Emphasis: News and Journalism
Conversations with Pam and Abi is a podcast that talks about current popular news and controversial topics on a weekly basis. It goes in-depth on the issues that are being talked about on social media.
Total Hours: 51
30 hours – Research
9 hours- Marketing/Design
6 hours- Recording
6 Hours – Editing
- To be able to release current news in a way that can bring people to have conversations.
- Educate people in a way they can be informed and have accurate information.
- Expand my career options by learning a new skill.
- Exercise the top four skills learned over the course of my education.
Since my junior year of high school, I have focused my mindset on news industries. I thought writing articles was all I was meant to do in my profession, but the closer I got to the end of my college degree, the more I realized that I may have been wrong this whole time. My mentality was working my way up in news outlets jobs like starting as a reporter to editor to ultimately Editor-in-Chief. I never thought about what other jobs are available for me to do until I met my husband.
My desire has always been to work in a place where I could make a difference. That my work is helping others learn and improve. For this senior project, I wanted to be able to expand my career options while doing something that can help others. Doing a podcast would take me out of my comfort zone because I usually use words to tell people what I think of things. This would require me to talk out loud. In the beginning, I was very insecure about that, but I felt like I needed to try it out.
The theme of this year’s Senior Showcase was “Your Journey”. I wanted my project to fit perfectly with this year’s theme. In my four years as a communication major with an emphasis on News/Journalism with a module on social media, there are five main skills I have learned: Communicating, researching, designing, analyzing data, and writing. With this Podcast, I am verbally communicating, I spend hours doing in-depth research on each topic, I created my own podcast logo and design post to advertise each episode, and took time to analyze data on how to bring more audience in.
At the beginning of the project, my intentions were to do the podcast solo, but after doing the first episode, I realized that I wasn’t really achieving the goal I was promoting on the title of the podcast: Conversations with Pam. There can’t be a conversation when only one person is talking. After a simple conversation with a coworker, Abigail was very interested in also doing a podcast on controversial topics. After recording the second episode, I decided it would be best to change a solo podcast into having two people. That’s why Conversation with Pam later turned into Conversations with Pam and Abi.
Podcast Analytic Information
Total Follows: 41
Accounts reached: 605
Paid Advertisement: 1 post
At the start of this project, I had thought numbers were going to be higher than the outcome. For one of my degree classes, I was doing a simulation on a social media campaign for a company. We were taught more information about organic and paid posts and what results could occur. I was curious during this project to know if one paid post would make a difference. Something I have decided to do for the podcast is to post in advance the topic of what the next episode would be about. When posting the post on gun control, I paid Instagram 10 dollars to advertise the post in the span of two days. By the end of the two days, I was able to find out that the account was being exposed to more men than women. The audience was 92.7% were men while 7.3% were women. This made me think as to what I wanted to audience to truly be. When talking to a couple of people, they told me that the topics that were being selected were mainly topics that men were more interested in. After finding out this information, I decided to incorporate an episode on abortion to bring more women audience, so it could balance the numbers out.
Expanding Journalism and other skills
For some reason, even since I came back from serving a mission in Argentina for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I became quieter and more reserved regarding my opinions and thoughts. The only time I was willing to express my thoughts and opinions was through writing. That is why I stuck with journalism. Even though I was talking to people, my words were only what people read rather than listening to me.
I thought it was a way to hide who I was while still putting myself out there. Part of me is tired of being like that. Before my mission, I would be very open-minded and spoke what was on my mind—I want to be that person again. That is why this podcast was the step to going back to who I was but in a more professional way.
Whenever I listened to podcasts, they usually were about murder cases—which require a lot of investigating. The reason why I would stay with those podcasts was because they always would say where they would get their sources from. By the end of the 45 minutes to an-hour podcast, it was more than two articles. It was very in-depth information. If people look at Spotify podcasts, there are many crimes podcast and not many news base ones. The only news base podcast is only done by new outlets. That is why I decided to bring my journalism skills into practice by providing hot topics and discussing them. I spent more than five hours on each topic to be able to inform people using reliable resources. One article would lead me to another and sometimes more questions would come. I learned how important it is to do your research. There are so many people who are constantly writing things with false or inaccurate information. During my research, I had to be very careful about whether the information I was getting was correct. There were times when after an hour of researching something more in-depth, I would find out some information was incorrect.
With this project, I was able to continue practicing my design skills in adobe illustrator. Usually, when doing a design project, one must have multiple products of the same thing to determine which one would be the best. I started by doing sketches and later asked for feedback around campus. I ended up designing the designs that were the most popular. After designing them in Illustrator, I was unsatisfied because it didn’t feel like the branding was being showcased. After talking to my mentor, I was able to see what I was missing. Once I made those changes that he suggested, it felt right. I was able to learn that seeking feedback and taking advice could potentially help in the long run.
Editing and recording a podcast was not what I had thought of at the beginning. I was very nervous at first, having a microphone in front of me. When I was simply doing the 3-minute introduction on myself and this project, it took about 30 minutes to do the recording. By the second time I did it, it became easier to record. Something that I did notice was that editing was one of my favorite things to do. Taking away the “umms” and the empty gaps that my co-host and I would have would get me excited—especially when they were perfect cuts. Knowing that I like editing not only video but also voice recordings, made me think about more career options I could do in the future.
Completing Project and being Professional
In the last couple of weeks, I was able to learn multiple important things with this project. I was able to discover things about myself that I never would have thought I’d be into if it wasn’t for this. It gave me a bigger sense of what I could do after graduation if I decide not to go into the journalism field.
During the time of the senior project, many life situations were going on which many times made it difficult to have the energy to complete the project. There were times when I wanted to give up and simply try the next semester. While seating there debating on what I should do, I thought came into my head. In the professional world, there is no such thing as giving up and doing it later. Either you do it or you get fired. Despite the situations going on at that time, I was able to give it my all. No matter what is going on, one always does the work they have promised to do.