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Inside the Media Mind of Steven Overly, Host of Politico Tech Podcast

As the host of the new Politico Tech podcast, Steven Overly is exploring political and policy topics through a technological lens. That mission alone lends itself to a variety of conversation focuses, including healthcare, national security, and national politics and campaigning – a particularly hot topic as we move into the heart of the 2024 Presidential election season.

So, how does Steven develop a daily podcast that covers such a wide range? On the latest episode of Inside the Media Minds, Steven and host Christine Blake discuss Steven’s approach to curating an insightful and informative podcast for a broad audience of policy and decision makers, as well as people who are aware of the disruptive power of technology and want to understand how our leaders are keeping tabs on it.

Filling a Communications Gap for his Audience

One of Steven’s goals for the Politico Tech podcast is to help bridge the gap between legislators, policymakers and the people who are confronting emerging technologies – artificial intelligence (AI) in particular – on a daily basis. For example, a high school principal recently joined the show to discuss how they are balancing the opportunities and challenges presented by AI in an educational environment. “That’s a perspective that I think is often missing when we talk about tech, politics and tech policy. And so, I’m hoping to bring that regularly to our listeners as part of Politico Tech,” Steven says.

Steven notes that he has a list of dream guests that he’d like to have on the podcast – ranging from government leaders like President Joe Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris to discuss their perspectives on AI, to Silicon Valley stalwarts like Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk. But, Steven notes, some of his most interesting guests to date are the people who are more “in touch” with the technologies like engineers and AI developers, and he is most interested in timely guests who can speak in depth about a topic or share unique insights. He enjoys talking with these technologists about how they use these technologies and where they see them headed.

To hear more of Steven’s insights, listen to the full podcast below or read the transcript!


0:47 – Steven’s Background & Journalism Career Journey

3:21 – About the Politico Tech Podcast

6:08 – How Steven Plans for a Daily Podcast

9:20 – Major Topics Steven is Interested in

11:29 – The Role of AI in Politics

16:49 – How Schools are Handling AI in Classrooms

21:24 – Making Technology & Tech Policy Topics Understandable for Steven’s Audience

24:21 – Steven’s Dream Guests

27:30 – Best Practices for Pitch Guests

31:19 – Steven’s Observations About Media Training Translating to Podcasts

35:34 – What’s Coming Up on Politico Tech!

Miss a past episode of Inside the Media Minds and want to catch up? Check out our past episodes here!


Christine Blake (CB): Welcome to Inside the Media Minds. This is your host, Christine Blake. This show features in depth interviews with tech reporters who share everything from their biggest pet peeves to their favorite stories. From our studio at W2 Communications, let’s go Inside the Media Minds.

Hi everyone, this is Christine Blake, the host of Inside the Media Minds. And I’m so excited today because we are welcoming Steven Overly, the host of Political Tech, which is a daily podcast exploring the ways technology is disrupting politics and policy. It’s a really interesting podcast that just launched. So welcome, Steven. So happy to have you on today’s episode.

Steven Overly (SO): Hi, Christine. Thank you for having me.

CB: Yeah! I know you have a background in journalism and reporting previously for The Washington Post. Give us an overview of your background, and then your journey to Political Tech.

SO: Yeah, I’ve been a reporter now professionally for almost 15 years, which is kind of crazy to think about. But yeah, I did my undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland, and then started my career at The Washington Post back in 2010. Initially part of a local business publication that they started, and I was specifically covering tech and venture capital. And really, that was my first exposure to the tech industry and to covering tech as a reporter. I eventually moved on to their national staff, left for a year to do a graduate fellowship, and then came back. I was writing still on tech, but a lot of autonomous vehicles, AI and sort of emerging tech was really my beat. And then, you know, shortly after the 2016 presidential election, obviously, our national conversation shifted to politics. And early 2017, I got approached by Politico to come here and initially covered the tech beat, as well. So I’ve been here now a little over six years, covering tech, covering trade and now, as you said, I’m hosting this new podcast and back to covering tech.

CB: Wow, that’s awesome. Did you intentionally get into the tech world, or did you just find yourself there and then were captivated by it?

