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Working IN Podcasting Doesn't Make You A Podcaster

· Time to read: ~3 min

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(By Jessica Kupferman) As a communications major in college, I learned a lot about language that I never thought I’d ever think about.

How women often discount their own opinions while they’re in the middle of stating them. How semantics can be the difference between truly apologizing for something you did or simply being sorry that what you did had an unfortunate consequence.

How inflection on the exact word can either mean you’re insinuating someone is stupid (“What do you THINK?”) or that you’re thoughtfully taking the time to consider someone else’s opinion. (“What do YOU think?”).

I’ve noticed lately that we, in podcasting, have a language problem.

A few weeks ago, WNYC launched a pay survey for women called: Werk It Survey: How Much Do You Get Paid to Podcast?

The survey’s instructions made it quite clear, at least to me, from whom it was they were trying to receive data. However, the gauge they used ended up to be short-sighted and, frankly, insulting.

The survey specifically asked for women podcasters. However, it was clear within the first 2-4 questions that what they really meant was “women who work for corporations that create audio.”

What irritated me the most about the survey was actually the first question. “What is your role as a podcaster?”

The checkboxes were selections like “administrative assistant” and “audio engineer.”

As noble as those professions are, just because you do one of these two things for a podcast does not make you a podcaster.

I’d like to clear up the confusion, taking the definition of broadcasting as an example.

The official definition of a BROADCASTER is this:

A broadcasting organization, one responsible for audio and video content and/or their transmission. A program presenter (disambiguation) of any television or radio. A sports commentator on television or radio.

So, unless you are the presenter of the show, or the company itself, you are not a broadcaster. You are IN BROADCASTING.

The same goes for this industry, too. No one gets to arrive on the scene and rename everything. (If they did, my current title at this company would be CEB, or Chief Executive of Badassery.) You can’t walk into NBC and decide that everyone on camera is a camera guy.

My point is, you can’t survey women podcasters if that’s not who you mean.

Read more about Jessica’s solution at REBELBASEMEDIA.IO


Dawn Davis -

Thanks for sharing this. I attended a WERK IT conference, sponsored by WNYC in LA about three months after I’d launched my podcast. The first thing they did at the conference (Bootcamp day) was survey the room to see who already had a podcast and who was thinking about one and had not yet started. The room was about 50/50. This is a huge lesson in know your audience. As the panels continued it became clear to me that the level at which these folks were speaking was not to the newbie podcaster like me, and if I was one of the 50 percent who had not yet started a podcast, well, I would have been shrinking in my seat w/each presenter. 95% of the people on the panels were from big podcast houses, had teams of 10 people working on shows. And if not for my dabbling in radio for a few years, most of what was discussed would have been completely over my head. It’s sad to hear they are still not thinking about the actual PODCASTER, those of us who are host, producer, chief cook & bottle washer. They’ve lost me.

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