VICE News and Spotify Debut Bilingual Podcast Series ‘Chapo’ (Exclusive)

“Chapo” is VICE News’ first venture into the podcast format

VICE News' Keegan Hamilton and Miguel Angel Vega
photo courtesy of VICE News

VICE News is for the first time getting into the podcast space. The news outlet, whose target audience are millennials and Gen Z, announced “Chapo” on Friday, a bilingual podcast that uncovers the story of Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s rise and fall. The series — which will stream on Spotify starting Nov. 1 — will feature interviews with journalists, Guzmán’s family, government officials, cartel hitmen and citizens living through the drug war’s real-life consequences.

Hosting the series is VICE News reporter Keegan Hamilton and Miguel Angel Vega, one of Mexico’s top narco-journalists, who will offer new perspectives on relations between the U.S. and Mexico. The podcast is part of the news company’s latest effort to reach Latinx audiences by developing original audio journalism in both English and Spanish.

Vice News has partnered with Spotify to distribute the podcast series. While the first three episodes will be available in English on all major podcast platforms, the remainder of the series will stream exclusively on Spotify, as well as all episodes in Spanish.

Though VICE News is famous for its docuseries and growing slate of video content, like the Emmy award-winning “VICE News Tonight,” editor-in-chief Ryan McCarthy said the podcast format offers a type of storytelling that is only possible with audio.

“VICE News is obviously very invested in documentaries and visual journalism. But we were really excited to bring VICE News’ immersive documentary journalism to the audio space. The story we’re trying to tell here is really the kind of expansive and sweeping,” said McCarthy. “The series is built around a really unique conversation between a U.S. journalist and a Mexican journalist about the cost and consequences of the drug war, told in two languages and from two very different perspectives. That’s the kind of thing that you can only do in audio.”