in your house and they’re, you know, in the walls and what not and you’re laying out traps, but they’re not going after them, meanwhile, they’re mating and multiplying. You can see how that so I would call an exterminator, and I really feel for people for whom that’s not an option.
Jordan: I got some really good texts. By really good texts, I mean, horrifying texts. I just got another one this morning like, hey, I just finally listen to that one. I found a rat in my toilet once. I’m like great you don’t need to tell me that.
Claire: That’s disgusting.
Jordan: Mace says Happy Birthday. I like that person. They always say nice things about us. Frequent Big Story guest Fatima Sayed says, I think the one year anniversary episode should be Jordan’s unfiltered rants about the world.
Jordan: Those are called the intros. Um, if we did that it would also be our last anniversary cause we wouldn’t last very long.
Claire: We also got one from Sarah Boesveld who has been a guest host a few times.
Claire: She says,” I’ve loved how The Big Story has elevated the stories and voices of women, whether that’s Ebony-Renee Baker talking royals and race, Ishani Nath hopping in the host chair on occasion or discussing issues like domestic violence, as they did this week regarding stalker war. Happy Birthday y’all.”
Jordan: And Sarah doesn’t give herself enough credit because she actually lead a couple of those discussions. So happy birthday to you too, Sarah. How about this from Lisa? I’m a newer listener but was quite engaged by the food security discussions, as well as the emotional look back on the Humbolt tragedy one year later. Food security was an interesting one, we’ve talked about food a lot on this podcast. Thank you to everybody who reached out, even if it was just with a like on Twitter. Listen, every little engagement matters when we look at the data at the end of the year, as you can see from this episode, but no seriously, if you have listened to us for the past year, whether it was one download or 250. We really appreciate it because, like Claire said at the beginning, we had no idea whether this would work or not, and it really has, and now neither of us want to do anything else.
Claire: You bet.
Jordan: So thank you so much. I’m Jordan Heath-Rawlings,
Claire: and I’m Claire Brassard, lead producer of this podcast. We want to thank all of the amazing guests that we’ve had over the year and also a big thank you to the team.
Ryan: Ryan Clarke, associate producer.
Stephanie: Stefanie Phillips, associate producer.
Annalise: Annalise Nielsen, digital editor.
Jordan: I’m Jordan, Heath-Rawlings, thanks for listening. We’ll talk to a real guest tomorrow. Roll the bloopers Ryan.
Clip: Please review wherever you get your podcasts Apple, Google Stitcher, Spotify and, of course, and of course, where are….. blah. Or come talk to us on social media at The Big Story? No, @bigstoryfpn. What is our thing? Every day this week, we will sit down with one of our favourite people to talk to them about the topics, to talk to them about the topics….. issues…… free drugs! I shouldn’t do that one. To celebrate me and Claire….. Claire and I. Sarah, thank you for being here.
Jennifer: It’s Jenny.
Jordan: Jennifer. Good start. Ya, no worries. I just mentioned Sarah from the Toronto Star, that’s where it came from.
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