On Audio Stories and Cubs Podcasts

The Pope, His Black Fiat And The Symbolism Behind It is NPR story by Eyder Peralta, published on Sept. 25. Peralta’s story focuses on the pontiff’s continued commitment to a life of poverty and the economy car he has been using to get around during his U.S. visit. An excellent recent example of a high quality audio story, the piece features NAT sound, actualities (interviews), and narration.

NAT sound: street vendor, crowd cheers

Actualities: telephone interview and street interview.

Narration: narrative lead, background info, attribution.

The basics of a good audio story are essential for any news oriented audio, including podcasts.

Podcasts about the Chicago Cubs have been around since about 2004. The highest rated Cubs Podcasts are composed of dedicated fan commentary. One of the most popular, Cubscast, was forced to cease and desist by the MLB in 2010.

Since, other Cubs fan-casts, more careful to avoid copyright issues, have gained popularity. The two highest rated are Ivy Envy and Wrigleyville Nation.

Of the two most listened to Cubs podcasts, Ivy Envy seems to be the most humorous, and most likely to draw the broadest audience.

Ivy Envy, put together by a group of die-hard Cubs fans from the quad-cities and led by blogger Corey Fineran, features serious fan commentary about anything from recent games and team leaders to absurd segments like, “ass hat of the week.” Episodes of Ivy Envy sometimes include player interviews.

If I were to imagine a Cubs fan-cast  that could build upon the excellent work of casters who have come before, it would incorporate the basics of good audio story-telling.

In order to avoid copyright issues, it would be called something like, “the North Siders News,” and would feature just a little less commentary and a bit more in the way of audio packages. NSN would be more arranged into segments, while still trying to remain semi-formal. The Podcasts would utilize NAT sound captured at the ballparks and in Wrigleyville, and more actualities from fans and journalists.

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