“Look for stories that drive”: podcast about podcasts, editorial work and media careers

    This is a podcast with content creators. The guest of today's release is Daria Cherkudinova - the author of the podcast “NORM” [ Telegram ] [ iTunes ] and the chief editor of the publication “The Secret of the Firm”.

    "NORM" in Telegram and iTunes

    alinatestova : In this podcast we talk about the way of life, how a person came to the editor. My first question is about high school and about journalism. Why did you decide to choose this direction? It was an emotional decision: when you want something creative, is there an image of a journalist with an ashtray, with a touch of Kerouac, and so on?

    Or a rational decision? They say the journalist is a profession in demand, there is an opportunity to get a job in a specialty and pursue a career, and not like in other cases when people are forced to switch to something else.

    Daria: In general, I have a very boring creative way, because I have dreamed of being a journalist since childhood. I have become, I work for them and for the time being I am not going anywhere to go.

    It was clear from childhood that I would have some kind of work related to communication with people, texts and conversations. When I entered the university, I thought about directing or something else, but I decided that it was too difficult, and journalism was easy enough. Not a very difficult creative contest, not very difficult exams, and still I dreamed about it.

    A: Different people with whom we communicate as part of a podcast tell us differently how their awareness-raising process was going on in journalism. Someone participated in school projects ; someone worked in a newspaper or on polls when he was still a teenager; someone just wrote good essays. How did you have to realize that “yes, this is mine”?

    D: I was good at writing essays. She wrote stories and stories. Like many journalists, I dream of becoming a great Russian writer. I have been writing to newspapers since I was fourteen years old when I went to preparatory courses for a journalism journal at the School of Young Journalists.

    I worked as a journalist from the age of nineteen, already in the state.

    A: That is, already in the process of learning you found a job ...

    D: Yes, from the third year I worked.

    A: ... and joined the profession. Was it difficult or, on the contrary, easy to immediately start working in your specialty while still in the learning process?

    D: I studied at the journalism department of Moscow State University when I was still the dean of Zassoursky [Yasen Nikolaevich]. He was terribly loyal and greatly encouraged students to work. Everyone who studied full-time worked from the course of the third-fourth, except for those people who were going to stay in some departments and do science. It was not very difficult.

    It became difficult when I ceased to be the smallest person in the editorial.

    This was a difficult period. Until the age of twenty-four, I was treated as such a wunderkind: “God, she writes lyrics! God, she does something! Wow, she can do anything. So small, and already doing everything. ” Then it became clear that there were new "small", and it was quite a painful process.

    A: On the other hand, it turns out that you in the process have outgrown the level at which you worked, and there was a reason to go further, along the guiding path.

    D: Well, yes, of course.

    A: Tell me, please, apart from thinking about the directing department, was there any desire to try something else? For example, business any things?

    In addition to journalism.

    D: Not every person is a businessman. By nature. Despite the fact that I have been writing about business for about fifteen years, when I start thinking about doing something, I just say: “How? So what to do? I dont know". Despite the fact that I myself, with these hands wrote kilometers of articles like “If you want to do business, you need to do these five steps,” and took ten thousand interviews. In theory, I understand everything, in practice it is not very clear.

    I like my job, I like journalism and media in a broad sense.

    I do not know. Maybe one day, someday.

    A: It's just that sometimes journalists are pulled "to the side of evil", into marketing and similar areas.

    D: Yes, it happens. Probably, this happens to everyone when you are pulled somewhere. This is when you, apparently, have reached a certain level in your current position and are thinking about where to go further.

    Usually life gives me some room for development. Or I somehow create them myself and go to related projects. So far there has not been such an encouraging event that would lead me completely away from journalism.

    A: If you do not talk about moving up the career ladder to the head of department or chief editor, what are the opportunities not to drown in the routine? When you feel that you are writing about the same thing, you basically understand this field in which you work very well. How to feel again drive?

