Podcasts by High School Journalists: The Seattle Prep Panther “Pawdcast”

What is your name?
Danica Dytioco

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.
The Seattle Prep Panther “Pawdcast” focuses on student and faculty profiles on events that either may interest or concern the student body. For instance, one of the episodes focused on the induction of one of our teachers into our hall of fame. The story centered on her reflecting over her past twenty years at our high school and the impact of her career on her life. I also use the podcast as a platform to speak on social issues such as mental health and being a person of color at a predominantly white school. For my recent podcast I held a panel with the leaders of the cultural clubs around my school and we discussed how the initial lack of diversity at our school and its impact on us, students of color.

I think it’s good to have a platform where students can speak freely on social issues or learn about core members at Prep who do a lot of work behind the scenes so the student body can be more appreciative.

How has the podcast changed since the first show? What are some things you’ve learned and done to make it better?
Since my first show, the audio quality of the show has massively improved. I learned more of isolating audio spikes and normalizing the audio to lessen the instantaneous volume increase. I also learned how to do more technical audio editing such as fade ins and fade outs so the audio clips have more smooth transitions. While the production quality has increased over the past two years I have been podcasting, the quality of my material has improved. When interviewing, the conversations have grown more natural and less so that I am just asking a question and waiting for their response. Each episode is outlined with skeleton questions to guide the episode, but the heart of each interview comes from probing each initial answer for more details.

What tools do you use to record, edit and publish your podcast?
I record each interview on a yeti microphone that is connected to my surface to the standard voice memo application. To edit each episode, I use a free audio editing program, audacity, to merge audio clips, normalize audio etc. To publish each episode, we use the program Anchor.fm to publish on most all listening platforms.

What advice do you have for others looking to make a podcast?
The most important aspect of hosting a podcast that features guests is to feel comfortable recording your conversation because listeners tune in when the interview is stiff and unnatural. As long as both you and your guest can carry an organic conversation, listeners will feel inclined to focus in on the content.

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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