Podcasting and Radio News

Pitch #1

For my first podcast, I would like to interview/have an open discussion with my friends Chris and Jamie. Both Chris and Jamie are Baruch students who joined the military at a young age, and from their experience, they both acquired very different overall opinions on the military and what it means to them.

Chris was part of the U.S. Army for a little less than a year and was medically discharged due to needing intestinal surgery.  However, he is still very pro-military with strong opinions on the matter and would have wanted to continue his service.  Jamie, on the other hand, is very anti-military and he served a little over 2 years in the U.S. Navy.  Jamie is the only person I know who was successfully able to appeal his service and was able to leave the military without being discharged for misconduct or infractions.

My podcast will be a fresh new take on military life and how it changed these two guys for better or worse.  We will breakdown each of their processes into the military, from how they decided to join, Bootcamp, service, and their overall feelings when leaving the military.  Furthermore, we will discuss some major recruitment issues that the military is facing as well and what their opinion is on the topic.  Hopefully, by comparing and contrasting their experience we can understand both sides and possibly find some middle ground. From this podcast, I hope to give young people interested in joining the military a new perspective and understanding of what to expect from the experience of two people who underwent the process.


Blogpost #1: Find a Podcast


“Ear Hustle,” is a podcast that talks about the daily realities of life inside prison shared by real inmates living within the prison system.  Prison life has always been a popular and interesting genre for movies and TV Shows. Some examples are the movies “The Shawshank Redemption (1994),” “Shot Caller (2017),” or TV shows like “Prison Break (2005),” and “Orange Is the New Black (2013).”  I’ve actually seen all these movies and TV shows, which were super entertaining, but the fact is that it’s made that way to keep viewers interested.  “Ear Hustle” takes away theses overly dramatizes story plots that are seen in most moves and TV shows and tells the true stories and problems that most regular inmates face while serving their time.

This podcast was co-founded by Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams, who have partnered up with Nigel Poor.  Poor is a Bay Area visual artist who works with incarcerated men in San Quentin State Prison, she is the co-host and co-producer of “Ear Hustle.” Earlonne Woods has since been released from San Quentin State Prison after serving 21 years of his 31-years-to-life sentence for attempted second-degree robbery in 1997, he is the co-host and co-producer of “Ear Hustle.”  Antwan Williams is currently still serving a 15-year sentence for armed robbery with a gun enhancement, and he is the sound designer of “Ear Hustle”

The format of this podcast is a combination of conversation, interviews, storytelling, and education.  The co-hosts will introduce a topic that may seem pretty normal or basic to most people, but for people in prison, it’s serious. For example, in episode 1, they talk about finding the right cellmate to share your space with. Although this may seem boring, the podcast does a great job of illustrating the reality of being an inmate where your room is the size of a closet and you’re supposed to share that with a second person. Furthermore, other inmates are brought and interviewed on the show, where they are given the opportunity to share their story, experience, the reality of their situation and how their life got them there.

Many of the stories that the inmates speak of are serious and they are not acting like in the movies or TV shows. Some of these people know what it’s like to kill or physically harm someone close to death, and they have to deal with those memories every day. Although these people share a serious past filled with violence and crime, the podcast now shows them in a time where they can talk about it and how far they have come through reflection and reform. The podcast even sometimes gives the overall genre of prison life a lighter tone because even the inmates know you can’t do anything but laugh sometimes at the reality of dealing with prison life.

I believe the audience of this podcast can be those who are just coming out of prison and reforming back into society. This subject is something they know, and it can be comforting to hear that other people have gone through those experience as well.  Also, it can be for fans of the prison genre who are curious and looking for a new realistic take on what it means to go to prison without actually going to prison.  In addition, it can be for people who have family or loved ones in prison and are looking for a way to understand and connect with them more, without overstepping or overwhelming the person in prison with a thousand questions.

The podcast is called “Ear Hustle,” because just like in any community knowing the news, drama, or trends that are going on within your community is important.  In prison, this is especially important because it can help you find opportunities, regardless if they are positive or negative ones, and avoid any unwanted trouble that might find your way.

Class Agenda: Wednesday, September 24


***Pay close attention to this because there are a lot of holidays coming up!

  • There is no class this coming Monday, Sept. 30 because of Rosh Hashanah.
  • Scripts for your 4-5 minute radio story will be due Monday, Oct. 7; you will need to have completed your interviews and reporting by this point in order to write your scripts. We will not have class as usual that day; instead, I will be meeting with you all individually in my office to go through your scripts and give them an edit. I will send out a Google spreadsheet when it gets a little closer so you can all sign up for time slots. If none of the time slots work for you, we can schedule an edit session over the phone.
  • There is no class on Wednesday, October 9 because of Yom Kippur. 
  • There is no class on Monday, October 14 because of Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples’ Day. 
  • Your final, edited radio story, along with accompanying photos and web version, will be due by midnight Wednesday, October 16. Class that day will be devoted to editing and production, and the recording studio will be open for anyone who needs to record their narration.

A note on recording your narrations:

Here’s where we get into the art of it all. You may be reading from a script, but you don’t want to sound like you’re reading. Good audio is conversational. Pretend you’re telling a friend about this really interesting thing that just happened to you. Speak clearly but don’t over-enunciate, either.

