Peas in a Podcast: Ingrid Henderson, Kobbie Ofori-Atta, and Tabia Smith
A few weeks ago, our peers (ourselves included) interviewed a diverse array of youth activists. Hearing each of these stories, we wanted to create a way in which the words of all these activists could be presented to the community. We brainstormed means in which we could create a product that would be accessible to the whole public, present the stories of the activists clearly as they intended, and easily sharable to friends and family. Our final idea was our podcast, Community Comments.
In order to create the prototype for our podcast, we first needed to listen and analyze already established podcasts. For example, we listened to This American Life, Radiolab, and TED Radio Hour to understand the concept of narrative journalism — this is the style in which we were conducting our podcast. After gleaning a sense of the formula and flow of how our podcast should sound, we started our construction process.
To do this, we first listened to a few of our classmates’ interview, taking key and interesting sections of each clip. Based on these snippets and some background information of the each activist being interviewed, we conducted research to present statistical facts and other relevant figures which the interviewee wasn’t able to state. We later wrote a simple outline structure detailing what we were going to talk about in each segment of our podcast, and when were to play a section of audio for context. Finally, we recorded our whole podcast, editing in the original audio of the interview where it applied — we used GarageBand to help with the overall sound quality, and the audio effects added to the opening of the podcast. We uploaded our final podcast prototype to SoundCloud where we will have a Peas in a Podcast account for all of our podcasts to be listened to and/or downloaded.
We came across a few challenges as we starting putting things together. For instance, throughout the script-making process, we found it difficult to find strong connections between audio segments to seamlessly connect them with our comments and banter. Likewise, it was also difficult to find and edit down the valuable parts of each interview to best capture the interviewee’s aspirations, because we want to make sure their message is clear and their beliefs are portrayed like they intended.
After our class presentation, we got some much needed feedback to improve our production process. We really liked the idea of making our podcast more of a participatory process. We would do this by asking our interviewees which sections of the interviews they felt were most important. Depending on their response, we would take this into account when structuring our podcasts. The process could become even more participatory if we collaborated with our interviewees during the actual editing process, by teaching interviewees how to use video and sound editing software, and giving sample podcast introductory scripts for users submitting stories. This would give each topic more style from sound effects to structure. We also would add text submissions as an option to make our podcast even more accessible. These submissions would be read by one of us when recording a podcast.
We also like the idea to make our podcast more public. We could both gain viewers and raise awareness on our interview topics if we held live interviews for our podcast. Collaborating with a group like Zumix, or even a campus radio show (like Wellesley’s WZLY), would create a more public platform. The interviews would become even more public if we held live shows in public spaces — possibly allowing us to attract a more diverse demographic (perhaps older people, those not usually involved in activism).