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Third Coast Pocket Conference

104 EpisodesProduced by Third Coast International Audio FestivalWebsite

The Third Coast Pocket Conference is the start of your next great story — featuring sessions from Third Coast Conferences and more. Subscribe to learn about creating audio stories from some of the most creative and innovative minds in the podcasting world and beyond.

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Start from the Beginning (2019)

April 3rd, 2020


Most people can recount the facts of their situation, but how do you get them to tell you an actual story? Interviewing for narrative calls for a slightly different set of interview muscles – from the kinds of questions …

Audio To Film, And Back Again (2019)

April 2nd, 2020


Can you make the move from audio to film, without leaving audio behind?

At the 2019 Third Coast Conference, Jasmin Mara López (Silent Beauty) led a conversation about the journey from experienced audio producer to …

Dark & Funny, Like Your Life: Sound Design With Feeling (2019)

April 2nd, 2020


You know about reading between the lines, right? Well good sound design can make you dance between the lines. And when you’re talking about big, …

Sex Sells (2019)

April 1st, 2020


Sex sells, sure, but who gets to cash in on it? How can journalists honestly and accurately cover sex workers without sensationalizing or further …

Midwifing the Story: The Art of Editing (2019)

April 1st, 2020


We’ve all heard the old adage: Everyone needs an editor. Whether you’re working in print, film, or narrative audio — you need someone to check for …

Calling the Shots with Steve and Nishat (2019)

April 1st, 2020


The audio industry is changing -- and your role as a leader might well be changing with it. Making the transition from reporter to editor, from …

Hearing Outside The Lines: Documenting Beyond Truth (2019)

March 31st, 2020


What does truth look like when everything around us seems to hold the strange gasps of fiction?

At the 2019 Third Coast Conference, this panel delved …

Gonna Make You Sweat (2019)

March 31st, 2020


What does it feel like when artists challenge conventional radio and allow their lived experiences to inform their work?

In their 2020 Third Coast Conference session, NK, Phoebe, Mara and Ari - the founding members of …

Johanna Zorn's Favorite Things (2019)

March 30th, 2020


At the 2019 Third Coast Conference, Johanna Zorn took the stage to share her experiences and her lifelong love of radio.

20 years ago, Johanna Zorn …

The Right to Bear Data (2019)

March 30th, 2020


Data has power but also serves power, which means it can be profoundly hard to navigate and understand.

At the same time, the difference between a good investigation and an exceptional one is bound up in data. So how can …

Bitchin' Pitch Panel - Part 2 (2019)

March 30th, 2020


Hosted by AIR (Association of Independents in Radio), this session pulls back the curtain on one of the most difficult and important skills every …

Bitchin' Pitch Panel - Part 1 (2019)

March 30th, 2020


Hosted by AIR (Association of Independents in Radio), this session pulls back the curtain on one of the most difficult and important skills every …

All That Lingers (2019)

March 30th, 2020


Hurricane Maria. The Pulse Nightclub massacre. Charlottesville. Philando Castile. Uproar over racism at the University of Missouri. Adrián Florido (

Beat Reporter With A Sneaking Suspicion... (2019)

March 30th, 2020


Some stories start out small, but turn out to be much, much bigger.

Have you ever asked the question: “ my short news spot better suited to …

Provocations (2019)

March 29th, 2020


On the first night of the 2019 Third Coast Conference, all 800+ attendees gathered for a series of short, provocative talks.

To view the visuals …

Update from Third Coast

March 29th, 2020


Because of the situation with COVID-19, we are releasing the rest of the 2019 Third Coast Conference sessions here tomorrow.

Sign up for our newsletter Producer News for the latest updates from Third Coast.

The 2019 …


March 3rd, 2020


Swirling beneath every single one of this year’s breaking stories and major crises is work and labor: not only of the people in the headlines, but of the audio storytellers, ourselves.

How does the media fail to cover …

Awards Ceremony (2019)

February 24th, 2020


We're BACK with a new season of the Third Coast Pocket Conference! This season: the 2019 Third Coast Conference.

