Fairfax is going into podcasts.

Today it launched a six-part investigative podcast about the death of 24-year-old Phoebe Handsjuk. She plummeted to her death in 2010 in suspicious circumstances. The journalism is being done by Richard Baker, Nick McKenzie and Michael Bachelard, and could be aired on Radio National (Fairfax is “currently in negotiations”).

According to the release, Age editor-in-chief Mark Forbes and his SMH counterpart Darren Goodsir jointly intoned:

“Fairfax continues to lead the way in extending its heavyweight investigative reporting talent to rich new storytelling formats. Nobody should miss this gripping series.”

Fairfax is planning two more podcasts. One which’ll feature Melbourne crime reporting institution John “Sly” Silvester interviewing cops and crooks, and another on consumer affairs.

Crime has proven particularly fertile ground for podcasting, though perhaps there’s a certain copycat effect going on after the runaway success of the first series of  National Public Radio’s Serial, which investigated a historical murder. The Sunday Telegraph also turned to crime as the focus of its The Alibi series, while The Australian had an award-winning hit in its Bowraville podcast, which investigated three murders in the NSW town. It played a key part in getting the acquitted man in two of the murders sent to back to court to face charges of having committed all three. — Myriam Robin

Peter Fray

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