Kevin Newman has been mentioning Global National's podcasting project for the last couple of weeks, but I only checked it out on Monday. This could be one of the coolest things to happen to Mass Media and podcasting so far this year. The entire audio portion of the Global National newscast is available via a podcast subscription, with only a minor delay after it goes to air (they do have to encode/publish the audio of the live newscast). It's also available directly from the iTunes directory.
I listened to Monday's show on the way home from work Tuesday (I missed it "live") and it was great! The 30 minute newscast distilled down to 22 minutes of content (no commercials). It was a combination newscast and open microphone forum at a university in Toronto. Content that is harder to get from "traditional" podcasts (how ironic is that?)
I really hope they keep this project going!
Global National has been experimenting with this stuff for a while now - it looks like each of their key reporters was given a blog sometime in the summer, with the predictable results that usually happen when someone is "given a blog" - about one post per month, orphaned blogs for several months, then periodic posting. Also, I just tried to subscribe to feeds for a few of the blogs, and there doesn't appear to be any RSS feeds (so, it's not really a blog in my mind). I'll be subscribing as soon as that's fixed.
But the podcasting project may just be sustainable - it's only a minor additional step in the show production workflow, and could largely be automated.
Kudos, Global National!
Update: I just read through a few posts on Kevin Newman's blog and it's so refreshing to read the unpolished, unmassaged, "risky" published thoughts/insights/rants of a Big Media Personality. I've trusted Kevin's reportage since he started at Global National, have appreciated his obvious sense of humour in tackling the issues, and now totally respect him for putting himself out there.
Note to Global: your weblog software is teh suck, though. No easy way to navigate through the posts. No RSS feeds. No seaarchability within a blog. Waaay overly NASCARed advertising/branding on the pages, etc... Please, grab a copy of WordPress (or WordPress MultiUser, or Drupal, or Movabletype, or anything) and give the reporters some decent tools so they can do a better job of blogging (and we can follow along - and maybe respond).