As I have mentioned before, I am currently taking an Online Journalism class, where we have to learn different forms of digital media that play in the world of journalism. We have made it to the point in the semester where we are working on audio storytelling and I can already tell that this is something that could benefit me in my future career.
I read in an article that podcasts are becoming more and more popular, with Americans in 2015 listening to over 21 million hours of podcast audio every single day. When I read this statistic, it blew my mind even though I knew that podcasts were gaining popularity.
I have recently started listening to the podcast “This American Life” on NPR (I know, I am late to the game on this one) and I have to say that it is one of the best things in my morning routine. As someone who hopes to write features about interesting people someday, this podcast speaks to me. I believe that this is what is happening in America. People are finding podcasts that speak to them and they are continuing to follow them, whether it be for the interesting stories told, or the hard hitting news that they can now listen to on their cell phone.
To me, the amount of time spent listening to podcasts is reason enough for journalism students to learn the art of audio storytelling. Not only the popularity, but the fact that it is a skill that could be needed in today’s media world – it is not a bad skill to have.
Personally, I love to write, but I also understand why people are also very interested in listening to a story as well. With podcasts, you are given the ability to do other things while still hearing the story (cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc.). Because of this, I think that teaching audio storytelling should at least be considered.
I have included one of my favorite episodes of “This American Life” to show how powerful audio storytelling can be:
I would like to finish on the question of, “Are podcasts journalism?” To me, they can be. “This American Life,” for example, tells the stories of real individuals in every day life. It may not be a form of hard news, but it is definitely a form of journalism. Feature journalism, which is a category of its own, and personally my favorite.