Inspired by the energy of the 2018 …

Kaitlin Prest's Favorite Things (2018)

February 28th, 2019


At the 2018 Third Coast Conference, Kaitlin Prest, audio artist, radiophile, creator of The Heart from Radiotopia and The Shadows from the CBC, talked about what has inspired her to push the boundaries of audio making.

Depth Perception: Techniques for two ears (2018)

February 26th, 2019


Just as our eyes work together to create a sense of depth perception, so too do our ears...

And yet, so few radio and podcast productions take …

I Love Language (2018)

February 13th, 2019


Behind many audio stories, there’s stacks of paper and documents full of text. Old interview transcripts that predate recording technology. Letters …

The Art of Noise (2018)

February 8th, 2019


What does it mean for a podcast or radio story to be “innovative” or “experimental”? Is it in the writing? The structure? The use of sound?

At the 2018 Third Coast Conference, Andrew Leland and Michelle Macklem traced …

Let The Work Be What It Wants To Be (2018)

February 6th, 2019


Using found reels of an old wire recorder from the 1950's, interdisciplinary artist Alison S. M. Kobayashi created her performance piece, "Say …

Writing for the Ear to See (2018)

January 31st, 2019


We make stories for the ear, but there’s no escaping the highly visual nature of the work we produce...

No other medium allows its audience to see as imaginatively, as privately, and as sensitively, as audio. But how do …

AIR's Bitchin' Pitch Panel - Day 2 (2018)

January 29th, 2019


At AIR's Bitchin' Pitchin' Panel, three producers each pitch directly to a panel of editors to give them a shot at selling their story, while everyone gets some insight into the process. Back for her second year as a …

AIR's Bitchin' Pitch Panel - Day 1 (2018)

January 29th, 2019


At AIR's Bitchin' Pitchin' Panel, three producers each pitch directly to a panel of editors to give them a shot at selling their story, while everyone gets some insight into the process. Back for her second year as a …

Provocations (2018)

January 17th, 2019


What are provocations? Imagine that you’re hashing out an issue you care deeply about in audio with a friend - except this time, it's live in front of a room of hundreds of people. Don’t be afraid to get shaken up.

The …

Podcasting Without a Net(work) Day 2 (2018)

January 16th, 2019


Individual podcasters working with slim budgets and strained resources share how they create their best work while trying to grow audiences and raise …

Podcasting Without a Net(work) Day 1 (2018)

January 16th, 2019


Individual podcasters working with slim budgets and strained resources share how they create their best work while trying to grow audiences and raise …

Beyond True Crime (2018)

January 10th, 2019


True crime podcasts are everywhere. But in 2018, we listened to one murder mystery series that stood out in extraordinary ways. It’s called Missing and Murdered: Finding Cleo. We were so impressed by the work of …

Immersion Reporting: How to stay in one place and get deeper stories (2018)

January 8th, 2019


Whether you’re a longform documentary maker, or reporting a short news spot, you need to have a deep understanding of the people and places you’re covering. WBEZ reporter Linda Lutton and Snap Judgment producer Adizah …

Marie Kondo Never Worked in Pro Tools (2018)

December 18th, 2018


Building a radio story often means hours (Dozens? Hundreds?) of tape, reams of written notes, photos, links, and research... It is very easy to get lost in this mountain of material — unsure of what or even where your …

Jumping Into The Fray: Member stations making new noise in the podcast arena (2018)

December 13th, 2018


Podcasting has shaken up the way public media reporters & journalists tell stories - in some deeply exciting and innovative ways!

How can audio producers in public media, including member stations outside of major …

Who You Talkin' To? Audience & Your Authentic Voice (2018)

December 11th, 2018


Come hang with journalists Leila Day and Hana Baba, co-hosts of The Stoop Podcast: stories from across the Black diaspora.

Born out of the side conversations they had while microwavin' their lunches in the kitchen of …

Beyond the Recording Booth: Partnering with Storytellers Across Mediums

December 6th, 2018


How can audio storytelling translate to — and interact with — media like photography and print, and platforms like public installations and live events? And how to conceive and develop such projects?

