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Podcasting News: Pesca has “Earned Opinions” & the “Spielberg” of Podcasts

There are a couple of nice recent articles focusing on podcasting. One takes a long look at Mike Pesca and his new Slate podcast, the other has Kevin Smith let loose about his podcasting career.

Current Profiles Slate’s The Gist

Public radio journalist Adam Ragusea wrote a nice profile of Slate’s The Gist with Mike Pesca for the public media journal Current. Ragusea explores how the more personality-driven Gist departs–even just a little–from the dominant NPR model. That’s something I commented on in my review of the show from its debut week.

Ragusea observes,

Indeed, hosts across the public radio system (myself included) are constantly struggling to satisfy two irreconcilable directives from our superiors: Sound like a normal human with personality, but don’t let your opinions show.

Pesca expands on the point, saying,

“If you have reported things out, and if you are really informed on this, you know, you could certainly give what would be called an opinion, but it’s an earned opinion,” Pesca defined it.

Ragusea also includes audio of his full hour-plus interview with Pesca, Gist producer Andrea Silenzi and Slate’s executive producer Andy Bowers.

Kevin Smith is the “Spielberg” of Podcasting

I thoroughly enjoyed a recent interview with filmmaker Kevin Smith in the Guardian. Smith is actually promoting a UK tour of his podcast Jay and Silent Bob Get Old, teamed with the animated film Jay & Silent Bob’s Groovy Cartoon Movie! The key revelation from Smith is how much he enjoys podcasting, perhaps more than filmmaking. He says, “If podcasts were movies, I’d be up there with Spielberg, dude.”

He even says that if he were coming of age now, Smith would have “definitely” gone into podcasting instead of filmmaking.

The film that made me want to make movies was Richard Linklater’s Slacker. If it was now, I would have seen Slacker and written a blog about it or recorded a podcast. That would have been enough. The entire message of my career is that if you want to do it, you should try. I am a chimp and I built a career out of making films. And I don’t even consider myself a film-maker! Oh yeah, and PS: neither do the critics.

Podcasting sure as heck doesn’t require you to max out credit cards to buy film stock and hire actors.


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