Audio Anarchy

County Line staff announce foray into podcasting world


Nicha Bruce

Journalism has evolved in tandem with modern technology, starting with stamped print issues to radio and television broadcasts. Podcasts are a product of this, and have now become staples of entertainment and hard news. Wanting to expand their reach into every news format, the County Line staff has begun production on their very own podcast, “’til The Bell Rings”. It is a roundtable audio experience filled with student discussion on social affairs, pop culture and school issues.         


“It’s something new, fun and exciting that keeps with current trends and is popular amongst high school students,” newspaper teacher Shantel Latham said. “I’m hoping that through this experience my students will feel comfortable using their voices, and that they will make an impact on other Cinco Ranch students.”


Transforming the dark room into a podcasting space with a couple Amazon orders also proved to be a team-bonding experience filled with bickering and laughs. The County Line staff first had to clear out and reorganize the room, as it had been used as a storage space for the last ten years. After completing that, an inflatable couch was installed around a wobbly table topped with one laptop and two microphones, with the finishing touch being the paper towel with a list of “no-no words” taped to it. 


“Filming the podcast in the dark room is actually very special in two ways,” senior Bea Lunardini said. “Not only do we get to start a new form of media in the same place that the newspaper itself started, the dark room is covered in encouraging words from past newspaper writers, so it’s reassuring to know we have 20 years of student journalists behind us along the way.”


Filming the podcast in the beginning proved to be a challenge, as none of the staff members were familiar with the production process. The introduction episode took several tries as students overcame being microphone-shy and learning how to use all the software and equipment involved. Planning episodes was also difficult as the staff strove to produce discussions, ultimately deciding on the method of drawing episode topics out of a little pink, plastic box.          


“The podcast happens over three days, filming, editing, and posting. We pick a topic from our list to film and record the episode,” said Lunardini. “It then gets edited and posted on Spotify, with a link to it put on the County Line website.”


While production on the podcast is still underway, County Line hopes to create something that is able to present more complete thoughts and ideas than a written article can, due to the unique audio platform. They also hope the podcast becomes a springboard for student discussion and different perspectives. As the County Line launches this new project, they anticipate students tuning in and feeling informed or heard in some way.