At the 2018 Third …

Spotlight: Family Separation at the Border (2018)

December 4th, 2018


In June of 2018, ProPublica released a piece of audio that would come to define one of the most critical news stories of the year: the separation and …


November 29th, 2018


Two moments are colliding: An oppressive politics of hate and repression, and a boom in narrative storytelling. So how do we use one to confront the …

Awards Ceremony (2018)

November 29th, 2018


We're kicking off this season of the Pocket Conference with the closing event of the conference: the Awards Ceremony for the 2018 Third Coast / Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition.

This year's Awards Ceremony was …

Audiocraft 2018: Small Acts of Reinvention

August 22nd, 2018


On this episode we’re bringing you another session from the 2018 Audiocraft Conference in Sydney, Australia.

While there's often talk about creating the Next Big Thing in podcasting, Eleanor McDowall (Falling Tree …

Audiocraft 2018: Fine Tune

August 20th, 2018


On this episode we’re bringing you a session from the 2018 Audiocraft Conference in Sydney, Australia.

Hear about the ways you can transform your audio story with music. Audiocraft's Jess O'Callaghan moderates this …

Experiments in Generative Sound Design (2017)

March 27th, 2018


In this session from the 2017 Third Coast Conference, sound artist and designer Stephan Moore demonstrates his approach to sound design.

He explains how he incorporates generative techniques into a range of unusual …

The Tyranny of Good Talkers (2017)

March 20th, 2018


Often, the first question a show or editor will ask you when you pitch them an amazing story is whether your subject is "a good talker." But what if they're not? What if English is their second or third language? Or …

The Argument of "Objectivity" (2017)

March 13th, 2018


Is traditional “objectivity” in journalism on its way out? In this session from the 2017 Third Coast Conference, NPR editor Alicia Montgomery and reporter/editor Shaya Tayefe Mohajer hash out points of agreement and …

No One's Source (2017)

March 6th, 2018


After a lifetime in the system, Noel Anaya got unprecedented permission from family court to record the hearing where he’d age out of foster care--and worked with Youth Radio to, in his words, “blow it up on NPR.”

Noel …

Playing with Reality & Pushing the Boundaries (2017)

February 27th, 2018


Imagine opening your work to the possibilities of drama and fiction that can bring a rich, more expansive story to life. Think of the elements you …

Beyond the Green: Radical Encounters in Interviewing (2017)

February 20th, 2018


Performance art and audio journalism probably don’t seem like they have much overlap. But Multimedia-maker Sook-Yin Lee and audio artist Veronica …

The Confessional: When is a Personal Story Worth Sharing? (2017)

February 13th, 2018


Turning the mic on yourself is not easy. Baring your heart and soul for anyone to hear can be a bit terrifying.

At the 2017 Third Coast Conference, …

How to Become an Investigative Reporter with One Simple Trick (2017)

February 6th, 2018


Madeleine Baran and Samara Freemark of APM Reports' In the Dark, love the intimacy of radio and the power it has to transport us into other people’s lives. But as producers of an investigative podcast, they think audio …

AIR's Bitchin' Pitch Panel Pt. 2 (2017)

February 1st, 2018


AIR’s Bitchin' Pitch Panel puts three people directly in front of a panel of editors, where they pitch their stories and everyone gets insight into the process. There to help the pitchers and moderate in 2017 was …

AIR's Bitchin' Pitch Panel Pt. 1 (2017)

January 30th, 2018


AIR’s Bitchin' Pitch Panel puts three pitchers directly in front of a panel of editors, where they sell their stories and everyone gets a little insight in to the process. There to help the pitchers and moderate in 2017 …

Human vs. Robot (2017)

January 23rd, 2018


Great tracking is the difference between a piece that immediately moves you and one you immediately forget. It's an artwork that takes time to master, but you have to start somewhere. At the 2017 Third Coast Conference,

The Fact Checker (2017)

January 16th, 2018


There's an old saying in journalism that goes: "If your mother says she loves you, check it out." This American Life's Christopher Swetala is the …

Mudslide Part 2: After the Avalanche (2017)

January 9th, 2018


In November 2016, the Third Coast Conference kicked off with a panel discussion called "Mudslide." It reflected on what journalists had gotten wrong during that year's presidential campaign, only three days after Donald …

The Past Isn't Past (2017)

December 19th, 2017


The year 2017 has been an unsettled time, both politically and culturally, and a lot of journalists are asking, "how exactly did we get... here?"

