The Drag helps Ana Goodwin hold on to the humanity of stories

Ana Goodwin was drawn to the empathetic way The Drag told stories rooted in journalistic integrity. She never wanted to lose the humanity in her storytelling.

Goodwin, a rising journalism senior at the University of Texas at Austin, always listened to podcasts during her commute to work or while she was doing housework. When the pandemic scattered everyone inside, Goodwin realized that all the time she spent doing her makeup or stuck in traffic was replaced by the constant plugged-in nature of Zoom University and her full-time and part-time jobs.

“The nature of school changed at the same time that the nature of doing everyday life changed,” Goodwin said.

For a while, she didn’t notice that she had stopped listening to podcasts. An avid true crime listener, Goodwin gravitated towards The Drag as a place to learn how to tell difficult stories with justice and respect.

“It’s a safe place to learn as a young reporter because you know that people are going to have your back and they’re going to be checking for you,” Goodwin said. “It’s just good to have that support.”

Over the past year, Goodwin became more fascinated with feature writing and long-form journalism. She said working on podcasts at The Drag helped her understand all the moving parts that go into creating a full story with depth and honesty.

“I really like telling kind of unexpected stories, finding the devil in the details on different things that are happening in the world around us and highlight the people that are left out of traditional news stories,” Goodwin said. “I really just enjoy highlighting humanity in the middle of whatever I’m doing.”

During the summer as a podcasting intern, Goodwin worked extensively on the Planet Texas podcast, a podcast set to release in spring 2022 about the intimate ways climate change impacts Texans. She also worked on The Drag’s next true crime podcast about the Austin serial bombings and said the most challenging part of the internship was navigating how to approach the two different podcasts.

“That’s brand new for me, interviewing people who are actual victims in situations,” Goodwin said. “It’s scary and emotional so understanding how to let people share their experiences with you and give them room to open up … it’s been really different.”

Goodwin said she struggles as a journalist on knowing when she is overstepping peoples’ boundaries.

“It can feel like you’re asking somebody to tear off a wound that started to heal,” Goodwin said. “There are stories that need to be told but just watching them go through that process is difficult.”

But Goodwin said she hopes that amplifying these stories will provide hope for others that may be going through similar situations. Being part of all the groundwork, from fact-checking to researching, has been one of the most gratifying parts of the internship for her. Goodwin said it showed her that when pursuing her own projects, she doesn’t need to have everything figured out by herself.

“It’s a massive team effort,” Goodwin said. “There’s so many people involved in every different project and it makes things better.”