Podcast Planning

IN-CJ Podcast Planning PDF

Planning a podcast suited for an international audience of criminal justice practitioners, especially one that utilises online teleconferencing platforms, involves several key stages: conceptualisation, development, production, and distribution. Each stage requires thorough planning and execution to ensure the podcast is relevant, trustworthy, and engaging for the intended target audience, which includes criminal justice professionals, academics, campaigners, and other international stakeholders in the field of criminal justice practice.

2             Conceptualisation

  • Topic Selection: Choose topics relevant to criminal justice that resonate globally. This might include issues like criminal justice reform, forensic advancements, international law, and human rights. Ensure the topics are broad enough to interest an international audience yet specific enough to provide deep, meaningful insights.
  • Audience Analysis: Understand the audience’s needs, interests, and challenges. This involves researching the trends and issues in the field of criminal justice across different countries and cultures.
  • Format Determination: Decide the podcast’s format – interview, panel discussion, storytelling, etc. This choice impacts how this content might be structured and presented.

3             Development

  • Editorial Guidelines: Establish editorial standards and guidelines. This includes deciding on the tone, style, and content boundaries. Given that audience expectations of social justice are not uniform, a balanced and evidence-based approach is crucial.
  • Participant Selection: Identify and invite experts, practitioners, and thought leaders from various countries. Diversity in guests ensures a wide range of perspectives.
  • Trust Building: To facilitate trust among participants, conduct pre-interview meetings, establish clear communication, and provide a respectful platform for discussion.
  • Script/Outline Creation: Develop a script or a detailed outline for each episode, ensuring it aligns with the editorial guidelines of the network and stakeholders, and which resonate with the target audience.

4             Production

  • Technology Setup: Use reliable teleconferencing platforms capable of recording high-quality audio. Test equipment and software beforehand to avoid technical glitches.
  • Recording: Schedule and conduct recordings. Ensure a quiet, disturbance-free environment for all participants.
  • Editing: Post-recording, edit for clarity, brevity, and engagement. This might involve cutting irrelevant sections, enhancing audio quality, and adding music or sound effects.

5             Distribution

  • Platform Selection: Choose platforms for hosting and distributing your podcast. Popular choices include Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.
  • Marketing and Promotion: Develop a promotion strategy to reach the target audience. This can include social media promotion, email newsletters, and collaboration with relevant organisations and online communities.
  • Feedback Incorporation: Regularly seek feedback from the audience and adjust any content and approach accordingly to maintain relevance and engagement.

6             Maintaining Relevance and Trust

  • Ongoing Research: Stay updated with current developments in criminal justice to keep the content relevant.
  • Ethical Considerations: Uphold high ethical standards, especially when discussing sensitive topics.
  • Transparency: Be transparent about your sources and provide context where necessary.
  • Audience Engagement: Engage with your audience through social media, surveys, and Q&A sessions to understand their evolving interests and opinions.

By following these steps and maintaining a strong focus on relevance and trust, your podcast can effectively engage and inform an international audience of criminal justice practitioners and stakeholders.

7             Editorial Guidelines

For the International Network for Criminal Justice (IN-CJ) podcast, the editorial guidelines are structured to reflect our core values and aims. Here is an outline and checklist for the IN-CJ podcast editorial guidelines:

7.1            Mission Alignment

Ensure all content aligns with IN-CJ’s mission of promoting justice, human rights, and participatory approaches in criminal justice. Aligning IN-CJ podcasts with the network’s mission involves focusing on promoting knowledge exchange and intercultural understanding. This can be integrated into the planning and recording of content through the following practical considerations:

  • Topic Selection: Choose topics that encourage knowledge sharing across different criminal justice systems and cultures.
  • Diverse Guest Speakers: Invite experts, practitioners, and academics from various cultural and professional backgrounds.
  • Interactive Formats: Consider formats that encourage dialogue and exchange of ideas, such as panel discussions or interviews.
  • Case Studies: Use real-world examples from different countries to illustrate key points and encourage comparative analysis.
  • Cultural Sensitivity: Ensure content is respectful and considerate of different cultural perspectives and practices.
  • Language and Accessibility: Make content accessible to a diverse audience, possibly including translations or subtitles.

