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By Rachel Dalloo
On Nov. 21, Spectrum News NY1 hosted a discussion that was primarily focusing on the creation of two well-known podcasts. “You Decide”, with NY1’s Errol Louis was one. Louis also hosts “Inside City Hall” at the network. The other podcast is “Off-Topic on Politics”, with Zack Fink and the NY1 political team.
At the event, I had the opportunity to meet the host and executive producer of Pura Política, on NY1 Noticias, Reporter Juan Manuel Benitez, NY1’s Albany Reporter Zack Fink, and Political Producers, Maggie Margolis and Mariya Abedi.
At the roundtable discussion, the reporters discussed their careers, sharing information on working between on-air pieces and podcasts, and discussing how they pick the guests for the podcasts, along with preparing and putting the podcasts together, how they pick guests, prepare, and put their own weekly podcasts together. They also gave great tips on how student journalists should function within their field to make themselves better at what they do.
“Off-Topic on Politics” is a weekly discussion where three reporters join and discuss the political topics of the week happening in New York City and across New York State. It is hosted by City Hall and Political Reporter, Grace Rauh. With contributions made from Zack Fink and Juan Manuel Benitez.
Going around the table, reporters voiced their opinions on how balancing the workload of reporting can be stressful at times, but also can be great for those who work well under pressure.
“Half of this business is getting it right,” Reporter Zack Fink said. “and the other half is getting it right on time. And they are as equally as important. So, as the deadline approaches, there are two types of people, there are those who get frazzled and those who get calmer. I would say the latter are the people who wind up being more successful in this business, and as you get later in the day and towards that deadline everything has to drop off the table and focus on getting the product on the air.”
They also mentioned how meeting deadlines are highly important within the profession of Journalism. By meeting deadlines, it will help to avoid unnecessary delays. Also, by meeting deadlines, you will be able to avoid overworking yourself in the process.
“If you can’t meet deadlines, then you can’t work in this industry,” Juan Manuel Benitez said. “It is what it is”.
“You Decide”, a podcast by Louis, takes an interesting turn on challenging powerful individuals and icons who have shaped today’s culture for years. Getting a deeper sense of personal experiences, untold stories and career highlights from people who are currently shaping New York City and further.
For the podcast “You Decide” political producer Abedi discusses how political anchor, Louis and herself prepare their decisions each week on who they would like to book as guests to appear on the show and planning out what will be discussed on the upcoming episode.
“When we launched the podcast, we kind of hand a wish list of guests,” Abedi said. “And we’re like “Oh! These people would be great to have an in-depth conversation with”. I am always reading the news figuring out who’s going to come out with a new book…Do I want to know more about this person, and then I usually pitch it to Errol and that’s usually how we get the ball rolling.”
NY1 is a 24-hour news channel that provides local coverage on the five boroughs of New York City. The network features information on the news, weather, and traffic. However, NY1 also includes coverage on national politics as well. Though they try to focus on local news, it Is inevitable that their coverage will merge with national coverage.
“Our thinking is that we will do a special podcast,” Maggie Margolis said. “that will come out on someone’s listening stream that would just talk about what’s breaking. That will show listeners that we are on top of the news as it develops. It’s just, what’s the biggest story? What’s the most interesting story? What do people really need to know more about? We try not to get too repetitive every week because there is only so much space people have for things, but if it is a really important, interesting story we always want to get into it.”
Many of us students may find it difficult trying to keep up with one subject area, let alone five or six different subjects as well. Even though it is hard, learning as much as you can within your college experience makes it easier for you to graduate and land a full – time job. In the end, Benitez gave more insight into tips for becoming a better journalist.
“Number one, if you want to be a Journalist, you have to know how to write,” Benitez said. “No matter what you do, whether it’s print, or you want to be a print reporter or a TV reporter, you have to know how to write. I think it’s always good to specialize in something, as reporters we need to know a little about everything. It’s going to make you more marketable.”
“Off-Topic on Politics: The NY1 Political Podcast” is available for download on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play. For any listeners who want to be a part of the podcast experience for “You Decide” and “Off-Topic on Politics”, whether you have questions, comments or advice, feel free to call into Spectrum News NY1 at (212)-379-3440.