The Children in the Pictures, the podcast that goes inside Taskforce Argos, a team of Australia’s best detectives dedicated to infiltrating global criminal networks and rescuing children from online sexual abuse, continues to win critical acclaim in Australia and abroad.
Last week The Children In The Pictures won Podcast of the Year at the Australian Commercial Radio & Audio Awards (ACRAs) in Sydney, took silver in the True Crime Category at the internationally acclaimed, The Signal Awards in New York, which honours and celebrates ‘people and content that raises the bar for podcasting’, and was shortlisted as one of three finalists in the prestigious Australian Walkley Awards for Audio Long (over 20 minutes).
This follows the podcast being recognised earlier this year with a Gold at the New York Radio Festival Awards for best narrative documentary, taking out Best Documentary at the Radio Today Podcast Awards in July and being announced as a finalist in the prestigious 2023 Kennedy Awards in Audio Journalism: Outstanding Podcast.
The Children in the Pictures was the first release from the Factual podcast team at LiSTNR, tasked to develop a narrative investigative docu-series on crime and injustice. The production was led by Executive Producers Emma Lancaster and Belinda Lopez, award-winning storytellers who have created highly regarded and innovative audio documentaries and podcasts for several national and international outlets.
“The production of the series was demanding due to access challenges, the disturbing nature of the content and legal hurdles. The final product is robust in its journalism, careful in its handling of disturbing material, victim-focused and trauma-informed. The result is an eminently bingeable series for parents and true crime listeners,” said Lopez.
The Children in the Pictures follows Taskforce Argos, an elite Australian Police unit, as it investigates and dismantles The Love Zone (TLZ), a nefarious child exploitation network operating in the dark web. A brave original production, the eight-episode podcast series sounds the alarm into the heinous and pervasive world of online child sexual abuse and offers advice to combat it.
“To tell this story, the LiSTNR team went to great lengths. We went to court to request the removal of a longstanding suppression order that gagged the media from speaking about the specifics of this case. DNX Media, our collaborating producers, secured special judicial approval to release the police interviews with the Australian kingpin running the TLZ site. Taskforce Argos also gave remarkable access to key evidence from its investigations,” said Lancaster.
“We are not interested in making true crime content in a traditional or trope-based way. We are committed to demonstrating how stories of crime reveal systemic injustices in our legal system and world. And our productions are focused on making real world impacts.”
“Law enforcement officials in Australia and internationally are using the podcast as a training resource, the Australian e-Safety Commissioner has also acknowledged the podcast’s contribution to creating awareness about a deeply misunderstood and generally avoided topic,” Lopez added.
“We want to sound the alarm on this issue – protecting our kids takes a global village”.
The Children in the Pictures is one of many exciting non-fiction and fiction projects coming out of LiSTNR’s Factual and Drama vertical, headed by Jennifer Goggin. “I am thrilled to see the hard work the LiSTNR Factual team and DNX media put into this making series recognised globally for not only it’s journalism, but the craft of its audio-storytelling too. The team’s aim with producing Disclosed: The Children in The Pictures podcast was to help raise awareness about this horrific crime in a factual, journalistic, victim-centred and trauma-informed way – and they have clearly achieved this. To take such a hard-to-engage-with topic and turn it into podcast series that allows people to listen and educate themselves in a way that feels safe, shows the incredible skills the team have” said Goggin.
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