AU graduate student produces podcast to tell real stories of DC
Stephanie Logan created “DC Diary” to debunk the myth that Washington is solely a place for networking
AU graduate student Stephanie Logan premiered her new podcast, “DC Diary,” which focuses on the real and unpublicized lives of the people of D.C., at a preview party on March 22.
“DC Diary” is a podcast comprised of interviews Logan does with some of the people she knows around D.C. and sound bites taken from her recording happy hours about life in the city.
Colony Club, a coffee shop and bar in Columbia Heights, hosted the event and created an environment perfectly suited for the vast array of locals, radio producers and podcast hosts that filled the space. The spotlight of the night was podcasting: the people, ideas and the fans.
After studying political science as an undergraduate at Washington State University and working in the Department of Justice, Logan noticed a difference in the way people perceive D.C. and the way people actually live in the District.
“When I first started getting into my career, I was doing a lot of informational interviews and really trying to figure out what D.C. was like,” Logan said, “I was meeting a ton of really great people and I felt like the kind of people I was meeting and the experiences I was having didn’t really match up with the things that I always heard about D.C.”
Logan described this stereotypical view of D.C. as a city that is built around networking and where personal relationships come after business relations. She described a tactic known as the ‘D.C. Handshake’ in which people shake hands and exchange business cards simultaneously.
“The atmosphere as a young professional or just a professional here, in general, is that you have to be productive, you have to try to get ahead, so it is really hard to get to know people,” Logan said.
To obtain her stories, Logan said she coordinated with Goat Rodeo to organize “recording happy hours,” where the team sets up a recording booth with a simple prompt and then lets people tell their stories.
“There are plenty of events where you can go after work and network, but there aren’t many where you can go and just really be yourself,” Logan said. “We try to bring together a community and share stories that are more real and personal to the people that are in politics.”
The attendants of the event were bubbling over with excitement for the new series of podcasts being released by Goat Rodeo. Kristen Jeffers, the host of the podcast “Third Wave Urbanism,” also attended the launch party.
“In addition to this being my local bar, I came out because I myself have a podcast and am excited to see new podcasts, especially about D.C., being released,” Jeffers said.
The podcasting community is tight knit, with people such as Israel Smith, the senior director of Promotion and Audience Development at NPR, who attended the launch party. Smith said he came to support to his friends at Goat Rodeo and fellow podcasters.
Ian Enright, the CEO and one of the founders of Goat Rodeo, recognized his small independent broadcasting company as up and coming. Though they are small now, Enright said he along with several of his peers know that their small company is growing and expanding.
“Goat Rodeo can’t compete with the ranks at NPR, for now, but it is great to have the support of our fellow broadcasting companies,” Enright said.
“DC Diary” premiered on March 20, and starting in May, episodes will be released bimonthly. Logan plans to continue this podcast well into the future, and hopes that the project grows and makes an impact on the D.C. area.