Tiny Spark


“Tiny Spark” host and producer, Amy Costello. (Photo taken by UNICEF)


What impresses me the most about the podcast “Tiny Spark” is the depth of reporting by Amy Costello. “Tiny Spark” is long-form storytelling digging deep into issues facing the work of foundations and non-profits. It’s an unusual beat and Amy’s asking tough questions.

Amy is the producer of “Tiny Spark.” She’s also the host, editor, and reporter. Amy brings to bear several years of reporting for public radio and television in the States and abroad and it shows in the podcast.

On this HowSound, Amy talks about “Tiny Spark’s” mission and shares some of the behind the scenes workings. We also listen to a story that’s generated a lot of chatter at the “Tiny Spark” blog: “Tom’s Shoes: A Closer Look.” The story offers critical analysis of the philanthropic efforts of a shoe company that donates a pair of shoes every time a pair of shoes is purchased. I think you’ll be surprised at what Amy’s investigation turned up.

After you’re done listening, be sure to subscribe to “Tiny Spark!”

All the best, Rob

PS – If you like “Tiny Spark,” be sure to check out the “Latitude News” podcast. In depth, international stories well told.


6 comments to Tiny Spark

  • Great piece, I’m subscribing to Tiny Spark. That’s some serious reporting chops on display, just in the Tom’s story.

  • [...] 22, 2013 tags: How Sound, Tiny Spark, Tom's shoes How Sound – Tiny Spark Podcast release date: January 16, 2013 Time: [...]

  • I absolutely appreciate this podcast, and I appreciate your commitment to this work. For a long time, I’ve always wanted to investigate certain Philippine organization that purport to challenge poverty as strictly character issue, as opposed to a structural (i.e. political, economic) issue. Maybe you can tackle them! In any case, keep up the good work!

    • Wow, poverty as a character issue…very interesting! I think it’s a similar debate that goes on in this country, too. Are people poor because they choose to be? Or is poverty to be blamed on the existing “structures” as you describe them? This debate was the subtext in much of the US presidential election. Interestingly, the way that individuals or organizations answer that central question (character flaw vs structural flaw) will likely inform the way they go about “helping” those in need.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to listen and for writing! Hope you’ll continue to tune in.

      Best, Amy

  • Gaius

    Just heard Amy Costello interviewed on the World Service (Boston Talking) chiding the action of Tom’s Shoes, giving away a pair of children’s shoes for every pair sold, is misguided and does not produce a “net gain” or the poor children who receive them. Apparently Tom’s shoes is not tackling the root causes of poverty. What selfrightious sanctimonious mean spirited twaddle. Someone does something kind, altruistic, helpful and meaningful and Amy Costello pans them for it. How would her record of giving compare with giving thousands of shoes to children too poor to buy them?

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