Tuesday, June 14, 2005

"Inside Minnesota Politics" Front Page News At State Capitol

See the story clipping here
(Reproduced here by permission)
Podcasts help wonks get their political fix – at their leisure
By Charley Shaw
Legal Ledger Staff Writer

Peter Idusogie and Michael McIntee are like two peas in a pod. Or rather, two activists in a podcast.

Idusogie is the host and McIntee is the producer of “Inside Minnesota Politics,” a political podcast available on the Internet that features interviews with Minnesota politicians, candidates and insiders.

What’s a podcast?

Podcast listeners download an audio file from the Web onto their computers and then transfer the file to a digital audio player like the iPod by Apple Computer Inc. Users can also subscribe to a feed and receive new audio files automatically.

Using standard audio equipment, Idusogie and McIntee, both DFLers, provide new content on a weekly basis at http://www.insideminnesotapolitics.blogspot.com.

The show’s guests have been DFLers so far. This week’s podcast features the state senator and gubernatorial candidate Steve Kelley, DFL-Hopkins. Recently, the podcast featured interviews with all three DFL Party chair candidates.

Idusogie said he’s trying to broaden the ideological spectrum of the show, noting Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been invited to do an interview.

The podcast medium provides the freedom to listen to a program whenever and wherever the listener chooses.

McIntee said podcasts are time shifted, portable and targeted. “Given today’s busy society, those things add up to a potentially potent distribution system,” McIntee said.

A recent study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project reported 22 million Americans own iPods or MP3 players and 29 percent of that group has downloaded a podcast.
The content of podcasts available worldwide runs the gamut from news about the Catholic faith to interviews with rock stars.

Because “Inside Minnesota Politics” is an independent media outlet, Idusogie said he has free range to have frank conversations without engaging in partisan shouting matches.

“I ask real questions and they give real answers,” said Idusogie, who made an unsuccessful bid in 2003 for DFL endorsement to seek the state’s 2nd District congressional seat. Teresa Daly received the party’s nomination and lost to Republican incumbent John Kline in the November 2004 election.

Idusogie was born in London, the son of a United Nations diplomat and an elementary school teacher. He grew up in the African countries of Ghana and Nigeria. He attended college at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter and has lived in Minnesota for 20 years. According to his biography posted on the podcast’s Web site, Idusogie started his political career at Clean Water Action as a grassroots canvasser, field manager and lobbyist.

McIntee is from Minneapolis and has worked across the country in television.

Idusogie first paired with McIntee during his congressional bid. At that time, they put together a DVD about Idusogie’s campaign.

Later, Indusogie and McIntee started the podcast.

Idusogie finds that Minnesota state politics is a good fit in the podcast world. Moreover, guests like the discussion format.

“They don’t look at us as media, even though we’re a medium; they’re relaxed and when they speak it’s from the heart. Anybody who’s afraid to be interviewed by “Inside Minnesota Politics” probably has something to hide,” Idusogie said.

When asked if the podcast was limited to those with the right equipment, McIntee noted that the podcast can also be heard by clicking on a link on the Web site.

Idusogie did interviews with the three DFL Party chair candidates, Betty Folliard, Brian Melendez and Josh Syrjamaki.

St. Paul DFL activist Jason Barnett said the podcast helped him choose which candidate to support and saved him three trips to hear each candidate.

“It solidified my opinion on who I am supporting, and I know it helped folks understand these candidates better,” Barnett said.

Melendez became DFL chairman. His predecessor, Mike Erlandson, said the podcast helped party activists make their choice and, in general, is a different medium for political communication.

“It’s high tech, but personal. It takes campaigning and communication to a whole new level,” Erlandson said.


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