Winners Announced: The NPR Student Podcast Challenge


PodMov Daily: Thursday, June 4

Episode 219: Your Thursday Podthoughts

Winners Announced: The NPR Student Podcast Challenge

From over 2,200 total entries to the 2nd annual Challenge, two grand prize winners have emerged. Submissions included “podcasts about science, sports, siblings and natural wonders, about historical events and books,” write NPR’s Sequoia Carrillo and Steve Drummond. “And, in many cases, about the shutdown and the pandemic.”

The middle school title goes to “Masked Kids” by the Dragon Kids Podcast Club at PS 126/Manhattan Academy of Technology in New York City. The 6th graders “used the power of two languages — Mandarin and English — to express how Asian students in their city suffered during the early days of the coronavirus.”

Also from New York, the Men in Color after-school club at the High School for Innovation in Advertising and Media earned the top spot for “The Flossy Podcast: Climate Change & Environmental Racism.” Seniors conducted interviews, research and their own observations “about how global warming disproportionately affects black communities.”

Your Equipment Matters: A Recording Kit Tune-Up

Freelance radio producer Andrew Wardlaw has a confession: “Even though I love sound, I don’t really like sound equipment.” It may be expensive and unwieldy, but taking care to test and maintain honors “an important truth about audio storytelling: your equipment matters.” Wardlaw’s Recording Kit Tune-Up guide for Transom explains how.

Along with tips and tricks for improving sound quality, Wardlaw details “an approach to organization that will improve the actual content of your recordings.” On-the-go podcasters will learn how to test equipment to the point of trust, how to pack and store gear, and why “the ergonomics of your rig aren’t merely a convenience.”

Wardlaw has learned from experience that detailed technical preparation allows for more spontaneity, not less. “Having a clean kit doesn’t mean you’ll squash a golden bite because the mic placement isn’t absolutely perfect,” he explains. “It’s the opposite: it creates opportunities for you that you wouldn’t even know you were missing.”

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Here's what else is going on:

  • Better together: This evening from 8:00 – 10:00 pm EST, join the PM team for the first virtual community meetup. Register to listen to and support one another ― the open forum allows participants to split into small groups for detailed discussion.
  • Later, dude: Podnews points out new data from The Canadian Podcast Listener study about Joe Rogan and Spotify. 23% of respondents say they'll stop listening once the show migrates over, and 50% of YouTube consumers say they’ll watch less often, if at all.
  • Bleep bloop: The Verge reports that the BBC’s in-house voice assistant, ‘Beeb,’ has been released in beta. Dubbed “the first public service voice assistant,” it plays BBC stations, podcasts, and music, plus local news and weather in a northern English accent.
  • Get loud: The 8th annual HEAR Now Festival will take place virtually from June 11-14. The “equivalent of a film festival for contemporary audio storytelling in all its forms,” event plans include expert storytelling sessions, production workshops, and more.

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