photo by Typorama

Everyone is biased, especially journalists like me.

Often we don’t even realize it. Our limited, blinkered views of the world are a compelling reason why journalists are held in such low regard by their fellow citizens.

All too often we think of bias as something that’s known, deliberate, and the result of a clear split between a left or right-leaning view of the world. As long as we get quotes from sources on both sides, we’re fine.

But the truth about bias is much more complicated — and fascinating.

Age, race, ethnicity, religion, geography, life experience, and personal psychology —…

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 plans into the trash.

Our weekly solutions journalism podcast does interviews about constructive ideas aimed at making the world a better place. Instead of carefully constructed shows worked out weeks in advance, we’re winging it, booking guests one or two days ahead. Many authors, journalists and thought leaders have time on their hands, and are easier to get. Scrappy and immediate is the order of the day. …

How many boring corporate emails and newsletters have your received in recent days, telling you how much brand X or company Y cares about their customers and employees during this pandemic we’re all coping with?

Can’t they do better than this?

We already know we’re living in the middle of a vast and rapidly changing social experiment. As communicators we need to do much better than offer scripted platitudes at a time when everyone is looking for authentic human connection.

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Podcasting can help.

I feel really passionate about this.

As we physically distance ourselves from others…

Far too often data dominates our conversations. We’re frequently obsessed by analytics — what we can quantify and measure.

We think a lot about the size of things. This favors those who have lots of money, or are backed by big brands, networks and investors with deep pockets.

Our questions include: How many downloads do we have? What’s our marketing budget? Where do we find advertisers or investors? When is the best time of the day to release our podcast episodes? How long should they be?

We should think more about the soul of things.

What are our values? How…

Podcasting today stirs up memories of the crazy speculation during the dot com boom in the 90’s, when vast amounts of venture capitalist dollars were thrown at wacky entrepreneurs who didn’t have a clue how to turn a profit.

As podcast consultant Steve Goldstein said recently about our industry: “The velocity at which this has shifted to a business of acquisitions and aggregation by big players is head spinning.”

The current podcast trend won’t end soon. Giant tech and media companies are still playing catch-up, chasing the growing audience. …

In the four-and-a-half years since leaving network broadcasting for podcasting, I have learned a thing or two, and un-learned a great deal more.

Above all I have been shot through with awe by five beautiful things about podcasts. Each one of them is part of what is unique about our growing medium.

1. Faced with a cornucopia of choices, podcast listeners choose to listen to you. Instead of tapping the remote or casually switching on the radio, they make an intentional up-front investment of time. Considering that podcast discovery is the chaotic audio equivalent of a twenty-block-long unsorted, overcrowded magazine…

LyceumPodcasts— a new audio university and community for educational podcasters and their listeners was announced during Sound Education, a four-day event in Boston for hundreds of educational podcasters and their listeners.

“The community I am creating for is people who are interested in ideas,” said Zachary Davis, founder of Sound Education.

“What if the world’s best teachers, from yogis to Yale professors, were brought together in a common space — a new world of learning at the tip of your fingers?”

LyceumPodcasts’ newly launched website says “we are empowering educators to open their classrooms to the world and making it…

“Beyond $1 Billion” podcast panel at 2019 Advertising Week.

Not so long ago podcasting was barely noticed by the powers that be at Advertising Week, the annual mega-conference in New York for advertising and marketing executives. Our medium was just a little outhouse in the backyard of a mighty media mansion that was dominated by video, TV and print.

So much has changed. And much more is on the way.

Today, enthused Matt Scheckner, Global Chief Executive at Advertising Week, “the heat around podcasting is tremendous. 2019 was when the renaissance of audio really began to pick up speed.”

That’s a far cry from five years ago when a…

The latest in a series about podcasting best practices.

Have you ever listened to “Storycorps” on public radio? Founded by Dave Isay, this oral history project collects people’s stories — recording and preserving many thousands of interviews by moms, dads, sisters, brothers, cousins, adult children, couples, cousins and friends.

Almost all of the interviews are by complete amateurs. Many are beautiful: deeply moving and entertaining.

If those Storycorps sharers can do a home-run interview, so can you!

Here are nine tips for conducting your best podcast interview ever.

  1. Prepare with a pre-interview, but don’t make it too long. Your podcast conversation should have moments of spontaneity and surprise. Get…

A series of blogs on podcasting and content creation.

Many of the most successful podcasts today are interview shows. But the format is under fire from some producers of highly produced sound-rich narrative podcasts, and also those who prefer to go solo.

There are many reasons why interviews make sense for most podcasters — unless they have major backing, and are are prepared to invest in a team of producers, script writers and editors.

The first, and most obvious argument is the need to listen. We learn from people who are not like us.

In our narcissistic social-media age, when everyone is entitled to voice their own opinions —…

Richard Davies

Podcaster and Podcast consultant. makes digital audio for companies and non-profits. Solutions journalist. Views and humor are my own.

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