The title says it all. I’m going to make a kick-ass podcast about Hillary Clinton. Then, my extraordinary gifts as a broadcast journalist will be discovered by some media conglomerate, and I’ll be offered my own radio show. Gradually I’ll climb my way to the top of the podcast ladder, interviewing celebrities, politicians, and (most importantly, of course) reality stars.
Yes, in just five to seven years, I will have parlayed my re-mediation project into a glamorous life at the peak of the publishing world. And though I’ll have a fat paycheck deposited into my bank account every month and a bomb penthouse overlooking Manhattan, I won’t forget my roots. I’ll remember fondly that first project, the one that launched me to superstardom. I’ll laugh at my youthful naïveté and awkwardness in the recording booth. I’ll wonder how I ever could have fretted about finding people to speak with me, especially now that President Hillary calls incessantly, begging to appear on the show.
As you can probably tell, delusions of grandeur are kind of my thing.
I’m really not as arrogant as I seem. I swear on my future yacht.
I’m actually rather nervous about my re-mediation project. But it’s good nervousness. It’s not that twisted, dead anxiety you get before taking a midterm or while doing an icebreaker at the beginning of the semester. No, instead it’s excitement about experimenting with new forms of communication mixed with a dash of fear that my idealized project won’t turn out anything like I hope.
While it would be great to make a podcast that’s spectacular and launches a fantastic media career (is that really even my dream? I have no idea), my real hope for my re-mediation project is to learn how to use aural communication to open a space for conversation about my re-purposing project’s topic. One thing that is lacking in my re-purposing piece (which I’m still trying to incorporate more) is the voices of others. Part of this is due simply to the genre of my piece; an online magazine article’s content and voice are largely directed by the author. As much as I try to incorporate the ideas and opinions of others into my piece, it is still controlled largely by my biases, my values, and my perspective.
In something like a podcast, however, others have more freedom to speak for themselves. I’m hoping to bring in a couple different people who can weigh in their opinions about Hillary Clinton’s use of motherhood in her campaign, especially because it seems that my topic is something best understood when it is discussed. I have already contacted one of my friends, Claire, a student in the Ford School who has done research on the role of women in government, about speaking on the podcast (and she said yes!). I also would like to interview either a professor with historical and political insights on the topic, or a mother (perhaps my own), who could shed light on the public’s reaction to Clinton’s campaign.
But while I’m excited to start my re-mediation project and have a general plan of how I want to go about doing it, I’m still struggling with some major issues.
First, I’m concerned that by relying a good deal on the voices and opinions of others, I’m sort of skimping out on work and writing for the project. Is it okay for me to simply facilitate a conversation, or should I be engaging actively in it as well? I feel my two cents have been put into the re-purposing piece, so is it time for me to clear out of the way?
I’m also worried about time. Right now, I’m only planning on making the podcast about 15 minutes. Is it too much to try squeezing two guests into the program in that time? Would it seem that I’m rushing one person out the door so I can talk to the next one? Should they appear together? Or does it make sense to record each of them separately and then edit the show to make it one, coherent piece? I really would like to allow at least a couple distinct perspectives to engage in this conversation, but I worry that I won’t give enough time to develop each of their voices.
Hopefully, as I do a bit more research into the genre (I was originally planning on doing something else, so I’m still lacking in a deep of knowledge of podcasts), I can get a better idea of how to organize my piece. I also really just want to get working, figuring out who to speak with and what questions to ask them, which will hopefully guide me further.
So no, without experience or much of an idea of what I’m doing, this re-mediation project probably won’t set me up for the rest of my life. I probably won’t be living in a Tribeca paradise or hanging out with Diane Sawyer anytime soon, thanks to the brilliance of this project.
What I do think this assignment will do, however, is give me a chance to learn about a genre I’ve never used. I’m really looking forward to challenging myself with this project–the genre I chose for re-purposing is something that I felt a bit more familiar with, but this one is entirely new to me. It’s scary but it’s good. It’s a chance to experiment and become a better writer, which is just as valuable as anything else the project might bring.