The Intended Audience of “Ben Franklin’s World”

6253f-covart2bfranklinCheck out Sadie Bergen’s interview with historian Liz Covart at AHA Today.  As many of you know, Covart is the host and creator of the popular “Ben Franklin’s World” podcast.  I am a fan and regular listener.

During the interview Covart talks about her intended audience.  She has obviously given this a lot of thought.  Here is a taste:

Like many podcasters, I created my show with an ideal listener, or podcast avatar, in mind. Her name is Janet Watkins. She’s a 22-year-old pre-med student at the University at Buffalo. She loves science and dislikes the fact that she has to take a history class. Her dislike for history comes from the fact that as a young, African American woman, she long ago grew tired of hearing her teachers talk of dates and the deeds of dead, white men. Besides, she loves science; what does she need history for? I try to cover topics that will inspire Janet to love and appreciate history; to see that the topic is bigger than dead, white men, and that historical thinking can help her with her scientific thinking. My goal is to produce content that makes it hard for Janet to turn off the podcast. I want Janet’s boss at the student clinic to catch her listening to Ben Franklin’s World in a supply closet when she is supposed to be working. I want to produce content that makes Janet think,, “Boy, I can’t learn enough about early American history.” That’s my goal. 

By the way, Liz Covart and Ben Franklin’s World gets a shout-out in Episode 8 of The Way of Improvement Leads Home Podcast, scheduled to drop on Sunday.