Drop the Mic
Podcasts emerged in 2014 and continued to gain popularity. Podcasts introduce a creative, new form of entertainment. This new trend has reached millions of listeners and continues to grow. Millennials have adopted podcasts as a new way to listen to the radio.
“A good podcast is a gateway to any area of the human experience through a well presented story.” -Adam Hogue
Like all things, each podcast has a specific style. I noticed distinct differences in each of the podcasts that I listened to. The first show I listened to was from ESPN titled “Week 4”, the hosts were reviewing each of the recent NFL games occurring. This particular show was aired in the midst of the Fantasy Football trend so the focus was centered on key players during each game. The beginning of the show was conversational and then transitioned to interviews with some guest speakers. Matthew Berry was the main host that led the dialogue of the show. He maintained an admirable professionalism during the entire show. Berry was able to guide the conversation about each of the games. The first focus was on the Dolphins v. Bengals game. The hosts ended the show with an overview of the Patriots v. Buffalo Bills game. Each story began with a story from the locker room and transcended throughout the entire game. As each speaker begins, Berry introduces them and states their relation to the program. It was all interview based and the speakers voiced their opinions about key players’ performances. This segment offered insight about the NFL’s analytics, drives of the plays, discussions of the rookie quarterback and criticisms of Tom Brady. Overall, I thought this was a very informative show and my group adopted some of “Week 4’s” techniques.
Podcasts vary in content and in structure. The next podcast I listened to was very different than the show on ESPN. FOX Sports sponsored Episode 191: Bob Saget hosted by “The Fighter and the Kid.” I thought it was going to be sports related but it was not. This segment was full of crude humor and I felt it was very unprofessional. The hosts kept interrupting each other and used vulgar language. As I was listening to this podcast, I thought the hosts were wasting time trying to get to the point of the segment. When “The Fighter” introduced Bob Saget on to the show they asked him about his work and how he felt about today’s issues. The three speakers discussed topics such as racism and the election. The speakers were all very interactive and took turns interviewing each other. I did not appreciate this style of podcast.
To compare, the final podcast I listened to was one of the suggested shows on The Atlantic: The Best Podcasts of 2015. I was intrigued by “The American Life” by Rumble Strip Vermont. It was a story of the barber, Vaughn Wood, who later became a solider in the Vietnam War. I enjoyed the sound affects that accompanied his story. It made me think that I was there at the barber shop with him while everything was happening. I thought that this podcast was done really well. The show had strong narrative that took the listeners through a timeline of events. I could tell that some parts were scripted but I still became emotionally involved with the speaker. The audience could feel Hood’s emotions because there wasn’t any interjection from the host. I was experiencing the journey as well.
After listening to other podcasts we produced show of our own. I specifically enjoyed the planning process. We scripted and outline of what we wanted to say but on the spot we were able to improvise and we each told a story from the heart. Collectively as a group we agreed on the theme of our podcast when we found the commonalities between our topics. The main focus was Furman Athletics. In this episode the listeners will hear narratives about baseball recruitment from Will Gaddis and Grant Schuermann, how PJ Blazejowski adjusted as a collegiate athlete, and how I chose Furman and my interests in a career with athletics. It was interesting to see how the final product came together. We utilized sound affects like we heard in the other podcasts and we interviewed each other. Our podcast was the most similar to ESPN’s. Check it out and listen!