On the fourth Thursday of every month, a 59-minute long radio show produced by the MEDLab airs on KGNU Radio. Looks Like New features conversations asking old questions about new technologies with scholars, community members, activists, experts, and more. Behind the scenes and screens, there are many processes that must occur before the finished production. This portion of the handbook explains and offers useful tips for navigating it all.

Try to complete these first few steps at least 5 weeks before the episode should air.

Step 1: Guest Identification

One of the trickiest and most important parts of LLN is figuring out who to chat with. Here are some tips:

  • Consider thinkers you're excited about, new books, or articles you're reading. Be ambitious! The more visible our guests are the more people will want to listen.
  • Review the website and podcast streaming platforms to see who has already been featured on the show.
  • Note the topics that have already been covered. What are your interests? What is a new conversation or one that builds on previous episodes?
  • Check over CU’s faculty bios, reflect on guest speakers who have presented, think about your contacts (or the contacts of your contacts).
  • Look through the potential guest’s CV, website, and media. These are often great resources to consider what the theme or the question of the episode will be!

Step 2: Make Contact

If you already have a guest identified, great! It is important to get approval from your supervisor about the guest and the question/theme of the episode.

  • Contact the potential guest. It can seem intimidating, however, remember you are offering an opportunity for them to share their work and have something to share with their networks too.
  • Establish a time for the conversation (interview). It is recommended to schedule the interview anywhere between 1-2 weeks before the episode airs.
  • It is helpful to block one hour of time on the schedule for the interview.

Step 3: Script Prep

With the question/episode theme in mind, the next step is designing the script for the conversation. While there are some generic items, there is a lot of flexibility in steering the conversation. Reference the script available in the LooksLikeNew folder on the Cloud.

  • Be sure to include a bio for the guest speaker. This is often the easiest portion to write!
  • Write some questions. It is important to avoid asking closed questions or leading questions. Generally, for a 1-hour interview, you should have 5 open-ended discussion questions prepared and you should prepare 2-3 prompting questions as follow-ups in case the answer given doesn't completely cover all that you hoped it would.
  • Think of the episode as a traditional narrative progression, where there is the opening and background information that builds to specific questions that cover the episode’s question/theme.
  • Write an opening. The opening should include a personal connection to the theme beyond the classroom/school.
  • Consider what transition phrases you will include. While interviewing it can be difficult to come up with transitions in the moment. Do yourself a favor and write some out in advance.
  • ALWAYS, always think of the audience. Use language and ask questions that are not entrenched in heavy jargon, be sure to define words and phrases if needed. [For example: Begin with broad questions for average listeners and pepper in more complex questions as terms and concepts become clearer toward the mid-way point of the interview.]
  • Go through rounds of edits and review with your supervisor [Olga White or Tara Coughlin as of Fall 2023]

Step 4: Social Media

Looks Like New uses two social media platforms: Instagram & X

Send the producer the following information:

  1. Image of guest (face or medium-shot). It should be a professional photo, we want the guest to look nice.
  2. A 1-2 sentence caption about the guest (who they are, what they're talking about on the show, and when).
  3. 3-5 hashtags that are relevant to your episode.

At least 48 hours before the interview, be sure to confirm the interview with your guest. This is a good time to see if the guest has any projects, upcoming events, or social media that they would like to advertise on the program.

In the email, attach the guest's written introduction and offer the chance for their edits and review.

Sending questions in advance can help guests prepare for the conversation but it also runs the risk of the answers sounding rehearsed. Use your best judgment for how much preparation your guest will need.

For recordings, you can use Zencastr, or just record a Zoom call. The advantage of Zencastr is it records audio locally, so it won't be affected by connection issues. While making the meeting, you can invite guests using their email address. They will be sent an invitation which will take them directly to that meeting space on the day of recording.

Step 6: Record the Conversation

The script is ready, testing of the equipment and links are done. You are ready! When the guest arrives for the interview, begin by explaining the process. As of Fall 2023, breaks are not mandatory in the program for KGNU, but it is a good idea to leave a small break in the conversation at the mid-way point of the recording in case breaks are needed to fill out time. It is also helpful to overview the way you will begin recording, to make sure you can hear the guest on your end, and to remind them of how it will be a 50-55 minute conversation.

