By Keith Anstead
Have you ever put a puzzle together? It can be a challenging task to say the least.
Imagine that same feeling, but with people. About six months ago Beth Baunoch, Professor of Communication & Media Studies, put out a casting call for a podcast crew that she was assembling. She had been awarded a Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellowship grant to create a podcast production house in Baltimore. Professor Baunoch’ s goal is to teach how to produce a journalistic immersive podcast series from beginning to end-- from brainstorming ideas, to research, to production, and marketing.
Applicants from CCBC interested in being a member of the crew were required to answer several questions related to their interest, send in a resume, and a two-minute video explaining why they wanted to be a part of a podcast production.
Many students applied and ten made the final cut. Once Professor Baunoch made her final decision, the students were brought on to the crew as producers. They were expected to work a minimum of 8-10 hours a week on this project including a two hour weekly crew meeting. The first task was brainstorming ideas for the topic of the podcast.
The crew chose the hot topic of higher education and decided to investigate if there is even such a thing as a “Good School”. They began to research how schools are ranked, the admission process, faculty roles, societal pressures, and more. A list of sources and potential interviewees were compiled and a marketing strategy created.
One of the applicants was me, Keith Anstead, a Digital Media major minoring in World Language. When I read the post in the CCBC Connection looking for crew members, I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the crew.
Because of COVID-19 I lost my job as a Studio Technician at CBS, my dream job. I was lost, upset and frustrated that I was without the one job I loved to do. Now I have my purpose back, my joy. My entire life has been dedicated to producing music, video, and television as my second job. But now, it is my chosen profession, and my career goals are to own a production company along with either producing or directing television news.
I wanted to sit down with Professor Baunoch and ask her some questions regarding this new and exciting venture in the podcast world. I asked her why she wanted to create a podcast production crew at CCBC. She said, “My goal is to bring more inclusivity into the podcast industry and lift perceived barriers to creating media. In my experience, CCBC students love to create and thrive when they have a mentor and are surrounded by like-minded students. I knew a program like this would be successful at CCBC."
Harley Bosco, who is originally from New York City, but is living and working in Baltimore as a teacher’s assistant decided to apply for the program because she is interested in telling people’s stories. Harley says podcasts “have been a big part of [her] life and there are so many stories out there that need to be told.”
Katie Roberts of Perry Hall, a business major and crew member, said, “Podcasts are growing in today’s media and it’s a great way to share information and stories that need to get out there”.
Another crew member, Luisa Schauffert, a recent CCBC graduate from Brazil living in Gaithersburg, said her favorite part of producing a podcast is challenging herself. She said, “I also love the excitement of producing something that can impact people’s lives.”
Virtual meetings dominate the day; in this climate it has been an incredible challenge to overcome, getting together ten people to research, market, write, and produce a podcast all while meeting via zoom. Just trying to find a time when we all can meet on the same day was especially difficult because some producers go to school full time, work full time, and others have children. But eventually the crew overcame those challenges and are challenging themselves to put together this podcast.
Keep up with the crew’s fascinating journey of creating a podcast by following us on Instagram @goodschoolpod and/or Facebook @goodschoolpod. You can also subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here.