SO: Yeah, I honestly fell into it. You know, I’m not an early adopter. I’m not a coder, I had not had a lot of exposure to tech beyond just being a user. But you know, I think I got into it at a really interesting time, which is, all of these social media companies are coming online, mobile and the power of mobile was really coming to everyone’s attention. And so it was just obvious that tech was so transformative. And since I’ve been on the beat that has never led up, you know, every new wave of technology, now we’re talking about AI, for instance. It transforms every facet of our lives. And so there’s no shortage of stories to tell as a journalist. No matter what kind of topic you’re interested in, tech touches it. And so, you know, I’ve continued to be sort of captivated by tech and its power. And that’s kind of kept me coming back to it again, and again, as a reporter.

CB: And I like the focus of your podcast on how tech is influencing disrupting policy, politics, life, everything. So tell us about the podcast. I know, it just launched a little over a month ago. What is the premise? What are some topics that you’re looking to cover that you typically cover?

SO: Absolutely. So yeah, as you said, political tech we launched about a month ago. So we’re still very young. But we come out every day, which is a pace at which you learn a lot, very quickly. And the goal really is to kind of capture the moment that we’re in and the future that we’re headed toward with tech and its transformative power, specifically in politics and policy, but really, when you talk about politics and policy, you’re talking about education, you’re talking about health care, you’re talking about national security. There’s really you’re talking about national politics and campaigning, especially as we head into the 2024 election. So all of these different policy areas and political topics are things that we’re examining through a technology lens.

And so we talk about traditional tech policy topics, you know, things like antitrust and data privacy, cybersecurity, we also talk about, you know, tech and campaigns, things like deepfakes, voter donors and outreach, and the ways that tech are sort of transforming how campaigns gather and use data to try to win elections. And then, finally, this is a global story for us. So we’re having guests from Europe and from Asia, and talking about the impact of China on all these global tech topics in particular, right, and sort of the tension between China and the West right now over things like AI and microchips and quantum computing. And so, you know, every day, when you tune in you can you know that we’re going to be talking about tech in power, but specifically the topic within that can really vary episode to episode. And as a result, our guest mix varies episode to episode. And so just in this first month alone, you know, we’ve had members of Congress, we’ve had advisors to the Biden administration, we’ve also had a high school principal, and we’ve had a Hollywood filmmaker and a Hollywood script writer. And so, you know, our goal really is to examine these issues from many perspectives, but because they touch on so many of our lives and aspects of our lives.

CB: Yeah, that’s so cool. I love the wide range of guests that you’ve had so far. I was noticing that when I was listening to some of the episodes recently. So how do you approach planning for daily podcast? Because again, daily is that’s a lot. That’s a fast cadence. That’s a lot of planning and a lot of just producing a podcast. So what approach do you take to nailing down the topics and the guests and planning that?

SO: Absolutely, so, because I’ve been a reporter for so long and covering daily news, covering breaking news. The pace is not really what’s new to me, you know, in fact, that’s part partially, that’s what’s natural to me, right is producing stories quickly, having daily deadline demands. What’s new is telling that telling those stories in a podcast format and an audio format. And that’s really where I’ve had to learn a lot over the last month or so. But you know, my approach is to start with one of two places, either I start with the topic, or I start with the guest, right, I think about, okay, what’s happening in the news, you know, this particular day or this week, that we should touch on? Or, you know, what’s just a high level topic that people are talking about a lot and there are not clear answers on right. You know, a prime example right now is copyright and AI, you know, there’s a lot of conversation about what AI generated material is copyright protected, you know, if you’re training AI using copyrighted material, is that some sort of violation? And so I start with a topic like that, or I start with, you know, a specific news item like, today, you know, the Senate is coming back, right, or the house is coming back? How do we do an episode based on that?

