It is January 2020. Almost exactly one year ago, we started the Nice View Reporters project – with plenty of enthusiasm as well as success. Now we’re back for round two. Last time, we focused on photojournalism and interviews. This year, we wanted to go beyond that and include other media formats. Some of us really wanted to make videos. Partly because we have produced a considerable amount of films for clients, but also because it does not take costly equipment to produce a decent film – a smart phone will do as well. But what about audio? Audio meaning podcasts? After all, there are many voices in Nice View that we want to make heard.
We can’t really tell who from team podcast has learned the most after one week – the students or the project lead, consisting of Juliane, Benny, and Melanie. What we do know for sure though is that the week has been a great success, as anyone listening to the first episode of the Nice View podcast will tell you.
For years, the podcast industry has been growing and you’ll be able to find this “more-than-radio to-go format” on any topic and in any language imaginable. Yet, to be honest, this has been FLMH’s very first podcast as well. And here we are, leading team podcast. But, and that’s another important thing to know about podcasts: they are super easy to produce yourself. All you need is a few pieces of equipment and you are ready to throw yourself right into the world of telling and listening.
Our focus throughout the project? To let the students experience that media isn’t something that can only be consumed, but rather an opportunity to tell stories from their home town which go unheard too often. And have people from all around the world listen to them. We asked the students: What are the stories that you want to tell?
The Marine Education Centre was founded in 2018 in the town of Diani, not far from Nice View. Its mission is to inform about marine habitats – and the dangers they face. We went on a day trip to the Centre with the students who are very much excited to go on a trip. The excitement could not even be diminished by the fact that on day two, the Matatu abandoned us. We found a different way back to Msabweni. No harm in a little exercise.
The most challenging aspect during the production turned out to be that the students are not very experienced in working with computers. To cut audio files, knowing how to handle mouse and track pad are essential. But these are also tools that the students do not have sufficient access to. Something else in the way of story-telling: the Kenyan school system, which is characterized by old fashioned teacher-centered classes. This means that students listen incredibly attentively, absorbing anything they are told, and even being able to reproduce everything later: the number of turtle species, how many are native to the Kenyan coast, and whatever else biologist Fatuma talks to them about. Exploiting their own creative potential is not something they are very experienced in. We seize the opportunity to work on our own teaching skills and to provide the methods necessary to develop a story.
On the last production day, we’re in for a surprise. The podcast needs a host, and we were prepared for a good bit of persuasion before somebody would be willing to do this. Far from it – somebody volunteers right away. Tsari – also portrayed on the team’s page – is our volunteer. He is doing a fantastic job, causing many stunned faces when we present the episode on the last day.
We conclude: it really is super easy to produce a podcast. Back in freezing Berlin, we are writing a podcast production manual. And hope that this will provide a basis for many more Nice View episodes that invite us to listen to stories from Msambweni, Kwale, Kenya.