Emory Report
December 12, 2005
Volume 58, Number 14


Emory Report homepage  

December 12 , 2005
Stay in touch with weekly news podcast

BY katherine Baust lukens

Even for those people who don’t (yet) have an iPod or similar mp3 player, it’s impossible to miss the vast number of students hopping onto the digital music revolution and sporting those slender white earphones like a fashion accessory.

No longer just a music player, the iPod and its competitors are rapidly transforming the radio broadcast industry—with television and cable following not far behind, now that Apple has expanded the iPod’s utility from storing and reproducing music to “podcasting,” by adding podcasts as a category to its popular iTunes software.

Now, Emory community members interested in a brief synopsis of happenings on campus can catch this new wave and listen to the “Emory Week in Review,” a weekly podcast, written and narrated by Curt Carlson, senior associate vice president of public affairs, and Tiffany Davis, media relations coordinator.

“Alumni who want to stay connected to the University in a new, personal way, and even Emory’s on-campus community members, will find this an appealing way to quickly learn about and experience a taste of happenings in their own backyard,” Carlson said.

In a nutshell, podcasting is a way of distributing audio and visual information via the Internet by automatically transferring the information to a computer. It then can be uploaded to mp3 players or transferred into other portable music formats, allowing users to subscribe to audio content (such as segments of news programming from National Public Radio) beyond music.

“The stories are timely, carry a certain amount of human interest, reinforce the themes of the strategic plan, or have as part of the content a good sound actuality that will add listenability to the story,” Carlson said.

Slowly, universities are beginning to dip their toes into the exploding world of electronic media. For example, Duke University recently gave out free iPods to an incoming freshmen class, and just this semester Emory chemistry Assistant Professor Justin Gallivan started podcasting his lectures.

“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive,” Gallivan said. “The students love it because they can listen to the podcast anywhere, whether on a bus from Clairmont Campus or on a plane on the way to an interview, and they can replay parts of the lectures as often as they need.”

Gallivan uses what is called an “enhanced podcast,” which has the ability to display artwork. “I use a lot of visuals in my class, and this enables me to have pictures from lectures, pictures of the blackboards, slides and/or links to the Web,” he said. “That way, students can hear my lecture and see the visual at the same time.”

“Just as universities have been ‘print-literate’ over the ages, now is their opportunity to become ‘electronic media-literate’ or ‘video-literate,’ and learn how to communicate with audiences in ever more dynamic and effective ways,” Carlson said. “Our new little podcast is just the tip of the iceberg of what’s possible.”

The Emory Week in Review is available at www.news.emory.edu/pods/. Community members interested in submitting story ideas should e-mail Davis at tdavis5@emory.edu.