University of São Paulo: Politicians see podcasts as a self-promotion tool

In recent years, interview podcasts have skyrocketed in Brazil. The format, similar to that of the radio, provides long conversations and relaxed dialogues with several influential personalities in the country. Gradually, podcasts built a role of strong influence and movement in the public debate. As a result, politicians saw the format as a great tool for self-promotion, as they can cross borders and access audiences they are not used to. Former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and presidential candidates João Doria, Sérgio Moro and Ciro Gomes are some examples of this phenomenon. But has this opening aroused greater interest in politics in part of society? In an interview with Jornal da USP no Ar 1st Edition, Adrian Gurza Lavalle, professor at the Department of Political Science at the Faculty of Philosophy, Letters and Human Sciences (FFLCH) at the University of São Paulo, analyzes the scenario.

The price of producing podcasts is comparatively cheaper than other conventional media such as television or radio. A voice recording medium and knowledge of some technical details already allow someone to put their work on the media. According to the professor, reducing the cost of producing podcasts “allows this content to be produced by a much larger number of producers, a huge number of other producers with other ideas, other generations, other backgrounds, other social and cultural baggage. doing podcasts. This differentiates the way content is produced and treated.” If the content is produced differently, it is possible that it will develop into a specific niche. “So, you will have as listeners of this podcast social groups with a very specific profile, to which you can obviously direct very precise messages, very well targeted. This goes for any content, including political information,” says Lavalle. The way content is prepared and transmitted to the public can facilitate consumption by a given subject. If political information is transmitted in an accessible way, with an inclusive language and from different perspectives, it is possible that some borders will be broken. “You deliver political information more naturally to the more general pattern of consumption, of understanding in the world of absorbing information that specific audiences have. This facilitates the absorption or interest in this information”, attests the professor.

For Lavalle, this phenomenon is not exclusive to politics, but to the dynamics provided by podcasts: “You make political information speak in terms that people are willing to understand, what people understand. This takes away from political information that more traditional format, which is still available on open TV or cable TV. So, it would be my guess, yes, there is this facilitation and this approximation. But I would say this is in relation to different forms of entertainment and different types of information, also politics”.

There is an important difference in the way podcasts are consumed, the audience is the one who has the predisposition or desire to consume certain content. “You cannot access it unless he is interested in listening to this content, which is different, for example, when you are in the car, when you are listening to advertising and everything that comes with it”, indicates the teacher, who still “Not in the podcast, in the podcast you go there and choose exactly the program you want to watch, you favorite, you have the feed saying that it arrived new, you can go back, forward and watch the previous ones. You have a repertoire of other cases that you like.” According to Lavalle, the format can work as another tool to bring politicians closer to the population: “Podcasts and oral-auditory forms of communication are the fastest growing forms of communication in the world in the last ten years and this is the phenomenon of podcasts. The consumption of information via podcasts has grown exponentially around the world and this has made politicians look for the population, go look for their voters in these podcasts”. Politicians will no longer pick up their voters in the free election time. In order to reach the population accurately and arouse interest in part of the public, they seek out the population where the population usually gets information. With this, podcasts serve as a form of contact. “There is indeed a shift by politicians to look for podcast programs and the smartest use is when politicians look for positions with high visibility, which reach specific audiences, then you are being surgical. There is, on the part of the politicians, an attempt to get closer. How successful she is is something that needs to be measured, it depends on how well he performs, how naturally, it depends on various issues and how well he knows the audience he is speaking to”, portrays the professor.

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