  • To begin the conversation, thank the guest for being here and then jump into the questions.
  • Don’t feel obligated to closely stick to the script. Listen actively and adjust questions or the conversation as necessary.
  • This is a conversation! Don’t feel shy about engaging and sharing your own perspectives on what has been said.
  • Pause on items that might need more defining. Reflect on what has been said and see how you can build on it.
  • Aim for 50-55 minutes of a conversation. It's easier to cut out content than create content that hasn't been recorded.
  • Also note the length of intro, outro, and breaks. The total length should be between 58:00-59:30
  • Introductions, breaks, and closing statements can be recorded separately from the conversation and sent as their own files.

It is helpful to have a microphone to connect to your computer while interviewing and recording. CMCI loans equipment to students and there are lots of inexpensive microphones available at other retailers. Use of proper equipment is recommended to maintain good sound quality.

Step 7: Record the Intro & Outro

Using software like Audacity , record the introduction and conclusion of the show as separate segments. Then add the audio files you recorded during the interview. It can be helpful to record these segments separately so you can make adjustments to them based on what happened in the guest conversation.

You can also record an audio file as a “voice memo” on your phone or record on Zoom.

Audio files should be in the .WAV or .MP3 format if possible.

Intro script:

“Welcome to Looks Like New, a show that asks old questions about new technology, brought to you by The Media Economies and Design Lab at C.U. Boulder. I am your host [host name] and joining me on the program today is [guest's name and role or organization].”

Proceed with a 1-3 minute introduction for the show, which should do the following:

  • Reflect on the significance of the topic for you or for the world
  • Explore some possible ways of thinking about it, perhaps drawing on your academic knowledge, but in the plainest and clearest possible terms
  • Introduce your guest and explain why they are the perfect person to explore this question with you. Provide a basic bio for them.

Outro script:

“You have been listening to Looks Like New, a show that asks old questions about new technology. Looks Like New comes to you from the Media Economies Design Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder and is produced by Olga White and Tara Coughlin. You can find us on the airwaves across Colorado's Front Range on KGNU community radio, on the forth Thursday of every month, and online at or wherever you get your podcasts. We hope you'll join us next month.”


Per KGNU we no longer have to include breaks into episodes. However, despite our best efforts, some episodes run short on time. You may include a break mid-way through the episode to fill in the missing time. If you include a break, you must include the time of the break to KGNU so that they know to add it. Instructions for how to do this are below under the section for submitting the episode.

Toss to break:

“You're listening to Looks Like New. After a short break, we'll be right back.”

Toss from break:

“Welcome back to Looks Like New. My name is [host] and I'm speaking with [guest] about [topic].”

Step 8: Write the Episode Summary

Each episode has a summary paragraph that accompanies the episode submission. The summary is intended to describe the individual and the topic of the episode to the audience. You're convincing them to listen to the episode.

This should not be the same thing you say at the start of the episode to introduce your guest.

Keep in mind that the podcast is for a general audience and not exclusively for academics. Your summary should not rely on academic terminology or require in-depth knowledge of the topic.


  • In the form of a question.
  • What is the theme of the episode?
  • Only the first word should be capitalized.


  • Guest's name and role.
    • Brief credentials (job title, company name)
  • Relevance to audience.
    • Why would the general audience care about this topic or what the guest has to say?
  • What is the topic of the conversation?
    • Name the one or two main topics covered in the conversation and why they are valuable to the audience.
  • What is a major takeaway listeners should get from listening?
    • What should the audience learn?
    • What should an audience member pay particular attention to in the conversation?

Step 9: Editing

Hosts: Send your production packet to the producers at this time.

The Production Packet should include:
  • Interview audio file
  • Image, title & Episode Summary for the website
  • Image (if different from the website), caption, and hashtags for social media

To submit the production packet go to the Looks Like New folder in MEDLab Commons. Click on “Episode Assets” and create a folder for your episode (if one does not already exist - please check first). The naming of each folder is [Interviewee Name]. This helps keep us organized.

