Dotte Radio program continues through hybrid learning, format changes

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While the Dotte Radio podcast has existed at RHS for a number of years, COVID and hybrid learning have presented a set of unique challenges for those involved in the podcast.
Seniors Jude Rodriguez, Nicholas Kiss, and Alexander Dakin began hosting the podcast together at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, with Rodriguez being the only returning host.
“Jude has been involved and passionate about the Dotte Radio for multiple years and the addition of Nick and Alex has been smooth because they are self-directed and self-motivated people,” media teacher Janet Haddad said.
In previous years, recording for the podcast has taken place in a studio in the LMC, but episodes are now recorded via Zoom. Recording via video call helps to eliminate scheduling challenges between the hosts, who are split between the two hybrid learning groups.
“Before we started school last fall, I was wondering how to conduct our episodes without having access to our studio or recording in-person,” Rodriguez said. “Haddad and I managed to get [everyone] microphones and I helped the other hosts get acquainted with some basic editing skills.”
The main issue the group has faced this year has been technical problems, such as poor internet connection, which affects the audio quality.
“Zoom doesn’t always work, and that forces us to find other days to record,” Kiss said.
The podcast is quite a different format from other media programs, such as Newspaper and Broadcasting, as it is based around discussion and opinion rather than always presenting fact-based information or news. Common topics include current events, school happenings, and pop culture.
“My favorite part of being involved in the Dotte Radio is having a creative outlet to discuss almost anything with two of my friends and having our conversations be distributed amongst our peers,” Rodriguez said. “I enjoy having the opportunity to be a part of one of RHS’s more free classes.”
While the episodes are recorded as a video, they are released to Spotify and Podbean in the form of an audio file. Previously, episodes recorded in the studio were released in video format on YouTube as well.
“Our sessions aren’t restricted to a certain class hour of the school day so our episodes can go more in-depth into our topics,” Rodriguez said. “Since we’re over Zoom, I decided to drop the video aspect in our episodes because I didn’t think the video medium would be as engaging.”
The podcast is a platform that allows for open discussion between the hosts and their guests on present issues and events, something not often seen in the other media classes.
“I like how easy it is to get work done,” Kiss said. “All we have to do is talk to each other about fun topics, edit the video, and post it. No sweat.”
With three seniors at the helm, the future of the Dotte Radio is unknown until a group of underclassmen is found to take over the program.
“Our plans for the future are to continue making good content, and to hopefully find some good candidates to take over for us when we finish our senior year,” Kiss said.