Australian Podcast Awards 2023: Best arts & culture podcast

While arguably one of the broadest genre categories in these awards, arts and culture is an area that has thrived in the podcasting world. Whether it’s in-depth dissections of popular cinema or an examination of the social issues that impact our modern world, this category looks for podcasts that give us new ways of looking at society and ourselves.

Winner: Background Briefing

Background Briefing goes beyond the headlines for in-depth investigative journalism and expert storytelling. Each weekly episode involves award-winning Australian reporters digging into the hidden stories behind the country’s biggest issues. 

While the podcast isn’t limited to arts and culture, two episodes stood out in this competitive field. ‘Has the age of AI already begun?’ investigated the internet phenomenon Loeb: an elderly woman created through generative AI via negative prompts by the artist Supercomposite. Reporter Ange Levoipierre used Loeb as a starting point, taking audiences on a journey to try and answer the biggest questions at the heart of this strange medium, and what the future might hold.

The second and completely different episode is ‘Kidnapping the Gods’ — a two-part investigation into how Australia took hold of likely-stolen artworks from Cambodia. Reporter Mario Christodoulou took listeners on a journey that snaked from shady Bangkok art dealers and an Australian garage, all the way to the New York Metropolitan Museum, asking difficult questions about how galleries and museums should view their antiquities.