New course highlights storytelling through podcasts


Sophomore journalism major Ania Boutin uses Adobe Audition in Wright’s JMC 210 Podcasting: Telling Stories With Sounds course. (Dionte Berry/The News)

Jack Ellerbrook, Contributing Writer

The Department of Journalism and Mass Communications introduced a new course this spring centered around podcast recording. JMC 210 Podcasting: Telling Stories With Sound teaches students of any major how to use podcasting as a storytelling medium and the production process behind it.

With the course’s only prerequisite being ENG 105, JMC 210 serves as an elective for anyone who is interested.

The course’s instructor, Associate Professor of Journalism Leigh Wright, says podcasting is a topic that has frequently been brought up among journalism education associations, and some of her colleagues at other universities inspired her to bring a podcasting class to campus.

“One of my colleagues had proposed a podcast certificate at her school,” Wright said. “I thought, that’s a great idea—even just starting with a podcast class.”

JMC 210 covers the basics of podcasting such as conducting interviews, scriptwriting and recording audio with microphones, such as lavalier mics, that clip onto the interviewee. Students do not need prior audio editing or professional experience to be successful in the class, Wright says.

Throughout the semester, students have completed a combination of smaller assignments and are now finalizing their work on larger projects as finals week approaches.

Some of the smaller activities meant to help the class learn how to produce audio included weekly audio logs and “vox pops,” which are impromptu interviews with students on campus.

As part of the “Sounds of Spring” project, JMC 210 students recorded podcasts on a wide range of events, including the opening of Dairy Queen, the Athena Festival, All Campus Sing, an art exhibit, intramural sports, “The Addams Family” musical, Murray State’s move to the Missouri Valley Conference and a day in the life of a college student.

“Murray State has such a great tradition of events in the spring,” Wright said. “There are so many different events, and spring is so busy. I thought doing something like the ‘Sounds of Spring’ as a podcast series could really show what we do here at Murray State.”

In addition to producing their own podcast episode, students were also tasked with creating their own podcast concept they could continue after the end of the semester.

Senior public relations major Simon Elfrink cited the creative liberty the class offers as one of the primary benefits of the course.

“The notion of learning more about how to flex my creativity and get my thoughts out there in the audio form was a no-brainer for me when it came to choosing classes I wanted to take before I graduated,” Elfrink said.

Wright says students across all disciplines will have the opportunity to grow professionally in this course.

“To be able to write, to be able to research and to tell a good story, those are skills that transfer to all different areas,” Wright said. “Those are great skills to have in your career.”

Moving forward, Wright said the department plans to offer the course at least once a year.

Anyone interested in listening to the podcast produced by JMC 210 students this semester will soon be able to find the podcast on Spotify and at the class website at