Starbucks’ new podcast proves to be inspiring

Photo courtesy of talesuntoldmedia

Photo courtesy of talesuntoldmedia

Starbucks is branching out into entertainment media with its podcast series, Upstanders. Currently in its second season, the podcast focuses on ordinary people doing extraordinary things by creating change in their communities.

Each episode ranges from 15 to 20 minutes, so it pairs perfectly with a morning cup of coffee or a commute to work.

The podcast carries a similar listening experience to an NPR broadcast with its use of a basic news reporting format, consisting of a narrator telling the listener the events of each story in between clips of interviews with those involved.

The only exception to this comes at the beginning and end of each episode, when Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz discusses each story with co-producer Raji Chandrasekaran. Though their dialogue is not bad by any means, it feels unnecessary since it adds few useful insights to the actual content of the podcast. Arguably, the podcast can be seen as an advertisement for Starbucks—to remind viewers that the show is sponsored by largest chain of coffee houses in the world. Still, it only lasts a minute or two at the beginning and end of every episode, so it does not amount to that large of a deterrent against the show.

Upstanders is basically a mini-franchise of Starbucks. And, while it is true that Upstanders does not contain groundbreaking reporting and will probably never win a Nobel or Pulitzer, it is refreshing to have a source of entertainment that is also a source of news—all while maintaining positivity. In this day of constant political turmoil and bad news from every corner, it is nice to learn about people who are doing good in their own and others’ lives. Who knows—perhaps listening to Upstanders will inspire the next cultural revolutionary to take action and lead by example. Probably

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