Podcast Brings Week in Review to Life

Podcast Gives ‘Week in Review’ a Nice Air Brush

Six months ago, while searching for publishers that put together Week in Review emails, I happened upon SustainableBusiness.com. The website describes itself as a provider of “global news and networking services to help green business grow, covering all sectors: renewable energy, green building, sustainable investing, and organics.” Their monthly newsletter is called Progressive Investor.

But what caught my eye—and soon my ear—was the “Green Week in Review,” a podcast hosted by news editor Bart King. A 15-minute audio report going over the headlines of the week, it is skillfully produced by King, who also happens to have a clear, interesting voice for this sort of thing. It starts with a fresh blast of NPRish/National Geographic music that leads into King’s smoothly delivered summary of what’s ahead. “President Obama told Rolling Stone magazine that energy and climate change will be top priorities in his administration in the new year…” Technically, it sounds perfect.

Back in March, King wrote to me that he did notice the upsurge of week in review stories—the reason I was looking into this topic—and that his local paper, the Athens (Ga.) Banner Herald, had started one in its online Sunday edition. He has been doing Green Week in Review for about two years now. At first he got about 1,000 hits for each show. But yesterday he wrote, “My numbers situation is interesting. Baseline has gone down a bit to around 700 or 800, but every couple weeks I’ll have a show that goes well over 2,000. It’s not content related. I used to get bigger surges like that when I was doing interviews, but I haven’t had the time to schedule, record and edit them for months, so I’ve just been doing my review format.

“I suspect the number surges are related to repostings/links from other websites, but when I’ve searched for them, I haven’t found links that look like they would drive that much traffic—though that is somewhat difficult to judge.”

He produces the show using GarageBand on a Mac—along with a few peripheral devices (a microphone and USB recording device). “It’s a pretty straightforward process of selecting the biggest stories and writing them up, so that they read well,” King wrote. “…GarageBand is a simple, intuitive program for producing podcasts, and I know there are similarly good apps for PCs. The process is relatively simple for me, because I’m producing the news stories during the week and it’s just a simple matter of determining which were the biggest stories from the week and rewriting the content so that it reads aloud more easily (shorter sentences, fewer details, more ‘big picture’ context). It generally takes me about 3 hours to produce a 15-minute show.”

Considering it still takes me about an hour to put together my Friday Week in Review, and that’s just dealing with words on the screen, three hours sounds pretty amazing—and enticing—to produce a similar-type podcast. Seems like there would be possibilities to build around something done that well—sponsors, ads (there are a few on their podcast page), maybe even commercials, although with King taking the NPR-sounding route, a short sponsorship message probably comes off better.

Green Week in Review is posted every Friday morning by King, a freelance journalist/consultant/web guy. (He does other gigs as well.) The website says that “you can listen to it through your browser or download it to a portable media player, or sign up for a General News RSS Feed and have it automatically downloaded to your computer each week.”

Interesting stuff. Let me know if anyone is doing something similar or would like more information. To post comments, go to our website.

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