Conversely, sometimes I’ll start with the guest. So there might be a particular person I have in mind, who I think would be really interesting on the podcast or I’m approached with the opportunity to interview a guest I think would be good on the podcast. And so then I have the person and I back into the topic, right? Okay, what can I just talk about right now, that is timely and interesting. And so you know, I usually start there. And then it’s a process of logistics, right? Booking the guest, getting the timing set. You know, I spend a fair amount of time doing research and coming up with the question mix. And then you do the interview. And I work with a very talented senior producer who does all of the audio wizardry as I like to call it, making the episode sound great in your ears. And we churn out the episode, and then we figure out what the next day will bring. I will say, I think it’s key with a daily podcast to be planning in advance, and we are often planning up to a week or two weeks out. And hopefully we can maintain that foresight. Otherwise, we will really be on a hamster wheel that might be more difficult to sustain.

CB: Definitely, yeah, I’m sure I’m sure like, you know, with your long background in journalism, you can kind of forecast out and look at what are some of the big topics that people are going to be talking about, what are some events coming up in the next couple of weeks or so.

SO: Absolutely.

CB: Yeah, I know, we’ve talked about AI being huge. You know, ChatGPT, the high school principal you had on, deepfakes, all these things. What are you know, aside from those topics, what are some of like, the major topics that you’re, you know, researching that you’re looking into covering here as the podcast continues to grow?

SO: I think for me, one important area where we’ll need to focus is technology and campaigns, which obviously includes AI deepfakes, but because well beyond that, you know, in terms of data and data privacy in terms of, you know, campaign outreach. Really so much of campaigning now is digital, not just advertising, but you know, messaging. And so exploring startups in this space and emerging technologies, specifically in the campaign technology space, I think will be really interesting. And, you know, for us, because we’re heading into a presidential election cycle, that’s going to be a recurring topic, and something we’ll want to talk about a lot.

The other topic that we’ll, we’ll explore through many different technologies is the geopolitics of all of this, you know, and particularly on a global scale kind of competition between the U.S. and China, to some degree between the U.S. and Europe, the UK and other allied countries, and areas where the U.S. is looking to collaborate and also looking to compete when it comes to technology. You know, I think, in many ways, you know, I, obviously, I look through most issues right now through a technology lens. So perhaps I have some bias. But I do genuinely think that technology is an increasingly important part of our global relationships. And I think it will really define power dynamics for the years to come. It’s just so central to our culture, to our economy, to our politics. And so those are issues that I also really think we’ll explore often and with a good amount of depth because they’re just too important not to be talking about.

CB: Yeah, and then it’s interesting, because you talk about how, you know, this upcoming election cycle, there’s a lot of AI-generated deepfakes and images capable of deceiving voters, which is really scary.

SO: Very scary. Yeah.

CB: Yeah. Do you think we’ll start to see, you know, I think it’s important to bring light to these topics, because you know, people not in the tech realm may be completely unaware. But do you think we’ll start to see more in the media cautioning voters like how do you think this threat will be influencing the election process?

SO: I think the first thing to know is, you know, AI-generated deepfakes are already here. And they’re already in our politics. We had, we had Robert Weissman on the podcast, who’s the Head of Public Citizen, which is an advocacy group that has been pushing for regulations around this. And they have highlighted several campaign ads already that feature deepfakes in the GOP primary. So this issue is already here. And you are seeing media respond to it and, frankly, I think for the 2024 election cycle, the mainstream press is going to be the primary antidote to AI deepfakes. Because the regulations and legislation just won’t be in place and time is the reality. And, and even policymakers acknowledge that the media will have an important role to play here. So, the kind of fact checking function, the myth debunking function of the press is going to be really important. Of course, there are challenges to that though, because, you know, AI deepfakes can be produced at scale. And they can circulate online very quickly, so much more quickly than mainstream media can respond and often more quickly than our own content circulates, right. So I don’t really know that that is exactly an even matchup between AI- generated deepfakes and the mainstream press kind of fact checking them, but I certainly think you will see more and more of that.

And, you know, there’s really, in the media, as with all major institutions, there are real issues of public trust right now. You know, I think that on the one hand, there is a distrust of the media growing distrust of the media. And so that raises questions about okay, if we are debunking these deep fakes, to what extent will readers in our audience, trust us? On the other hand, though, I do think that debunking these deep fakes is an opportunity for the media to really prove its trust. Because there is a desire for transparency when it comes to AI and I’ll give you like a very quick, very innocuous example but I follow a lot of on Instagram I follow a lot of like architecture and decor accounts. My online therapy is to look at beautiful houses I can’t afford, basically.

