Staff members of The Globe and GGC’s Athletics’ Broadcast express their support for a student run podcast program.
Matt Mahony, GGC’s Athletics Broadcast and Video Coordinator, has extended the offer to train students in the technical side of running a podcast. “Call me,” Mahony said to GGC students interested in starting a podcast. Mahony’s cell number is 678.209.3723 and his office line is 678.407.5411.
The Athletics Broadcaster covered sports for two Kentucky radio station before assuming his position at GGC. Mahony operates Grizzlies Live — the weekly sports video broadcast that runs Wednesdays from Newk’s Eatery — and has taken an interest in the idea of an audio podcast. He has agreed to share recording equipment with a podcast that covers Grizzlies Sports.
Mahony suggests that anyone initiating a podcast work closely with working organizations like Grizzlies Live and The Globe. The podcast might enhance these organizations and work in cohort with them.
Podcasts approved by Laura Walsh —Editor in Chief of the Globe —can be hosted on the Globe’s new website, TheGlobeGGC.com.
“The Globe would be interested in working with a podcast or even developing our own podcast in order to help students receive information on the go. We would ideally like to develop a mobile application where students would get regular news updates and podcast links. Many students receive their news from mobile apps like NPR and CNN , and I personally enjoy the audio news from NPR’s mobile app , so I believe we have to conform in many ways to what our students are used to” Walsh said.
A podcast hosted by a website not directly affiliated with GGC would give for more freedom of content, according to Dr. Bryce McNeil, Georgia State University’s Assistant Director for Student Media. Regarding government regulations for a podcast, “There is not a lot you can’t get away with, as long as you are not engaged in deception or slander,” Dr. McNeil said. This is especially true if the podcast were linked to an independent site. Authority shifts from the school to the student body, and open the range of a dependent site.
Content is a preliminary item to consider. What will the show cover? Sports? New T.V. shows? School news? Any copyrighted music played on such shows will require music royalties. WRAS pays annual fees to companies ASCAP, BMI and SoundExchange. The premium amount depends on various details: how the music is used (is it background, foreground?) what time it is played, how large of an audience it reaches, etc.
When starting a student podcast, one must consider if there is an audience for it. ”There’s the difference between what the student desires to listen to and the natural drive to participate, to put what they have out there. If you can marry those two, then you are golden,” Dr. McNeil said.
According to McNeil, running a podcast doesn’t require more than $100 worth of investments. A podcast does require a recording device — an IPhone will serve the purpose. Recordings could then be enhanced with sound compression software or equipment. The $100 Sound Mikey plugs into an IPhone to record high quality sound.
A podcast’s success depends on the crew’s innovation. The crew can enhance the sound in a basement using foam boards to create surround sound. Then this sound can be enhanced and edited with programs like Audacity.
Georgia State University’s broadcasting success places it on the map for college radio production. WRAS at 88.5 FM is one of the nation’s most celebrated student-run stations. WRAS rotates albums that feature newsreels and specialty shows. WRAS is powered at 100,000 watts and can be heard in five states.
WRAS, The Signal newspaper and GSU’s three other student media organizations will form a digital media group. The digital media group’s actual name has yet to be announced, but its mission is clear — to showcase the standing media group’s’ content on a mobile app as well as to produce original content in the form of video and audio podcasts. Dr. McNeil predicts the group will broadcast such material no later than 2016.
Bryce McNeil, Assistant Director of Student Media, states, “we want to provide students with one essential platform, which connects with the needs of the entire student body and showcases all of our groups’ work. We are continuously evolving to meet the demands of the digital future, in the best interests of our students.”
GGC’s media groups might form a similar alliance. Students hoping to initiate a podcast will find support from GGC’s other communication organizations. Initiating a podcast is a tangible goal for anyone with a measure of ingenuity and the desire to leave a mark on the school. The ball is in GGC students’ court.
“If GSU was able to [start a radio program] so successfully as a straight commuter campus for so many years, GGC should be able to have some success with it, too. In my experience, it’s student enthusiasm and professionalism that make it work,” said GGC’s Assistant Professor of English Brigitte Clifton when approached on the subject of initiating a program in audio journalism.
By Julie Thompson