Campus News Faculty Spotlight Profiles Society & Culture

Keith Herndon: The Academic Perspective

Keith Herndon ABJ '82 is director of the James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management; and the William S. Morris Chair in News Strategy and Management; and Grady College faculty adviser for the Institute’s podcast, The Lead. (Photo by Stephanie Moreno/UGA)

Keith Herndon ABJ ’82 is the Grady College faculty adviser for the Cox Institute’s award-winning, student-led podcast, The Lead.


What would you say is the importance of podcasting for the news and other industries, and creating “mobile news” as well—particularly in a historical context? 

Keith Herndon ABJ ’82: Podcasting has become a replacement to listening to the radio. Entertainment has become intimate and personal. Podcasting gives us the ability to engage in storytelling

What has it been like to lead The Lead, and what impact has that podcast had on the UGA community?

Herndon: We started The Lead in the Cox Institute as a training process to teach the art of the audio interview and audio editing. It is an extracurricular project, but it has done a lot more. We have made great content and even won the Society of Professional Journalists Regional Award with Charlotte Norsworthy AB ’19 as host. [Grady rising fourth-year student Caroline Odom is the current host.]

The Lead has also been used as instructional material, with notes and behind the scenes details from the producers, so it is a holistic training experience for both the producers and the listeners.

What skills from the Grady classroom can students and alumni use in podcasting to essentially prepare them? 

Herndon: Grady has a lot of different courses that are relevant. An important tool of information gathering is preparing for the interview. An interview guide is prepared ahead of time. It depends on a lot of what type of podcasting, but it is important to have facts. Information gathering and multiplatform production are important skills that play into podcasting.

What do you see as the future of podcasting?

Herndon: Podcasting is going to be a growing medium for a while. Any media that breaks the billion-dollar barrier in advertising will be a big market. Platforms like Spotify are expanding, and as long as they are promoted, the market will continue to grow and expand. There are more content companies getting involved in the market, including established players like NPR. With over 5,000 podcasts being created each month, podcasting won’t slow down anytime soon.

Listen to The Lead

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