    D: Change the "field". If we are talking about business journalism. Change heroes. If you wrote about real estate, start writing about retail or about banks. If we are talking about some kind of social journalism - switch between topics, switch between characters.

    Search for stories that “drive” you. Search for unusual people you want to talk about, some trends. And read and think more.

    A: Is it realistic in the conditions of modern media to be such a “multi-station operator” who writes about real estate “on a bet”, and then works on some social projects (specifically in journalism)? Will there be enough patience, “stamina”, vital force to take and cover several directions at once?

    D: It depends on the person. I know people who have time to freelance (and write some good texts), and work on the main job. But they are not very many.

    A: That is, it is still better to plan some kind of horizontal transition from sphere to sphere and crawl there quietly, like a meduska.

    D: I think so. In our current media situation, it’s quite difficult to plan all this, because we ourselves know that there are not so many places to work, and there are a lot of candidates for these places. It’s hard to plan your life like that, but you can try something.

    A: I would like to talk about the work of the chief editor, about her managerial part. From a more narrow-minded point of view, the chief editor is rather a leadership position and rather a manager who represents what is happening in the editorial office and controls those who write directly.

    Is there a creative and creative component in the work of the editor-in-chief? How exactly does this all happen in “The Secret of the Firm”?

    D: Of course there is. Glavred, in addition to managing the editorial board, he is also associated with all other departments of the holding or media. He communicates with commerce, accounting and lawyers. He really is such a multi-show manager.

    Of course, the chief editor sets the agenda, followed by the last word.

    Whatever democracy is in the editorial, the editor-in-chief makes decisions: do we put such material or so, modify it or so we release it. Our editorial office is small, so I, too, am an editor: I edit texts, sometimes I even write. Shaking old in this sense.

    A: This is a “supernangeal” position in this case. When there are tasks directly related to journalism, and management, and communication and so on.

    How does your usual weekday look like in this connection?

    D: I am about an hour late for work. I wildly apologize to my colleagues, who, I suspect, are also about half an hour late. Next we write news and notes and edit them. Sometimes we fight with someone, with some previous characters and so on. I am swearing. Probably two or three meetings I have a day. Usually internal - not within the editorial, and with some neighboring departments or publications.

    Once a month I try to go on interviews in order to “go out to the fields” and not to forget.

    A: Is it more office work? And can the chief editor work in some kind of separation from the team?

    D: I’m sure I can, but I don’t. Remember the Elephant Edition"? When it started, year two worked entirely on the remote in the chat. In my opinion, they did not even get together.

    A: Such a super-durable team.

    D: Yes, they quarreled, swore, put up in the chat. Very comfortably.

    A: Another question about the "Secret", so that for our listeners and those who read the transcript, somehow fix it. What, in your opinion, is the “ Secret of the Firm ” fundamentally different from other media that write about business?

    D: This is an edition with a big story. He is 16. It began as a paper weekly. Then he became a monthly, and then online.

    We try to make very high-quality journalism and tell stories about people in the first place, and already in the second about their businesses.

    A: Great. I now think that we will have a small moment of recursion: a podcast about podcasts. We will switch to the NORM podcast . Please tell us how and why the idea of ​​this podcast appeared and how it was born.

    D: I always dreamed of working on the radio.

    A: Yeah, here we come to the fact that there were some sort of escape routes from journalism.

    D: This is also journalism in some sense. I know it happens because I know people who do that. They write to some editor, for example: “I dream to work with you, teach me everything.” And the editor says: "Of course, come."

    I never had it that way. At best, they didn’t answer me, at worst they said: “Well, of course not.” How many times would I drop to different friends and say: “I would like to do some broadcast on the radio, so that people would listen to me”. Everyone said: “Well, I don’t know something.”

    At some point we began to discuss it with my girlfriend Nastya Kurganskaya, with whom we worked together at The Village once, and she said: “Well, let's do a podcast”. I say, "Well, yes, a good idea, let's do a podcast."

