PUBLIC RADIO’S FIRST PODCAST
MORNING STORIES began in early 2003 as a five-minute segment on Boston public radio station WGBH-FM's "Morning Edition." Every week my Associate Producer Gary Mott and I would invite a guest to the studio to tell a personal story I’d record and edit for broadcast.
In 2004 I heard about a new development called “podcasting” and decided to take advantage of it to put the show on the web — and it changed everything. Almost overnight our audience of 20,000 grew to hundreds of thousands of listeners around the world (over half of them from China!) eager not only to hear our stories but to tell us stories of their own.
“Morning Stories” became public radio’s first podcast and one of only about twenty others then in existence. When the iTunes store started its podcast division “Morning Stories” became an editor’s choice.
A broadcast audience generally doesn’t communicate much with its favorite programs. Our internet audience, on the other hand, was eager to connect and even collaborate with us. The flexibility of the podcast form allowed me to explore new ways of producing and exploring personal stories, in picture and sound.
“Podcasting is not radio and television reheated in some microwave oven. It’s a new dish with a flavor all its own.”
— A Morning Stories Listener
“Everyone has a story,” it’s said; we figured a way to get it. No one we approached in the course of four years and hundreds of interviews in person and on the web failed to share an experience full of vivid detail and human feeling that touched others in some significant way.