Thursday, January 18, 2007

Podcasting- a Generation Communicates
Kristina Proctor
Staff Writer- Lenoir-Rhynean
The term ‘podcasting’ is derived from the Apple product iPod and the word broadcasting. This allows audio files to be downloaded for people’s listening pleasure anytime they desire. A common misconception is that you have to own an iPod to download a podcast, or a netcast, to listen.
This is not the case! Podcasts and netcasts do not even require an mp3 player. You can enjoy these broadcasts through your desktop’s regular player.
A popular question among college students is always in regards to price. Is it free? You can get a majority of news podcasts for free; the iTunes music stores as well as websites have many of them posted just like their recent blogs. They are similar to blogs. A blog is the text form of what consists of a podcast usually.
Many broadcasting outlets are using them as another means of communication of their messages. For instance, the New York Times has a brief podcast regarding what is on the front page, even Illinois Senator Barack Obama has a podcast in which he talks about his recent endeavors and his work with the Network Neutrality bills.
There are ways that podcasting has been integrated for educational purposes. Some Supreme Court cases actually are on podcast form now and can be downloaded online at where the arguments can be heard from past decisions. According to podcasting can be a way to assist non-native speakers; this would allow the repetitive audio for review later in case there was confusion.
Public Radio has been able to podcast their topics so they now can reach a world-wide audience. This is just one more example as to how people can hear news in other areas, allowing a different point of view.
As a college student I have thought that podcasting was a wonderful feat for more freedom of information on the Internet, allowing people to broadcast their views and provide information to the public, if people do not want to hear it then they can refrain from downloading it.
This also allows me to be in my car or cleaning my room while I listen to a lecture a political candidate gave last week that I missed due to class or work.
One con that has been brought up is that this is something that compares to TiVo. People in the broadcast industry have feared that this would take away from their live broadcast channels.
Unfortunately, change happens and if something is going to last it will. Industries come and go; there will never be a period of blissful glee for media outlets, which for the better will continue to keep them working for our attention. Until then, we will continue to be immediately gratified.

This article was published in the November 17, 2006 issue of the student newpaper Lenoir-Rhynean of Lenoir-Rhyne College

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