On the dramatic day The Wall came down—November 9, 1989— I got a call from my boss at ABC News Radio. “Get on tonight’s flight to Berlin.” For a young network news reporter, it was a dream assignment. Over the next two weeks, armed with a portable cassette recorder, notepad and microphone, I covered many … Continue reading What Happens When the World Changes in a Single Day
All the awful things about the coronavirus crisis are obvious — from the economic calamity and disruption of social distancing to the virus itself. But for podcasters, there are opportunities as well challenges. When the pandemic erupted, our team at “How Do We Fix It?” had to react in a hurry. We tossed our spring program … Continue reading We tore up our podcast schedule. Today we’re scrappy & immediate.
Welcome to the presidential debate season. This evening, tomorrow, and then over 16 long months, several dozen proposed debates will occupy much of the news media’s fevered attention. Millions of us will tune in, but we may well be disappointed. Instead of informed, insightful coverage of complex issues and character of the candidates, the debates … Continue reading 2020 Democrats Debates Will Disappoint. Here’s Why Podcasts Are So Much Better.
Despite many recent efforts to debunk Malcolm Gladwell’s famous “10,000 hour rule”, there is a good deal of truth to what he says. The New Yorker writer, author and podcaster claimed that the key to success in any field, is simply a matter of practicing a specific task for 20 hours a week for 10 … Continue reading Prep, preview, pivot: How almost anyone can ask great questions and do a great podcast interview.
I’m listening to Michelle Obama read her audio book to me. I’m on my own with my headphones and so is she. I picture the former First Lady sitting upright and calm, with good posture, in a small sound-proofed recording booth with a cool glass of water by her side, alone with her thoughts and … Continue reading The Michelle Obama Example: Why Book Publishers Should Make Podcasts With Their Best-Selling Authors
In an increasingly crowded field of Monday-to-Friday podcasts, “The Daily” from The New York Times is still the most popular news show, with about 1.75 million downloads per episode. According to one estimate, the number of daily podcasts has more than tripled in less than two years. The competition now includes news shows by NPR, … Continue reading Daily podcasts are booming. But here’s why some will fail…
For more than three decades I spent my working life in network radio news, reading scripts and speaking to the clock. As a journalist covering politics, wars and the financial markets, I had to master the art of the precis — telling compact, compelling stories using a minimum number of carefully chosen words. As a radio news-talk … Continue reading Throw away the seatbelts. What I had to un-learn after a long career in network radio.
I hate to dump on "The Daily". Apart from editing and producing our own shows, this brilliant New York Times podcast takes up more of my listening time than any other. For news junkies, "The Daily" is part of our weekday morning routine. The show's genial and ever curious host, Michael Barbaro, is like a … Continue reading Simple storytelling and the Radiolabification of podcasting.
Friction is the thing. It's not as easy, convenient or simple as it should be to discover podcasts, or find shows that fit your range of interests. Confusion and complexity are holding us back. The first barrier for wannabe podcast listeners is the prompt. iTunes and other platforms suggest that you "subscribe." But this is a … Continue reading The f-word podcasters think the most about is….
How to ask questions (2). The third in a series on podcasting. As soon as I published some thoughts on how podcasters can do even better interviews than they record already (my previous blog), I started getting friendly feedback. Some of it comes from close to home. Miranda Shafer, the senior producer of “How Do … Continue reading The beauty of asking dumb questions.