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  • Recording my first podcast

     Let’s talk podcasts. What are they, why do people listen to them, and most importantly, did you know the Catholic Herald has one?

    Internationalpodcastday.com has a historical timeline dating the start of podcasts to 2004. The Guardian newspaper used the phrase “podcasting” for the first time in an article that year about the audible revolution. The premise was this: iPod + Broadcast = Podcast? It also has been explained as “Internet Radio On-Demand,” which I think is a fitting description.

    Wikipedia defines podcasting as “audioblogging,” which also makes sense. Blogs can convey a writer’s own experiences, their observations and opinions on news, current events and pop-culture. Speaking about these topics, in an informal podcast setting seems like a natural progression from the written word.

    The Catholic Herald produces videos, and most recently podcasts, to engage its readers and keep them informed in a different way.

    Last month, I was asked to record a podcast with two local priests — Fathers Stephen Schultz and Keith Cummings — after writing an article about their new jobs as chaplains at Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax and Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School in Dumfries, respectively.

    podcast selfie

    Fr. Keith Cummings (center), Fr. Stephen Schultz and I take a selfie during our podcast recording session.

    I’m going to be honest here. At that point, I had heard about podcasts, but had never listened to one. 

    I was nervous as to how I was going to pull this assignment off. I wanted to do a professional job of course, but I also wanted to make sure the priests were comfortable talking with me, and taking the time out of their busy schedules was worthwhile.

    As I delved into this project, I began listening to podcasts across different genres to get a feel for how to interview people, what our listeners might want to hear, and how to complement the article that ran in our Back-to-School issue in August. I also had to learn how to use audio editing software and write a script of interview questions. It was challenging and fun, and thankfully it went smoothly. Father Cummings and Father Schultz made it very easy, as they are funny, engaging and faith-filled men. You can listen to the interview at bit.ly/schultzcummings.

    And, wouldn’t you know it, I am now addicted to podcasts. I see the appeal for why 67 million Americans listen to them (according to a survey by edisonresearch.com in 2017).

    If you can’t find a podcast you like, you aren’t looking very hard.

    Podcasts are available for pure entertainment value — including TV show recaps, interviews with celebrities, and the purely strange, unusual and funny.

    You can also learn about a multitude of topics ranging from the arts, business, cooking and more.

    And, most importantly, for Catholics there are plenty of podcasts to peak your interest and enhance your faith. Some include: The Catholic Herald’s, of course, Catholic Stuff You Should Know, Jesuitical, Pray-As-You-Go, Catholic Connection and more. PlayerFM has a list of the best Catholic podcasts at player.fm/featured/catholic.

    What podcasts do you subscribe to?

    © Arlington Catholic Herald 2021

    @Stacy Rausch