This spring, we challenged Up to Us alumni to tell us about an issue that matters to them and then create a podcast about it. In partnership with University of California, Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism Advanced Media Institute, a selected group of alumni were awarded a scholarship to learn the technical and narrative skills needed to immerse themselves in one of today’s fast-growing storytelling mediums. We provided the microphones, and our alumni brought their stories. Here is what they created.
Name: Cathleen Jeanty, Spring 2015
What do you do? Freelance Journalist
Your podcast: State of Bankruptcy
Tell us your podcast about?
State of Bankruptcy is a journalistic foray into the eurozone and its adherents. It features a standard question and answer format with eurozone policy experts from around the globe.
What compelled you to pick the subject matter you chose for your podcast?
I wanted to know why it is that some countries (like Germany) have experienced an economic boost from the euro while others lag behind. I read some books like The Euro by Joseph Stiglitz and And the Weak Suffer What They Must by Yanis Varoufakis, and I grew fascinated with the subject! I began researching, and the information I found was quite staggering and eye-opening. I thought, “I have to make my podcast about this!” Though my podcast isn’t very long, I hope to continue the project and delve deeper into the eurozone, its history, and even its future. At the end of my podcast, I allude to Ashoka Mody, author of EuroTragedy: A Drama in Nine Acts being a guest on my podcast. That’s not -yet- true, but I can only hope!
What was one thing that surprised you or that you learned about using the podcast format to tell your story?
I was surprised by how much fun I had editing the audio, and the sense of accomplishment I felt at the end of the project! I hadn’t edited audio in a while, so I had a bit of apprehension about the process. I thought the incrementalism of it would be frustrating, but it was so much easier than I had imagined. It was really satisfying to watch something go from a bunch of little pieces into a whole narrative.
How do you see learning how to podcast benefitting your current job or your future career goals?
Ultimately, I want to make the podcast a real thing! Working with different types of media has helped me frame narratives in a different light, which has been really cool!
What do you hope listeners will learn or take away from your podcast?
I hope my podcast foments a sense of curiosity in my listeners. Though there are many countries utilizing the euro, there’s a clear inequality among them, and I want my listeners to look more deeply at that.