The fourth difference: Structure (two kinds of structure).
The fourth difference, in my opinion is, the structure. It is how the producer of content organizes his message. We can even categorize structure into two kinds:
- structure of the program
- organizational structure.
Obviously, the organizational structure is sharply different between radio station as opposed to a podcast organization. I do not know much in podcast structure system but my experience tells me that as little as one person can run a podcast even make money out of it. But, in a radio station, you cannot hire only one person to run the whole station (read the first 2 volumes of this blog). So, in terms of organization, both media are very distinctive just like heaven and earth.
The second type of structure is the structure of the program (in new media era, we frequently use the term content, which actually meant the same thing as the program). Based on my observation, in podcasting, the structure of the program is loose. There are no time and segments restriction. Podcast content structure is designed by the podcaster himself. On the contrary, in radio broadcasting, the structure is restricted. Thirty-minute program, for example, may have 3 segments where each has to have 2 break times. Those break times should consist of songs, commercials and PSA, and so the structure in broadcasting is standardized, the management sets the standard (not individuals).
This is the image of Rambu Moara’s podcast dashboard. I specifically asked for students to post their own picture as well as their interviewee. Below on the left is Ms.Rambu Naha-a lecturer and on the right side is my class captain: Rambu Moara (yes…both their first names are the same😊 ). ↓
STRUCTURE: how the program/ content is organized from the very first minute to the last
As I explained in the first two volumes, our target for this November is that students of journalism will conduct 2 interviews. The first interview is with a lecturer/ teacher.
I try to imitate radio’s structure when I asked them to make at least 30-minute interview (3 segments with 2 breaks). For me, a break time functions not only as additional information for listeners but also to give voice/sound variation to overcome flatness. But for student podcaster, producing 30-minute program with 3 segments and 2 breaks are actually for them to practice their audio-editing skill. Students may use Adobe audition or audacity to edit audio files.
In this second episode, Rambu – my class captain – interviewed Ms.Rambu who is not only a teacher but also the head of study program in online learning UPH.
Now, the interesting part of this exercise is the ability of new media to facilitate long distance communication. Just like a telephone call, Zoom video call application enables Rambu Moara to conduct an interview with Ms.Rambu Naha. Rambu Moara lives with her parents in Kupang, Nusa Tenggara Timur, while her interviewee resides in Jakarta/ Tangerang. The distance between them is about 2,659km (3-hour direct flight, Jakarta to Kupang).
When you click this channel, you may find that the sound quality is still under the standard of broadcast quality. However, we must remember that this is pandemic situation where students cannot come to our studio in campus. Their conversation mostly on education and mainly on distant education. She started out with a question why Ms.Rambu chose to be in education field in the first place. Ms.Rambu responded with the beauty of sharing; thank’s to technology nowadays, online education enables people who live for example in Papua can now receive the same education as the people who live in Jakarta. She considers her job now is more to a calling. When someone already knows her initial design by Creator, she will wholeheartedly utilize 70-80 year-time spend in this world.
* Carly Scheffer is a guest-author at Harry’s Head.