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An Inner Look of KTSW’s Production Department

By Timia Cobb
Web Content Assistant Manager

Our Production department is a big reason why KTSW is the radio station it is today. The production department produces well-rounded podcasts and for on-air segments, such as PSAs.

However, most of the work the production department does happens behind the scenes. Not everyone who listens to our podcast or segments knows exactly what goes into making them and what it takes to do it.

Anyone can have an idea for a podcast, but not everyone knows the process of making one and making sure it is relevant to audiences. Segment product and writer of “A Student’s Perspective”, Lucy Emmerson, made her podcast because she knew her audience and what they would be interested in.

“I’m actually a really big fan of David Dobrik’s podcast and I love the structure of how it’s like, very casual and I get to have a conversation about whatever,” Emmerson said.“Of course, ours filters because we want it to be appropriate but, I realized that my demographic was mainly going to the college students and It was really helpful to just basically talk to college students like that. I also like giving people the space to have a conversation about something that’s been on their mind or something that they want to share with people and it’s really fun, honestly.”

While interviewing for her podcast, Emmerson likes to choose a topic but doesn’t follow a strict guideline during the conversation.

“It starts with like I always do a pre-interview so I can kind of get a feel for what they want to talk about and then I tend to write down like my one or two questions,” Emmerson said. “ I don’t always get to all of them, however, it’s good to like a certain topic. so I’ll say like this is what I want to hit, like what do you want to talk about and then I can kind of formulate some questions from there. Then after that, we literally record everything straight through.”

Every producer has different techniques when it comes to writing, interviewing and recording, meaning there isn’t a perfect way to make a podcast or PSA.

Although, the process and publication is something that tends to say the same. Calvin Miller, a podcast manager, explains what recordings go through before reaching the blog.

“What happens is every week we record a segment or a podcast,” Miller said. “They send it to me, we can upload it, and then we can post it onto the KTSW blog with short descriptions as well as click parts and then people can listen to them whenever they feel like it.”

Miller also explains the publishing procedure for the segment he produces.

“A segment however is very short five to seven minutes long, that’s what I produce, as well as one other person on my team, and it’s just I script my whole thing,” Miller said. “ I read off a script. I type it beforehand, record it, put in Audacity http://editor, next we all export the files in mp3, send it to our production, and then it gets uploaded.”

The production department brainstormed their segment and podcast ideas together, while doing this Miller produced the idea for his segment “Calvinomics”.

“We met during the summer and that’s when we started really formulating ideas and mindsets,” Miller said. “With my own experience, I enjoy financial and economic topics, I did not for a very long time in my life but I think it was how it was always delivered to me, in terms of the content.”

Miller was attracted to the idea for “Calvinomics” due to how complicated people make economics.

“I used to be a middle school teacher for six years. So, I think I’m, you know, a little bit better practiced at taking a complex topic and breaking it down for everybody,” Miller said. “I started enjoying it once I understood science and economics, I just took it, found out that people make it way too complicated and difficult to understand and therefore other people don’t like it. And so that was my idea.”

Miller explained that if someone were to start a podcast or segment, don’t shut listeners out by only sharing limited views.

“One thing we tell a lot of our people who make other web content or content or, especially the podcasts…is trying to deviate from the political stuff,” Miller said. “It’s OK to hit upon it but we really try to watch out for that because it can alienate a whole group of listeners. Once you kind of take a side and start going into that side pretty hard you can just pretty much alienate an entire group that could have been listening.”

It’s important to attract an audience and this can be done while having your own opinion but also neutral Miller says.

“That’s really hard these days, but there is a balance,” Miller said. “I mean, it’s okay to have your beliefs and opinions… but once it becomes like that’s all it is, in a segment or a podcast, that’s when… a person just will not want to listen to anymore.”

Featured Image by KTSW Multimedia Department

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