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In January, NFCB issued its Community Radio Podcasting Guide, a toolkit that emerged from the organization’s Community Counts Initiative. The resource is aimed at helping community media organizations to get beyond the basic questions about podcasting and instead figure out matters like winning over boards of directors, managing volunteer producers and more.
After creating so much buzz a few years ago, podcasting has shown no signs of cooling down. Megacompanies like Spotify and Apple are investing millions into podcasts. Major media firms are launching podcasts as well. But where is community radio in the podcasting mix?
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting has supported podcasting through many dynamic initiatives. In addition, podcasting is gaining a new level of credibility across the media world. Whether it is podcasting conferences, books, or cataloging services, what was once considered a niche medium has sprung rapidly into the mainstream.
Scores of community radio stations nationwide are producing local podcasts. Still others are hosting podcast trainings, community podcasting launchpads, and other local engagement endeavors related to podcasting. If your radio station has yet to start a podcast, this is as good a time as any.

Need a little motivation to get your community radio station into podcasting today? Here are a few reads to get you going.

  • Eric Nuzum pitched down the gauntlet for stations to raise the bar higher in his December essay for Current. “Podcasting has two content problems. First, there are a lot of slight variations on form. Eventually the world will run out of unsolved murders to revisit or comedians to chat with each other on podcast roundtables. Producers will have to look for more enterprising formats.” Nuzum recommends a few areas stations could look at to up their podcasting efforts.
  • Here is a possible collaboration for stations and local schools: the NPR Podcast Challenge. Students between fifth and 12th grades are welcome to create and submit a podcast that could be aired on national radio. The deadline to do it is March 24th. Get details here.
  • Speaking of young people, have you considered tapping into your area student leaders for podcast hosting and leadership? Here’s how St. Louis Public Radio turned to one local political prodigy in order to reach fellow young people through the digital medium. The host and “a subject-matter expert will deconstruct the mechanics undergirding American politics, providing a foundation for listeners to better understand complicated issues like gerrymandering, right in time for the Iowa caucuses.”
  • If you’re interested in stretching your mind far and figuring out where podcasting hasn’t gone, and where you could be, check out the Geekwire podcast. “How will speech recognition, smart speakers and other innovations change the landscape for podcasts? Should you start your own show? Could you make any money if you did?” With technology getting simpler, cheaper and more accessible, don’t dismiss those adventurous podcast locales just yet.
  • Can your station really make a national podcast, and make money for your station with it? One station in New Hampshire did it. Take a look at the case study in Nieman Lab to glean some tips for making a success at your station.

The Community Radio Podcasting Guide is available now in NFCB’s Solution Center.