Courtesy Ideastream Public Media
Ideastream Public Media today launched a weekly podcast following the 2021 Cleveland mayoral election and the seven candidates vying for the city's top political post. "After Jackson,"
named for Frank, is hosted and produced by local treasure Nick Castele. One episode in, it's already proving to be an indispensable piece of campaign trail reporting.
Castele has been following the candidates closely over the past several weeks, his fuzzy microphone a constant companion, collecting the scripted and unscripted sounds of the trail. What he's gathered and pared down is now an intimate, in-depth look at all seven: their personalities, priorities and milieus.
"What I like about the podcast format is its personal closeness," Castele told Scene. "Especially in this first episode, we take the listener on a journey with us from campaign stop to campaign stop. The listener gets to be in the room, or out on the street, with each candidate, while I let them in on the political dynamics underlying each event."
Subsequent episodes will feature one-on-one conversations with each of the candidates. First up next week, said Castele, will be Dennis Kucinich and Justin Bibb.
Castele said he believed a number of outcomes were possible in September.
"The 2016 presidential campaign taught me not to make predictions, so I won’t hazard one here, either," he said, when Scene tried to probe him for betting odds. "Especially with seven candidates jostling for those top two primary slots. I think a lot of different combinations of candidates could make it to the general election."
Sharply edited and buttressed by Castele's historical research, the podcast is a mammoth work of active local reporting. It's a living, breathing audio documentary, and it arrives from the local news outlet best equipped to make it.
"After Jackson" is available wherever you get your podcasts and should be considered appointment listening for those interested in the mayoral race and the future of Cleveland.
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