Teaching students how to make a podcast about the Corona virus

By guest writer Kristian Otterstad Andresen

Preparation

As the world is tired of hearing about the coronavirus and the infection it causes, namely the COVID-19 disease, your job is to explore today’s news cycle and find interesting, (perhaps even positive?) stories on the subject; in other words, to find new takes on this enormously important topic for today’s episode. Whatever topic, a keyword for your episode is “change”.

About your Podcast. 

Your show’s aim is always to update its audience on the latest news stories as they unfold, but at the same time to go more into depth than any normal news broadcast would do. This time, you need to find an interesting story, a new or interesting angle and put together a show that lasts for about 9 minutes and contains both academic and creative content.

Step 1. Editorial meeting.

In the morning, every newsroom around the world looks for interesting stories to produce various materials on the very same day. When journalists look for stories, they use certain criteria. Here are the criteria for your show:

  1. The podcast must refer to an English-speaking country somehow, but you can also discuss for instance Norway or and the rest of the world more generally in addition to that
  2. The story must be related to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, either indirectly or directly
    (example: the covid-19-situation affects poor people in the north UK more severely than poor people in the south. WHY?. In this example, the topic of the show would only indirectly link to COVID-19 but discuss a topic that derives as a result of that situation and that’s perfectly fine)
  3. The story must look at issues that are either social, school-related, sports-related, health-related, economic, or political
  4. A keyword for the topic should somehow be change

Websites that might prove helpful:

A few examples for you to get an idea of the possible variation here

  • Health care systems in the US and Corona: strengths and weaknesses
  • Herd immunity an elusive concept?
  • Poor vs. rich during Corona 
  • Positive outcomes of corona
  • Important lessons that corona taught us
  • Discussing Various World Leaders’ response 
  • COVID-19 and the climate effects: Will corona cause a cleaner world? 
  • COVID-19 and education: What did we learn?
  • Corona and mental health: Positive/negative things to learn
  • Ethnic minorities are dying of Covid-19 at a higher rate. Why?

You can choose whether to have guests or not, whether both of you are hosts/reporters who work together, whether you are more than 1 host (and the other ones play guests), whether 1-2 play a doctor etc. It’s your choice! 

Step 2; Make a plan for the broadcast

Now, you must develop the show by doing research, plan elements and organize them in a script/broadcast plan.

Find statistics, find stories, find interviews (even sound!) that you can play and reflect on in the podcast. 

To get the task approved, the podcast must be approximately 15 minutes long (at least 12) and you must have a serious discussion over the chosen topic as well as a creative element (as mentioned). You must add a fun jingle to the podcast as well (this is very easy if you use the Anchor-app).

A broadcast plan could look like this, but it’s of course up to you to plan the contents:

INTRO MUSIC (JINGLE)
Introduction of the topic and the show
Introducing guest 1
Talking points and questions:
A live report with reporter
Talk in studio
A live talk with a guest
END SHOW 

… but, you don’t have to plan like a broadcast professional; You are of course allowed to make it more simple and just TALK freely about the topic. Only requirement: be cool!

Step 3; Record the podcast using Anchor or another ap

 

I would love to hear from you