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WFAE's Next Podcast Could Be Produced By You


WFAE has created a few different podcasts over the past couple years. They’re all part of WFAE’s ongoing commitment to tap the voices of our diverse community.

Now we’re getting ready to launch a new podcast. The topic? We have no idea. That’s because it could come from you, a neighbor, a friend — anyone within the Charlotte region.

She Says investigates a sexual assault case as it makes its way through the criminal justice system. Southbound brings you conversations with people shaped by the South and Amplifier highlights the music of Charlotte. What's next?

Our search is called theQueen City PodQuest. WFAE’s podcast guru Joni Deutsch is heading it up. She talked with WFAE's Lisa Worf on "Morning Edition."

Lisa Worf: I know we haven’t run out of ideas for podcasts, so why did you decide to start this PodQuest?

Joni Deutsch: There are so many ideas for podcasts out there, but really the reason why we're doing this is to make sure that we are listening to the community.

A couple of years ago in the wake of the Keith Lamont Scott shooting, a number of things came about in the community. One of the things that we saw was this revelation that Charlotteans could see there are multiple Charlottes. It’s not just one type of person or one story in Charlotte. There's so many Charlotte stories here that have not been told or amplified, and really this Queen City PodQuest is a way to empower the community to tell those stories. More importantly, we want to give them the tools to go forth and tell those narratives, those ideas and stories on their own.

Worf: Exactly how do you do that with the Queen City PodQuest?

Deutsch: Yeah, so the Queen City PodQuest is again the search for the next great podcast out of Charlotte.

What we're going to be doing with the PodQuest, starting today Dec. 3, is to allow a submission period. Whether you have an idea for a non-fiction podcast, a story about your life — whatever it is — we hope that you take this opportunity between today and Jan. 27 at 11:59 p.m. eastern to submit your idea for a podcast to theQueen City PodQuest.

We'll get submissions from the Charlotte region and, hopefully, by the end of January, we'll have a number of submissions so that we'll have a public voting round. In that public voting round, the public will decide what the top five finalist will be. They'll go on then — the top five — to get one-on-one coaching and mentorship on podcasting, on storytelling, on audio and sound design.

Then, finally, we'll have a live pitch night and we'll determine which podcast idea will win a podcast development deal.

Worf: And do you have to have any audio experience?

Deutsch: You don't. You can be any person right now, so long as you're 18-years-of-age or older, you reside in the Charlotte area or you go to school in the Charlotte area. Anyone can submit for this podcast.

Worf: What kind of ideas are you looking for?

Deutsch: Any idea, practically, any idea. The podcasts submissions could range from genres like politics, music, arts and culture, religion, health, personal stories, fiction [or] non-fiction. They can be stories about you, your friends, your family, experiences you've had — really the possibilities are endless.

If you don't have an idea for a podcast, but you know a friend or family member who has a story to tell, I encourage you to let them know they can submit their idea to the Queen City PodQuest starting today.

Worf: What makes a compelling podcast pitch?

Deutsch: Really, a podcast that is telling a story authentically [and] originally. Something that connects with the audience, the listener, on a level where you just want to be in the room with them and hear more from them. So, that's my biggest advice — just to speak and write and record from the heart.

To learn more, click here.  

Lisa Worf traded the Midwest for Charlotte in 2006 to take a job at WFAE. She worked with public TV in Detroit and taught English in Austria before making her way to radio. Lisa graduated from University of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in English.
Joni Deutsch was the manager for on-demand content and audience engagement, at WFAE, where also hosted the Amplified podcast and helped produce such podcasts as FAQ City, SouthBound, Inside Politics, Work It and the Apple Podcast chart-topping series She Says. Joni also led WFAE's and Charlotte's first podcast festival.