Posts tagged podcasts

Where are the Women in Podcasting?

Via Julie Shapiro at Transom.org:

What’s the aural equivalent of a vantage point? From whatever that’s called, from my perch at the Third Coast International Audio Festival, an observation has been increasingly nagging. It’s nothing new, it’s fairly obvious, and it deserves your attention. It is the lack of female hosts in the ever-widening world of podcasts.

I generally keep up (or try to) with what’s out there in the radio/audio/podcast cosmos, so I’ve been aware that male-hosted podcasts (MHPs) out-number women-hosted podcasts (WHPs), easily. But the actual numbers floored me. According to the widely-used podcast-delivery phone app Stitcher, as of mid-February, 2013, out of the top 100 podcasts in their system, 71 are hosted by men (many by two or three men), 11 are hosted by women (of which three are just 60 seconds long), 9 are co-hosted by a man and woman, and 9 are either NPR or BBC news aggregation podcasts with alternating hosts and reporters, or it’s unclear who hosts. iTunes results were similar.

Though these numbers may not surprise, they should alarm you too. And they point to the disappointing truth: that podcasting – hailed back in 2004 as a “revolutionary” new tool for freedom of expression and endless creative opportunity – quickly copped the same gender stereotypes and realities that traditional broadcasting environments have demonstrated throughout history.

Of course I’m not the only one who’s noticed this, or thinks about it. Nick van der Kolk (Snap Judgement, Love + Radio) posited the question via Facebook back in 2011, and Ashley Milne-Tyte (The Broad Experience) wrote about it last year, just to point to a couple of previous public ponderings. But it is an issue that merits continuous noise, so here’s an attempt to bang on a few more pots and pans about the situation.

I asked two dozen people (half women, half men) in the extended Third Coast community (producers, pub radio decision-makers, podcast hosts) to weigh in on the topic. A little more than half responded. Of those who did, approximately 85% were women. What follows are my own thoughts, combined with observations and opinions from those who responded to my questions. Without getting too investigative, or too scientific, or too statistically inclined, there seem to be a few main factors (and many smaller ones) contributing to the egregious imbalance of MHPs to WHPs.

Read on for Julie’s thoughts and examples of great female-hosted podcasts and programming.

onaissues:

Eight ways journalists can use SoundCloud | IJNet
If you do audio recording, Soundcloud is a useful way for you to share what you’ve captured. Jessica Weis highlights ways in which it is particularly useful for journalists. She’s got tips to engage with your listeners, report from your mobile phone and more. 

onaissues:

Eight ways journalists can use SoundCloud | IJNet

If you do audio recording, Soundcloud is a useful way for you to share what you’ve captured. Jessica Weis highlights ways in which it is particularly useful for journalists. She’s got tips to engage with your listeners, report from your mobile phone and more. 

99% Invisible: Episode 63 - The Political Stage

The Seven Secrets of Political Theater

99percentinvisible:

On this special edition of 99% Invisible, we joined forces with Andrea Seabrook of DecodeDC to investigate all the thought that goes into the most miniscule details of a political campaign.

Secret 01: Politicians are brands.

Secret 02: Every campaign has a team of people to reinforce that brand. These are the advance people who show up and stage events with objects (eg., hay bales, backdrops, specific locations, etc.).

Secret 03: Advance teams for both parties run campaigns the same way, with the same considerations.

Secret 04: Every campaign sends out “spies”, or trackers, to follow the other campaign. Bonus half secret: campaigns often become friends with the trackers from the opposing campaign.

Secret 05: Everything is staged. Nothing is extemporaneous. Even the debates. It’s all theater.

Secret 06: No matter how carefully advance teams prepare, things are bound to go wrong. Consider this Murphy’s Law as applied to politics.

Secret 07: Everyone traveling with the campaigns, the advance teams, the candidates and the reporters, hate the music.

Runtime: ~17 minutes. Learn more about 99% Invisible.

I realized that there is a part of covering Congress, if you’re doing daily coverage, that is actually sort of colluding with the politicians themselves because so much of what I was doing was actually recording and playing what they say or repeating what they say. And I feel like the real story of Congress right now is very much removed from any of that, from the sort of theater of the policy debate in Congress, and it has become such a complete theater that none of it is real… I feel like I am, as a reporter in the Capitol, lied to every day, all day. There is so little genuine discussion going on with the reporters… To me, as a reporter, everything is spin.

I am going to try to focus myself on the stories that none of the other reporters have time to cover. NPR would have loved to have had any of these stories… The problem is, as a modern, esteemed news organization, NPR also feels that it needs to cover the daily news and the daily news as currently defined is what happened on the floor today, what’s the big debate in Congress, what’s your government doing. And I completely understand that. But our staff is so small on the Hill that it was impossible for me to do more than a story once in a while that agreed with how I felt it should be covered.

Andrea Seabrook, former weekend host of All Things Considered, on why she left NPR to start DecodeDC, a blog and podcast about Washington politics. Politico, Ex-NPR Hill reporter: Lied to daily

Bonus: Seabrook talks with NPR’s Jennifer Ludden in this July interview about her departure and thoughts on Washington political culture.

