It's All Journalism: Tow Center Deciphers Podcasting for Journalists

december 11, 2015  10:00 am
It's All Journalism: Tow Center Deciphers Podcasting for Journalists
It's All Journalism is a weekly conversation about the changing state of the media and the future of journalism.
Way back in January, Medium posited that 2015 could be the "Year of the Podcast".

Now, in the year's final days, Serial, what many viewed as the "it" podcast in its first season, has returned for a second. This time it's focusing on the story of former Taliban prisoner/accused Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl.

Historians can decide whether 2015 was a pivotal year for podcasting or not. The platform has been around for awhile and more people seem interested in listening to podcasts or launching their own.

For journalists, though, many questions remain about the viability of the platform as a sustainable storytelling medium.

With less fanfare perhaps than the return of Serial, the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University seeks to answer some of those concerns. It just released a new Guide to Podcasting, which details several sustainable models for journalists looking to podcast.

"Podcasting is kind of like an antidote to the Internet Age, in many ways, because when you're constantly looking for hits and fast traffic, podcasting is a different type of medium that engenders a different type of relationship with audiences," said Vanessa Quirk, author of the guide. "It's one that I think is very valuable and will be important to kind of offset a lot of what's been happening in digital media."

Quirk has a lot to say about why many journalists should — and some shouldn't — consider podcasting. If you've ever considered taking the plunge, read this guide.

On this week's It's All Journalism podcast, Producers Michael O'Connell and Amber Healy talk to Vanessa Quirk, author of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism's Guide to Podcasting. She discusses the challenges journalists face in creating sustainable podcasts and shares some of the technical barriers that have slowed the wider adoption of the medium as a storytelling device. The guide is also available for digital download.