During “This Podcast Will Kill You: ‘COVID-19 Chapter 1: Virology.’” the two hosts, graduate students in Disease Ecology, cover news about the coronavirus. In order to share information, these hosts implement the rhetorical strategies of kairos, a specific structure, and informal language.
Primarily, this podcast evokes kairos as the subject of the podcast is timely. During the podcast, an interviewee from Italy states that the first detected case of COVID-19 in Italy was on February 21, and this podcast aired March 23. This episode had a very quick turn-around time, just a month, from when information was first shared, making it relevant. It is beneficial to their show to be sharing information as quickly as it is received since the topic of COVID-19 is time sensitive. New information and statistics come out about it every day, so it is important for episodes of this podcast to retain good kairos in order to be accurately informative and relevant.
This podcast was produced to have the specific structure of having a clear beginning, middle, and end. Before anything else, the podcast begins with an attention-grabbing recording of a citizen of Italy who shares stories of what it has been like first-hand living in Italy, one of the world’s centers of active coronavirus cases. After this recording, the hosts introduce themselves for the first time, share a bit about the own lives, and introduce what their podcast series is about, as this is one of six episodes. They, then, dive into the bulk of the podcast, which is an interview with virologist Dr. Angela Rasmussen. After the interview, the hosts conclude with a short summary of key points from the interview. As COVID-19 is an enormous topic to digest, the podcast is clearly laid out in a structure that is easy to follow.
In addition to structure, the use of informality at some points during the podcast make the topics more understandable to the average listener. Much of the podcast is an interview with a professional virologist, who responds to questions about the virus formally using technical terms. However, during their introduction, conclusion, and when they are asking or responding to questions, the hosts use more informal tones and diction in order to clearly relay a lot of technical information to their listeners.
This Podcast Will Kill You: “COVID-19 Chapter 1: Virology.” is a new podcast that covers heavy topics regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to relay this information, the two hosts of this podcast series evoke ethos, as this is a timely topic, use a basic beginning, middle, end structure, and implement informality. These rhetorical strategies aid the podcast in being interesting and digestible to listeners.