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Assault Your Ears – September Podcast Review

Welcome to Assault Your Ears, a monthly column dedicated to podcasts.

By Jess Ong.

The Messenger is a podcast that makes for uncomfortable listening. Produced by The Wheeler Centre and Behind the Wire, The Messenger takes us into the Australian immigration detention centre on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. It will come as no surprise that the subject matter of The Messenger is confronting and distressing so prepare yourself.

Chronicling daily life on Manus Island, The Messenger has two central voices – that of journalist Michael Green, and the other of Abdul Aziz Muhamat, a Zaghawa man from the Darfur region of Sudan who fled his homeland in 2013.

Green and Aziz commenced their correspondence using the voice recording capabilities of instant messaging service WhatsApp, on Aziz’s 864th day in detention. It’s on these messages, all 3,500 of them, that The Messenger is based.

We learn of Aziz’s own story, as well as the good and bad happenings inside a place we hear about too often but know too little about. There are many upsetting moments in this podcast, but being a witness to the obvious friendship and mutual respect that develops between Aziz and Green is a special privilege.

The Messenger recently beat an impressive field of international competitors to take home a Grand Award at the New York Festivals International Radio Program awards – an enormously well-deserved acknowledgement.

You can subscribe to The Messenger via Apple Podcasts or your favourite podcast app. 

Jess Ong works as a Communications Manager in the arts and the private sector, and is also the Creative Producer of local storytelling night, SPUN. She is the host of the SPUN Stories podcast and moonlights in the world of freelance. 

FOLLOW | @jess__ong

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