Learn to Podcast with Heather McCormack

Heather1Audio recording has been part of Heather McCormack’s life for as long as she can remember. In the early 1980s, her mother was a radio DJ on WERS. Ate age 15, Heather joined her high school’s radio station. Now, she is the Boston Free Radio Station Manager and Youth Media Program Coordinator at Somerville Media Center, where she hosts both a weekly live radio show and a bi-weekly podcast. Heather has taught podcasting at a number of community media centers and is excited to bring her skills to NewTV.


While still in high school, Heather interned at WUML. Later, she remained involved in radio, hosting a show on Unregular Radio (now WEMF). Meanwhile, podcasting became increasingly popular. By the time Heather began her job at Somerville Media Center in 2016, Edison Research reported that 55% of Americans had heard of podcasting and 36% had listened to one.


Heather believes that podcasting has become popular because it offers a platform for perspectives not represented in traditional media: “Because of the overwhelming consolidation and homogenization of mainstream media, folks are hungry for new, authentic voices that are being shared through podcasting.” The fact that podcasting is not regulated by the FCC makes it “a truly democratic form of media that encourages originality, innovation and creativity.” Another added benefit is that learning the technology necessary for podcasting is easy.


Podcasts can be found on a variety of topics: from parenting to politics, from history to television shows, from fictional stories to long-form interviews, from science to technology. How did this get Made, which reviews some of the worst movies, is Heather’s favorite podcast and inspired her podcast, Make it Stop, which reviews some of the worst albums. She also enjoys StoryCorps and 99% Invisible.


Heather2The Introduction to Podcasting class will take place over two sessions. Heather explains that her goal is, “to get folks comfortable with what podcasting has to offer them, help them discover their own voice and develop strong content.” The first session will include tips on topic selection and instructions on audio recording equipment. Participants will have the opportunity to try their hand at recording a test podcast before the second class, where they will learn to edit audio in Adobe Audition and promote and distribute their podcast through NewTV and beyond.


Heather’s advice for her future students is to, “establish a ritual and routine for your podcast and build it into your life – in order to do this work you have to be really committed to it.” The hardest part of podcasting is starting, but this class will get students over that hurdle. Taking Introduction to Podcasting allows students to “build a foundation of success for [their] podcasting future.”


Click here to sign up for Introduction to Podcasting.