    That was a year and a half ago. For half a year we did nothing, only discussed and could not choose a name, a concept, could not understand what we were going to talk about. I also had an obsession with the idea that the podcast should be monetized and advertise posted. Therefore, we need to clearly understand who our audience is and who our advertiser is.

    A: Well, you went to the serious business part.

    D:Of course, I'm a business journalist. Well, in short, nothing like that happened. We just at some point put the tape recorder in front of us on the table and started talking into it. So, in general, it all worked. And already in the process emerged and the name and concept. We moved to the studio, and everything became at some more or less professional level.

    A: This is a podcast about things that surround people in real life all the time.

    D: Yes.

    A: With whom he can face constantly, which concern us all. Why exactly this direction? Much has been written and told about this.

    D: Yes? And it seems to me, no.

    A: Tell, please, your point of view. What do you think?

    D: It seems to me that quite a bit of thinking is happening just to be honest.

    The slogan of our podcast is that we are a podcast about change. The world around us is changing very quickly, we are not keeping up with it, and some sort of understanding is necessary.

    We often talk to each other, not within the framework of a podcast, but in general, and we are discussing something. I often don’t really understand how to relate to some things, and I ask my friends: “Guys, what do you think about this? I don’t understand what to think about it. ” Then we begin to reason and come to some opinion that fits someone, someone does not.

    We can give an example with the #MeToo movement, with the “harassment gate” and so on. These are some things ... Well, I am not a very old person, I am 33, but ten years ago, when I started my career and generally plunged into some adult world, things were completely different than now. I need some sort of insight. I think it is more or less necessary.

    A: Just in one form or another, certain topics - the same #MeToo or attitude to a person's appearance - are skipped over in different media. Sometimes deep, sometimes not.

    What is interesting here is that [in your podcast] this is a lively discussion and an attempt to more deeply dive into the question and comprehend it from the experience of real people who are concerned about this situation and what is happening. It seems to me that this is very interesting. Indeed, few people talk about it, but periodically they write everything with varying degrees of success.

    Given that you have a podcast and the work of the editor-in-chief, how do you manage to balance both that and the other, and life in general? How do you distribute this balance? And the podcast is more of a hobby or is it a second job and a serious project? Or something in between?

    D: Something in between. I really want this from a hobby to become a real project, but so far there are not so many resources for this. I mean: forces, time, energy, and so on. Work eats up much more resources, but I want this business to develop, I want to do some other side projects, and so on.

    A: How do you usually record a podcast? Are these evenings, individual days, or maybe weekdays, when you allocate a part of the time for recording?

    D:We depend on the studio we rent. We have two studios with whom we cooperate. When they have free slots, then we record. Usually it turns out on weekdays evenings, and I don’t really like it, because my head is not very fresh after the work day. We are thinking how to solve this problem. We used to record on weekends. In the studio in which we do not fall right now at this time. And it was better.

    A: Nevertheless, it turns out that any third-party project - if there is work and “biting off a piece” won't work out of it - you still need to take some extra time and additional forces. To this you need to be mentally prepared. It does not work out simply to take and tamp the work somewhere far away.

    D:Yes. This can not be done. It's still the commitment to the employer that you took on. You actually get paid for it, but for the time being, nobody pays me for the podcast.

    The most difficult thing in all these side-projects is always small-scale routine work. To record a podcast is very interesting, in principle, even to mount it is quite normal, but to upload it somewhere, tag it around, write descriptions - this is already very boring.

    A: When it is also not the main work and there are no immediate obligations to do it exactly by that time - yes, there is always a desire to score a little.

    Returning to the topics and the issues themselves: I understand that the main task and topic of the podcast is to discuss pressing, disturbing, interesting questions that somehow appear in your information field, in the information field of your colleagues, friends, and so on. How do you decide what you are going to talk about today? And how do you find speakers for a podcast?

