The Influence of Podcasts on the Champlain Community and Beyond


The A24 Podcast.

I am speeding on I-89 on my way to class as I listen to Emma Chamberlain rambling about the need for self-worth and integrity. I listen intently and certain themes come to my mind. I think about how I view myself, my character, and my reputation. How do my choices impact me, and how much of it is left to fate? 

A media phenomenon that has grown in popularity over the last five years has everyone listening to true crime nuts, influencers, and life coaches. The voices of podcasters can actually improve our intimacy and mental reading of other people. I wonder how this idea relates to how the Champlain community learns from listening to podcasts.

I listen to several podcasts to learn more about different subjects on varying levels. I also normally listen to music and podcasts as background music because I prefer to work with outside noise. I wonder how much people actually learn from listening to podcasts and how this culture of followers and listeners influence public discourse and society. 

Angela Richard is a recent Champlain College alumni with a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood & Elementary Education. Richard is also a host of the “i” Statement podcast, sharing what it’s like to be a fan of shows and why she decided to start a podcast.

“‘i’ Statement focuses on aspects of the self, mental health, education, and advocacy through my lived experiences and those of my guests,” she said. “I started my podcast during the pandemic as a way to feel more connected to the greater community in a time when we were at home isolated. It was a great way for me to air my thoughts on a variety of issues [and] queries while being mindful of doing my research and bringing in perspectives of others.” 

Podcasts can create meaning for presenters and listeners and a sense of connection and community that some other mediums are not able to do. 

Several Champlain College students shared their experiences with podcasts. Jacob Vance (‘24), a Business Administration and Marketing student primarily listens to business and tech podcasts to gain insights into his field of work and study. Eli Zhou (‘23), a Visual Communication & Graphic Design student primarily listens to podcasts to learn about his favorite video games and as background noise sometimes while he is working on other projects and or driving. 

Vance listens to some business podcasts including: Square One, Where It Happens, Founders Journal, Bad Bets, and Waveform. Zhou likes to learn new tactics for the games that he plays, “Critical Role, Dimension 20, other random ones about specific topics I look up.” 

Podcasts can teach as well. Vance learns new business skills from the podcasts that he listens to, specifically “Business news/tactics, tech news,” he explains. Zhou responded by saying, “It depends on how well I’m listening — I usually put them on when I’m working on something else or playing video games, and it depends on how much attention the other thing I’m doing requires. If it’s work or video games, I don’t always hear everything they say.”

Champlain College student preferences vary greatly and there seems to be not even one podcast that most students like. Here are some of the popular answers I received from students when asked about their favorite podcast:

All classroom students and survey respondents have varying perspectives on why they listen to podcasts. Some people wanted to learn tactics for their future profession or a popular board game. Others wanted to promote their own experience and/or brand to generate awareness and an audience that will support their future endeavors. 

Some podcasts are more informational than others, which makes a listener either learn more or drown out the information. Podcasts are a media source that is convenient, easy to use, and can provide comfort and connection for some people. 

The Champlain College community and students, in general, consumption and creation of podcast knowledge and content vary, and the amount of information you learn is entirely dependent on individual interest and the type of content that is being discussed.