For the past three years, I considered myself a podcaster. My inspiration to podcast started about eleven (!!!) years ago when I had a radio show with my two best friends, James and Gino. I had copious amounts of fun and leisure from doing a radio program, so when I grew older, I wanted to capture that same excitement with my friends. I thought that by creating a podcast I would recapture the magic of my early teenage years. However, the podcasts I had with my friends didn’t live up to the quality of our early radio years. But it wasn’t the busy work schedules or quality of the equipment that couldn’t hold our interests.
We didn’t know what the hell we were doing.
Podcasting and radio, although similar, are very different beasts. For one thing, radio is difficult to redact. What is said can’t be taken away (ask Don Imus and he will tell you.) A radio show typically has a time constraint and the program is crafted around it. A podcast, on the other hand, is up to the creator(s) as to how long the program should last. While this sounds very ideal on the surface, the absence of a time limit created the biggest issue for the shows we would do:
No one wants to hear rambling conversations. It would make our podcasts drag on, and since there wasn’t a threat of repercussion (going off-air without getting all the material in), the shows suffered. Even worse, the show simply lacked focused. The podcast my friends and I had was a Philly Sports debate show. While that works for radio (since radio shows revolve mostly around current events), it doesn’t exactly make for a good podcast.
So when I decided to take JRN 212, I was hoping to learn how to make effective podcasts. Luckily for me, I did.
For one thing, I learned how to properly edit with Audacity, the freeware sound editing program. My knowledge with Audacity was very limited, and if I knew back then what I knew now, I could have made my podcasts sound very professional. I learned how to edit in sound clips and to edit out ums and other unwanted sounds. This made the work I did with my group sound much more professional. Another big thing was finding free music and setting it as background music. Background music can help eliminate unwanted sounds and noise, and since most podcasters aren’t privy to sound studios, it can be a useful trick.
Another thing I learned was to improve my interviewing skills. As a journalism student, I know that interviews are an integral part of writing and producing content. Through JRN 212, I became more confident in my skills and managed to snag an interview with Flyers legend Brian Propp. Besides improving as a podcaster, I improved as a journalist and feel more confident in my abilities going forward.
Coming out of this, I feel like I can create a podcast that is not only more concise and organized, but I can do it and make it feel fun. I have a few ideas, but now that I know what I’m doing, I feel much more confident and can synthesize that knowledge with my creativity.