The Scripps College of Communication announced the creation of a podcasting certificate on Nov. 6. Students will now have the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of a media industry gaining popularity.
Podcasting has made its way into the spotlight as a new type of media: audio storytelling. Although Ohio University has offered a podcasting course since 2017, only recently was the certificate made possible. After attending a Spotify conference in 2019, Josh Antonuccio, director of the School of Media Arts & Studies, led the push for the certificate.
“When I came back, I began thinking about the marketplace that exists,” Antonuccio said. “I felt like Ohio University had an opportunity to prepare the next generation of audio storytellers.”
The certificate is a combined project between the School of Media Arts & Studies and the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. Antonuccio teamed up with Associate Professor Elizabeth Hendrickson and together, they’ve created a certificate compiled of 15 hours of coursework. Two courses are journalism courses, two are media arts courses and the last course can be an approved elective. The certificate is not limited to journalism and media arts students, but to anyone attending OU.
“I knew that podcasting existed, I just wasn’t aware it was an educational thing,” Lily Henry, a freshman studying middle school education language arts & sciences, said. “I was surprised they have a certification program at OU.”
The course curriculum offered for the certificate are new courses to the university. With podcasting being a young form of media, limited academic sources are available. Hendrickson took advantage of this and created her own curriculum.
“We break down podcasting from the buzzword it is right now to see how it came about as an industry and then how journalism factors into its future,” Hendrickson said.
Through completing the certificate, students will learn about the history of podcast, nonfiction and fiction audio storytelling and production skills.
“Podcasting has become one of the most consumable forms of storytelling in the current market,” Antonuccio said. “Students love podcasts and they’re really interested in learning how to do both fiction and nonfiction storytelling in that space.”
With the certificate, both Antonuccio and Hendrickson are hopeful that it will benefit students later in their careers.
“My hope is that we produce students that have a deeper understanding and ability to create a podcast,” Hendrickson said. “Essentially, they could get hired in an array of industry positions.”
Within the podcasting industry, Hendrickson and Antonuccio feel there are many opportunities for crossover with other professions. This can be helpful for those who aren’t solely looking to study the journalistic aspect of podcasting.
“Artists host their own podcasts, labels host podcasts or podcasts about music, there's all kinds of opportunities to tell stories in specific industry spaces,” Antonuccio said.
For students who are interested in pursuing this certificate, setting up an advising appointment with the Allen Student Advising Center should be their first step. From there, students need to complete the required courses and keep a minimum GPA of 2.8.