WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Frontline Gets into Podcasting

Sep 20, 2017

Frontline, the outstanding public television documentary program, will do some audio-only documentaries as podcasts. The magazine Current reported on the story. Program producers told the magazine certain stories are meant to be told in the audio format rather than video. 

The Shop Talk panelists like the idea.

Will Buss believes audiences are sometimes better served when they can focus simply on the oral narrative rather than being bombarded by images on the screen. 

Buss also said it’s a smart move by Frontline because podcasts are increasingly popular and the online format provides an opportunity to further engage audiences.

Jasmine Crighton feels the move will help Frontline expand its audience. 

And Crighton agreed that certain stories might be better told through audio instead of video.  She said it can be challenging for television to tell difficult stories because so much equipment must be set up, which can be intimidating or awkward for someone trying to tell a very personal story.

Rich Egger said some news outlets have pushed their newspaper and/or radio reporters to shoot video to use as added content online. So he finds it ironic that a renowned television program is now moving in the other direction and choosing audio for some productions.

Jasmine Crighton is News Director of NEWS3 at Western Illinois University and Will Buss is the Director of Student Publications at WIU.