Read & Respond week 14 – Audio

When we think blogging, we think writing. Recent weeks have emphasized images and other tools, but things still seem to come back to the written word. Briggs, in this week’s chapter, proposes some ways to emphasize sound over sight. We’ll focus on one: Podcasting.

A podcast is essentially an audio blog. Instead of reading, you can download and listen, which is helpful if you like to do your “reading” while exercising, cooking, or doing something else. The process can be simple or complex, but it boils down to four basic steps:

  1. Plan
  2. Record
  3. Convert/Upload
  4. Promote

This guide from DigitalTrends gets into more detail, but at minimum you need a theme (and usually some guests), a topic, a mic, and a (free) copy of Audacity; anything more can give a cleaner, more polished product but isn’t absolutely necessary.

Audiences listen to podcasts via apps such as Stitcher (free), iTunes, or just listening to them streaming online. Consider these examples of the form:

Your response this week should be enjoyable: Listen to some podcasts, especially if you never have. Pick some from the links above, or find some of your own (Buzzfeed has its own list of the ones you should be listening to). How do these (and Briggs’ other audio subject) inform your work? Have you now decided blogging is dead, and you’re going to become a podcaster instead? Post your responses by 11:59 p.m. Sunday, April 18.


15 Responses to Read & Respond week 14 – Audio

  1. audriek says:

    I have personally always been interested in podcasting. Mainly because I am curious and I don’t know how exactly it works. I’m bummed I will be missing this weeks lesson in the audio room this week due to the Vegas trip with RTDNA but I will be sure to try and check it out before graduation!
    To my surprise, the first link provided told us that there are, “plenty of methods for going about creating a podcast.” Although I can imagine that knowing how to use and understanding how the software works is a foundational part, there are many other key points to be mindful of. This link gives me the confidence that if we were to create our own podcast today, even though it may be a bit tricky because we’d be doing it on our own for the first time, I am confident that we could do it. It lays out the foundation from A to Z.
    I remember in High School using Audacity and this was a great way to record live and have a copy of what you have recorded to distribute else where if we had in fact chosen to do so. Instead of podcasts, we were using it for a piano class, but nevertheless, it did what we were needing it to do, and that was record live.
    Stitcher is a website I didn’t know about but I’m excited to start utilizing that, maybe even this weekend as I travel.
    An additional one i’m excited to check out are the comedian podcasts. I love comedians like Fallon, Ellen and Conan so that will be a cool one to look into.
    One of my guilty pleasures for “trash TV,” is Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, so naturally I listened to one of the podcasts on that from buzzfeed.
    All and all this will be a cool week ahead because of these links to the podcasts at our fingertips.

  2. “Sound allows listeners to ‘see’ with…the mind.” (p. 187) Briggs quotes Jim Stovall hear, and I think this quote sums up the goals of audio journalism. It’s a powerful tool when used correctly. Effective podcasting will create vivid imagery in the imaginations of listeners. I like this idea of “painting sound pictures.”

    I listen to lots of different podcasts on my phone. I use them to learn languages, catch up on science news, do guided meditations, listen to audiobooks and more. I like the Impractical Jokers’ different podcasts. Today, I am listening to NPR Radio on the phone app. Usually, I listen to science, historical discoveries and breaking news.

    I was looking around NPR’s anthropology stories and I found one from last year. I remember when it came out because it’s a controversial issue in anthropology. It was about the Kennewick man and the new evidence that he is more closely related to Native Americans, specifically the Coleville tribe, based on DNA. This is a problem because scientists sued the government for access to the remains and disrespected the Native Americans’ wishes to give him a proper burial. The reporters do a good job of providing background information, presenting both sides of the argument and providing visually stimulating sound bytes.

    I’ve always loved both blogging and podcasting. I knew a lot of the content this week (but also learned some new things) since I used to run a podcast called Four Eyes Radio. I used a Samson Meteor USB mic, Audactiy and Spreaker. Eventually, I didn’t have time for it anymore, but it was cool because it actually gained a bit of a following. I think rather than becoming a podcaster “instead,” I would like to integrate podcasting into my blogs just because of how much time I take to edit things. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, which contributed to my old podcast’s demise.

