Topic 3 Inventory of available resources

In the planning phase it is also good to start thinking about more practical matters. Like how and where you want to record a podcast and what resources you have at your disposal. For example technical requirements, team members, budget and time.

Basic Technical Needs and Skills
The basic requirements for making a podcast are a microphone and a device with an application for recording audio. Technically, you can make a simple podcast using a standard microphone and voice recorder application from a smartphone, tablet or computer. However, recording with a standard microphone is not ideal because of the sound quality, you want listeners to be able to hear what you and any guests have to say. It is therefore worth considering investing in a good microphone that you can use with your computer. Good starter microphones that are suitable for podcasting have become increasingly affordable in recent years. If you want to record a lot on location, there are portable audio recorders that offer a solution. There are also external microphones that you can connect to your smartphone or tablet and which can significantly improve the sound quality.

In addition to a microphone, an audio recording and editing application (also known as a ‘digital audio workstation’ or DAW) for the computer is handy. This allows you to edit the audio of your podcast and further improve the quality of the sound and your production. This is easier if you also have a good set of headphones, as they allow you to hear the quality of the sound. There are several free applications of sufficient quality and versatility for most users. Examples are Audacity and Garageband (Mac). If you have more needs there are also several paid options such as Adobe Audition, Hindenburg, Reaper or Logic Pro (Mac). The prices of these vary. If you only have a tablet available there are also several (simpler) DAW applications or ‘apps’ for mobile devices, both at a (limited) price. For the use of the basic functions of most applications you do not have to be very technical, but it can help that you read up well in advance. In the third part of this module we will discuss this in more detail.

Solo or with team?
You can make the podcast completely alone, but you can also involve others. Would you rather not have to deal with the technical aspects? Then you could hire a professional producer or a production team. The costs for this can quickly mount up. However, a team does not necessarily have to consist of professionals. For various reasons it can be interesting to involve people from your target group. In this way you can make sure that the podcast fits well with their experience and perception of the world and possibly also appeals to a wider audience. It also gives the target group the opportunity to get to work with the topic of the discussion themselves. Maybe it is even interesting to let them make a podcast themselves. Some educational institutions let students and pupils experiment with making their own podcasts, amongst other things because it can give a deeper insight into sensitive social issues.

Tapping into funding sources
If you want to take your podcast production to a more professional level you will probably need a budget. A budget can also help you appeal to a larger audience, for example because it provides additional opportunities to promote your podcast. In that case it’s good to think about funding options. You can for example find out if your podcast is eligible for funds or subsidies. You can also think about other forms of financing like crowdfunding or donations from (potential) interested parties who are involved in the subject. These forms of financing can also help you to build up a network of involved listeners.

Various forms of financing come with their own expectations and requirements. It’s important to ask yourself if you’re comfortable with the terms that funding brings. It’s also good to think about the potential impact on your podcast initiative. Some organisations working on issues around extremism sometimes avoid public funding because they think it might damage public trust. There is no set rule about what is best, but it is important to be aware of the possible consequences of the choices you make.

Time and planning
How much time it takes to make a podcast depends very much on your ambitions. The time you need is related to many different questions. For example;

  • How many episodes do you want to make?
  • How do you plan to record and edit these?
  • Who do you want to involve?
  • How do you want to draw attention to it?

It is a good idea to explore in the planning phase how much time you and others involved have available and to see how this relates to the ambitions.


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