CB: I love that. Right. I do that with Zillow. Yeah.

SO: Completely. Zillow, Redfin, all of it, but I follow a lot of accounts on Instagram. And a lot of these architecture accounts, produce AI-generated images to create these like really elaborate, really beautiful homes that are so crazy. You’re like, how could that even be real and the reality is a lot of them are not real. Um, but if you look at the comments, what you see is a lot of people pushing back on that saying, you know, I hate when you post AI, I’m unfollowing this account or like, you need to like, this looks like AI and you need to say that it’s AI.

CB: Oh!

SO: Yeah, that is like the top comments on all of the posts are exactly those two points. And so to me what that illustrates, and this again, this very innocuous example, is that people do not want to feel deceived and they don’t want to feel duped, and using generative AI without disclosing that to people makes them feel duped. And so that will definitely translate to our politics, to our media, truly, I think most areas where AI can be used. And so you’re going to have, you’re going to see a reckoning with that in all of these areas as well.

CB: I love that example. It’s almost like celebrities or influencers putting filters on right, you say you want to give a disclaimer, because it gives people you know, false sense of reality, you know, so I think that’s, that’s a great example. And, you know, a good one that people can relate to. And when it comes to influencing, you know, big things like elections and stuff like that.

SO: kind of how you do if people feel that way about like a picture online of a home, how are they going to feel about campaign advertisements, right? How are they going to feel about journalism that has AI generated? You know, so essentially, topics where the stakes are far higher than, you know, is this home beautiful or not? And so I think there’s real lessons for people in politics and the media to learn from that.

CB: Yeah, absolutely. And I know, you mentioned this briefly earlier, but I know that you recently spoke with that high school principal in Silicon Valley, navigating ChatGPT, right, in the schools. How are you seeing or like, maybe in that conversation, right? Like, do you think schools or organizations will eventually embrace that type of technology, adapt to it or fight against it?

SO: I think that first one is a conversation that all schools are having, at every level from, you know, elementary and middle schools through higher education. You know, I teach in a graduate school program where that is a topic of conversation, how do you integrate AI into a curriculum? To what degree do you embrace it or resist it? You know, my personal hunch, is that most will ultimately embrace it. You know, I think that you’ve seen that with past waves of technology. And there will kind of be a period of figuring out how does this influence classroom dynamics? How does it influence learning outcomes? And how can teachers utilize it effectively? In some ways, you know, I can remember being in school, for instance, and having certain math tests where they wouldn’t let you use a calculator, right? And I remember thinking as a student, like, why can I not use a calculator, it exists, it will never know exist, right? Like, this is a tool like, we’re stupid not to be using it right. And now we have phones with calculators built into them. And phones with AI built into it, right? To me, I think part of the question people are really struggling with here is, how do you use AI, while still cultivating and developing human intelligence and human learning? Right? Because it, you know, to some degree AI can be a very helpful tool, but let’s say you’re using AI to write an essay. If you’ve if you’ve never learned to write an essay before, if you don’t know, the components of good writing, how can you use AI effectively to generate an essay for you, right? How do you know what to put in as a prompt? How do you know that what it’s generating for you is actually good quality or accurate? And so that I think right now is one of the fundamental tensions is like, if AI can replace core human skills, skills that many of us have learned on our own at this point. For the next generation, which of those skills do they still need to learn on their own and which can take sort of fully yield to AI? And that is, like, the calculus that I think we’ll struggle with in this interim period before the technology is fully embraced.

CB: Yeah, and I love you know, that sort of discussion topic. I think it’s important because like you said, it does exist now. So how can we you know, embrace it, learn from it, adapt to it, that kind of thing because it is part of life now. And I love how that like maps directly to like, what Politico Tech is about, right? It’s like exploring how technology is influencing life, politics, policy, culture, everything. So I think that’s a really interesting discussion point.

SO: Completely. And, you know, we brought on a high school principal for a reason, you know, we could have tried to talk to a policymaker; we could have talked to, you know, a lawmaker trying to write legislation around AI in education. But the reality is, with a lot of these tech topics, there is a disconnect between the people writing legislation and regulation, and the people who are using this technology every day, and who are having their lives disrupted by it for good and for bad. And so my hope with the podcast is to kind of simply be a translator between those two worlds. You know, I think candidly, I think it’s important for lawmakers and regulators, to hear from principals, hear from teachers, right, hear from Hollywood writers, you know, who, you know, are confronting AI in a real way on a daily basis and grappling with it, and what do they need to be successful and grappling with it, right? You know, that’s the that’s a perspective that I think is often missing when we talk about tech politics and tech policy. And so I’m hoping to bring that regularly to our listeners as part of Politico Tech.

CB: And I think you just, I was gonna ask about how you approach making tech and tech policy understandable to the wider audience and I think you’ve just answered that. Because, you know, it’s getting, you know, people that a listener can relate to or understand a different perspective from and so does it come down to the guests do you think when trying to make these topics understandable and relatable to a user?

SO: I think guests are a key part of it. I also think the questions that I asked, and our interviews are a big part of it, too. You know, I really, I really strive when I’m coming up with interview topics and questions, to have a healthy mix of questions that will appeal to policymakers to people in politics, to regulators, those who are kind of making these decisions, as well as questions that will appeal to, you know, a listener who is just really aware that technology is transformative and disruptive, and wants to understand better how people in power are keeping check on that. And so the questions that I asked, and the guests that we select, are definitely a big piece of that. And, you know, to your point, more than any time that I’ve been covering tech, and again, I’ve been at this a long time, people are really aware and really care about tech, not just because they’re users of technology, right? When I first started covering tech, you know, everyone was getting a smartphone or had a smartphone, everyone was getting on all these social media platforms. And so you know, the, the interest in tech really came often from a user perspective. And you saw that reflected in the journalism, I think, a lot of the coverage of tech. Now, though, there is a far greater awareness among regular people, that tech has benefits, and it has detriments, you know that tech is helpful to our society and harmful to our society. And so, you know, people want to better understand those issues. And they also want to know what people are doing about it. You know, the other company, the other guests we have on the on Politico Tech that we haven’t mentioned are tech executives and industry representatives, you know, we have them consistently on the podcast to explain how they are grappling with these issues themselves and to face, you know, often difficult questions about what regulation of their companies needs to be put in place to minimize harms. And whether those companies on their own, are willing to do enough to minimize those harms. You know, those are genuinely topics people care about. And so I think if we can talk about them in a smart way, but also an accessible way, we should really appeal to a broad audience. And at the end of the day, that is my goal as the host.

CB: Yeah. I like that. So we always solicit some listener questions, and I like this one in particular. Do you have any dream guests for the podcast? If there’s any topic you could talk to someone about? What would it be and with who?

SO: Yeah, I have a lot of dream guests. You know, when you’re in a when you’re a daily podcast, which every day, which every day features an interview, there’s a lot of time to fill and a lot of opportunities to interview interesting people. So I mean, my list of dream guests kind of falls into these different buckets, you know.

So from a Washington and regulatory perspective. I mean, I would love to interview President Biden or Vice President Harris, both of whom have talked about AI and are interested in AI. I think they would be fascinating interviews. I’ve approached and hope to interview Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, right, about his AI agenda and what is realistic for the Senate to accomplish in terms of AI regulation? And then, you know, outside of kind of the Washington regulatory bubble, if you will, there are plenty of folks in Silicon Valley, who I think would be fascinating interviews. I mean, big names, obviously, like Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Sundar Pichai. But even you know, I really found that some of the most interesting interviews are with lower level folks who are maybe less rehearsed, less wedded to talking points and more in touch with these technologies directly. So, I love to interview like, engineers and AI developers, right, and about, you know, how they use this technology and where they kind of see it all headed. So yeah, I mean, those are some of the dream guests.