  3. Podcasting is huge in the religious/spiritual community. Delivering a message in an oral medium has unique benefits that the written or visual media cannot attain. I was fortunate to be able to preach while I was a seminarian, and through this experience I really began to appreciate how the spoken word can move people in amazing ways. Fr. Dave Dwyer, CSP is a Catholic priest who hosts a live radio program (Busted Halo) on XM/Sirius radio and has many podcasts. Fr. Dave is a member of the religious community that I was a part of a seminarian for 5 years. He is able to include humor and compassion that connect the listeners and callers to his message and his person. I also think that podcasts can be an effective tool in lifelong learning. We spend a lot of time in our cars, and I know that the majority use music as a way to pass the time, but I prefer talk (typically sports) radio. Podcasts would be something that would appeal to me, especially on a long road trip. Personally I learn well in small intense time frames. A 5 to 10 minutes podcast would be very appealing to me. People who commute to work/school via public transportation also like podcasts because they can have something interesting to listen to while commuting. NPR was made for podcasting. When you go to NPR’s website all of their news type shows are arranged by individual story and you can listen to what ever you please. Radio is perfectly suited for podcasting. Getting back to the religious/spiritual, Made religious messages are best delivered in a way that the culture can connect to. That means a length of no more than 15 minutes, and 10 minutes or less is preferred. This is a very well suited for podcasting. Lastly, I am a huge fan of old-time (1920’s-50’s) radio shows. Whether it is comedy or drama I enjoy shows like The Shadow, Dick Tracy, Gunsmoke (before it was on TV), etc were all well written and excellently acted out productions. The sound effects and music added mood when needed. If podcast can resurrect this kind of entertainment I would definitely pay for it. I would like to become involved in podcasts. I have a background in broadcasting, so I believe I already have the basic training to engage in audio and video.

  4. coreymac94 says:

    All you have to say when it comes to audio and journalism is NPR Radio. Arguably one of the best – and least biased – media organizations is primarily radio driven. That’s saying a lot for the realm of audio and podcasts. Both of which can be easily adapted to some of our busy lives. Lets face it, reading is not something that can be successfully multi tasked – try reading and exercising. Podcasts on the other hand sure do make it easier.

    Making these audio compilations on the other side of the process is also not as complicated as it seems. It’s actually quite easy. And with the advances in technology nowadays, it would be a good tool to have as a journalist.

    Pg. 187 of the Briggs textbook reads: “Given the ease with which audio clips can be produced, it is surprising that their use is not more widespread.”

  5. jadenarth says:

    Awwww yea, finally talking about my favorite thing: audio!!! I have experience with audio because I am fortunate enough to have had an internship with West Virginia Public Broadcasting. I worked with my favorite radio show, Inside Appalachia.

    Something I learned that is KEY to audio is that you have to keep the listener interested. Since listening to radio/podcasts is primarily passive, in order to keep the ear perked, you have to keep listeners intrigued. Including lots of voices rich in character is the best way to do this – but not too many or else it feels cluttered. Also, two words: nat sound! no matter where you go when you’re recording, turn on your tascam for even 5 minutes and catch some nat sound.

    I think I have to disagree with Briggs when he talks about the ease of producing audio clips. Yes, they’re easy to record and listen to, but actually putting them together is really challenging. Making sure it flows easily and effortlessly is a lot harder than just arranging paragraphs in a written story, but that’s just my opinion.

  6. Audio and I have a strong love, hate relationship. I have always loved listening to music, podcasts and YouTube videos that combine video with the audio. However, whenever I’ve had to work with audio, it’s been more stressful than Briggs in Chapter 6 discussed. Briggs discussed how easy editing audio can be using sites such as Audacity, which is a good tool to have, but in reality, editing and piecing the segments together can be both tedious as well as complicated. Especially for me, since I am naturally the type of person to go over and over a project until I feel like it’s perfect.

