Power to the Podcasts: Publics, Opinions, and the Economy of Black PodcastsPublic Deposited
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MLABratcher, Tegan R. Power to the Podcasts: Publics, Opinions, and the Economy of Black Podcasts. 2021. https://doi.org/10.17615/nw6h-ej63
APABratcher, T. (2021). Power to the Podcasts: Publics, Opinions, and the Economy of Black Podcasts. https://doi.org/10.17615/nw6h-ej63
ChicagoBratcher, Tegan R. 2021. Power to the Podcasts: Publics, Opinions, and the Economy of Black Podcasts. https://doi.org/10.17615/nw6h-ej63
Bratcher, Tegan R
- Affiliation: Hussman School of Journalism and Media
- Since the early 2000s, podcasting has been a growing part of the media landscape. Many media outlets have declared podcasts to be the “next big thing,” stimulating discourse across various facets of our lives. This dissertation explored Black podcasts, particularly as they relate to public opinion, culture and rhetoric, social media and the history of Black media, and strategic communication more generally. In all of these subfields and areas of mass communication or media studies, the examination of podcasts from critical and diverse lenses have had major gaps in literature.This dissertation uses multiple perspectives and theoretical frameworks to uncover the economy of podcasts, and in particular, how Black podcasters in a contemporary landscape are utilizing this revolutionizing platform. While scholarship has analyzed the larger, more commercially successful podcasts, what is less often examined are the everyday podcasts that more and more Americans are looking to for extracurricular fulfillment, self-promotion/branding/marketing, community building, and potentially profit-inducing reasons. This study interviewed twenty active podcasters and analyzed four distinct Black podcasts with aims of revealing broader themes about podcasts and their influences on our communicative practices and spaces.The dissertation’s focus on Black podcasters sheds light on how a historically disadvantaged and marginalized group in America has continued to evolve in communication practices through the use of emerging digital technologies over time. Studies that focus our attention on marginalized communities are largely missing in the field of communication and in its subfields alike.Findings show that the platform of podcasting is like no other media platform in that it provides a free space where media producers can authentically be themselves in an effort to create community and fill information gaps. Findings also revealed a host of implications that link podcasts to strategic communication, as well as the economy of the podcast industry. Mainly, podcasters’ emphasis on audience engagement, social media, self-policing, and monetizing reflect a unique media platform that allows podcasters to easily promote their personal brands and businesses. Literature in the field of strategic communications should continue to agitate the linkages between podcasting, promotion, branding and public relations.Lastly, findings indicated the significance of exploring and understanding traditional African American rhetoric to better identify the communicative practices of Black Americans and other distinct groups. When it comes to Black Americans in particular, the use of traditional rhetorical tools is a critical component of discourse that is facilitated on podcasts. Referencing the framework of everyday talk (Harris-Perry, 2004), the results of this dissertation illuminate the presence of everyday talk in mass mediated contexts that provide opportunities for public opinion and discourse and present a new space of opinion.This study concludes by addressing its limitations and providing future extensions for scholars. First, this dissertation suggests that podcasts are both technically and functionally understudied in many areas. Specifically, social media scholars should continue to apply social media theories and perspectives to the study of podcasts because of the findings revealed in this study that suggest parallels between podcasting and traditional social media platforms. In addition, findings also displayed implications that might be of interest to strategic communicators, specifically examining how marginalized communities utilize podcasts and how that might impact various means of strategic communications and niche or diverse audiences. One final discussion point advances the concept of mediated everyday talk, which aims to encourage a broader way of theorizing about minority communities, especially as they appear within digital or technological communicative spaces.
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- In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted
- Cabosky, Joseph
- McDonald, Trevy
- Kreiss , Daniel
- Epps-Robertson, Candace
- McGregor , Shannon
- Doctor of Philosophy
- Degree granting institution
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
- Graduation year
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