Radio in the Digital Age: Podcasting and Radio's Revival. David Sommerstein, Kellas 104, Wednesday 1:00 - 2:00 pm
Power of Podcasting by Angela de Gregory
Go to your computer, and open iTunes. Go to the iTunes store, and click on “podcasts” in the top of the window. You can now see the wide array of free podcasts available for you to listen to. Most people think podcasts are just about music and media. Actually, there is a huge variety of podcast genres on ITunes covering religion, science, fitness, education, art, games, family, government, and so many more topics. Easy-access podcasts allow you to listen to the news while you’re walking your dog or at the gym instead of sitting in the house waiting for it to come on the radio.
People have been using podcasts like since around 2004. Mark Curry developed the first podcast because he was disappointed with how long it took to download audio files from the internet, and to listen to a podcast you just hit “play” on a website. Now there is a broad availability of podcasts available, and they’re easily available too (Johnson and McClung 83). Not only is the wide range of podcasts surprising, but because there are so many different types of podcasts they can appeal to different people for different uses.
David Sommerstein is a North Country Public Radio reporter and blogger. On April 10th at 1pm Sommerstein will give a presentation called “Radio in the Digital Age,” and he will discuss the changing radio and how it relates to podcasting.
One way podcasts can be used is in the classroom as a teaching tool. Myke Bartlett talks about how many different types of podcasts can be useful to learning different subjects for students inside and outside the classroom. Because there is such a wide range of different podcasts, different podcasts made by different people and corporations can be useful in different subjects. For example: a podcast about different countries might be better for a history class, while a podcast about literature would be better for an English class. When looking at the education category of podcast choices they range all the way from “English as a second language” to “CNN Student News.” Because podcasts can be easily shared, they are an even more interesting tool in the classroom as well.
Podcasts are simply just a digital MP3 file, with a microphone and a computer, so students could make their own podcasts to share and post online (Bartlett 69-70). On April 10th, Sommerstein will present how to create a podcast. I think that because podcasts are so easily accessible they could be helpful in the classroom, they could expose students to a different experience in both listening and writing, and they could teach students how to share information in a new way. The information students can get out of podcasts is a good experience, and, because of the easy access to the internet on different devices, they could be a convenient teaching tool. Educational podcasts would probably appeal to people in a school setting, while other types of podcasts would be more useful in other situations for different people or even organizations.
National Public Radio is a media organization that broadcasts news and music to millions of people (NPR). Now, not only do they broadcast on the radio, they are transforming to make the media they broadcast more available to the people that listen to them, “Long defined by its radio programming, National Public Radio is reinventing itself as a multiplatform force” (Dorroh 25). This means that instead of struggling to cope with the convenience of the internet interfering with the amount of listeners they have, they’re making their media more available online in podcast form. National Public Radio is interested in making their broadcasts convenient for their listeners, and because of the internet NPR has ceased the opportunity to expand (Dorroh 27). NPR collaborates with iTunes to get their podcasts into the world, and they are making their site more iPhone friendly (Dorroh 28). This means that instead of downloading tons of podcasts, people with smartphones can go to the NPR easily with their phone and choose the podcasts they want. This way, listeners can access NPR news much easier and faster, whenever and wherever they want. Although the article “The Transformation of NPR” was written in 2008, it still applies to how the internet is and can be adapted to not only by a classroom, but also on a larger scale.
In 2009, an article written by a student, Anya Luscombe, discusses how BBC also seems to be transforming radio to become more adapted to the changing access to media as well. Luscombe states that BBC is training their reporters to adapt to the “commercialization of radio” (Luscombe 111). Because of the threat posed to most media outlets (television and newspaper), BBC is beginning to adapt to these changes. Even though the radio seems to remain unaffected by the changing access to media, millions of people still tune into the media by other means (Luscombe 112). The fact that BBC is adapting to the digital availability to media can only help them get their news out to the world.
Even local stations like North Country Public Radio are doing more than just broadcasting on the radio. NCPR puts out world news from Canton, and is associated with National Public Radio. Not only does the North Country Public Radio website have a spot where you can find the FM radio station for your area, there is an option to listen to an NCPR live stream. You can subscribe to NCPR podcasts on iTunes, and have their regional news stories emailed to you or sent to your cell phone (NCPR).
Podcasts are just one example of the transformation happening with the multimedia world, and they are just one easy way to access the radio conveniently. David Sommerstein will discuss the changes in radio, and although things like the internet and podcasts seem like a threat to the radio business, the radio is thriving more than ever.
Bartlett, Myke. “A Voice in the World: Podcasts and the Classroom.” Screen Education 64 (2012):66-70. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web. 27 Feb. 2013
Dorroh, Jennifer. “The Transformation of NPR.” American Journalism Review 30.5 (2008): 24-31. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web. 20 Feb. 2013.
Johnson, Kristine and Steven McClung. “Examining the Motives of Podcast Users.” Journal of Radio & Audio Media 17.1 (May2010): 82-95. Web.
Luscombe, Anya. “The future of radio news: BBC radio journalists on the brave new world in which they work.” The Radio Journal-international Studies in Broadcast and Audio Media 17.2 (2009): 111-122. Communication and Mass Media Complete. Web. 1 Mar. 2013
NCPR North Country Public Radio. “What is NPR.” Web. 6 Mar 2013
National Public Radio. “About North Country Public Radio.” Web. 6 Mar. 2013