    However, I found the quote on page 187 really interesting, “Sound allows listeners to ‘see’ with the best lens of all, the mind.” This quote really shows the power that audio has. With podcasts, we aren’t able to see the information or the situations played out. We are listening and creating pictures in our minds about what is being talked about. Serial is a great example of this. Throughout each episode, the listener is imaging the situation or scenario being described in their mind. I’m surprised engaging the mind in this manner wasn’t one of the reasons Serial appealed to students in the KQED News article. Listening to podcasts also allows us to not become overstimulated by various images, texts or actions going on in a video. We are just solely focused on the audio and we listen intently to what is being said.

    I like the various examples of podcasts that were listed for this week. I’m not a big podcast user, but Buzzfeed provided a lot of podcasts that I think would be enjoyable. Buzzfeed also divided each of the podcasts into subject area. NPR is a very popular podcast for many people and is an outlet for many people to get their news. NPR mixes audio of news events with music in-between each news element in order to keep the listener engaged. The use of audio allows to the listener to get the information they need without having to juggle text, images and other elements of a physical newspaper. However, there are some people who still prefer having a copy of the newspaper in their hand as opposed to just listening to the audio.

    I did find the DigitalTrends guide of how to make a podcast very helpful in that it lays out the steps very nicely for those individuals, such as myself, who don’t know a whole lot about audio or who struggle with it. I personally prefer blogging over podcasting just because I tend to ramble, talk too much and stumble over my words. I just like that you can do so much with blogging that you can’t necessarily do with a podcast. However, I still feel that podcasts offer have a lot of potential and there is a good bit that can be done with them. I hope that this week I can learn a little more about audio and podcasts just to have the skill and maybe just to expose myself more to the subject.

  7. davidstatman says:

    Podcasting has become an interesting format to me. I come from a print background, but I’ve gotten more and more involved with podcasts as of late, doing a weekly WVU sports podcast for the DA and a periodical Washington Wizards podcast for a blog I write for. It’s fun to do, but it’s much different from what I’m used to – I’ve long thought of podcasting as blogging, but with sound. But now, some podcasts are throwing off that approach. Serial is something that I’ve listened to, and that’s less a blog with sound than it is a nonfiction book with sound. Stuff like Serial is proving that different formats of podcasts can continue to be successful.

  8. Sierra says:

    I used to be really into Podcast. I don’t actually know way I stopped following them. I loved them for movie reviews and comedy. I’ve actually discovered some of favorite comedians through their podcasts. When looking at the list of 10 best comedy podcast of 2014, I found some very funny material I didn’t know was out there. Friends Like Us by Marina Franklin was definitely among my favorite. Her material made me feel like we had been friends for years. Another one of my favorites was The Champs. It was funny but informative to see where everyone was coming from based on their background. My last favorite was WTF which was surprising because I can’t relate to any of the content he discusses but he is great to listen to and I really like his interviews.

    Audio journalism is becoming increasingly important and after this lesson, I can understand why. You can listen to it anywhere which makes it really convenient. Also, there are some that take things in better when they are listening to it. I think that audio journalism can sometimes paint a better picture if it is used correctly and with the right language. It can really be captivating for the listener which makes it a very powerful tool in journalism and storytelling.

  9. EmilyGMartin says:

    The only time I ever listen to podcasts: when I miss my favorite morning radio show (Mikey and Big Bob) from Pittsburgh and have to catch-up on iHeartRadio later in the day, and someone released a 5 or 6-part podcast on why Steve Avery (Netflix’s ‘Making a Murderer’) is guilty (btw he’s definitely not). I never delved into ‘Serial’ even though it has been strongly recommended to me several times.

    I have never made a podcast and that is mostly because 1)I have no idea how and 2)I hate the sound of my voice on video or audio, which kind of makes me dread this week.

    I have to disagree with Briggs on audio being easy. No, it is not. I took JRL 225 last fall and the audio part of it was so hard. It took me FOREVER to get my final piece together and even then it still didn’t sound very good. I’m sure with practice I could get used to it, but for now it’s still pretty rough.

    I’m interested to see what this week teaches me about audio and how to incorporate it into my work.

