Podcast versus Broadcast – Part 3

The third difference: Format

Carly Scheffer*

We define format as a tool for the producer to frame the message(s). The podcaster is the producer of message(s). He or she may have opinions, be supported by data, or experienced the issue himselve and analyzed the situation then present all of the above in a form of audio format or digital file. Take for example; in this final project students will talk about how this covid pandemic affects them both as students as well as part of family members. They have their opinions and they experience themselves the migration from full onsite learning to full online learning mode. It is very difficult to experience this drastic change, some may argue. All of these experiences and opinions are blended into one monologue recording, performed by my radio students.

Be it monologue, dialogue, interview, news, music, quiz or games show even public service announcement and commercial, they are what we call FORMAT. Each of the program formats hold certain characteristics. News has short duration, straightforward, formal & actual. While interview is long, formal and informal.

Format is a way the creator forms its message in a podcast platform or radio platform. Not only that format must be informative, deeper than that, a program must be creative enough to entice listeners.

PICTURE CAPTION: A podcaster promotes her channel using other social media platform.

Kirana Trisulo presents


“A healing kit for the soul during a time of crisis.”

We chose anchor.fm as our platform, because it provides a free podcast application as well as serves as aggregator. Kirana promotes this first episode using Instagram, Snapchat & Twitter. She is one of the international students in my class, and so, she uses English for her first monologue.

It shares her opinions, own experience as well as some facts of pandemic situation. Kirana has some experience in music and performance. Her typical voice is hoarse, yet it does not obscuring the content.

PICTURE CAPTION: 3rd-year-student in communication sciences majoring broadcast journalism, with podcast project as her final exam.

Format: how the message is framed

Carly Scheffer*

The method to attract listeners or audience between podcast and broadcast, I believe, is similar. First of all, we must introduce our channel, promote it using other social media platforms available. Second of all, promote the exact episode. For example, my students are using other social media apps that exist in their mobile phones i.e. Line, Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For the whole month of November, we aim to create two monologue formats and two interviews. The interviews are half-hour long, mixed with PSA and music performances.

Now, the distinct difference between radio format and podcast is the authority of who decides what format to use. In a radio station, program manager, station manager or producer are the ones who are in charge of the format. As I explained in the previous volume, the ownership of this channel matters. In a professional radio station, we have an organizational structure, where broadcasters/ announcers/ radio DJ have a clear reporting line. Announcers cannot decide freely what format must apply for what particular air time. Broadcasters may have some bright ideas, but it has to be decided in a meeting with management. Sometimes (if not many times), commercial department or marketing have the power to decide what kind of format to be played on a certain air time. Frequently, this happens because sponsors have bought a specific air-time or certain radio show.

It is not the same case with podcasting. Who gets to decide which format to use at what time? Of course, the one and only the podcaster himself or the owners of the podcast channel.

Click below and find the podcast channel by Kirana Trisulo.


*Harry’s Head again makes room for Carly Scheffer. You can expect more from her the next few weeks. In this Issue:

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