Please upload clearly labeled files to this episode folder. Written documents should be in .doc/.docx format NOT .PDF.


  • The important things to reduce in Audacity include the pauses, extra breaths, any excessive fillers like “um” and “uh,” and any parts that perhaps didn’t go smoothly. This is a real advantage of pre-recorded submissions!
  • Import the Intro and Outro to the file.
  • Add music and longer breaks throughout the episode to keep it engaging. [Music can be found in MEDLab Commons → Looks Like New → Audio Assets]
  • Once you have the edits completed, export the MP3 file from Audacity, making sure the episode is between 58:30-59:30 minutes cumulatively. [Save the Audacity file format, too, in case any additional edits need to be made.]
  • Upload the MP3 file and Audacity format file to the correct folder contained in the Episode Asset folder.

All of the following steps are for showrunners/producers.

Once the host has passed off all audio/video assets producers will edit and submit the episode, upload the episode to, post the episode to the website, and create social media content.

Step 10: Upload the MP3 for KGNU

Once you have final approval on the episode, complete the KGNU episode submission form. Be sure to note the following:

  • Select “It's the Economy,” “yes” for evergreen content, and list the air date as the date of the 4th Thursday of the month.
  • It is important to try to submit the MP3 file and blurb to KGNU the Monday before the episode should air to allow enough time for them to prepare the file to air.
  • Breaks are optional. If you are including a break mid-way through the episode, you need to tell KGNU the exact time in the episode where to include the break. Make sure that you've added tosses and music going into and coming out of the break.

Step 11: Add to the podcast

First, add the file to Internet Archive:

  • Log into the MEDLab Internet Archive account; credentials here
  • Go to the upload page
  • Choose the file you want to upload; use a standard filename: lookslikenew-YYYMMDD.mp3 [with the date added there]
  • Use the show blurb in the description, plus a link at the bottom: “More details at
  • Add a few relevant tags for the topic
  • Creator: “Looks Like New by MEDLab”—this is really important, because this will enable us to collect them all in one place
  • Collection: “Community audio”
  • Language: English
  • License: “Creative Commons”

Next, create the episode on the website:

  • In the left sidebar, choose Podcasting > Add New Episode
  • At the top, enter the episode title and the blub (and transcript if you have it) below
    • Only force capitalization of the first letter of the first word
  • Then add metadata below the post content, leaving all as default except:
    • Episode file: At Internet Archive, get the URL of the file (not the page); it should end in ”.mp3“ or another audio extension
    • Episode image: Upload a square image to go with the episode; make sure we have rights/permission to use it
    • Duration and file size will populate automatically; date recorded can be left blank unless you have a good reason to specify it (e.g., a time sensitive topic)
  • In the right sidebar, under Episode:
    • Publish: Set for 6 p.m. on the day the episode airs on KGNU
    • Author: MEDLab
    • Tags: Add some tags on the content; try to use already existing ones, and add new ones only if necessary
    • Featured image: The same as the episode image
  • Use the Preview function at the top right (left of Publish) to review the page before posting.
  • Publish when ready

When you publish, the episode should be automatically distributed to the podcast services and to our social media accounts.

Step 12: Publish Social Media Posts

Instagram posts should be made Monday before the episode airs and a story should be posted the morning of the episode.

X/Twitter posts should be made Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday the week of the show.

Posts should include:

  • Image of interviewee/guest
  • 2-sentence caption about the episode
  • 3-5 relevant hashtags + #LLNpod #LLNpodcast #MEDLab
  • Date and time of episode

Stories should include:

  • Name of guest
  • Date and time of episode
  • Link to Spotify/Apple podcast channel

Final Step: Listen & Share

Congratulations! Tune in to the radio when it airs or listen online as a podcast if you still want to hear your own voice again! It is important to promote the recording on social media as well. Feel free to tag the MEDLab, retweet if others post about it, tag the guest’s accounts, etc. Finally, email the guest with links to our website and streaming platforms.