We learned about a new form of digital media in Journalism class this past week– podcasting. A podcast is considered to be any kind of digital media that is uploaded and put into a feed. It is unique in the sense that it is usually purely audio. As podcasting was new to us in class, it is also somewhat new in the digital space. The concept of podcasting first emerged during 2004, when Ben Hammersley, a reporter for The Guardian, released an article pointing out examples of significant audio content that had surfaced on the web. Through this analysis, he made the conclusion that podcasting was to become a popular phenomenon due to its great advantages: user friendliness. Listeners can tune into their favorite shows and get the information they want when and where they want it.
This concept of portability and consequent constant accessibility is one of the main reasons that podcasts have shown a rise in popularity over the years. As professors at the University of Maryland write in the article, Joining the Podcast Revolution, “with students now more mobile than ever, the idea of being able to access information without being linked to a certain physical location is very attractive” (1). As students walk to class and as people commute to work, podcasts are available no matter what.
One of the most well-known podcasts is called Serial. This specific podcast began in 2004, and was developed by the creators of This American Life, a journalistic radio show that is publicly broadcasted each week. Serial tells compelling stories that follow a plot and the lives of complex characters and lead listeners with suspense to the endings of these stories. It has achieved many awards such as the Peabody, Scripps Howard, and Silver Gavel Award for Media and the Arts. The podcast continues to garner large audiences ever since its creation. I plan to listen to this podcast this summer, as it had been recommended to me by several friends.
Podcasts are relatively easy to make. Anyone who is interested in telling a story through an audio method can do so for free. There are many tools available to the public that can be used for putting together an audio file to post. The video below includes information on how to make a podcast without spending money, and making it available to wide audiences:
In order to further understand the behind-the-scenes work that goes into producing a podcast, we were instructed to create one ourselves. I have chosen to make my podcast about my visit to Madrid with CEA for the AICAP activity. This was a memorable time for me, as I have learned a lot about the conflict and tension that lies between citizens of Barcelona and Madrid. I especially thought this was a relevant topic after the soccer game on Sunday. You can listen to my podcast about my time in Madrid below.
- Jham, Bruno C., et al. “Joining the podcast revolution.” Journal of Dental Education 72.3 (2008): 278-281.