I, you know, frankly, I will say, and I don’t have a specific person in mind for this. I would, I would also be interested in interviewing people who create AI deepfakes or people who are using, you know, using some of this technology for, frankly, purposes that a lot of us find to be harmful or troubling in some way. Right? You know, the understanding kind of their motivation, some of which may be obvious, some of which not, I think would make for a really interesting conversation. And, frankly, it would be helpful for regulators and lawmakers to hear as they think about crafting policies to counteract some of those harms. Now. I would imagine if you are and generating political AI deepfakes, you may not want to be out and proud that, you probably don’t want to come up on a podcast to talk about your motivations. But, but hey, if I can dream, that’s a guest I would also be interested in talking to.

CB: Yeah, I would love to listen to that one. I mean, totally make an anonymous, all the all of that and make it make it as anonymous as possible, because it’d be really interesting.

SO: Yeah, fair, you know, we could figure out a way to do it, as long as they’re willing to be candid. You know, I think there would be benefits to hearing that perspective.

CB: Absolutely. Um, and then do you have any best practices for organizations, PR folks looking to work with you to get guests on the show? I’m sure you get a lot of inbound pitches, how do you kind of sort through that?

SO: We do get a lot of inbound pitches. And, you know, I’m used to that. But I have to say it has ramped up now that I’m hosting a podcast. And so figuring out the right balance. You know, one thing we’ve I’ve started doing and we’ll see if it works, frankly, is I’ve created a Google form that I share with PR people to sort of fill out just a short list of like the key questions, I really want to know when considering a guest. Because sometimes I’ll get really long, really elaborate pitches, that candidly, I don’t have a ton of time to read, or, you know, they contain all these details, but don’t actually answer like the two most important questions I want to know. And so I creating this form is kind of a way to try to streamline this process and make sure I get the information I need.

I mean, by I think my recommendations to PR folks pitching the podcast are twofold. One, you know, come to me with a guest who is either very timely, and not necessarily timely today or tomorrow, but maybe it’s going to be timely next week, or the week after. And then two, you know, come to me with guest suggestions with people who have a very unique background or experience that makes their insights worth listening to. You know, an example of that could be somebody who has a background in government or, you know, policymaking and now works in industry, right. And so they can kind of speak from both perspectives on regulatory issues, or, you know, pitch me, you know, your most high profile person, right? Your CEO who is going to the White House or going to Capitol Hill and meeting with lawmakers to talk about microchips or deepfakes or AI. You know, those are the people that our audience really wants to hear from and therefore, they’re the folks I’m most interested in talking to.

What I will say is the guests I’m less interested in, are folks who can just are generalists who can sort of speak on a lot of topics, but without a lot of depth, or without a lot of original viewpoint. You know, those, those guests me are just less suitable to this format. You know, if, if I were doing a quick radio story, or TV story, or even print story where, you know, it’s just gonna be a couple of quick quotes and and so that’s all I that’s all I really needed and then that guests might be suitable. But if you’re going to spend 10 to 15 minutes with someone, they really have to have a unique perspective and go beyond talking points. Because that’s what’s going to keep the guests or I’m sorry, excuse me, that’s what’s going to keep the audience’s attention. It’s what’s going to keep my attention as the interviewer. And so that’s, that’s some of the best advice I guess I could give.

CB: That is super helpful. I love the Google Form. I love how you said what you’re looking for what you’re not looking for, that makes it very clear. And I think useful for a lot of our listeners looking to, you know, tune into the podcast and help get good guests onto the podcast as well.

SO: You know, one thing I’ll add, because I know your listener base has a lot of folks working in media relations. Yeah, you know, I’m only a month into this. But one sort of thing I’ve noticed is when guests come on, obviously, a lot of them are media trained, which is, which is great and useful. The podcast format, and Christine, you know this from hosting your own podcast, the podcast format is a really unique animal. And so even someone who’s been media trained in broadcast, that doesn’t exactly translate to a podcast, you know, appearing on appearing during a TV hit or a radio hit is different than being part of a 10, 15-minute conversation, let alone a 25-minute or hour-long conversation if you’re if you go on a podcast that’s even longer than ours. And so I just think there are some unique characteristics to that interview format. And what I’m finding is sometimes I will try to explain that in advance to the guest or to the media relations professional they’re working with, so that they have an idea of what to kind of expect from the interview.

