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Our Best 'The Edit' Episodes of 2018

Our favorite episodes from the first year of Pacific Standard's podcast.

Ah, podcasts: Not only do they provide the soundtrack to our commutes to work, our laundry-folding, our dish-washing—they also educate us along the way. It's no wonder that 48 million people listen to podcasts on a weekly basis, and Apple Podcasts currently features over 500,000 different ones.

This year at Pacific Standard, we launched our very own podcast. We started The Edit with the intention of pulling back the curtain on some of our most interesting and complex stories, and sharing a more personal form of storytelling. Here are some of our favorite episodes.

  • "A Conversation About Immigration and Family Separations"
    Vilma Carrillo is the Guatemalan mother of an 11-year-old American citizen. The two were separated at the United States–Mexico border this past May, and Carrillo has not been able to contact her daughter since due to their respective statuses as immigrant and citizen. This episode breaks down how United States immigration rules for asylum derailed Carrillo's life, from the moment she left Guatemala with her daughter to escape an abusive spouse, all the way to her ongoing fight for asylum and custody of her child.
  • "A Conversation About the Corruption in the Department of the Interior"
    "You start to realize it's not being run in a way that benefits the public interest, but is being run explicitly to benefit these very special profit-oriented interests." Contributing writer Jimmy Tobias unearthed a number of documents exposing the many meetings Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and other Department of the Interior political appointees have been holding with oil and gas industry executives. Tobias discusses what this means for the management of public lands in the U.S.
  • "A Conversation About the 1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill that Sparked an Environmental Revolution"
    Forty-nine years ago, Santa Barbara, California, experienced the third-largest oil spill in U.S. history to date, in which three million gallons of crude oil spread across over 800 square miles of ocean. One witness described the aftermath as apocalyptic: "All the ocean was black. And people just stood there and cried—people figured it was all over for Santa Barbara." Staff writer Kate Wheeling and national editor Max Ufberg compiled an oral history of those affected by the oil spill, and, in doing so, revealed how this environmental crisis galvanized an entire nation to demand stronger conservation laws.
  • "A Conversation About Ethiopian Jazz Legend Hailu Mergia"
    Hailu Mergia is a jazz musician and organist whose music dominated Ethiopia's nightclub scene in the 1970s. But when he moved to America with his band, they struggled to gain recognition and Mergia ended up driving a taxi cab to make ends meet. It wasn't until a few years ago that the jazz artist was finally rediscovered by a record label and made a comeback in the music industry. On this episode, contributing writer Jack Denton describes his experience profiling the musician over several days at Mergia's home in Maryland.
  • "A Conversation About Addressing Misogyny in Nerd Culture"
    "Feminists have power, liberals have power, social justice warriors have power, and they are using that power to punish men." This type of hateful rhetoric against women appears in extremist online nerd forums, and, more disturbingly, in the manifestos of terrorists like Elliot Rodger, the shooter behind the 2014 Isla Vista killings. Contributing editor Peter C. Baker and documentary filmmaker Yu Gu discuss the caustic, violent acts of misogyny that are normalized within incel groups and the video game community.