Audio: A few good tips.
Updated: Jan 17
A curated list of audio and podcast advice, for Prof. Dana Sajdi's HIST1806 class.
Audio recording and troubleshooting: Hearing hiss in your audio? Popping your P’s? Here’s a helpful guide from NPR’s Training division on how to avoid common audio recording problems, complete with short audio examples so you can really hear it. https://training.npr.org/2017/01/31/the-ear-training-guide-for-audio-producers/
The art of the interview: Third Coast is like the SXSW of podcasting. Everyone goes, everyone loves it, and the organizers tape every lecture and post it online. This is a particularly good one on how to do a good interview, by Karen Duffin, the former co-host of Planet Money. It’s a bit long -- remember, this is a taped lecture -- but there are some great nuggets in here. https://www.thirdcoastfestival.org/feature/start-from-the-beginning
The Longform Podcast: Each episode is a 45-minute conversation with a journalist about their work, philosophy, and insights. Listen for two things: First, how these successful podcasters think about their audience and content. What makes a good podcast? What was the moment that a print writer decided a particular topic or angle was best suited for audio? Second, listen for how the Longform interviewer interviews them. Which questions work well and why? There are a few episodes dedicated to people who have done podcast work -- Nikole Hannah-Jones may be the best.
Other conversations I can recommend for this class include #471, Sarah Marshall -- she runs a recent history / pop culture podcast about misremembered moments called “You’re Wrong About.” And episode #378, Ashley C. Ford -- because she’s absolutely delightful and is an incredible example of a podcast host who is warm, funny and relatable.
On cinematic writing, by Nancy Updike: Also a long one, but this essay is gold when it comes to scripting. This American Life often sends it to new writers to help them understand the show’s writing style. https://transom.org/2006/nancy-updike/
A layout of different podcast formats: The Interview, The Co-Hosted Conversation, the Monologue. The Story. The Repurposed Radio Show. Or something that's Bite-sized for a quick commute. Choose wisely, or mix it up! https://www.masterclass.com/articles/types-of-podcasts-explained#6-types-of-podcast-formats
Quick tips from podcaster Jordan Harbinger: I'm not super familiar with his podcast, The Jordan Harbinger Show, but his tips on interviewing and thinking about your audience ring true to form. https://blog.bluemic.com/podcasting/host-of-apples-top-podcast-of-2018-jordan-harbinger-shares-his-top-five-podcasting-tips/?fbclid=IwAR3PUTfJwZkrRS6rJgIWTTCCLG3rINgthn_BkOEkOlC2kGslHG8IOV2VgWA
And here’s a 2-minute pick-me-up from Ira Glass, if the process ever gets you down: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHrmKL2XKcE
Great examples of history-forward podcasts:
Fall of Civilizations: I found and fell in love with this podcast at the beginning of the pandemic, when it felt like the world was ending and a historical perspective gave me a chance to feel like “this too shall pass” for a moment. The Byzantine Empire episode is my personal favorite. https://fallofcivilizationspodcast.com/
Stuff You Missed in History Class: Two women, correcting the stuff you learned in history class. Or pulling out some incredible oddities that never made it on the syllabus. https://www.stitcher.com/show/stuff-you-missed-in-history-class
Kerning Cultures: Often, but not exclusively, about significant historical moments in the Arabic-speaking world. https://kerningcultures.com/kerningcultures/
+ Ottoman History Podcast and Turkey Book Talks, of which you’re probably well aware!
More fun troves of information:
Transom: Helpful how-to guides and commentaries by the pros. https://transom.org/
NPR Training: Resources published by NPR, for the next generation of audio producers and enthusiasts: https://training.npr.org/
Third Coast Archive: You can search their archives for master class lectures on almost anything audio and podcast-related. You can check their awards lists to hear some of the best audio ever produced. https://www.thirdcoastfestival.org/
The Knight Center: Free and low-cost journalism courses, to peruse at your leisure! https://journalismcourses.org/?s=audio
These can be helpful for networking, quick questions, job listings, etc.
Public Media Journalists: https://www.facebook.com/groups/PublicMediaJournalists
Podcast Movement Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/podcastmovement
Black Podcast Support Network: https://www.facebook.com/groups/blackpodcastsupportnetwork
Women, Trans and Non-binary folks of Audio: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1514423228769048