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Beacon, eggs and podcasts

I spent a lot of Friday with headphones on.

We hosted the first Beacon and Eggs meeting (put together by co-contributor to this blog, Peter Franzen) at Café Ventana, with a panel of people important to the future development of Grand Center. And if you couldn't be there, we recorded it. After we got back into the office Friday morning, I edited it and uploaded it as this week's contribution to the Beacon Roundtable. You can hear it here .

We've been podcasting the Beacon Roundtable for 18 months. Since April 2009 – with occasional breaks. Contributing Editor Dick Weiss has moderated a rotating group of reporters talking about issues of the week. We post it to the Beacon and it's available in podcast format on iTunes .

A modest operation from the beginning, we record using whatever's handy: I've used my iPad and iPhone on various occasions, as well as a small handheld voice recorder I bought during my days at journalism school at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. The recordings aren't overly produced -- I drop them into Garage Band to clip out the extraneous noise at the beginning and end, then fix up some of the file information so the title and artist display correctly if you download them.

That's all.

Maybe someday we'll invest in radio-quality sound equipment or partner to use KWMU's studio space after they move next door. But for now, we're keeping it simple, not overthinking, and focusing on the news.

Most weeks, just after our staff meeting, we ask "What do we want to talk about this week?" Then a group of reporters gets together and talks about news for about 10 or 15 minutes. No external microphones or pop filters, no amplifiers or gain controls – just what happened, what it means and why it's news that matters.

Do you listen to the Roundtable? Have questions about it? Contact me below or leave a comment.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon.

Brent is the data visual specialist at St. Louis Public Radio.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.