Convergent Website

Dissect podcast

The Dissect podcast utilises the aural nature of podcasting to deliver in-depth musical and contextual analysis’ of Hip-Hop albums. For the fifth season of the podcast, host Cole Cuchna analyses DAMN, the fourth studio album from Pulitzer Prize winner Kendrick Lamar.

Dissect Season 5 Cover.

The technology for podcast producing and listening continues to be increasingly simple as journalists take advantage of its ability for personal and intimate storytelling. Bigger media outlets have started to create their podcasts to shift the established radio audience to this new form of journalism, however, Dissect benefits from its independence and creative freedom.

Dissect demonstrates multimedia journalism by being accessible for streaming on services such as Apple Podcasts and Spotify and using an online presence on social media including Instagram (24k followers) and Twitter (31.6k followers), and a website with articles and merchandise. Each season, Dissect analyses a popular album, song by song, with episodes ranging from five minutes to two hours. According to Meagan Perry, “podcasts liberate you from the clock, so tell your stories at the length that strengthens them.” Through these differing lengths, Cuchna can to delve deep into the intricacies of the albums’ music theory and thematic contents.

In an LA Times article, podcast producer Tim Lloyd refers to himself as “a storyteller who knows how to commit acts of journalism.” This can be applied to Cuchna’s approach to Dissect as he incorporates his narrative, sound bites from the artist’s songs and interviews and other relevant sound bites of news reports and viral videos. This balance between curation and personalisation is a key attribute to high-quality journalism. Being the only host of the podcast, including various audio is essential to create innovative journalism that is equally entertaining as it is informative and well-researched.

Social media, as a medium, is used to compose, amend and circulate digital information at a nominal cost. Dissect understands the cost-effectiveness of advertising their podcast through promoting the weekly release of new episodes and directly engage with their audience on Instagram and Twitter. Listeners of Dissect even have a subreddit where the audience can interact and discuss each episode.

In ‘What’s in a Niche?’ from the Journal of Media Business Studies, niche journalism is framed as an opportunity to deliver an audience with high-quality journalism in a tightly defined domain that was previously unavailable. Although Hip-Hop is now, according to Nielsen, the most popular genre, there is still a niche audience for examining Hip-Hop through an academic lens. Dissect is a leading contributor to this niche and, in bonus episodes, collaborates with other contributors such as music review YouTuber Anthony Fantano and podcast show Watching The Throne.

Illustrating the rising trend of podcasts in journalism, Dissect use an investigative style similar to the Serial and This American Life podcasts that Cuchna cited as influences in an interview with Billboard. With this storytelling technique, Dissect uses social media for advertising and as an extension of the niche audience that Cuchna and other prominent figures have innovated.

For comprehensive analysis’ of some of the most critically acclaimed Hip-Hop albums, be sure to check out Dissect.


What’s Hidden?


The art of tattooing has a long and vibrant history that traces back to ancient Asian, European and Polynesian cultures. Today, tattoos can be found in almost every pocket of the world and have become a vehicle of confident self-expression.

According to a 2016 report from Analyse Australia, 19% of Australians have at least one or more tattoos. Out of those Australians, I sat down with Cooper McDaid and Mike Wicks to talk about their own inked skin journey.

Nine years ago, Mike Wicks received his first tattoo of a Chinese dragon that tangles around his left bicep and spreads as far as his back and chest.

“There’s no real meaning behind it, it’s more that I liked the idea for 3 years before I got it and thought, if I still liked it for this long, I’ll like it forever,” Wicks said.

While his first piece didn’t hold significance, the rest of his tattoos hide a powerful story of grief and rebirth. When Mike’s brother, Jeff, tragically drowned in 2014, he used tattooing as a way of dealing with his loss.

“Not long after he passed away I got the tattoo on my ribs, which is apparently one of the worst places to get it but I didn’t feel any pain throughout it all,” Wicks said.

After immortalising his love for his brother, Mike later got a phoenix tattooed on his left forearm as a symbol of overcoming his adversity.

“I was going through a lot of hard times with anxiety and stuff in social situations so it was more just a rising from the ashes type thing,” Mike said.

Cooper McDaid similarly resonated with the phoenix symbolism and had it tattooed on his left forearm, along with a Celtic cross on his wrist.

“Both the men in my family have tattoos so they were a big influence on me getting them,” McDaid said.

“The Celtic cross ties in with my Dad’s tattoos, he has a lot of Celtic knot-works and it just relates to my last name and my heritage.”

After the recent passing of his young niece, the phoenix tattoo held a hidden meaning of persevering strength for Cooper. To give him more strength in hard times, and to finish his half sleeve, McDaid had a hooded guardian angel figure tattooed next to his phoenix.

“I like the idea of hiding meaning in tattoos and not exposing it to many people because you can have a tattoo and it might mean something to you but to the outside world it can look completely different.”