Digital History Project Proposal: Veteran Podcast

For my Digital Project, I would like to create a podcast where I interview several veterans to establish the experience of service members over several historical periods. I will ask veterans a series of questions and later frame the interviews around a narrative. I intend to make the podcast between 30-60 minutes and provide my audience with an outline of the questions, a list of further reading, and an outline of the podcast as reference. I intend compare the service of several veteran’s ranging from 20th to 21st century conflicts. Some themes I would like to address are: the backgrounds of veterans, the reasons veterans decided to serve, their active duty service, their opinions on war and how they adjusted to life after serving. My hope is to discover the ways in which veteran’s experiences remained similar throughout the 20th to 21st century and the ways in which veterans’ experiences are drastically different. Ideally, I will interview at least two to three people and record the interview via a Sony ICD-PX333 audio recorder. I will be sure to have the interviewee’s consent to record their story and utilize their recording. The interviewee can edit their interview and their consent will be recorded. I will archive all my materials in case I decide to post my project publicly.

A podcast will be the perfect tool to use for this project due to the amount assess it provides to an audience, the ease with which I can create it using tools I possess, and the editing and production value I can achieve using this medium. Veteran’s stories, especially those told in the veteran’s own words, are a valuable source not only for current audiences, but also future audiences who may not have the opportunity to interact with these veterans. In terms of archival usage, MP3 (which will likely be the format I will utilize) has been in continual use for 24 years, will likely be accessible for a long time. Also, MP3 can be easily accessed all over the world and via multiple media devices. My project is a primary source since it will utilize veteran’s own accounts of their experience but will also be secondary in its construction and the questions I will ask. The best public history practices are encapsulated in my project; open and easy accessibility (with the permission of my interview subjects), the use of audio and written word to present information, and a project tailored for a wide public audience. I intend to tailor my work towards military buffs, scholar, students and a general audience interested in the U.S. military, veteran’s affairs, and military service. A traditional project, which would either consist of a paper interview or an unedited and recorded interview, fails to capture the attention of a millennial audience wishing to digest quality-produced audio programming from smart phones and laptops. Also, It is important that veterans’ stories are told through their own spoken words; emotions are often lost in the simple transcription of words. The ability to produce a quality edited podcast also allows for the project to be professionally presented and properly tailored to a larger audience. Finally, traditional forms of media around interviewing are not as easy to access or archive digitally. It is my hope to use this veteran podcast not only as a narrative oral history project but also as a tool that may be used as both a primary and secondary source by future students and scholars.

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