In …

Bringing Together Narrative and News (2017)

December 12th, 2017


The Daily podcast has brought rich sound production and narrative storytelling together with daily news and New York Times journalism.

Lisa Tobin, executive producer of audio at The New York Times , discusses what the …

Late Night Provocations (2017)

December 5th, 2017


For the last two years, the Third Coast Conference has kicked off with Late Night Provocations: a series of short talks meant to challenge, ignite & inspire. Presenters - or provocateurs - come onstage to share one …

Taking Risks in Radio (2001)

October 30th, 2017


From the first Third Coast Conference in 2001, this panel, moderated by Arizona-based producer Joan Schuman, asked the questions about the consequences of taking risks and approaching audio in unconventional ways. …

Kickstarter for Radio 101 (2012)

October 23rd, 2017


When you don’t have the money to make your podcast idea a reality, one way to make your dream come true is through crowdfunding.

At the 2012 Third Coast Conference, art program director Stephanie Pereira gave a primer on …

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Local Radio (2010)

October 16th, 2017


Strong local radio doesn't emerge from a moment of inspiration; it's the product of repetition, experimentation, even failure. It's about habit.

At the 2010 Third Coast Conference, Dan Grech explored strategies for …

Stand Tall (2007)

October 9th, 2017


The best "real time" radio sounds live and spontaneous, but requires forethought and structure. This session from the 2007 Third Coast Conference focuses on how to do "stand up" in the field -- what works and what …

The Music of Voices (2003)

October 2nd, 2017


Creative sound projects are increasingly blurring the lines between radio, audio documentary, sound art, and music.

In this session from the 2003 Third Coast Conference, Ben Rubin focuses on the history and more recent …

Just Listen to Yourself (2008)

September 25th, 2017


A bad editor is a curse. Having a good editor is a blessing but can often be a luxury. In this session, Deborah George explains how to work effectively with the editor you've been dealt and how to be your own editor if …

Pushing the Boundaries of Daily Radio (2002)

September 18th, 2017


Diamonds are made under pressure! For this session Priya Ramu and Steve Wadhams, both formerly from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, presented their advice on how to make daily radio that shines and delights.

Using …

Audiocraft 2017: Pod/Life Balance

September 11th, 2017


On this episode we’re bringing you another session presented at the 2017 Audiocraft Conference, in Sydney, Australia.

This talk features American producer Megan Tan, host and creator of the podcast Millennial, and …

The Invisible Narrator (2006)

September 4th, 2017


This session explores "found narration" - archival tape, interviews, audio diary entries - and sound that can all be used to perform the job of the narrator. What do you gain and what do you give up when you throw away …

Audiocraft 2017: Under the Hood

August 28th, 2017


On this episode we’re bringing you a session presented at the 2017 Audiocraft Conference, in Sydney, Australia!

This talk features Jesse Cox and Belinda Lopez, who are part of the production team behind ABC Radio …

Telling Stories Far From Home (2006)

August 21st, 2017


How can a producer prepare to make radio stories about distant lands and the people who live there, and why tell those stories anyway?

Stephanie Guyer-Stevens shares her experiences working in remote areas with Outer …

The Script Disappears (2010)

August 14th, 2017


You've pitched your story; you've collected tape; you've gone through your edits; you're ready to track.

But how should you sound when you lay down …

Own Your Thing Part 2 (2014)

August 7th, 2017


Now more than ever, you can own your podcast - make it, distribute it, sell it. How is it done?

Discover if you have the interest - and the stomach - to be a radio entrepreneur, and learn what it takes.

