The audience for podcasts is exploding in 2019. This year the U.S. added 14 million new weekly podcast listeners, with over half of Americans over 12 reporting that they’ve listened to at least one podcast since the format emerged back in the early 2000’s.
Key to this growth is increasing accessibility, with podcasts catering to just about any taste or interest easily available on our smartphones as we commute, work out, cook dinner, or even as we drift off to sleep at night.
But another driving force in the podcast boom is that the format is so friendly to strong storytelling.
“Podcasts are intimate, they’re flexible in length, and they’re relatively cheap and easy to produce compared to other forms of storytelling like video,” explains veteran radio producer and Comm Lead faculty Jessica Partnow.
This winter, Partnow led a class of 18 students in producing an audio story in podcast form. The students developed their own story ideas, recorded interviews and natural sound, and then scripted out and narrated stories ranging in topics from mental health to urban planning, breweries to barber shops. The topics may have varied, but the common thread was a focus on real human stories, elevating the form beyond the snarky recorded conversation around a microphone that some have come to associate with podcasting.
Most of the projects from the class are embedded below for your enjoyment. So bookmark this page for your next road trip or long walk, pop on your headphones, and enjoy!
The Switch: Running & Depression by Wadii Boughdir:
Circus is for Everyone by Shannon French:
Need Help Talking About Sexism? Try Ultimate Frisbee by Natalie Jamerson:
Babymoon by Colby Neal:
Barber Shops by Tony Rubino:
Kid Perspective by Molli Corcoran:
Lid Over I-5 by Bradley Paynter:
To Have a Child with Cancer by Kelsey Herstad:
The Golden Cage: Choosing Between Marriage & Work by Ling Yang:
Optimism Brewing by Collin Sparling:
Applying to College by Jess Morana Zhang:
Type 1 Diabetic Medication Struggles by Sam Cook:
Breweries in Ballard by Conner Garrison:
Rafik Harriri Assassination Continues to Impact Lebanon by Rich McLaughlin: