When we first conceived of the AfterWord podcast, it was based on a couple of pretty simple ideas: that Chronicle reporters do a lot of fascinating work, and that you might like to hear some of the stories behind their stories.
The response we got was great, and the interviews I conducted were always entertaining. But that’s essentially what they were—interviews. When I chat with a reporter who’s just wrapped up a big story … well, odds are good that we’re going to hew pretty closely to the framework of that story. Too closely, maybe.
The goal here, after all, is to dig more deeply into the fascinating backstories, the behind-the-scenes stuff, that informs the best pieces in The Chronicle and the Review. So we’re changing things up a bit. Instead of focusing on relatively quick interviews, we’re going to turn AfterWord into a full-blooded audio show. And instead of just spending time with our own reporters, I’ll be talking with their sources—the professors, researchers, and others in academe whose work suffuses everything we do.
Those folks have plenty of fascinating stories, and we hope to tell a few of them here, starting with tomorrow’s episode.