    D: We have a thematic plan, in fact. Right, it seems to me, for the year ahead. We threw ourselves some topics that disturbed our souls and our listeners.

    We realized that the listeners are very concerned about some straight human stories at all. Always on some issues about loneliness or how people change their lives, the response is much greater and better. People just write: "Oh, thank you very much, you have changed my life."

    A: Does anyone suggest topics?

    D: No, by the way, the topics are not offered, but they send stories and write: "Here, I should have asked about it, I have a good story on this topic." We are still thinking all the time what to do with this content, but have not yet thought of it. Probably, somehow we will work with him.

    A: Heading "They write to us."

    D: Anything like that, yes. Once we tried to collect stories from listeners, asked them to send something to us - and we were sent some things.

    So, we have a thematic plan, and from it we already choose according to the state of our torment, so to speak.

    A: As far as this topic goes now, given that everyone is working, everyone is also busy. That is, you need to give something interesting.

    D: Yes. It is clear that the issues in which we have someone's stories - this is more time consuming things, because you need to find these people, to persuade them to you something to write.

    This sometimes has to be done long and dreary, because everyone says: “Oh, God, I hate so much as my voice sounds in the recording,” “Oh, I don’t know what to say,” “Oh, but I’ll never hear anything ". Some kind of coquetry happens all the time.

    It is necessary, really, for a person to write you something, for you to approve it. Or did not approve and forced him to rewrite, or conducted an interview with him. In general, it is very time consuming. Easier to do issues with guests. It's even easier when we just sit together and chat about something, but we already try not to do this anymore.

    A: How do you find guests? What principle: among friends, among a wide range of friends?

    D: While we go in a circle of acquaintances and acquaintances of acquaintances. It is necessary already somewhere, of course, to go on celebrities.

    A: Nevertheless, very interesting people. Everyone has their own points of view and stories. So the circle of acquaintances of a journalist, especially a journalist working in an interesting publication, is quite wide. Not that any gatherings in the kitchen, where everyone has known each other for a long time.

    D: Yes it is true.

    A: Recently you had your first lecture about a podcast.

    D: Yes, at the Higher School of Economics we told how to make our own small media.

    A: What are students interested in in this regard?

    D: They are very interested in how to monetize, but we still do not know how. That is, we know how to monetize, but we have not had the time and effort to do this, to be honest. You need to come to advertisers. If they themselves come to blogs and even to Telegram-channels or some social networks, then they themselves have not yet come to podcasts. We must come to them directly and say: "Here, we have such an audience, let's try."

    So far, unfortunately, we cannot find in ourselves the spiritual forces to do this. But I’m still not very ethical about doing this, because I’m still Glavred Business Media.

    A: What else?

    D:They also care about how to start, how to make sure that you have something to tell. Many have ...

    A: Impostor Syndrome?

    D: Yes, yes. Here is the complex of an impostor. By the way, he was with me too, he disappeared only about two years ago.

    A: Judging by the reaction, are the guys interested in doing this at all? How much is this an interesting way for them to do something of their own? Something that only they will control themselves, but at the same time the media.

    D: This [special] laboratory in HSE was the one we were called to perform at. I do not remember exactly what it is called, but something like “How to make your little media”. One good podcast has already come out of this lab, it is called “Is this sex?”.

    A: This is an intriguing title.

    D:Well, he's not bad, yes. It is made by students, and it is designed for such a student and young enough audience, but for their audience very well. They are great, they are still developing all sorts of related media - they are blogging and so on, which, for example, Nastya and I do not have enough hands for. But once is enough.

    A: Indie media, as you call it, or as it is called in the same HSE, small media - what do you think, is there a future for the media market and the media in general?

    D: What do you mean? Will only indie media remain on the market?

    A: Will they grab some of the more traditional media?