Trends in narration: A lot of people on the radio these days seem to be doing a straight-up imitation of Ira Glass.

NPR Voice

Before we move on… any other pitches need to be workshopped?

In-class script-writing exercise

Look at this transcript and accompanying video and write a script for a short radio story using clips from this Ilhan Omar interview as your sound bites. Do some additional research beyond just what it said in this interview for context. Two or three sound bites are plenty.

Remember that the template for writing a script looks like this:

HOST INTRO: (The host gives background context on the story and introduces you, the reporter. For your radio stories, I recommend asking a friend or classmate to record this part.)

AMBI: (natural sounds and room tone go here)

TRACK: (your narration goes here)

ACT: [NAME]: (transcription of soundbites goes here)


…and so on until you sign off, saying “For Baruch College, this is ____ in New York.”

Remember that you’re writing for the ear, which means simple sentences, conversational style, and lots of description. Be careful to write into and out of the sound bites in a way that clearly introduces the speaker and sets up what they’re going to say.

Your soundbites (or actualities, also known as “ACTS” in the script) should be no longer than about 20 seconds each.

When deciding what to put into the narration vs. what sound bites to include, think about it this way:

Exposition/Description vs. Color/Emotion/Opinion.

The role of the host intro is to tell the listeners what they’re about to hear and why it matters, before throwing it to you, the reporter.

Exposition/Description. Your narration is there to give all the who/what/where/when/why info and to guide the listener through the story so they’re never confused as to who is speaking, where you are, and what’s happening—and to do all this as efficiently, clearly, and engagingly as possible.

Color/Emotion/Opinion. In most cases, if there’s a sound bite that’s full of dry facts and figures, it is best to include that information by paraphrasing it and writing it into the narration. The quotes we want to hear from people are ALIVE, full of humor, sass, sadness, insight, and opinion.

If you’re not finished writing the script by the end of class, that’s okay: just make sure you email it to me by Wednesday’s class so we can look at them together and practice recording narration and editing.

IMPORTANT: Two final reminders. Since you should all be going out and starting to record sound for your radio stories this week and next week,  DON’T FORGET to record 90 seconds to two minutes of ambient sound/room tone in the location where you conducted your interview. It should become a deeply ingrained habit to wrap up the interview and say “Now if you don’t mind, I’m just going to stay here and record a couple minutes of nothing!”

And lastly, let me know if you need to check out equipment since the college will be closed on Monday!



Podcast #2

In a growing age of social media, we have seen that culture has started to diffuse and become appreciated across all ethnicities. As of late, we have seen, particularly the NYC area we have seen a rise in fans of Afrobeats. I was thinking of interviewing members of the ASA at CSI, to discuss what they think of this movement, and what it means to them that there culture is starting to become appreciated on a much more global scale and if this, has any impact on their view of their own culture.

Podcast Pitch #2

For my second podcast, I want to interview Alexander Ferrer, a 16 year old self taught makeup artist who is hispanic and part of the LGBTQ+ community. I would talk to him about how he began his makeup journey and what it is like being so young and accepting who you are. I would also interview his parents and ask them what they felt when their son told them that he wanted to do makeup as well as him announcing that he is part of the LGBTQ+ community.

Vlad : Podcast #2

Take a 21st century park and transform it into a medieval marketplace, replete with elaborate costumes, jousting, and the music, dance, and craft of another era. Fort Tryon Park, home of the famed Cloisters museum in Upper Manahattan is the annual home of a free Medieval Festival, now in its 35th year. The event attracts locals and travelers alike to a experience the world as it once was many centuries ago, complete with food and drink to boot. Dozens of vendors occupy the long stretch of park for a day and bring kings, knights, and minstrels to Manhattan in modern times. I would like to dive into the event scheduled for next Sunday and grab testimony from organizers and visitors alike about what the even means to them and the experience they seek, whether the trip is their first visit or their 35th.

Tevin’s 2nd Podcast Pitch

For the radio story project, I plan to focus on the recent ban that went into place which will prevent retailers from selling flavored vape products. This news must be devastating for vape and smoke shops around New York City but it must also be devastating for vapers. There are parents who must be rejoicing as the main argument for the supporters of this ban is that it will stop children from vaping. This ban blurs the lines between individual freedom of choice and the government using their authority to implement their own opinions, personal feeling, and preferences into the law. If the whole purpose of this law going into effect was to stop people from smoking, would a ban on cigarettes be much of a difference? Lawmakers expressed concerns about the safety of the public, however taking away people’s civil liberties because of such concerns becomes questionable when other harmful civil liberties are not revoked that have proved to be profitable. For this radio story I plan to hear the arguments of both sides and present them to the public for them to consider the consequences or reasoning behind this ban.

Podcast Pitch 2

For my 2nd podcast I want to interview a high school student that always takes MTA transportation and a mom that never does. I would ask each person about their thoughts on the increase in bus fare and what they think about the MTA’s new plan to improve the subways.

podcast pitch # 2

My podcast  I would like to profile a non profit called Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement. It is a non profit in the center of Queensbridges houses. They provide the tenants at Queensbride with a safe space. They have a senior center, tutoring for kids k through 12. They also have immigrant safety.