Treating Your Topic with Respect

Creating podcasts that attract the right audience takes more than just knowing the ins and outs of the technology used for recording. In fact, great content is not enough as well. You need to get the right mix of content, recording quality, and presentation to snag your audience’s attention.

Oftentimes, what this means is dealing with controversial topics or at the very least coming up with catchy podcast titles that will raise and eyebrow or two. All that is fine and well, because you need to attract listeners! Once you get to the actual podcast though, it is important you maintain a respectful attitude about the topic and, if any, your guest(s).

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Treating your topic/guest with respect does not mean that you need to sit back and stop asking hard questions. It also does not mean agreeing to points you don’t agree with, or bending over backwards to avoid a controversial stance. Doing so will be hypocritical and may even make you sound condescending. So how do you treat a topic with respect, especially if you do not agree or believe in it?

Let’s use the issue of race and religion as examples.

In this day and age when racism is frowned on (for a good reason!), only the most bigoted and stupid will ever let a racist remark slip. I’m sure that there are still closet racists out there, but you can bet that they’ll treat every topic, even those skirting the issue of race as if they are neutral. More important, guests of all race will be treated with courtesy.

When it comes to religious beliefs though, it’s really sad how people seem to continue being intolerant of beliefs contrary to their own. Theists visible (or audibly?) get uptight, even downright aggressive, when questioned about their beliefs, and atheists show their superiority complex and act dismissively or condescendingly when matters of faith are raised. Of course, it’s not always the case, but you probably get what I mean. In fact, I do feel saddened that one of my favorite podcasts, RadioLab, is actually guilty of this.

So before you release every podcast you produce, ask yourself the question: Did you treat your topic and guests with respect. Did you approach your topic with an open mind? Were you able to voice out your opinions without being dismissive towards other people’s beliefs? Because if not, then you might want to go back to the drawing board for that episode and try to approach and present the topic with more respect.

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Originally posted on June 23, 2013 @ 7:45 pm

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