Emmy Award-winning journalist Paula Faris explored the top 21 episodes of her "Faith & Calling" podcast in 2021 and said she found that, overall, every topic discussed on her show highlighted the singular theme that people are looking for “a new way forward” following a difficult few years.
The former co-host of both "Good Morning America" and "The View" on ABC, Faris debuted a new podcast series on AccessMore this month with her husband, John, where the couple chose the top 21 stories they covered in 2021.
In the three-part podcast series, Faris and her husband reflect on "The seven people who had us talking," "The seven places that caught our attention," and "The seven things that kept us going." The podcasts are a mix of pop culture and hard news.
After reviewing all 21 episodes, Faris found that they all have a common theme.
"I can't believe all this happened in the last year,” Faris told The Christian Post in an interview that can also be watched below. “In order to go into the next year full-hearted and grateful, I think it's good to just assess what we've all gone through and what has happened.”
The television personality, who recently moved from New York to South Carolina after ending her career at ABC, said the common theme of everything that happened this year in her top 21 list is that people are looking for something “different.”
“I think people just want something different. The pandemic forced us to question what we were doing and why we were doing it?” Faris said.
"2020 was crazy. 2021 is kind of like we're figuring out what's important and we're putting that into action,” she added. “So I think it's just [us] trying to navigate our new normal and what that new normal looks like.”
Faris maintained that many people are searching for a “new way forward."
"That’s one of the common themes that I've found in a lot of the stories that we're talking about," she continued. "I don't want to go back to the old. It's given us this emboldenment that maybe we didn't have before.”
The mother of three noted that just because life was a particular way before, that doesn't mean it has to continue that way.
“Let's embrace this kind of empowerment and emboldenment that this moment in time has given us, [and the] right and create a new way forward for all of us,” Faris advised.
Some of the people and topics featured on Faris' podcast series include: Simone Biles and mental health, Britney Spears and her conservatorship, the Capitol riots, Texas' abortion law, and the COVID-19 vaccines, among other topics.
Faris said: "Some of my favorites [topics discussed] are like the emergence of Ted Lasso, this is my husband's wheelhouse, the pop culture genre. But I like getting caught up on the space race and everything that's happening to get to space.”
The “Faith & Calling” podcast launched shortly after Faris and her husband moved to South Carolina in 2020. The show features Faris talking to celebrities and influencers about faith and the calling on their lives.
"God just gave me this persistent game, I guess it's a gift. I also say I'm a little nosy,” the media personality said of how she's been able to get people to open up to her on the podcast. “I just have this tenacity that God gave me and I've tried to use it as a strength.”
AccessMore is a sister company of the Christian companies KLOVE and Air One. The Michigan native was approached by AccessMore to launch the podcast and said it was perfect timing.
"God just opened this door and I love having conversations; I love to talk to people. I've always been a conversationalist. Interviewing — in terms of journalism — that's really what I love about journalism is those sit-down interviews. Not so much reading the news every night — that doesn't get me going, she told CP.
“What gets me going is talking to people and finding out what their pain points are and what their struggles are and what we can learn. We can find strength in their struggle. I love to tell people stories to give us that side of them that other people don't get a chance to see. So that's why I wanted to do the 'Faith & Calling' podcast.”
Faris said she conducts the podcast “through a faith lens because I'm a Christian and I'm a believer, and I'm asking other people to open up about their faith.” While not every celebrity guest is a believer, she said each one has talked about universal truths that impact all people.
"I've never been able to separate my faith from who I am because it's such a foundational core part of who I am. So it just feels really natural to have these conversations because my faith is really who I am. It's the core of everything that I do,” she continued. “We are called to shine our light no matter where we are and light shines in the dark places. So just shine and allow yourself to be used by God wherever you're placed.”
Faris said she's hoping to take the next season of her podcast on the road in the new year, and is also planning to launch a media platform in January called Carry Media that's for working mothers and “celebrates, champions and advocates for every working mom through disruptive and intentional multimedia storytelling,” according to the website.
Faris said she was inspired to launch the site after experiencing burnout as a working mother.
"That's something that God has put on my heart to do, to really advocate and champion and celebrate the working mom,” Faris added. "We really want to beat the drum for working moms and celebrate and champion them through our disruptive storytelling. So pray for that, that I could continue to steward that well.”
Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic