The Year of the Podcast

It wasn’t until after we started all these projects that we realized they were all connected. Podcasting was the common denominator.

By Sabrina LeBoeuf

Jan. 29, 2019

After the success of our hackathon in the fall, we knew that as a center for innovation we needed to continue to do bigger and better things. Between brainstorm sessions, we came up with three substantial and exciting projects for the spring:

1. A lecture series

This will be a semesterly lecture that would discuss topics in journalistic innovation. We came up with a long list of possible topics, ranging from augmented reality to chatbots. For our first one, we decided podcasting would be the best way to kick off the series. On February 19, Jessica Stahl, the director of audio at The Washington Post, will lead the conversation.

2. An audio production house

Our Director of Innovation Robert Quigley recognized a problem in the podcasting world and wanted the Innovation Endowment to be the solution. The issue is many smaller publications do not have the resources to carry out podcasting projects, even if the story is local to them. Instead, they send their audio files to podcast production houses to have it produced in high quality.

The solution is an audio production house. Our two Directors of Audio Haley Butler and Tinu Thomas are UT students and experts in audio. Their job is to help develop stories through audio, whether they come from local news outlets or their own discovery.

3. Our second annual podcast festival

Last April, we hosted our inaugural Tiny Texas Podcast Festival, and it was a huge success thanks to KUT and our PhD fellow Kelsey Whipple. This year, we hope to have the same success by bringing in new panels, live podcast recordings and a keynote speaker. The event will take place on April 28, and you can reserve your spot using this form:

Register for the Tiny Texas Podcast Festival

We never planned to have all of our projects relate to podcasting. One could say that the journalism gods are sending us a sign about the relationship between innovation and podcasting. One could also say podcasting is just a really cool medium. Either way, this is the Innovation Endowment’s Year of the Podcast. There’s no denying that.

Since this is our theme of the year, we are going to celebrate it by blogging and posting about podcasting as much as we can. We even planned a trip to New York City to visit the podcasting houses there. (There will definitely be a blog post on that coming soon.)

What we are trying to say is we are excited. This is going to be an innovative year for us, and we hope that you stay tuned to learn about our journey as we go.

Click here to return to our Year of the Podcast blog.