How to plan, report and produce a serialized podcast

By Regan Mertz, Reynolds Journalism Institute

The Oregonian/Oregon Live has several podcasts, including Beat Check with The Oregonian, which reveals to listeners how news stories are reported on and Peak Northwest, which dives into all things outdoors in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. This year they decided they wanted to produce their first serialized, narrative podcast which is where I come in. This summer I am researching and producing their first podcast of this nature to be launched in August.

A serialized podcast is a series of podcast episodes that connect with one another to tell a story. There are as many episodes as it takes to tell the complete story, and none of the episodes stand alone.

If your newsroom wants to try producing a serialized podcast, here are three tips on how to do just that from what I’ve learned so far:

1. Be prepared

Podcasting essentials include a microphone and recording apps. The Samson USB microphone is a great affordable option that plugs right into your laptop. The set up is simple — put the mic on the stand, plug the mic into your laptop, plug your headphones into the mic and adjust your computer audio settings — but it makes a difference in your quality of interviews and voiceover. If you want, you can even send a microphone to your sources with a return label so they can have good quality audio as well.

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