From pop culture to relationship advice, true crime to daily news, podcast topics cover every interest. At NDSU, students are adding their own voice to the popular form of entertainment.
Oliver Sime started the NDSU Press Podcast as part of his graduate assistantship with the NDSU Press. The show includes interviews with authors of recently published NDSU Press books.
“A reader might not fully know if they’d like a book or if they’d be interested in the person behind it from Amazon or reading the back cover in a bookstore,” said Sime, a second-year history graduate student. “They can listen to a podcast for an hour and have a pretty good idea of whether they’d like the book or not. Hopefully that inspires them to go shopping for NDSU Press books.”
Sime already was familiar with being on-air. He’s been hosting a radio show at KNDS 96.3 FM, the student-operated radio station at NDSU, for six years and serves as the general manager for the studio.
But he had never created a podcast before. He needed to learn the production process, from recording to editing.
“With my experience at KNDS, I didn't know how to make a podcast, but I knew the pieces that went into it,” Sime said. “Talking in front of a microphone and being comfortable having however many people listening is something that helps when you do a podcast.”
Sime’s goal is to produce one episode a month. The press publishes about eight books a year in addition to its existing catalog.
Sime chooses a book and interviews the author. In the pilot episode, he interviewed Prakash Mathew about his first book, “We Are Called to do the Right Thing: A Practical Guide for Leaders Based on Personal Reflections & Experiences from a Longtime Education Leader.”
“I find an author that would work well given where we’re at with our production schedule. I read the book. I underline a few parts, think of a couple questions. Then find a time with the author where they come into the KNDS studio and we record the podcast,” Sime said.
The KNDS studio is primarily used to broadcast music. It’s equipped with music and audio production equipment, including microphones, headphones and noise-cancelling insulation.
The studio is part of the greater student media center located within the Memorial Union. The media center hosts radio; The Spectrum student newspaper; and the Bison Information Network student television broadcasting studio. These spaces are accessible for all students and serve as valuable experience opportunities for communication students.
“Being able to manage content in today’s world is going to be invaluable wherever you go,” said Sime. “The most efficient way to reach people these days is through content and through digital means.”
Sime hopes podcasting can be another way students utilize the KNDS space.
“I think KNDS could be a valuable spot for student podcasters,” he said. “It’s cool to have connections and equipment and creative possibilities at hand. I think NDSU is really good at that and making it accessible to students. That’s helpful for people who are trying something new.”