“DIGging” into a Summer of Podcast Production and Research

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by Carly Bagley

This post is from our 2021 Summer Internship series.

DIG History Podcast Logo | Courtesy of digpodcast.org

The women of the DIG History Podcast, Dr. Marissa Rhodes, Dr. Averill Earls, Dr. Sarah Handley-Cousins, and Dr. Elizabeth Garner Masarik, are some of the smartest, wittiest, most articulate, and most badass historians I’ve ever met. I was so excited for the opportunity to work as their summer intern. To learn from their craft has been so fun and revealing in helping me develop my own voice with podcasting and public history research.

This summer, I managed the DIG History blog and social media. I also and helped transcribe episodes. This was so important because this makes their episodes accessible to their audience. One of my favorite episodes I transcribed was their “American Exceptionalism at its Most Disturbing: “The 1776 Report.” This episode was such a fascinating discussion of the history of how we teach history in American public schools! Have you ever had that question, “What? Why was I never taught this when I was in grade school?” Well, this is the episode for you. Unlike their usual episodes, the entire DIG team weighed in on the The 1776 Commission Report and broke down the current discussion surrounding public education, unpacking loaded terms like “identity politics” and “critical race theory” with candor and perfect snark. I feel like with each of the episodes DIG releases, they try to make history relevant to current issues and discussions today, which is such an essential piece of public history.

Portrait of Aunt Jemima actress, Nancy Green | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Additionally, I tried my hand at SEO (Search Engine Optimization). *pushes glasses up my nose* I learned that when you link relevant sources to your articles, it connects you better with the Internet and increases traffic to your website. Therefore, your website will get more hits on Google. In addition to increasing website traffic, linking your sources is also an important public history best practice. In this digital age, linking is another way to cite your sources! So many smart and talented historical researchers make the DIG podcast possible by dedicating their work to niche topics. It’s important that we give credit where credit is due. It’s also important that we let people know where to find reliable sources for a topic if they want to dig in deeper. *Heh heh* Providing URLs to our readers makes it so much easier for them to do that.

Well if that doesn’t already sound super cool, I was also given the rad opportunity to produce my own podcast episode! I researched, wrote, and edited my very own episode, “Aunt Jemima: American Racism on Your Shelf,” which I recorded with my supervisor, Marissa Rhodes. In addition to producing a podcast, I created a lesson plan for professors and AP social studies teachers to help them teach about slavery and racism in cultural America.

Learning how to polish research and make it conversational and accessible to a broad audience has been so valuable. Experiences like this internship are the reason why I wanted to receive my master’s in Public History at St. Mary’s. As someone who is passionate about history, I am also interested in how to educate others in unique and creative ways. This project stretched me and I hope to produce more podcasts in the future!

Listen to my episode here, or anywhere else you listen to podcasts.

To see what Carly Bagley is up to, follow her on Twitter, @pubhistorygal, and check out her portfolio.

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