Just before we start … I’ve just published the second book in the Podcasting For series – Podcasting for Journalism Students – it on Amazon for Kindle and you can get links and more information here. Davy
Without wanting to sound like I’m singing Burt Bacharach … If you see me walking down the street and I start to laugh before we meet, I’m probably listening to the No Such Thing as a Fish podcast
Fish is more than a comedy podcast, though. It is witty and interesting and there is never an episode that you don’t come away from wanting to tell everyone about some weird fact or facts you’ve learned. Which is sort of the way it started.
And yes I am a fan.
As far as I can establish, it’s the first UK podcast that’s been commissioned as a TV series. No Such Thing as the News. The TV show and the podcast have more or less the same format – four people riffing on strange and obscure facts and laughing quite a lot.
They are QI Elves. Fish does not live alone in the media ecosystem. It is related to the TV series QI and the BBC Radio 4 series the Museum of Curiosity. And I’m a fan of those, too. You can trace Fish’s ancestors right back to Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and before.
I wanted to talk to some of the QI Elves about No Such Thing as a Fish, not only because I’m a fan, but because of the technical and production approach they take. No radio studios are used in the making of the show. I wanted to know how they do what they do.
Alex Bell is occasionally a member of the podcast panel. As well as researching he edits No Such Thing as the News. Freddy Soames was responsible for the very simple and very effective technical set up for the podcast. But inadvertently is responsible for one of the enduring images of both the podcast and TV programme; the microphones.
If you are starting out on your podcast unless you have a deep understanding of audio and audio recording, one of the most difficult things to work out is what microphones to use. It’s all well and good hiring a studio – supposing you can afford such a thing – but a studio might not help create the atmosphere you want for the show. One of the characteristics of No Such Thing as a Fish is that it is not studio bound. It has the atmosphere of something thrown together just for the fun. It sounds like a bunch of friends sitting around in an office.
The podcast is on the website and if you missed the two TV series, they are on YouTube.
The book is for young, trainee, or student journalists not specialising in broadcast media. It is an introduction to “making content”, podcasting and broadcasting whether you want to understand production on a professional level or simply because you want to create podcasts for fun or add something useful to your CV.
It is a result of experience teaching radio production to journalism BA students in Dublin. Most, but not all these pages are the module and support notes. The book is part of the “Podcasting For …” project which includes podcasts and the podcastingfor.com blog.
Deciding on your purpose
The Production Team
Roles of the editor, producer, assistant producer, presenters, reporters, researchers
Turning the Prospects into the Running Order
Essential Skills: writing, reading and “marking up” a script, interviewing, planning the interview, doing an interview,
Recording in and out of the studio, equipment (studio, microphones, recorders), using a smartphone, using a digital recorder.
How to edit using a computer and audio editing software,
Programme making including structure, show notes, advertising, sponsors and other non-production credits
Podcast platforms, blog and social media, making the mp3 audio file, setting up your podcast host, registering with iTunes, Stitcher and TuneIn.
Digital Promotions, using Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Using more traditional methods of promoting.
Managing the online community Drawing up the guidelines
The first edition of “Podcasting for Communities” was published in September 2016. It forms the basis for this book but the name change is to make it clear that the expected audience and readership will be from community organisations. The “Podcasting For …” project includes the podcastingfor.com blog and podcast interviews with experienced radio and podcast professionals. Additional information related to this and other books in the “Podcasting For …” series is added regularly to the blog. You are encouraged to visit it and engage with the author and other readers. The book is mainly about producing audio content. It is also relevant to people producing programmes on local or community radio stations. Even if you are an individual who wants to learn and produce a solo podcast, or a couple or three friends who want to record a weekly discussion, the information here will be relevant and I hope useful to you. The emphasis is on producing audio podcasts – or as we usually call it … radio. If you are new to the concept of podcasts, or already have some radio production experience then this book is for you.
Producer - Broadcaster - Podcaster - Writer - exBBC Editor - exTEDx Organiser. Author "Podcasting for Journalism Students", "Podcasting for Community Organisations" and "Firsthand Guide to Bled Slovenia" - all available on Amazon.