Podcasts by High School Journalists: Lukewarm Takes

What is your name?
Jack Loney

Where can your podcast be found?

Please describe your podcast and why you thought it would be a good topic to have a podcast on.
My podcast “Lukewarm Takes” is a place where I both review content such as movies, music, and TV, and talk about the intersection between media and culture. Most of the professional podcasts I listen to are a similar genre (culture journalism), and it seemed like something I could do well, as I already tend to review shows I watch or books I read on a blog or just to my friends. It’s something I’m passionate about, so it makes a good topic to podcast about.

How has the podcast changed since the first show? What are some things you’ve learned and done to make it better?
Since starting my show a little over a year ago, I’ve gotten much better at formatting my scripts or outlines for an episode. I started out with just rough bullet points, but I wasn’t experienced enough to fill in the gaps between them coherently. Then, I would write out entire scripts for each episode and read them word-for-word, which made me sound more informed, but also took away some of my on-air personality. I slowly worked my way out of the scripted format, while building up my vocabulary and reading more books on thing like screenwriting so I could reference specific things a piece of media did. Since then, I have gone back to just bullet points, which I feel I’ve gotten much better at.

What tools do you use to record, edit and publish your podcast?
My school has a recording booth with a soundboard, three microphones, and a laptop hooked up to Audacity. I record my episode (the intro and outro music was made on an app on my phone, which can be hooked up to the soundboard), edit out long pauses or repetitions, export it, and upload it to SoundCloud and Podomatic, which gets it onto sites like iTunes and Spotify.

What advice do you have for others looking to make a podcast?
Sometimes it feels like if you don’t have a really good on-air personality or a good structure right off the bat, it means you just aren’t a good podcaster. But it’s something that’s really easy to improve if you stick to a topic you like a lot and keep doing it for a while. I’ve only been doing it a year but there’s a huge difference between my first episode and the one I published last week. Just keep at it.

Aaron Manfull

Aaron is in his 26th year of advising student media. He is currently the Director of Student Media at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri. He is the Journalism Education Association Digital Media Chair and co-Director of Media Now. He is the 2023 JEA Teacher Inspiration Award Winner and is a former Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year. He is one of the authors of the textbook "Student Journalism and Media Literacy." You can find him on X and Instagram @manfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.

Aaron Manfull has 865 posts and counting. See all posts by Aaron Manfull

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