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Listen up, locals.

Excited by the Wellington Shire Library's move to provide recording equipment to the area's youth, Aisha Dawson grabs a mic herself and interviews local artists for valuable tips on podcast creation.

Jun 12, 2023

Words: Aisha Dawson

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The Wellington Shire Library is cooking up an opportunity for you to upgrade from a local listener to an expert podcaster. The WSYC (Wellington Shire Youth Council) is working towards providing our library with the equipment you need to start your creative content journey!

WSYC want to provide young people in rural areas with the resources they need to experiment with their creative interests, maybe even sparking a passion that could lead to a career path in this field. The best part? This podcast recording studio WSYC hopes to set up will be completely accessible to the public!

Here’s what our local listeners have to say about this project.

"...this would be a great opportunity for me to make other types of content where my audience gets to see more of my natural personality.”

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“I’m quite interested in this prospect as I feel it would be a great way to encourage our local community to create something unique that they can share widely,” young creative Chantelle Peck explains. “I can definitely see myself using this set-up. It could be great for media classes at public schools to take advantage of this resource to learn a wider range of skills.”

Chantelle goes into more detail about the passion projects she would utilise the space for. “I’d be interested in making chatty commentary videos with friends. I’ve been growing my online presence over the past year – this would be a great opportunity for me to make other types of content where my audience gets to see more of my natural personality.”

With this equipment and a bit of creativity, much more than podcasting can be explored. Chantelle adds, “I’ve sort of fallen out of making music over the last couple of years but the idea of this space actually encourages me to do some more writing and creating; it would be nice to record something, even if it isn’t perfect.”

Local young artist Oli Di Luca – stage name OJD – shared, “The uses of this space are so expansive: ranging from comedic, educational, informative productions, or just a way to get together and have some fun!”

When the two young community members were asked their opinions about participating in workshops or training sessions that would aid them in podcast recording, they responded excitedly.

Chantelle says, “I definitely would!” OJD goes into further detail, stating, “Training workshops for podcast recording and editing would be a great way to get people involved in this area of creative work and enhance their skills in producing entertaining content.”

We’ve heard what the young rookies have to say, now let's get another perspective from some experienced podcasters! Stephanie Sabrinskas and Josie Hess, creators of the successful podcast Coal Face, kindly gave us more insight into the world of podcasts.

Aisha Dawson: Would a locally accessible recording studio have been beneficial to you when you first started podcasting?

Josie Hess: “Yes! We had to build our own podcasting studio in my back room when we started. We definitely would have saved a lot of time and money if we had access to a community podcasting studio.”

Stephanie Sabrinskas: “Yes. Capturing quality audio during recording makes the editing process a lot easier, and setting up aroom yourself is quite an expense.”

What advice do you have for a community-based studio?

Josie: “Our advice is to keep everything accessible and simple. You don't need the fanciest tech to produce good, clean audio.”

Steph: “... make it comfortable and accessible for people to use. Also, have decent-sized recording time slots available.”

Can you share any success stories or challenges you've encountered in your podcasting journey?

Steph:The Coal Face podcast has been used as a teaching aid when talking about mine rehabilitation and transition at a couple of universities, which was a real win for us. The main challenge we've had is finding the time to make regular episodes.”

Josie: “[Success comes when you] pick your niche, know your audience and create stories you are passionate about.”

How can local podcasters best promote their content and reach a wider audience?

Josie: “Build out your database and have a marketing budget. Market offline, as well as online, with traditional outreach.”

Steph: “...[and we can help] promote them by listening to local podcasts and recommending them to your networks. It's also really important to interact with their content online. Following their social media pages and commenting on posts is great – so are follows and reviews on podcast platforms.”

What advice would you give to young content creators who might use the library's recording studio?

Josie: “We need more local voices telling stories. Don't worry about being perfect, just focus on telling good stories.”

Steph: “Choose a topic you are passionate about, research other podcasts on that topic and try to cover it from a fresh perspective. Also, don't be too precious with every word; editing a podcast down will keep it more engaging for listeners.”

Gippslandia - Issue No. 30

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