News Du Jour makes news podcasting inviting and impactful for the modern-day woman.
The mental health crisis continues to grow, and the pandemic has continued to provide new and difficult challenges. Stress and anxiety are now affecting people that didn’t struggle with it before, and the circumstances have amplified symptoms in those who do. The isolation, loneliness, and fear of the future isn’t the only thing causing the stress. The constantly evolving new cycle that seems to continue to deliver hard and negative news has proven to be a source of anxiety and depression among the watchers and listeners.
The World Health Organization, at the start of the pandemic, addressed the disruptive mental impact that stemmed from watching the news. They suggested that people watch just enough news to keep themselves informed on how to have COVID-19 safe practices, but to turn off the news once they received the information to not overwhelm and worry themselves.
The news cycle’s negative impact on mental health didn’t just begin when the pandemic hit. The vaguely detached and critical news cycle has been affecting people’s mental health for years. It’s important to stay informed, and being ‘in the know’ is encouraged, but not all news stations are factoring in how they can help deliver the news in a calm and more inviting manner as to not affect the overall well-being of their watchers and listeners. Many news outlets do just the opposite to get a “wow factor” to encourage people to come back to their channel. News Du Jour – a daily news podcast – however, delivers news that is intended to keep you informed, up to date, and in a way that does not have a negative impact on your mental health, all while being short and to the point so you can move on with the rest of your day.
Staying up to date with the fast-paced and somewhat aggressive style of newscasting is difficult to accomplish on top of an already packed schedule. Antigone “Annie” Bowles created the News Du Jour podcast as part of Sugarfree Media when she recognized the need for easily digestible content with a calmer and non-judgmental approach for our everyday enjoyment. Making news podcasting inviting and impactful for the modern-day woman, the overarching tone focuses on delivering a stress-free breakdown of current events and trends in an accessible and intersectional way.
“We never want to present news in a superior way; we always strive to put it in a young woman’s language in a format that’s approachable while never talking down to her. We are building a safe place where young women can come and learn about the world around them without judgment, condescension, or bias,” said Bowles.
News Du Jour manages to deliver the needed news in a short 15–20-minute segment daily, as to not consume the listeners and oversaturate them in the same way that the mainstream news cycle does, as well as helping listeners move past the intimidating long-format news. The delivery of topics is kept clean and clear without polluting it with political jargon or industry vocabulary that’s not commonly understood. She wants her outlet to feel inviting and inclusive, as to bring people to her channel that would otherwise be too intimidated to rid themselves of the “ignorance is bliss” attitude.
Bowles’ connection to the political landscape started in her childhood, as she was born in Washington DC to parents who worked in the political science field for an Oklahoma representative, Mike Synar. She graduated from the American University in Washington DC after interning in both the Senate and the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill. Coming home to the heartland, she was passionate about bringing women into the political world, whether actively participating, or simply staying educated. She wanted to find a solution to the lack of reliable news, in particular the lack of news geared towards young women. She made it her mission to help fill those needs and never looked back.
News Du Jour listeners stay informed, involved, and inspired by the information delivered in a composed and straightforward way since Bowles makes a genuine effort to drown out the drama. She understands listeners really only have time to focus on the most impactful topics anyways. Accentuated by exclusive newsletters for News Du Jour memberships, this extra access pass includes bonus episodes that explore specific issues, take historical deep dives, and interviews amazing guests. Patrons also have access to the community of Sugarfree Media members as a network to facilitate conversations and support the cause of pulling women into the political landscape.
Reaching a growing and consistent audience, Bowles acknowledges that broadcasting to such a wide platform possesses its own power. As businesses stick to a standard of corporate social responsibility, podcasters also have an obligation to their listeners to provide accurate and relevant information. Speaking into a microphone versus a visible audience doesn’t diminish the significance of one’s words and the impact of the messages spread. Taking this capacity to influence others on a broader scale within the podcast industry is raising the standards for other news sources and informative creators alike to make content that positively affects their audience and shaping a more accessible environment for education and sharing knowledge.
The founder of Sugarfree Media geared the podcast towards providing easily understandable information in plain language for everyday consideration, acknowledging that there is no need to sugarcoat the realities of everyday life, either. Since starting News Du Jour in 2017 and as a rising Oklahoma-based influencer, Bowles authentically confronts real-world issues, like prioritizing mental health and social action, and without the clickbait tactics of traditional news. Breaking into the global space with listeners from over 28 countries and approaching 20 thousand downloads, Sugarfree Media is stepping up the podcast game by connecting with the needs of its audience of majority women and LGBT+ listeners.
“Our podcast, News Du Jour is on a mission to help people stay informed, despite juggling the many hats they wear,” informs Bowles. “We keep it approachable, brief, calm, interesting, and informative every weekday morning.”
The gravitas sometimes passes us by, yet Sugarfree Media and all its parts continue to acknowledge the importance of its rising position in the industry. Sugarfree Media is building a safe space for women to explore this modern era without worrying about needing the emotional capacity or industry vocabulary to discern what is going on. Listen for yourself, and keep up to date with News Du Jour.