By focusing on these aspects, IN-CJ podcasts can effectively contribute to the network’s mission of fostering a more interconnected and informed criminal justice community.

7.2            Accuracy and Reliability

Verify all facts and claims, maintaining high standards of accuracy and reliability. To ensure that IN-CJ podcasts reflect verifiable standards of accuracy and reliability, the following practices should be implemented:

  • Fact-Checking: Implement a rigorous fact-checking process for all content, ensuring that facts and claims are sourced from reputable and credible sources.
  • Source Transparency: Clearly cite sources of information within the podcast, allowing listeners to verify claims independently.
  • Expert Validation: Involve subject matter experts in the review process to validate content accuracy and relevance.
  • Corrections Policy: Establish a clear policy for correcting errors in a timely and transparent manner.
  • Feedback Mechanism: Provide a platform for listeners to raise concerns or challenge information presented in the podcast.

These practices will help maintain the integrity of the content and uphold the trust of the audience.

7.3            Diversity and Inclusivity

Represent diverse perspectives, particularly marginalised voices in criminal justice discussions. To ensure IN-CJ podcasts represent diverse perspectives, particularly marginalised voices in criminal justice discussions, consider the following:

  • Inclusive Guest Selection: Actively seek guests from a wide range of backgrounds, including those from marginalised communities.
  • Topic Diversity: Cover topics that are pertinent to marginalised groups within the criminal justice system.
  • Community Engagement: Engage with communities to understand their perspectives and include their voices in the discussion.
  • Cultural Sensitivity Training: Provide training for podcast hosts and staff in cultural sensitivity and inclusive communication.
  • Feedback and Revision: Regularly seek feedback from diverse audiences to ensure continued representation and improvement.

These practices help ensure that the podcast is inclusive and representative of a broad spectrum of experiences and viewpoints.

7.4            Ethical Sourcing

Adhere to ethical standards in sourcing and presenting information. For IN-CJ podcasts to adhere to ethical standards in sourcing and presenting information, they should:

  • Verify Sources: Ensure all information is obtained from credible and reputable sources.
  • Transparency: Clearly disclose the origins of information and the nature of the sources.
  • Avoid Plagiarism: Properly attribute and credit all sources of information and ideas.
  • Balance: Present multiple viewpoints on contentious issues.
  • Respect Privacy: Be mindful of privacy concerns and avoid sharing sensitive personal information without consent.

7.5            Transparency

Clearly disclose sources and any potential conflicts of interest. IN-CJ podcasts should clearly disclose sources and any potential conflicts of interest by:

  • Explicitly Citing Sources: Mentioning the sources of information during the podcast and providing detailed references in the show notes or accompanying materials.
  • Declaring Conflicts of Interest: Openly stating any affiliations or biases that might influence the content or perspectives shared in the podcast.

7.6            Respect and Sensitivity

Show respect for all individuals and groups, being sensitive to topics that might be distressing or controversial. IN-CJ podcasts should approach the issue of potentially distressing content with professionalism and sensitivity, especially given the nature of the discussions and the professional background of the participants. This includes:

  • Specific Advisory Notes: Instead of general trigger warnings, provide specific advisory notes for episodes containing highly distressing material. This respects the professional nature of the audience while addressing the need for forewarning about particularly sensitive content.
  • Contextual Warnings: Place these advisories within the context of the episode, explaining why certain content might be disturbing and to whom.
  • Professional Discretion: Acknowledge that the audience, being professionals in the field, is likely to have a certain level of familiarity with distressing subjects. However, maintain a balance between professional discourse and sensitivity to individual reactions to specific topics.

7.7            Audience Engagement

Foster engagement with the audience, encouraging feedback and participation.

IN-CJ podcasts can foster audience engagement by:

  • Interactive Segments: Incorporate Q&A or discussion segments where listeners can contribute.
  • Feedback Channels: Provide channels (like social media, email, or a website forum) for feedback and suggestions.
  • Community Involvement: Involve the audience in topic selection or guest recommendations.
  • Response to Feedback: Actively respond to and acknowledge audience feedback in subsequent episodes.