Own Your Thing …

Own Your Thing Part 1 (2014)

July 31st, 2017


Now more than ever, you can own your podcast - make it, distribute it, sell it. How is it done?

Discover if you have the interest - and the stomach - to be a radio entrepreneur, and learn what it takes.

Own Your Thing …

Late(ish) Night with Ira Glass (2012)

July 24th, 2017


Ira Glass brought the first day of the 2012 Third Coast Conference to a close by sharing his favorite moments from the year's Third Coast winners and …

Whose Story Is It? (2012)

July 17th, 2017


Over the past several years, we've seen the journalism world take a hard look at itself. Reporters and documentary-makers have had to confront the …

Reality Check! (2017)

July 6th, 2017


In June, Third Coast went to Brooklyn where we hosted a frank discussion at the Bell House for aspiring and current podcasters about what it takes to make it in today’s podcast landscape.

We were joined by some of the …

Parachuting In (2012)

July 3rd, 2017


(aka: State of the Re:Union's Secret Recipe for Serious Place-based Storytelling... in Practically No Time!)

From 2010 to 2015, the Jacksonville-based WJCT program State of the Re:Union took listeners on a tour of …

Die, Mediocrity, Die! (2006)

June 26th, 2017


Do your own radio scripts ever bore you? Or frustrate, confuse, and deflate you?

Nancy Updike, who has written stories ranging in length from 50 seconds to 59 minutes, presents easy approaches to making your writing …

The Amazing Radio Vertikalisator (2014)

June 19th, 2017


Inspired by a Lego time machine her son built, Iceland-based independent producer Rikke Houd created a tool to help producers take advantage of the …

Bring Extra Batteries (2006)

June 12th, 2017


Attention new producers! Before heading out into the world with headphones on and mic facing forward, what do you need to know? Here's where you find …

Documenter and Documentee — Part 2 (2007)

June 5th, 2017


Documenting somebody else's life is one of the hardest challenges producers face in their work. Over an extended period of time relationships intensify, stories often change drastically, and the line between personal …

Documenter and Documentee — Part 1 (2007)

May 29th, 2017


Documenting somebody else's life is one of the hardest challenges producers face in their work. Over an extended period of time relationships intensify, stories often change drastically, and the line between personal …

These Are a Few of the Kitchen Sister's Favorite Things (2008)

May 21st, 2017


Ever wonder what inspires, obsesses and ignites the Kitchen Sisters? Find out during this hour-plus showcase of audio (and other less-evolved art …

How to Rock the Funky Story (2012)

May 15th, 2017


Here's a conversation about the essence of story. Any story.

Through the lenses of radio, video, music and structure, Snap Judgment's Glynn Washington digs into the nitty-gritty of narrative, and explores what it means …

Turning Investigative Reporting into Artful Radio (2014)

May 8th, 2017


When done well, investigative radio stories have the power to change the world.

But it's not easy. All those documents, numbers and unnamed sources who don't want to go on tape make investigative stories seem like the …

In Praise of the Sandbox (2007)

May 1st, 2017


At every Third Coast Conference we hear from producers and audio makers whose work inspires us. But what inspires them? In 2007, we got to hear a taste from seasoned producer Jay Allison, the co-founder of …

Making Radio Against Most Odds (2012)

April 24th, 2017


Imagine reporting in a culture that speaks a language your listeners don't understand, and covering issues your listeners don't totally care about - …

Making News Stories Good Stories (2014)

April 17th, 2017


Guess what? You can tell great stories on the news, too.

In a good story, something happens. You care about the person it happens to. There are …

These Are a Few of Jad Abumrad's Favorite Things (2012)

April 10th, 2017


Drawing from radio and beyond, Jad Abumrad shares the stories, sounds, people and projects that have most inspired him over the years, and talked about some of the creative challenges he's faced (and embraced) along the …

Audio Code Switching: Tackling Race on the Radio (2014)

April 3rd, 2017


We need to talk about race - with humanity and humor.

