Calling All Creators
Podcasting the LHSC way with Required Radio
The popularity of podcasts is nothing new. According to Nielsen Podcast Insights, 50 percent of all households in the U.S. (60 million homes) contain a podcast fan. And nearly half of the American population has listened to a podcast at least once.
What fuels the constant growth of podcasts? Many listeners cite the mobility and accessibility of podcasts — it’s possible to download new material anywhere and listen without advertisements or interference. That concept of universal accessibility is what drives LHSC’s online digital podcasting center, Required Radio (RR).
Started by associate professor Dennis Quinn as a product of classes in the Radio Production and Studies major, Required Radio is an open-source podcast generator maintained by members of the radio program at the LHSC, and an executive board of student volunteers.
“There’s more freedom with podcasting,” said Required Radio e-board executive assistant Edward Birdsall ’18. “Required Radio encourages creativity — for Hofstra students to come up with their own ideas regardless of their radio experience.”
The opportunity to create original material is a touchstone of the LHSC, and Required Radio is no different. Through RR, students from across Hofstra are encouraged to find their voice. To build a portfolio of digital media. And to develop a working knowledge of radio engineering.
“Required Radio’s team who will sit down with you and teach you how to work the recording studio board and use ProTools — it’s very hands on,” said RR e-board vice president Adam Castar ’19. “Those skills translate into potential jobs.”
Teaching new users the recording ropes is a welcomed task for Birdsall and Castar. Assisting in the growth of the RR website, and witnessing the continued revitalization of LHSC’s recording studio space, has been an added inspiration for the two radio production and studies majors.
Investing in podcasting education and RR production not only assists LHSC students inside the school, but has helped students like Castar find opportunities outside of Hofstra.
“I had a phone interview with Sirius XM recently and was able to showcase a website portfolio of my Required Radio podcasts,” said Castar, creator of the Nerdcast, and cohost of the Fantasy Football Show and Road to Russia World Cup podcast. “It’s a deeper body of work than I would’ve ever expected.”
Birdsall agrees that RR assisted his personal development in a big way.
“I’m less than a month away from graduating,” Birdsall said. “Looking back it’s amazing how much I’ve grown as a radio major and a human being. Three or four years ago i didn’t have much ground to stand on. Now I’ve done all this work for Required Radio where I’m in an executive board position and am helping people with shows and engineering.”
For those new to the world of podcasting and radio recording, and maybe a bit apprehensive about speaking on air, Birdsall and Castar shared words of encouragement.
“I remember my first show I did, and how terrible I was,” Birdsall said. “But everyone is horrible on their first show. This platform gives people the opportunity to go on air, to show the world that you can be a media producer.”
“Required Radio is more of an experimental station where you can push the boundaries,” Castar said. “There’s a lot more freedom. And as long as you care enough to create good content, the sky is the limit.”