Double Bonus: Seabrook is one of 15 Soundcloud Community 2012 fellows. Head over to hear some of the audio stories that each is producing.

140 plays

Covering the Apocalypse

Let’s say Earth was invaded Independence Day-style by aliens.

With communications systems down, how would or could journalists cover it? What type of stories should they tell? Should they get the aliens side of the story?

Difficult questions, to be sure. Thankfully, On the Media is on it in this conversation between Brook Gladstone and Twitter’s manager of editorial programming Andrew Fitzgerald.

Run Time: 6:55.

Speed-produced Longshot Radio to make its next episode this week with Radiolab, in 48 hours, with everybody
Think improv where you can cry if you want, and where there’s no stage or troupe - just a booth and a microphone. From their camp at the 99% Conference (which doesn’t have anything to do with Occupy Wall Street) theme-based Longshot Radio will release a series of radio pieces on experimentation and the times when risks don’t pan out. And they’ll do it really fast.
There are many ways to become involved from anywhere, all of which are clearly spelled out here.
And seeing as how the show asks passersby to go out on a limb and tell a personal story, we asked executive producer Jody Avirgan to share some of his experiments-gone-wrong, and how he and his friends managed to create something so unique. He told us this:

Certainly at 4am on Sunday last time around, we were questioning the whole endeavor. But, yes, the idea is to not be afraid to try things, and to react to each little failure with a tweak and an adjustment, rather than throwing up your hands. So, there are countless moments where you have a big idea (“we should get people from every country in the world to remix the same radio piece in the next four hours”) that butts up against possible failure. You then adjust, and find other unexpected victories.

Speed-produced Longshot Radio to make its next episode this week with Radiolab, in 48 hours, with everybody

Think improv where you can cry if you want, and where there’s no stage or troupe - just a booth and a microphone. From their camp at the 99% Conference (which doesn’t have anything to do with Occupy Wall Street) theme-based Longshot Radio will release a series of radio pieces on experimentation and the times when risks don’t pan out. And they’ll do it really fast.

There are many ways to become involved from anywhere, all of which are clearly spelled out here.

And seeing as how the show asks passersby to go out on a limb and tell a personal story, we asked executive producer Jody Avirgan to share some of his experiments-gone-wrong, and how he and his friends managed to create something so unique. He told us this:

Certainly at 4am on Sunday last time around, we were questioning the whole endeavor. But, yes, the idea is to not be afraid to try things, and to react to each little failure with a tweak and an adjustment, rather than throwing up your hands. So, there are countless moments where you have a big idea (“we should get people from every country in the world to remix the same radio piece in the next four hours”) that butts up against possible failure. You then adjust, and find other unexpected victories.

A new NPR show debuts today
Fans of radio, TED, and brains (see today’s theme) may enjoy NPR’s latest show, which holds interviews with TED speakers, and gets them to elaborate on their research or passions. It’s called TED Radio Hour.

A new NPR show debuts today

Fans of radio, TED, and brains (see today’s theme) may enjoy NPR’s latest show, which holds interviews with TED speakers, and gets them to elaborate on their research or passions. It’s called TED Radio Hour.

How Blogs are Changing Science

Back in January the Guardian posted a great podcast about science, blogging and why scientists and science writers are blogging.

We missed it at the time but listened to it this morning. It’s a fascinating romp through through the topic and deserves a listen even if science isn’t your particular beat.

Run Time: 38:50

Source | Download

Stats: Who’s Paying for What Online?

There’s an old yarn about people’s unwillingness to pay for content online, but the latest data from The Pew Internet Survey show how this notion continues to unravel. A sliver under two-thirds of all Internet users (65 percent) are buying something online, with the average survey respondent spending $47 per month on online content.

  • 33% of internet users have paid for digital music online
  • 33% have paid for software
  • 21% have paid for apps for their cell phones or tablet computers
  • 19% have paid for digital games
  • 18% have paid for digital newspaper, magazine, or journal articles or reports
  • 16% have paid for videos, movies, or TV shows
  • 15% have paid for ringtones
  • 12% have paid for digital photos
  • 11% have paid for members-only premium content from a website that has other free material on it
  • 10% have paid for e-books
  • 7% have paid for podcasts
  • 5% have paid for tools or materials to use in video or computer games
  • 5% have paid for “cheats or codes” to help them in video games
  • 5% have paid to access particular websites such as online dating sites or services
  • 2% have paid for adult content

Of the 755 survey respondents, nearly one in five (18 percent) said that they had paid for journalistic or editorial content of some kind, which should be good news for newspaper publishers. However, as we’ve seen with iPad versions of magazines, enthusiasm has been tepid overall. 

Perhaps it’s time for legacy media outlets to begin diversifying their online content offerings, seeing themselves as portals or curators of premium content worth buying. Without reprising the role of filters and analysts of the important news of the day, top media brands could engage and broaden their audience through myriad premium content offerings that subsidize the unprofitable, but essential journalism that established their brands in the first place.