man in hat

Podcasting for public radio and mostly not vanity

Podcasting for public radio is something I do as much because I the medium as anything else.

I do three podcasts each week: One on beer, one on writing and one on culture (insofar as it differs from beer and writing). The writers podcast, “So What’s Your Story” recently was added to the local public radio station as a “proper” show.
I can’t tell you how excited this makes me.
Public Radio is the only institution that even rivals the public library in my mind. Both are goods unto themselves and constantly vulnerable because they are specifically designed not to run at a profit, thus worthless to morons. Most important, though, both value the notion of public support and input.
Later this month, I’ll be part of my first pledge drive which is exciting. As much as I love my own voice (and God I love the sound of my own voice) I don’t do these shows for vanity’s sake. Certainly I don’t do them for money (I’m going on my tenth year of negative podcast cash flow). Instead, I do them because I think telling stories and documenting how people are and how they felt and what they thought is important and I can only write so many stories. Also, there’s something Promethean about it.
A good friend asked me about a project recently and whether I was getting paid for it. I told her: “You know if there’s money in it I’m not interested at all.”
Of course that isn’t true, I’m interested in money but only on very limited terms (which is why I have very limited money), and I think in the end that’s what appeals to me about public radio specifically.
My come to Jesus moment was when NPR reported on the ADM scandal during a news segment sponsored by “ADM: Supermarket to the World.”

I don’t think ADM supports public radio any more. I think the folks at NPR knew how that would go at the time and aggressively didn’t care. I heard that story on my local station.

Our podcast probably won’t ever have that challenge or opportunity. We talk about writing so the only multinational we ever might irk is Amazon (although we do have a lot of CreateSpace authors on the show). But what we can do it provide original local voices in an engaging way and take a little of the edge off, both for DPR (our local affiliate) and for people listening to the news.

If you are a writer type who listens to podcasts please consider giving our show a little love by subscribing. If you are a free speech type, please consider giving DPR a little love by becoming a member.

Tony Russo
Tony Russo has worked as a print and digital journalist for the better part of the 21st century, writing for and editing regional weeklies, dailies and several destination websites. In addition to having documented everything from zoning changes to art movements on the Delmarva Peninsula, Tony has written two books: Eastern Shore Beer (2014) and Delaware Beer (2016). He lives in Delmar, Md. with his wife Kelly and the only of his four daughters who hasn't moved out. Together they keep their dog and cat comfortable. Follow him on Facebook and at @Ossurynot on Twitter.
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