gertie made a podcast

listen to the podcast, stay for the interview, maybe watch the video

Digital surveillance and COVIDSafe

Gertie, a Podcast – is this the new you?

Not quite. This cardiganed chicken made a podcast for her class ALC708. I did it and survived. My topic: digital surveillance. It felt relevant with the Australian Government launching its COVIDSafe app. My approach, hopefully, captured a balanced discussion that covered the importance of big data in fighting disease, the rhetoric on privacy versus public health, and my own discussions with friends and colleagues on what installing the COVIDSafe app meant to them.

Fascinating, Gertie. Tell me, how was your podcast informed by reading and research?

Epidemiologists across the globe plan for pandemics so getting an understanding of the background based in facts, rather than fear, was important. Newsfeeds are bulging with articles on the topic. Much of the background research was informed by Lindsay Thomas’ article which highlighted just how long surveillance has been used to target and defeat disease outbreaks. Contact tracing apps inspire a discourse on privacy and the power of the state, so I wanted to ensure that the research was balanced with everyday people’s perspectives on what privacy meant to them and the Department of Health facts about the app.

Tell me more about your creative process, Gertie. What content did you create and what did you use under creative commons licence?

Well, the secret is out – Gertie P can sing. Yes, that is me, singing the soon to be hit tune: ‘I’m Making a Podcast.’ I intentionally cut off the last ‘cast’ to create a chuckle. It is a serious topic, but I always want to inject a bit of humour whenever I can. It is simply how I roll – hard, fast and with the pull of the Earth’s gravity.

I chose the song ‘Cool’ by laFunkhh as my background music because it sounded fantastic! Is that too simple a reason? I am always impressed when talented people freely share their work. Thank you laFunkhh. I tried to time some of the music in with when I asked a question, as a sort of musical demarcation. It was a bit studenty but, hey I am a student. Learning by doing, am I right?

Just hilarious, Gertie – as always. You are so funny. Now, tell me about the challenges you faced and what you learned from making the podcast?

[Insert much laughter]. I faced many challenges in the production of this podcast. First, the sound of my own voice – like razor blades in the ear canal. Second, I can’t seem to say World Health Organisation. I never knew that about myself but over and over I stumbled on those words like a proverbial banana peel.

You can hear the soothing sounds of Australian fauna screeching in the background. I had no idea how to muffle the passing Corellas as they squawked over my audio. If you are an international listener, enjoy the sounds of Australia.

As a first-time user of Audacity – wow. I can’t believe that is free. My biggest challenge was placing the cursor where I wanted to add or delete something. I managed to do that whole podcast with still not having figured out an easy way to do it. So, if something sounds a bit ill placed, I really tried my best. I also threw in some sound effects because I thought: why not.

feature image in blog:

Made by Gertie P using Canva

Featured image in podcast:

RCA Old Microphone in the Albany, Oregon museum, by Barb Henry, (CC BY-SA 2.0)

reference list for podcast


French, M, and Torin , 2020. ‘Editorial: Dis-ease Surveillance: How Might Surveillance Studies Address COVID-19?’ Surveillance & Society 18(1): 1-11, retrieved 2 May 2020,

Thomas, L. 2014, ‘Pandemics of the Future: Disease Surveillance in Real Time,’ Surveillance & Society 12(2): 287-200, retrieved 2 May 2020,

News Articles

Barnes, S, ‘Let’s Get Contact Tracing Right,’ Inside Story, 23 April 2020, retrieved 2 May 2020,

Goldenfein J, Green, B, Viljoen, S, ‘Privacy Versus Health is a False Trade-Off,’ Jacobin, 17 April 2020, retrieved 2 May 2020


COVIDSafe App, The Australian Government Department of Health, retrieved 2 May 2020,

DP-3T Documents, GitHub, retrieved 2 May 2020,

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