Podcasts become popular


Diana Fontanilla, Staff Writer

Looking for a new pastime? Find yourself unfocused or disinterested with work? On a long drive with nothing particularly interesting on the radio? Try a podcast. Podcasts are downloadable audio shows. With roots in radio broadcasting, podcasts make it easier for listeners to access and keep up with different audio shows.

Senior Iulia Voina first started listening to podcasts when she was looking up media related to one of her personal interests.

“My favorite podcast would have to be ‘If I Were You’ by Jake and Amir,” Voina. “They give [life] advice that they are not qualified to give [in a comedic manner] and just advise [others] what they would do if they were in their shoes. It’s hilarious, and I listen to it on the bus every day in the mornings. It’s a great way to start the day.”

Many podcasts work off the original radio talk show formula of questions and answers while others simply function as musical mixes from artists and interviews. There are also storytelling podcasts that spin fantasy audio narratives.

“‘Welcome to Nightvale’ was my first and favorite [podcast],” junior Kaylyn Garvin said. “It’s basically from the perspective of a radio show host reporting on the news, but instead of the news being normal, it’s incredibly weird. [For example], there are five-headed dragons flying around and running for mayor, and they treat it all like it’s totally normal.”

Other podcasts document and chronicle real news for the public to digest.

“I really got into ‘Serial,’” English teacher Danielle Hicks said. “[Season one] is a story of a young man named Adnan Syed who is convicted of murdering his girlfriend in high school. Once you get into the story, you see there is a lot of circumstantial evidence around his conviction and a lot of corruption.”

Several English teachers are using “Serial” in their classrooms for students to write and talk about in literature circle groups.

Interested in some of these podcasts but not sure where to start? There are many options out there. Podcasts can be found on a streaming app such as Podcasts on iTunes or Podcast Addict on Google Play. Almost all podcasts are free.

“What I like about [podcasts is that] they’re all independent projects and anyone can start one. I’m a big fan of anything that would be considered someone’s passion project. You can really tell their enthusiasm in the work,” Voina said. “Certain TV shows get old by their ninth season, and it’s different with podcasts because you can still feel their enthusiasm in the work.”