News for U — Episode 1: Extra! Extra! Hear all about it!


Sydney Stam

(Graphic by Sydney Stam)

By Emma Ratkovic, News For U host

Emma: Hello, and welcome to the first episode of the news podcast. In this news podcast, we will delve more deeply into one Chronicle news story a week that has been recently posted online. The writer will be a guest on the show and we will meet and discuss the story with them. We’ll be uploading episodes every Monday, so make sure to tune in. My name is Emma Ratkovic and I’m a freshman here at the U. I’m a Communications major studying journalism and minoring in Spanish. I’m currently a writer for the investigative desk at the Chronicle. I wanted to join the news podcast because I enjoy listening to podcasts and wanted to learn more about the process of creating them. News Editor Carlene Coombs has met with us today to discuss why a news podcast at the Chronicle is an important extension of the news desk. Hey, Carlene how are you?

Carlene Coombs: I’m doing well. How are you?

Emma: Great. Great. Do you want to tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been working on the news desk?

Carlene Coombs: Yeah, absolutely. So, my name is Carlene, but all my friends call me Carly. I have been the news editor at the Chronicle since May of last year, and then I was a news writer for about two semesters before that. I’m also a senior studying communications with a journalism emphasis. I’ll be graduating in May, which is super fun.

Emma: Super exciting. Can you tell us about how the news desk functions? And how many writers are on the desk?

Carlene Coombs: Yeah, so currently, we have nine news writers. And then we also have our assistant news editor, Andrew Christiansen who is super awesome, we love him. And kind of just how the news desk functions, is our whole goal is really to bring stories to students that they care about, and just kind of be that student voice on campus.

Emma: And how do you decide which stories get coverage?

Carlene Coombs: Yeah, that’s a really good question. So kind of how I approach it, and how we do it, is we allow the writers to come to us with pitches or story ideas and such, essentially. And so each week, we have a meeting, and our writers bring one to two pitches of stories that they want to write about. And I feel like that kind of allows our writers to kind of talk about issues that they’re passionate about, or maybe stories that they would like to see, you know, because they’re all students as well. So, they kind of are able to hone into that student voice and kind of talk about what students are interested in. And then of course, there’s always things that need to be covered that I will kind of assign. For example, it’s ASUU elections right now. So, with that, like, I’d kind of just go to my writers and be like, hey, the ASUU debate is happening on Monday, who wants to cover this? And I kind of just like, let whoever wants to cover it, cover it. And so, that’s kind of how stories get coverage and how that all works.

Emma: And why do you think it’s important for the news desk to have a podcast, even though we already have written stories?

Carlene Coombs: Yeah, so with like written stories, you always kind of have — you’re limited in the amount of words you have, the amount of space you have to write and put that information to a story. So, having a news podcast is kind of a good extension of that. And then also, I believe that like a podcast would bring more accessibility for students. Students are very busy so, not everyone has time to kind of sit down and read a bunch of articles, you know, in the morning, or something. So, having a podcast would allow students to say listen to it while they’re on the bus or on their drive to class or walking in between class. So, it’s really just kind of like about that accessibility and providing another avenue for students to consume their news.

Emma: All right. And last and final question, what are you hoping the student body will get out of the news podcast?

Carlene Coombs: I think one thing that I hope students will get from this is, you know, as I mentioned, with writing stories, like you’re kind of limited in your, you know, how many words how much you can put in there. So, through a podcast, that would kind of allow writers to dive a little bit deeper into the stories they are writing and also kind of like, bring more of that humanity into it and talk about maybe why did they choose to write this story or why is this story important? Why should students care about this? And it would just kind of give a little bit more, a little bit more depth.

Emma. Thank you so much, Carly, for meeting with us today.

Carlene Coombs: Thank you for having me. This has been great.

Emma: All right. Thanks for listening to our first episode of the news podcast. Stay tuned for a new episode next Monday.


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