Produce a Podcast Lesson Plan

Eric Salo Podcasting Lesson: This exercise is an introduction to podcasting and audio editing. It provides links to NPR podcasts as examples to compliment class discussion. Students will write and record a podcast following the examples from NPR. The activities also include a video demonstration of editing audio in Final Cut Pro. The final project will be a student produced podcast.

Burton Center for Arts and Technology- Roanoke, VA

Title: Introduction to Podcasting

Audio Editing in Final Cut Pro: (link to instructional video)   

Overview and Rationale:

Convergence Journalists are those who gather and report facts as fairly as possible using the tools of multimedia. This lesson gives students information and insight into basic audio recording, editing and podcasting.

Goals for Understanding:

Essential Questions

What is the responsibility of a convergence journalist?

What tools are important for a multimedia journalist to have?

Critical Engagement Questions

What software is useful creating audio recordings and podcasts?

What steps does it take to record and post a podcast?

Overview and Timeline:

Activity 1 (One 50-minute class):

-Discuss basic definition of convergence journalists- those who gather and report facts as fairly as possible using words, images, and audio.

-Select and listen to a National Public Radio podcast at:

-Discuss the methods of storytelling using interviews, ambient audio, and the reporters voice track. Resource and guidelines at:

-Small group activity- in groups of 3-4 students are to select and listen to a podcasts from

Groups will then discuss the methods used to tell the story and present their findings to the class. Items discussed should include, but not limited to:

Topic, information/audio sources, errors, and group evaluation

Activity 2 (One 50-minute class): Instruction on Podcasting

Recap convergence journalism and NPR podcast discussion

Anticipatory set- creating you own podcast

Instruction on Podcasting:

Audio Editing in Final Cut Pro instructional video:   

-The process of recording a quality voice track

-Adding music and ambient sound


-Saving as an AAC file, adding the appropriate information in iTunes

-Linking to a website.

-Introduce project and allow time for selection of stories.

“Pretty simple to Podcast” handout below:

Homework: Students are to select a story from a credible news source as instructed in class. Re-write the story following examples from NPR. Record their voice track to be imported and edited on day three.

Activity 3 (one 50-minute classes)

Assessment: Students will edit and post an original audio report including their voice, music and/or ambient sound. Due end of Class on Day 3 of Podcasting lesson.

Student handout follows:

Pretty Simple to Podcast

Project and Steps:

Students are to produce a podcast news report on current events. The report should be no longer than two minutes, and include:

  1. Reporter’s/student’s voice
  2. Music (“news style” at the start and/or end) and/or ambient sound and/or sfx

Select a news story from a credible online news source such as:

National Sources:        ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, New York Times, etc.

Local Sources:   , WSLS, WFIR, WDBJ, WVTF

*We have discussed credibility of sources. See the instructor if you need to check your source.


Write an adapted script from the story you chose for your podcast. Model it after examples from NPR that follow AP style guidelines.

Record your voice track in a quiet environment. You can use our cameras, a smartphone, or even your computer.

Lab Work:

Import your voice track to Final Cut Pro. Put you editing skills to work and remove any errors.

Add music and ambient sound or sound effects.

Edit your audio mix.

The music and sxf should add to your voice track- not distract from it.

Now lets’ make the podcast:

Share your audio file from FCPX:

Select only audio and choose AAC as the output file type.

Save it to your desktop. (It will automatically be sent to iTunes)

Right click on the file in iTunes and fill in the:

Song- Name of your report/story

Artist-Your Name

Composer- Your Name


Demonstration upload to a WordPress site:

Select “add media” and select the file in iTunes and it will be added to a WordPress site.

This is similar to adding a picture to a website.

That is the final step in creating your own podcast!

However, since most of you do not have a website, you will transfer your exported AAC file from your desktop to the instruction computer for scoring and archiving.

Congratulations you have taken another step toward becoming a convergence journalist.


_________15 Wrote and recorded your podcast (homework)

_________10 Added music and/or ambient sound and/or sfx

_________20 Edited a quality, error free, and informative audio track

_________5 Exported and submitted AAC file

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