Researchers July 22, 2020
How Are Podcasts Changing The Way We Do Research?
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In the 1920s, anyone who wanted to do critical research or had burning questions about an issue had to go to the archives and sift through documents to find what they were looking for. An inefficient and laborious process back then, research today has become organized and instantaneous thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT). Research has gotten so advanced it has become an actual paid profession with multiple titles and job responsibilities—Research Associates, Research Assistants, Research Supervisors. Organizations are willing to allocate budget to whole R&D departments now to stay ahead of the curve.

Research is broken down primarily into two categories: primary and secondary. Primary research is the kind that you collect yourself. Examples include surveys, interviews, observations, and ethnographic research. Primary research is original in its findings and methodologies, which opens room for criticism and critique from other researchers who then look to see and judge how a research project was carried out.

Correspondingly, secondary research which is sometimes termed “desk research” is simply a method of using already collected data from somebody else to summarize findings for another body of work. It is easier to collect secondary research, it is harder to come up with your own research experiments, and the combination of the two is what gives the field weight.

Adding Podcasts to the mix

Reading scholarly research or academic journals produces a certain affect. The medium of reading might be somewhat limited when we never meet people in person and only look to written work to formulate our opinions and derive meaning from the world.

But podcasts at least go a step further when it comes to absorbing information and reflecting on it. It is an interesting medium to consider when discussing primary research because podcast hosts and interviewees discuss research together, making the process a little bit more interactive. Indeed, the podcast has sort of been a revolutionary mode of communication for mass audiences, making listening easy and convenient, and of course something to turn on while we clean or cook or do things around the house.

There are now podcasts in every major job sector and area of human interest. From AI to engineering, to literary and social science podcasts, the list goes on.

Here are some of the main benefits of collecting information via podcasts:

  1. It can be an active or a passive process. When you are reading a literary journal, it  has to be active because you have to be engaged to understand what is going on in the article, otherwise you miss the point. Interestingly, with podcasts, you can actively or passively listen, which means that selective hearing can influence your take on research findings via this medium.
  2. It is convenient. You can multitask while listening to a podcast and good for our modern lifestyles.
  3. The dialogue between the podcast host and interviewer offers two or more unique cultural perspectives on any one issue.

It’s all about the experience

Podcasts are an experience—a little bit like watching or attending a show or watching an TV episode. When hosts bring on personalities and subject matter experts to interview, it gives audience members something that can’t be captured by reading the traditional academic journal. The interview actually places us into the lives of the research practitioners, persay, since we are listening to them, and helps to activate and stimulate our imaginations as we process where the interviewer is reporting from or how their culture is impacting how they see things

In terms of research, this is great. When we read academic articles, we read it through the voice of our internal monologue which sometimes masks other cultures and ideas. When we listen to a podcast, actively, about a research topic, we might feel like we are in the room, which blurs the line between primary and secondary research if we think about podcasts from an experiential lens.

The voice of the interviewer also gives off a certain effect, simply by means of being interviewed, and those with a high CQ will be able to pick up on inflection points and what they mean in a larger context. This is also valuable for the sake of collecting secondary research because it makes the summary more complete and whole.

Thus podcasts add a whole new dimension for conducting research, but also for collecting secondary research. They bring us into the world of a researcher instead of having us wonder where they are on the page.

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About the author
Michael Robbins- Writer
Michael is a writer that helps organizations align their mission and values to a wide audience.
Michael Robbins
Michael is a writer that helps organizations align their mission and values to a wide audience.
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