7.8            Continuous Improvement

Regularly review and update guidelines to reflect evolving standards and audience needs. IN-CJ podcasts should ensure their guidelines are dynamic and responsive by:

  • Regular Review Cycles: Establishing a schedule for periodic review of editorial guidelines.
  • Incorporating Feedback: Using audience and participant feedback to inform updates.
  • Monitoring Trends: Keeping abreast of evolving standards in podcasting and criminal justice topics.
  • Consultation with Experts: Engaging with experts and stakeholders for insights during the review process.

7.9            Complaints and Corrections

Include a process for addressing complaints and making corrections. IN-CJ podcasts should have a clear process for addressing complaints and making corrections, which includes:

  • Complaints Procedure: Establish a clear and accessible procedure for listeners to submit complaints.
  • Timely Response: Ensure complaints are acknowledged and addressed promptly.
  • Transparency in Corrections: Publicly correct any misinformation in a subsequent episode or through the podcast’s platforms.
  • Documentation and Review: Keep a record of complaints and how they were addressed for continual improvement.

7.10       Legal Compliance

Ensure compliance with relevant legal and regulatory frameworks. To ensure compliance with relevant legal and regulatory frameworks, IN-CJ podcasts should:

  • Understand Local Laws: Be aware of the legal requirements in the UK and in the countries of international contributors.
  • Legal Consultation: Regularly consult with legal experts on matters of international and local media law.
  • Regular Training: Provide ongoing training for staff and contributors on legal compliance.
  • Compliance Review: Regularly review content to ensure it adheres to legal standards.

7.11       Guidelines Review

These guidelines should be viewed as a living document, evolving to meet the changing needs and expectations of the podcast’s audience and the broader criminal justice community. For further information on IN-CJ’s values and aims, you can visit the website https://criminaljusticenetwork.net/our-values-and-aims/editorial-policy/.

8             Podcast Template

An editorial template for an interview-style podcast should include the following components:

8.1            Episode Title and Theme

For planning and development of the episode title and discussion theme, ensuring a clear, engaging title that reflects the episode’s topic.

  • Relevance: Ensure the title and theme are relevant to the target audience.
  • Clarity: The title should clearly indicate the episode’s focus.
  • Engagement: Craft a title that is intriguing and encourages listeners to tune in.
  • Consistency: Maintain consistency with the overall tone and style of the podcast series.
  • Brevity: Keep the title concise yet descriptive.
  • Theme Exploration: Identify key aspects of the theme to explore in the episode.
  • Feedback: Seek initial feedback on the title and theme from a small group for refinement.

8.2             Guest Details

For recording and checking the guest’s details, and accurately recording and verifying the details of any contributors.

  • Name Verification: Confirm the correct spelling and pronunciation of the guest’s name.
  • Professional Background: Gather information on the guest’s current position, professional history, and areas of expertise.
  • Contributions: Note any significant publications, talks, or contributions relevant to the podcast topic.
  • Contact Details: Ensure correct contact information for pre-interview communication and follow-ups.
  • Biographical Summary: Prepare a brief bio for introduction purposes in the podcast.
  • Permissions: Confirm any permissions required for discussing certain topics or using specific materials.
  • Review and Confirmation: Cross-check all gathered information with the guest for accuracy.

8.3            Research and Background Information

For research and background information relevant to the podcast topic, it is necessary to conduct comprehensive research to gather detailed and accurate background information on the topic:

  • Relevant Data and Statistics: Collect up-to-date and relevant data and statistics pertaining to the topic.
  • Recent Developments: Stay informed about recent news, studies, and developments in the field.
  • Historical Context: Understand and note the historical background of the topic for comprehensive coverage.
  • Key Figures and Institutions: Identify key figures, organisations, and institutions relevant to the topic.
  • Comparative Analysis: If applicable, gather information for a comparative analysis of different perspectives or approaches within the topic.
  • Legislation and Policy: Review any relevant laws, policies, or guidelines related to the topic.
  • Fact-Checking: Ensure all gathered information is accurate and from credible sources.

