Growing Up With Gal-dem wins Best Podcast at BSME Talent Awards 2023

PodPod editorial team takes home award for Best Innovation

Identity-focused publication Gal-dem took home the award for Best Podcast at the 2023 British Society of Magazine Editors Talent Awards last night, marking a swan-song for the now-defunct brand. 

The ceremony took place in London’s Covent Garden, where a number of professionals across the media industry came together to celebrate editorial excellence and innovation across print and digital formats. 

Gal-dem was an independent publication dedicated to amplifying the voices of people of colour from marginalised genders, created by women and non-binary people of colour. The publication announced that it was closing in March this year, eight years since it launched, due to financial and structural difficulties. 

Niellah Arboine, a founding member of the publication, accepted the award for the Growing up with gal-dem podcast, which she co-hosted with music journalist Natty Kasambala. The award-winning podcast features interviews with guests responding to old messages from their younger selves and having conversations about growing up. 

“Gal-dem made such a valuable contribution in telling the stories of people of colour from marginalised genders,” the BSME Talent Awards judging panel said of the podcast, “and the judges loved how this podcast met that aim using a highly original concept, eliciting some deeply personal perspectives.” 

“So pleased we won Best Podcast for Growing Up with gal-dem at the BSME Talent Awards!” Arboine tweeted. “Happy that myself, Natty Kasambala, and AiAi Studios are still being recognised for our work even if gal-dem is no more. This has been a strong reminder of why I want to continue broadcasting!”

The Growing up with gal-dem podcast is produced by founder of AiAi studios and previous guest on the PodPod podcast, Aiwan Obinyan. She also produced a number of other podcasts for the publication that amplified underrepresented voices, including true-crime podcast Reclaimed Rewritten on the Tulsa massacre with critic and writer Clarkisha Kent, and Our Place Is Here, a collection of personal essays written by migrant Filipino domestic workers living in the UK in both English and Tagalog. 

In addition to winning Best Podcast, the gal-dem editorial team was also granted the Diversity and Inclusion award for its “genuine long term commitment and consistency” on the issue, embedding it to the brand’s strategy from start to finish.

“That's the kind of thing that I want to be a part of, being a part of a change, showing people how they can do it, and then empowering them to do it,” Aiwan told PodPod in a previous episode. “Because we need more of those stories across the board, across our communities all the time, not one offs.” 

The Pharmaceutical Journal’s PJ Pod, hosted by Dawn Connelly, Carolyn Wickware, Nigel Praities, and Geoff Marsh, also won highly commended at the BSME Talent Awards in the podcast category. The judges said that the podcast’s unusual and well-considered angles were brought to life with “excellent editing, great production values, and expert guest interviews”.

Other highlights from the night include PodPod officially becoming a two-time award-winning publication, after taking home the award for Best Innovation. PodPod was also shortlisted for Best Podcast at the BSME Talent Awards and previously won Best Podcast Launch at the Media Voices’ Publisher Podcast Awards 2023.

“Here is a clever launch into the fast-growing podcast scene: a brilliantly executed multi-channel brand, whose audio, web and social media presence have been superbly produced with a stellar cast of diverse voices,” the judges’ comments said. “The launch of PodPod is a showcase for how to catapult a new media brand into a busy, competitive landscape.