Podcasts for High School Journalists: DHS Press – Out and About

What is your name?
Cassandra Mellor

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 is called Out and About. It is a fairly typical interview style podcast where I interview people in the LGBTQ+ community at my school and broader area, asking them about their stories and experiences growing up queer. My journalism teacher Mitch Schwartz and I felt like the LGBTQ+ community at my school was significantly under-represented and underappreciated, and decided to do something to change that. I myself am transgender and bisexual, so this project was of particular interest to me; when I was first realizing and coming to terms with my own identity I felt like I was totally alone and I had nothing and nobody to guide me, and I wanted to make sure other kids like me didn’t have to experience that same isolation and fear.

How has the podcast changed since the first show? What are some things you’ve learned and done to make it better?
It has definitely improved stylistically. There were a few things we stumbled upon in recording the first episode stylistically that ended up being absolutely perfect, but there were some things I changed too. I had to get a lot better at asking open-ended instead of just yes or no questions, for example. I’ve also learned to slow down my talking a lot, I have a tendency to talk really fast when I’m nervous but that isn’t super enjoyable to listen to in podcast form for an audience.

What tools do you use to record, edit and publish your podcast?
I used Tonor TC30 USB microphones, and the interviews were conducted and recorded via Zoom video calls due to the pandemic. I then used Adobe Audition to edit the audio, Adobe Photoshop to create graphics, and SoundCloud to publish them to the web. The SoundCloud audio files were also embedded on pages on our school news site, link above.

What advice do you have for others looking to make a podcast?
If you have a passion or an interest, you can make a podcast out of it. Literally anything can be podcast material, in my case it was my little corner of the LGBTQ+ community, but any topic that you are knowledgeable about and care about can be interesting to an audience, especially if you can capture and convey your passion for it effectively. Just sit down and start recording.

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 868 posts and counting. See all posts by Aaron Manfull

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