Writers On Writing / Miles Martignoni on creating compelling podcasts

‘A compelling podcast needs to be authentic and showcase something people can identify with.’

Miles Martignoni works at Guardian Australia as their podcast producer, developing all of their audio projects. He has previously worked at 2SER 107.3 and ABC Local Radio. Miles has taught audio production and journalism at Macquarie, Sydney and Wollongong Universities.

What sets podcasting apart from other audio forms? Would you describe it as a genre in its own right?

Podcasting is simply a medium for transmitting media, like radio or television. It contains many different types of formats and genres. But like all mediums there are things that work better on podcasts than on other mediums. For example, the on-demand nature of listening to a podcast helps build a strong connection between the listener and the show because people make a very deliberate choice to listen to them. Once you realise what sets podcasts apart from other audio like traditional radio you can create shows that captivate people.

How did you get into podcasting?

I started listening to This American Life when I was younger and have loved documentary style shows ever since. I worked in radio and kept experimenting with podcast production until I started making them for the Guardian. Now I get the chance to make them everyday.

What’s your top tip for making a compelling podcast?

A compelling podcast needs to be authentic and showcase something people can identify with. Sometimes this comes from a host’s personality; they sound like real people and this makes you want to connect with them. Other times it comes from the content, the best producers pace their stories in a way that make you curious about what will happen next and use them to reveal truths about people and the world. They bring us closer to understanding our small corner of the universe.

Join Miles for his course Making Compelling Podcasts on September 2, 10am-4pm, at the Centre.

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