    D: They already grabbed a pretty decent share. Today, a study has been released - I don’t know if you have seen how much videoblogers earn. Wylsacom earns 82 million rubles a year, if you look at the data for 2018.

    A: And this is only the Russian market.

    D: Yes, and you are: “Hmm ...”.

    A: Something I am doing wrong.

    D: Something is not right (laugh). Is this media? Yes.

    А: Есть ли вообще, на твой взгляд, перспективы у подкастов?

    Одно дело — видео, когда людям интересно смотреть. Здесь всё-таки речь идёт о блогерах, которые что-то показывают, например обзоры техники. Или говорят о том, как экономить и жить на сто рублей весь месяц. Есть ли у подкастов такие перспективы?

    D: Listen, America has a huge podcast market. I don’t remember the figure right now, but I recently watched - there are some wild billions of advertising money. Hundreds of thousands of podcasts can be found in iTunes - in different languages, but mostly in English.

    A: This market is scattered there. There is probably another story, because there interest in podcasts did not disappear, like ours, and it is now quite stable. We had some time when people forgot a little about the format.

    D: In general, it is believed that in 2014, the American podcast market accelerated to the speed at which it is now. And it has been growing by 20–25% annually since 2014. This happened after the serial podcast was released. It is believed that he gave a very big impetus to the growth of the market.

    Russia, of course, will not repeat the American way, because Russia does not have so much money and listeners. But in general, I think that there is potential. By the way, many people use YouTube as podcasts. Just take the headphones, put the phone in your pocket, turn on the same Dudya and listen to it as a podcast.

    A: I do roughly the same thing, only with some English-language content.

    D: Well, here. There is a habit, technologies are very simple, platforms develop it all wildly. VK launched its platform, Yandex launches its platform.

    A: Do you have - judging by the reviews; what people are writing; what kind of people - understanding who your audience is? Who is listening to "Norm"? Maybe geographically or in terms of what these people do. Is the portrait of the listener formed?

    D: It's hard to say. Our audience mainly comes from streaming services. As you know, the statistics there are not very good. It’s not very clear: how many people are listening to you, how many people are listening to the end, who these people are and so on. That's when we started the first hate speech and received, we realized that we had reached a wide audience.

    Before that, they wrote to us: "Oh, girls, you are so cool." When we started writing: “What do you have with the sound, why are you so stupid”, we realized that we were finally found.

    A: As far as I understand, some community has already formed in Moscow.

    D: These are our friends, first of all, friends of our friends.

    A: I thought that perhaps it would be from the comments and feedback that more is understood about the audience. These are residents of large cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg, or ...

    D: Nothing is clear. It is clear only that these are some people who think that they are our friends. This is a very cool effect.

    I also have this feeling when I listen to podcasts in the genre, when two people or more chat. You periodically want to break into the conversation and say: “Are you fools? Now I will explain to you. "

    It happens sometimes with us. Some listeners come and say: “Girls, what are you carrying? Now I will tell you how everything is there. ” Very good. So, people are sitting in the kitchen and they think that it is they and their girlfriends who sit over a cup of tea. This is so cool.

    A: In principle, at a meeting with listeners, it may happen that a person comes up and says: “Wait, we didn’t agree on such and such a topic”.

    D: I will be very glad if that happens. This means that we do everything right and cool.

    A: Great. I really want to wish good luck to your podcast, so that your audience will only grow, and the topics will remain just as interesting.

    In the end - my super tiny blitz of two questions.

    A: Audio or text?

    D: Already audio is probably for me.

    A: Glavred never ...

    D: Glavred always! (laugh)

    Additional Resources:

    The archetypes: why work history
    How Brands Can Break Through the Tech Media Bubble

    Why companies need an English-language blog on Habré
    Experience - this is not always the "who you have worked with before,"
    Stamina - quality, can not do without
    «not my job» principle in editorial form

    PS In the glphmedia profile there are links to all releases of our podcast with content makers.

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