What the MOOC?! On the ‚radioness‘ and re-invention of audio storytelling through podcasting


The last weeks I have been busy with many things. Foremost, I had to finish a chapter for the international free online course „Transnational Radio Stories“ (see this short introduction on YouTube). The MOOC is organized and hosted by the ONLINE RADIO M.A. team, an innovative masters programme at the Department for Media and Communication Sciences of MLU Halle-Wittenberg.

In my chapter „On the shoulders of giants“, I examine the ways in which audio podcasters adopt, transform and re-invent radio storytelling. This is just a first draft of ideas on the topic, so please have mercy with me. However, here’s the abstract:

This chapter introduces podcasting as an online delivery mechanism for audio files and as a form of user-generated content. In the second part, we will also discuss certain practices of podcasting as forms of remediation, adoption and transformation of radio storytelling. Additionally, we will address the ways in which podcasting differs from ‘radiogenic conventions’ and contributes to the emergence of ‘personal media’ genre conventions and new forms of audio storytelling.

Personally, I find it a bit boring to compare (some types of) podcasts to traditional radio broadcasting or to address podcasting from a Brecht’sche perspective, because we’ve already done that ten years ago. However, I also think that it makes sense to take a look at ‚radiogenic‘ features in podcasting and how radio or “the historical technologies of over-the-air radio broadcast and reception” (Moscote Freire 2007*, p. 103) serve as ‘textual’ anchors for independent podcasters to create a sense of ‘radioness’. But we also need to acknowledge the innovative features and storytelling elements of podcasts as user-generated content afforded by digital media infrastructures (blogging, content distribution networks, social networking sites etc.). Overall, my chapter closes with Richard Berry’s observation that while we still tend “to use the reference points of older media like radio as a way of understanding Podcasts (…) there is much that is new and that requires a new perspective” (Berry 2006**, p. 156).

It is a great honor for me to be part of the international author team – especially since I am not a radio researcher in the first place -, among them experts such as: Peter Lewis, Caroline Mitchell, Jacob Kreutzfeldt, Golo Föllmer, Tiziano Bonini and my former colleague at the Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research, Hans-Ulrich Wagner. I also want to thank Tobias Grasse for his feedback, support and invaluable help with the paper!

If you are interested in the paper, you can read it on Academia.edu and/or download it right here. As always, I am looking forward to your thoughts on the piece and your recommendations (great podcasts, papers, studies etc.).

So much for now. Have a nice weekend.



*  Moscote Freire, A. (2007). Remediating radio: Audio streaming, music recommendation and the discourse of radioness. The Radio Journal – International Studies in Broadcast and Audio Media. 5(2-3), p. 97–112.

** Berry, R. (2006): Will the iPod kill the Radio star? Profiling Podcasting as Radio. Convergence, 12(2), pp. 143–162.