And so you know, one of those tips, just to start out, it’s like when you’re having…when you know an interview is going to be 10 to 15 minutes, for instance, you don’t have to necessarily get all of your points out in the first question, right? That’s different from TV where you may only have 45 seconds, right? So make them count. But if you go into something, knowing you have 15 minutes or knowing you have an hour, you know, as a host, as an interviewer I’m thinking of, okay, what is the narrative arc of that full conversation, right? How do we continue to build it so that the listener is always learning, always getting something and then by the end of the episode, they kind of have all the information they need, they’ve kind of listened to a very complete, comprehensive conversation. And so as a guest, that’s an important thing, I think, to know, coming in the door is sort of how to how to, you know, ease into that conversation. So that it feels natural and it’s pleasant to listen to.

CB: I a hundred percent agree. I find that the more present and conversational versus, it’s always fine to have talking points, you know, the more present you can be, the more organic it sounds. And yeah, I love that narrative arc you mentioned. And I think it’s important when you have that chunk of time to figure out how to get the most important information out to the audience and you’re a total pro on it and it shows in the podcast, but I think that’s really great advice for guests coming on and media relations people as well.

SO: I appreciate you saying that. And yeah, you know, there’s just there’s in audio, especially podcasting specifically, I think authenticity really comes through. You know, it’s kind of amazing how much you can hear it in someone’s voice and in the answers that they give, you know, but when you spend even 15 minutes hearing from somebody, you can tell when they’re sort of being natural, being authentic and yes, come absolutely come with talking points that they want to hit on, but are able to kind of convey those in a way that feels very natural. You know, that that just reveals itself in a podcast in a way that it doesn’t always in other media formats and so, you know, that sometimes separates like a really good guest from just an okay guest it’s like, are they at ease and natural enough to really have a 15-minute conversation that feels authentic. And that’s, that’s easier said than done. Candidly, I’m learning I’m learning that as a host. There’s, you know, I have to bring more of myself to a podcast in some ways than I than I have ever had to do with print stories that I’ve written. And so that’s something that I’m learning and I think it’s something that guests just have to learn too.

CB: Yeah, I’m sure. I’m sure. So I absolutely love the premise of Politico Tech. Anything that you want to promote coming up for the podcast?

SO: Yeah, so we have a lot of interesting episodes already slated for September. So please subscribe, wherever you get your podcasts, you know, Apple, Spotify, Google, you can find Politico Tech on all of them, as well as But we have some really exciting guests, you know, I have interviews coming up, for instance, with Mustafa Suleyman, who’s the head of Inflection AI, which is an AI company, and he was the co-founder of DeepMind, which is now, you know, core to Google’s AI efforts. So he’s got a book out that is just really fascinating about the risks of AI and how people how, you know, people should respond to it. Everyone, from policymakers to tech executives. I have another fascinating interview coming up with an AI-powered robot, where I actually interviewed the robot and I interviewed the robot’s developer, and I don’t want to give too much away on that. But I mean, that was just a wild conversation.

CB: Oh gosh, I need to listen to that one. Yeah.

SO: So yeah, that’s coming out in the next couple of weeks. So we have a lot of really good stuff planned and more good stuff that I have not yet planned, but is on my to do list. So I really hope that folks subscribe and that they find a reason to tune in every day, because they are interesting and important conversations. And, you know, often just say, I am always accessible. You know, I’m very accessible, I can be reached on all social media platforms, email, etc. So whether that’s whether you’re a PR person with a formal pitch, or you’re just interested in tech and there’s like a topic that you want to hear us talk about, you know, I love I love those suggestions, too. So, you know, I try to be accessible and I hope folks don’t hesitate to reach out.

CB: Yeah. Thank you so much. It has been very informative. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you more and to understand more about the podcast. Congrats on that for the first month or so of it and we’re definitely going to be tuning in daily to hear what you’re up to.

SO: Thank you so much. I appreciate you having me on your show. Absolutely. And for everyone listening, thanks for tuning in to this episode of Inside the Media Minds. Thank you for joining us on today’s episode of Inside the Media Minds. To learn more about our podcast and hear all of our episodes please, visit us at And follow us on Twitter @Media Minds Show and you can subscribe anywhere podcasts are found.