8.4            Interview Questions

Create a set of structured interview questions that comprehensively cover the key aspects of the topic:

  • Topic Relevance: Ensure questions are directly relevant to the main topic.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Cover all significant aspects of the topic.
  • Depth of Inquiry: Include questions that encourage detailed and insightful responses.
  • Flow and Sequence: Organise questions in a logical and engaging sequence.
  • Flexibility: Prepare for possible deviations or follow-up questions based on responses.
  • Guest-Specific Questions: Tailor some questions to the guest’s expertise and experiences.
  • Ethical Considerations: Avoid questions that might be inappropriate or uncomfortable for the guest.

8.5            Episode Structure

Create a detailed outline of the episode, including the introduction, main interview segments, and conclusion:

  • Introduction: Plan an engaging opening that introduces the topic and guest.
  • Segment Breakdown: Divide the main content into structured segments or themes.
  • Transitions: Plan smooth transitions between different segments.
  • Conclusion: Outline a strong closing that summarizes key points and thanks the guest.
  • Timing: Allocate approximate times for each segment to manage the overall episode length.

8.6            Technical Requirements

Plan and prepare the technical setup for the podcast recording, noting what the recording setup, equipment, and any technical support that will be needed:

  • Equipment Check: Ensure high-quality microphones, headphones, and recording devices are available and functioning.
  • Recording Software: Choose reliable recording software suited to the needs of the podcast.
  • Sound Quality: Test for optimal sound quality, including acoustics and minimal background noise.
  • Backup Systems: Set up backup recording systems to prevent data loss.
  • Internet Connectivity: For remote recordings, ensure stable and strong internet connections.
  • Technical Support: Arrange for technical support during recording to address any issues promptly.
  • Rehearsal: Conduct a trial run to test the equipment and resolve any technical glitches.

8.7            Legal and Ethical Considerations

Evaluate and address any legal or ethical issues related to the podcast topic or guest, noting any legal risk factors that may need to be agreed and approved to meet the reputational needs of the stakeholder organisations:

  • Content Review: Assess the content for any potential legal issues such as defamation, privacy breaches, or intellectual property infringements.
  • Guest Background Check: Research the guest to identify any controversial aspects that might pose ethical challenges.
  • Consent and Rights: Obtain necessary consent for using any third-party materials or discussing sensitive topics.
  • Cultural Sensitivity: Ensure the content respects cultural differences and avoids stereotyping.
  • Compliance with Laws: Familiarise with and adhere to relevant media and broadcasting laws, including international regulations if applicable.
  • Ethical Standards: Align the content with established ethical standards in journalism and media production.

8.8            Post-Interview Process

For the post-interview process, manage the steps involved in editing, reviewing, and approving the final content of the podcast.

  • Initial Editing: Edit the recording for clarity, flow, and length.
  • Audio Quality Enhancement: Enhance sound quality by removing background noises and adjusting levels.
  • Content Review: Revisit the content to ensure it aligns with the editorial guidelines and legal standards.
  • Feedback Loop: Share the edited version with relevant team members for feedback.
  • Final Approval: Obtain final approval from necessary stakeholders, possibly including the guest.
  • Final Edits: Make any required final edits based on the feedback and approvals.

By following this template, hosts can prepare effectively for recording sessions, ensuring a smooth and professional podcast episode.

9             Production Management

For the production management of the IN-CJ podcast, with a focus on the differences between in-person and online interviews and recording sessions, it is necessary to identify the steps required in the production process, including, and adapted strategies based on the format of the interview:

  • Venue Preparation: For in-person interviews, ensure a suitable recording environment.
  • Technical Setup: Adjust technical requirements based on in-person or online formats.
  • Sound Quality Management: Focus on sound consistency, especially for online interviews.
  • Logistics Coordination: Manage logistics more intensively for in-person sessions.
  • Backup Plans: Have contingencies for internet issues in online settings.
  • Guest Comfort and Instructions: Provide clear instructions for both formats to ensure guest comfort and preparedness.
  • Post-Production Adjustments: Tailor editing techniques to the specific challenges of each format, such as varying audio quality.


10        N-CJ Podcast Planning Checklist

IN-CJ Podcast Planning Checklist


Episode Title


Guest Name


Guest Contact Details
Topic Area


Background Information
Episode Structure
Technical Requirements
Legal and Ethical Considerations
Post-Interview Requirements
Publication and Distribution Plan






Recording Date


Editing Date


Posting Date Platform