Founding reporter of Mississippi Today Adam Ganucheau has been listening to well-produced national, political podcasts for years, but in 2018 he realized there wasn’t anything similar in Mississippi, so he decided to conceptualize and create his own podcast called, “The Other Side.” The weekly podcast brings on the top Mississippi political minds and politicians to discuss what’s happening in the state.
“I think podcasts are very important,” said Ganucheau. “As a journalist, I’m always trying to find ways to engage as many readers as possible. As a millennial, I see on a daily basis how disengaged our generation can be with current events and especially politics. As I’ve experienced firsthand in launching a podcast, they really can engage younger listeners in ways that a print story in a paper or on a website might not. And even for listeners who might not consider themselves young, I think the medium naturally provides more context and information than most others can.”
Ganucheau said that podcasting gives journalists a medium to reach consumers in an engaging, unthreatening, and easy-to-use way. Instead of just having to sit and read an article where one’s focus has to be fully on reading, podcasts provide a convenient way to listen to the news or a story while also being able to clean the house, do laundry, or even be driving.
“Particularly for younger people, who are glued to our phones already, podcasts are just convenient,” said Ganucheau. “The listener analytics bear that out.”
Ganucheau’s podcast began in 2018 and they haven’t missed a single week. Listenership has increased consistently from a couple dozen downloads on Day 1 to a continuous, steady climb. They’re now up to roughly 1,500 downloads per episode.
“There’s an extremely loyal base of listeners who reach out to me on social media or will approach me in person to talk about the podcast,” said Ganucheau. “I get more comments like that about the podcast than I do about my print reporting, which always reaches many more people. I think that speaks to the engaging aspects of a podcast, particularly among younger people.”
Ganucheau said that he loves the podcasting interview format because it lets the subjects of an interview expand on ideas in their own words for an extended period of time. Instead of having to choose short quotes to publish, you can get the full context from the interview on everything that’s discussed.
“I’ve found that the guests appreciate that as much as the listener does,” said Ganucheau.