NPR's Code Switch project embraces the themes of race, ethnicity and culture that play out in …

Blockbuster Sound (2016)

February 16th, 2017


Danish-based producer Tim Hinman, of the podcast Third Ear, finds inspiration for his exquisite sound design at the movies, and in this session he shares how it’s done.

Hinman will use a ton of examples to take us …

The Only Ten Words That Matter (2016)

February 16th, 2017


What separates a “good” program from a “great” program is often the clarity of its vision: what is the show and who is it trying to speak to?

In this session, Audible’s Eric Nuzum shares the process he uses with creators …

Compose Yourself: a producer’s guide to working with musicians (2016)

February 6th, 2017


It’s becoming more common for podcast producers to work with composers to create an original soundtrack. At this session, producer Michael May and composer/producer Nick DePrey share their techniques for bringing a …

Embrace the Chaos (2016)

February 6th, 2017


The world of podcasting has become a crowded one. With a bevy of competing styles and purviews, having a unique voice is an increasingly valuable commodity... both artistically and financially.

But finding that voice is …

The Pit of Despair (2016)

January 18th, 2017


For some people, making great radio is easy. Ben Calhoun has no idea what those people are talking about! For him, making radio is hard, beset by self-doubt -- and he finds it’s often easy to get stuck.

As a former This …

The Bigness of the Small Story (2016)

January 18th, 2017


Never underestimate the power of a finely crafted intimate narrative. These “small stories” of everyday life have the potential to bring listeners in close to reveal the complexities and ambiguities of the world around …

We'll Drive Till We Find An Exit (2016)

January 18th, 2017


A session about the joy and fear of pursuing stories without any idea of how they're going to succeed, or if they're going to succeed at all.

Reply All’s PJ Vogt shares some tricks for making these kinds of off-the-map …

The Sound of Breaking News (2016)

January 18th, 2017


You’re sent to cover breaking news – a natural disaster or a large-scale accident or crime. You don’t have much time, or much warning. How do you bring back sound-rich, interesting tape, that makes listeners perk up …

Under the Skin: Making Audio Visceral (2016)

January 11th, 2017


Can a documentary make you dance? Turn you on? Make you jump in fear? We get under the skin of documentary's visceral possibilities, exploring how we edit to impact the listener's body as much as their mind.

Falling Tree …

First Off... This is in Really Good Shape (2016)

January 11th, 2017


In this session for editors - or anyone who wants to help someone else shape a story – Gimlet Media’s Jorge Just explores the delicate art of making good things better. Jorge walks you through various editorial …

Bitchin' Pitchin': The Art of the Pitch — Day 2 (2016)

January 11th, 2017


A bonafide Third Coast tradition, this session pulls back the curtain on one of the most difficult and important skills every producer needs to …

Bitchin' Pitchin': The Art of the Pitch — Day 1 (2016)

January 11th, 2017


A bonafide Third Coast tradition, this session pulls back the curtain on one of the most difficult and important skills every producer needs to …

Finding the People — and Sounds! — Behind the Numbers (2016)

January 11th, 2017


Reveal producers Ike Sriskandarajah and Laura Starecheski will show you how they create gripping radio out of stacks of documents and endless columns …

These are a few of Audie Cornish and Sean Cole's Favorite Things (2016)

December 12th, 2016


Audie Cornish and Sean Cole came up in radio together — smoking on the front steps of WBUR in Boston, puzzling over stories. Now Audie is a co-host …

Make Them Care: Crafting Narratives About Entrenched Social Problems (2016)

December 12th, 2016


In this session, Nikole Hannah-Jones (The New York Times) and Chana Joffe-Walt (This American Life) talk about how to build a story structure that …

How to Make Your Listener Levitate & Other Magic Tricks (2016)

December 12th, 2016


You don’t want your audience to listen half-heartedly – you want them to be so deeply engaged, they’re a little surprised when they bump down to earth at the end.

So how do we create audio that doesn’t just entertain, …

Mudslide: The Election of 2016 (2016)

December 12th, 2016


With the ink on the ballots still wet, Third Coast dives into the past year of political reporting. How were journalists most - and least - …

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