The Georgetown Public Policy Review, the 19-year-old academic journal of the McCourt School of Public Policy, released its inaugural podcast Saturday. The podcast, which aims to be a go-to source for all things policy, discussed a range of issues from violence in the Central African Republic to the current agenda of Mexico’s president.

“The idea is to shed a slightly different light on the issues than what is being covered in the mainstream media,” GPPR Senior Online Editor Kristine Johnston (GRD ’14) said. “The podcast will help us gain more exposure and a slightly different audience than what we get reading the articles.”

The review publishes biannual journals in addition to its regular online content. The journal’s spring edition will be released next week at a Feb. 10 launch party.

“This summer, we transitioned to a website that would allow us to do things like podcasts,” GPPR Editor-in-Chief Kristin Blagg (GRD ’14) said. “Since we have reformatted the website, we have seen a big increase in the number of hits.”

The GPPR also consists of an interview branch, a marketing branch and a fundraising branch that organize different events to raise money to support the costs of the print journal. Meanwhile, the podcast enables the review to reach out to a different audience than that of the print publication.

“This podcast opens it up to folks who want to listen to it in a different format, whether it’s while they are on their way to school or just to get a better sense of what our students sound like, and what our authors bring to the table,” Blagg said.

The podcast, which spans 17 minutes, discusses a range of international affairs.

“I feel like the podcast is your one-stop shop for all policy issues in less than 20 minutes,” GPPR Executive Online Editor Jacob Patterson-Stein (GRD ’14) said. “It’s nice to have someone just tell you what you need to know in an informal conversation way.”

While making the podcast, Patterson-Stein drew on his experience running a radio show during his undergraduate years and his time working in communications for the More than Me Foundation in Liberia.

“I think the podcast is worth it, just for the learning process,” Patterson-Stein said. “There aren’t many opportunities to get to publish something like this and get to make it better without some professional consequence.”

The podcast uses past articles that staffers have written and connects them with a common theme. However, the articles the GPPR staff writes are based on its own interests and passions.

“Often times I find that the best articles come out of the author’s own passion,” Blagg said. “They often say something and have sort of an insight that no one has ever had before.”

According to Blagg, the dynamic between the different staffers allows for a higher level of political analysis than can be achieved in a single article.

“I think the other really cool thing about the podcast was how much they were able to interact and feed off each other’s ideas,” Blagg said. “It adds another dimension to the policy conversation.”

Despite this analytical boon, participants encountered numerous challenges while making the podcast — especially time constraints.

“Finding the time to get the people and equipment in a room for a couple hours on a Saturday is the main constraint but it’s easy to overcome,” Patterson-Stein said.

Laura Bowers (COL ’17) expressed interest in the podcast, highlighting themes she would like to see covered.

“I’d be most interested in listening to podcasts concerning social justice issues, how domestic policy in foreign countries and the U.S. foreign policy affects those issues,” she said.

In the future, the podcast will broadcast once a month and cover topics including domestic affairs, education and healthcare.

“Sometimes, you just want to have your ears do the reading,” Patterson-Stein said.

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