An honest conversation in “Why Do I Stay”

I listened to the podcast episode titled “Why Do I Stay” by Radio Rookies Podcast. This episode was a retelling of the young female host’s story regarding an abusive relationship and included many recordings as the story unfolded as well as after she had left the relationship. It was a very vulnerable and raw account of her personal relationship and found that the podcast episode unfolded much like a diary entry.  

The episode is very fast-paced. It includes many different forms of verbal media such as interviews, personal accounts, and conversations that really engage the listener from the beginning to the end. I also thought that the host was quite well-spoken. She spoke with clarity and seemed she was able to well reflect and ask hard-hitting questions not only to herself but to her family as well. For me, this contributed to her ethos as a student journalist and overall podcast host.  

The overall tone of the podcast was casual and informal, quite unexpected for the serious topic, but nonetheless worked well because of the intimacy that was created between the host and the listener. This intimacy between the listener and the host was created in large part by the inclusion of interviews, that were more like conversations, with her close friends, teachers, and family. By listening to her retell her story to those that were close to her, it also created a sense of familiarity and closeness with the host in the listener. This contributed to the pathos of the piece as it led the listener to be more compassionate as one might be with a friend experiencing the same situation that she did. In addition, there were recordings in which she was addressing herself, as if she was journaling. She was battling her emotions and questioning her decisions to stay and return to the relationship. It seemed like the listener was there processing this situation with her in real time. 

One conversation she had with her mother stood out to me in particular, because it was quite personal and required the mother and daughter to be vulnerable together on recording for others to hear. The host asked her mother if she believed her daughter’s childhood home life may have contributed to her abusive relationship and the mother replied that she had never thought of it being a factor, but that it might have been. I thought the inclusion of this conversation between the mother and daughter was very honest. It made the situation, the daughter’s emotions, and the mother’s reflection seem all the much more real. I think it was nice that she included bits like this because it gave her story greater depth in regards to the thoughts going through the daughter’s head, the relationship between the mother and daughter, and the conversations that happened after the relationship ended between them that the listener may not have thought about previously. I think that rather than the host telling her story in efforts to teach other young women what not to do or as a teachable moment in her own life, it unfolded just like personal account of what happened and the impact it had on her relationships with her friends and family.


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