31 August 2022

Need your news fast and fun? Our podcast has got you covered: here's The Hoot

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Ross Solly, podcast logo and Genevieve Jacobs

Ross Solly and Genevieve Jacobs join forces to present The Hoot. Photo: Supplied.

Got a gnawing need for news? A longing for the latest with a dash of analysis and your quota of quirkiness?

Region has you covered – our new podcast, The Hoot, launches this week.

Named for the famed (or infamous) Belco owl, The Hoot will bring you news, views and big ideas from the nation’s capital, hosted by Region group editor Genevieve Jacobs and broadcaster Ross Solly.

It’s a snappy quarter hour that’s designed to give you some context for the stories that have made us talk all week, perfect for the bus, the water cooler, the walk home or your sneaky lunch break.

The Hoot will come calling midweek, and in addition to tackling the big news, we’ll also touch on the lighter side of life in Canberra.

READ ALSO When will the timing be right for Andrew Barr to make a move?

It’s a spin-off from Riotact, which now tracks more local content and local readers than any other ACT media. And like Riotact, The Hoot is all about the local news from this community.

Both podcasters are longtime journalists with a fascination for talking to decision-makers and a deep, long-term knowledge of Canberra. Both have worked on newspapers, radio and digital news, and they share a profound interest in what makes the city tick.

Ross Solly was ABC Radio’s longtime top-rating breakfast presenter on 666 Canberra and remains immersed in the people and politics of the national capital. He’s now a regular columnist for Riotact.

He met Genevieve Jacobs, now group editor for Region, at 666 Canberra, and discovered that they share the same birthday as well as the taste for a good yarn.

Conversation is at the centre of The Hoot.

“It’s more reactive when you talk, even though you do run the risk of it all getting a bit unhinged!” Ross says.

“But this is such a great opportunity to talk about Canberra. I’ve lived here for many years and I’m passionate about the city and the people. I love sharing stories about them both.”

READ ALSO Canberra’s God of Thunder out of the Odin-ary (even Chris Hemsworth liked what he Thor)

Genevieve says the chance to have a good yarn has driven much of her career in the media.

“You spark off other people. There are always better ideas when there’s someone else to bounce them off,” she says.

“News is serious business but so much about human nature is just entertaining too. That’s where we want to take The Hoot.”

This week, the talk turns to whether Andrew Barr should stay on for a fourth term and what it means for Canberra. And what do the Canberra Liberals think about the chief minister’s intentions?

And we’re asking what character you would dress up as at Oz Comic-Con? Canberran Andrew Lutomski’s Thor impression is so good that he gets paid to appear around the country. But odds are that neither Ross nor Genevieve will be so fortunate given their more dubious costume choices. If you’ve got a suggestion, leave them in the comments.

The Hoot is available on the Riotact website and through all your usual podcast channels.

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