This submission highlights the social media posts surrounding our TahoeLand podcast, which takes a look at how climate change could transform the Lake Tahoe Basin and at how research is being done in the basin to teach us about the global climate crisis.
In doing a place-based podcast like TahoeLand, it was important for us to identify platforms where our listeners could see the place that we were talking about so much. This podcast was hyper-focused on how climate change will impact the Lake Tahoe area, a beloved tourist attraction in the Sierra Nevada between California and Nevada, and an underlying thread throughout the podcast is the shared experience of nature that is at the core of Tahoe’s culture.
As we reported, produced and released this podcast, we used Twitter threads, Facebook videos, Instagram Stories and more to help our audience become familiar with the nature and culture of Tahoe and dive into the nerdiness behind the podcast. We also used social media to invite our audience to help drive the podcast to a certain extent by asking for their questions about Tahoe to identify knowledge gaps that we could fill.
Here are some examples of how social media deepened our audience's understanding of the issues facing Tahoe and the world as the climate changes.
What better way to let our listeners get to know the Lake Tahoe area than with something as fun as Instagram Stories? Starting in April 2019 and running through October 2019, Interactive Producer Emily Zentner produced weekly Instagram stories with TahoeLand Host Ezra David Romero featuring photos and reporting from the podcast, as well as behind the scenes peeks at the process of producing a podcast like this.
Through these Instagram Stories, our audience got to see some of the people, places, creatures and science that they heard about on the podcast. These visuals are key to understanding some of the complicated ideas and research we covered in the podcast, and we used these stories to make these visuals approachable and available to augment our audience’s experience with the podcast.
These Stories also allowed us to show our audience some of the nature and experiences that could go away as climate change impacts Tahoe, like Ezra skiing with Olympian Maddie Bowman. Getting to know Tahoe and it’s value to the people who visit it is a key part of understanding just how dire climate change’s impacts on this place could be, and we used these Stories to show this to our audience.
1/ Alright… to celebrate the release of TahoeLand’s episode all about 🐻🐻🐻, we wanted to give you the chance to test some of your bear knowledge. Take our Twitter bear quiz below to see if you can identify the 8 different kinds of bears! pic.twitter.com/F2O0kwxbPb— CapRadio News (@CapRadioNews) September 6, 2019
One of the things we really wanted to bring to our audience with this podcast project was fun, nerdy science information along with impactful reporting on climate change. We created this thread to go along with our podcast episode about bears to give our audience a fun, interactive way to learn about bears in a more global way. Our podcast episode focuses on brown bears in California and Nevada, but bears around the world are impacted by climate change, and this thread gave our audience an opportunity to learn about bears they may have never heard of before.
The process for removing invasive mysis shrimp from Lake Tahoe, which we explain in the podcast, is a complicated one which could be hard for our listeners to fully envision. This native social video looked at how UC Davis researchers are working to try to remove these invasive shrimp from the lake, broadening our audience's understanding by allowing them to see the process in action.
When we included Toogee Sielsch and the bears denning under houses in South Lake Tahoe in our podcast, we knew it was important to create a way that people could see these “Bearbnbs” for themselves. We produced this video to share on Facebook to broaden our audience’s understanding of bears in urban areas in Tahoe by giving them a peek at what a bear living under a house looks like. The video also gave our audience the opportunity to learn about Sielsch’s work and why he thinks it’s important to scare bears out of these urban environments.
Early on in the reporting process for TahoeLand, we shared this video on social media (including this Facebook post and a YouTube post) asking for our audience to send us their questions about Tahoe through a Hearken embed. This aspect of the project, which was fueled by us sharing this video and the question form on social media, allowed our audience to help us identify their knowledge gaps and expand our podcast to fit their needs. We ended up answering their questions within the podcast, like in the first episode, and in an article running through some of the answers. This use of social media helped us expand our audience's understanding of the impact of climate change in Tahoe because it encouraged them to show us what they didn't know, which in turn informed our reporting.
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