Why news podcasts are reaching a wider audience more than ever before

In Episode 19 of BE Podcasting we spoke with Katie DeFiore of Pennsylvania State University on how its newspaper is using podcasts to better connect with those on campus. A key part of that conversation centred around her theory on why news podcasts are reaching a wider audience.

  1. Podcasts can deliver in-depth news at the time slot desired by the listener

Katie says “People listen to podcasts while they’re going on a jog or commuting to work or walking between classes. They’re doing things already that take 15 minutes or more, so they have the time to consume an entire podcast episode.”

For traditional print journalists this is a huge win as Katie remarks “This is just incredible for journalists because… you struggle to get someone just read past the first line of your article. So to be able to hold someone’s attention for 45 minutes or even an hour with some podcasts is amazing and gives so many opportunities for in-depth reporting.”

  1. Podcasts retain the human voice in the rush to feed the 24hour news cycle beast

“We’re all about doing things faster and being the first news outlet to get information out to the world” bemoans Katie.

In the rush to publish the ‘What’ and the ‘Why’, we lose the ‘Who’ and in doing so, we lose the humanity. Journalists operate under a minute critical schedule that means taking the time to properly prepare and interview someone and truly understand their perspective is not given the priority or attention it deserves. This is not the case with interviews conducted on podcasts.

  1. Podcasts break the social media pattern of scrolling mindlessly through headlines

Social media feeds have us in a vicious pattern of scrolling through clickbait headlines, posts from friends, advertisements and somewhere amongst that is ‘news’.

“It’s almost like you’re a zombie. You’re doing it mindlessly and you’re most likely going to be consuming news at the same time as you’re watching a cat video. So you’re in a different mindset than when you normally would be consuming news.”

Katie goes on to say “But when you’re listening to news podcasts – making a conscious decision to do so – means you’re dedicating your brain to consuming that one story instead of the hundreds or even thousands that you’re scrolling through at a time on Twitter or Facebook.”

You can listen to the full interview with Katie DeFiore in Episode 19 of BE Podcasting.