Podcasting About Politics
Podcasts make so much sense as a medium for politics. It offers the opportunity for dynamic conversations to express ideas. The longform conversation especially provides room for nuanced views and complex subjects. However, the podcast also fools many with its ability to project simplicity and authenticity. Many believe all they need to do is hit record and start talking for countless people to want to listen. In theory, this is true. But in practice most listeners expect a lot more from a podcast in terms of the substance and even the quality of the editing and post-production.
The longform interview comes across as the simplest type of podcast. It does not require multiple clips and edits. Instead, it requires a tremendous amount of skill and restraint from the host. Let me emphasize the importance of restraint in particular. Restraint is among the most important skills for an interviewer. The interviewer should keep the conversation relevant and focused on areas where the guest provides credibility. An interview is not the same as a debate. The goal is not to undermine the guest or to catch them in a contradiction. Rather the host should establish enough rapport for the guest to open up and feel comfortable enough to express themselves.
Fortunately, podcasts offer a simple way for hosts to improve their interview skills. Every episode offers a lesson for a podcast host to learn how to improve their skills. However, many hosts do not take the time to listen to their own conversations. Now I know from personal experience how difficult it is to listen to yourself. Nonetheless, an experienced podcast host can tell the difference between somebody who listens to their past episodes carefully and one who does not. This is the simplest lesson for those podcasting about politics.
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