  10. matthewfergo says:

    Podcasts have always been of interest to me because of my love for journalism and media. Although I’d have to say I prefer blogging because I prefer written content, podcasts can very effective. For example, I frequently listened to podcasts during my work commute last summer. That being said, I would love to pursue a career in podcasting in the sports industry (those are mainly the podcasts that I listen to) but I also do enjoy the storytelling apsect of podcasts like Serial. I’ve done some podcast work for a sports reporting class last semester and I enjoyed it, but it is definitely something that takes a good amount of planning or the end result will be sloppy. In that sense, I think it’s different than print content. Both have their benefits, and I think both go hand in hand in the future of new media.

  11. pmlilly says:

    Truthfully I have never really been interested in podcasts or blogs, because like you used to say in class “who cares”. The only time I ever check something along those lines out is when I need a questions answered, like if there is something wrong with my PS4 or something I can go to this blog Those are really the only things that I have ever taken an interest in. There are many people that love NPR and blogs but that is just not my thing. My brother on the other hand can not get enough of NPR. Whenever he is in town all that he does is listen to NPR on the radio. I will give him you learn about the state of the world, but it is just boring. I suppose maybe you can credit my dislike for audio journalism for something that Briggs said in the book on page 189 “most people are not compelling speakers, especially in extemporaneous situations, too many journalists end up producing lifeless audio reports”. Maybe I could start listening to some comedy podcasts like you have above in the reading, but if anything I would much rather just watch a standup comedian and watch the video of his performance. This course had made me appreciate blogs a little bit more, because if you look at the right ones there is some good information on them, but honestly I don’t think I will read blogs unless I am looking for a specific answer to a problem I am having.

  12. mtshadle says:

    I am not very familiar with podcasting personally. As a TVJ major, i have worked a lot with software such as Audacity… however, I am not too fond of Audacity itself. I find it much easier and more effective to edit audio on Premier Pro. We also learn a lot about the importance of audio in stories and as Briggs discusses, the ability of audio to tell a story that words alone cannot. Natural sound in visual stories as well as audio based stories such as Podcasts can be extremely powerful in setting a tone or creating an atmosphere for the viewer in an entirely new way.

    I really enjoyed the list by BuzzFeed which suggested 22 podcast to subscribe to. I have streamed a few podcasts before and find that it is difficult to “stumble” across a podcast that is of interest to you and high quality. I will definitely be viewing a few of the podcasts on the list in order to get a better taste of what I like in a podcast and explore options available.

  13. John Mark says:

    The name of the podcasting game is comedy. I find myself listening to Comedy Bang! Bang!, We Hate Movies, U Talkin’ U2 To Me?, and others more than music these days. I’ve never given serious podcasts a try, though, so that may be something to try. I understand their value, but in all honesty, I get so much more out of using podcasts for recreational purposes than informational.

    I’ve always wanted to do a podcast of my own, similar to Comedy Bang! Bang! but centered around WVU. It may be a pipedream of mine, but I think something like that would really give the college a pop culture presence that it really doesn’t have right now.

  14. I’m honestly not too familiar with podcasts, but I’ve always been interested in learning more about them. I recently heard about Serial and have been waiting for a free time when I could really pay attention to listen. I think that podcasts really aren’t talked about and promoted as much as other forms of media. I also think that due to the nature of audio media in general, it’s important that podcasts have a unique twist to them to keep listeners engaged and interested. I definitely think that audio can be an effective way of informing an audience (just think of NPR!), but it needs to have something interesting about it.

  15. I think podcasts have really changed the journalism world. I have not listened to many prior to this class, however I listened to a few free podcasts on iTunes, as well as live podcasts on Parascope.

    After reading the process of starting a podcast, I find myself ahead of the game because I know how to use audacity and record/upload material. Depending on my summer plans, I hope to start a podcast on my life and whatever it is I am doing.

    I really like Brigg’s quote from the book when he says, “Sound allows listeners to see with the best lens of all, the mind.” I think this is a ver interesting approach to journalism and he is absolutely correct. Rather than visually reading information with a blog or newspaper, podcasts leave it up to our minds to interpret and just listen to the stories.

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