On Friday I found myself sat wobbling on a bar stool like the late, great Dave Allen (but talking less sense) over at Bush House as part of a panel on podcasting. It was fun in the way only the World Service can be (where else would you find a discussion of music copyright in podcasts in Tajikistan?). The audience probably knew more about the subject than we did, and there was a great question about presentation styles in podcasts.. Many podcasters adopt a deliberately "indie" feel; making a conscious effort not to ape professional broadcasters and to talk in a natural and unaffected manner. The questioner wanted to know if we, likewise, shouldn't be experimenting with giving BBC podcasts a "rougher" less polished sound.
As I said at the time: when and if, pods and blogs is ever podcast the BBC will have jumped with both feet into a whole realm of "unpolish". But usually on radio - to a greater or lesser extent - we try and tidy up all the audio. I remember a wonderful piece from National Public Radio in the US- which very carefully de-ums most of its recordings - about how they edited interviews. They played the finished edit and compared it with original; it was quite a transformation.
Recently I did get a chance to hear how different editing styles can alter a piece I'd done. My report from Podfest was lucky enough to get into the Radio News Pod (download here till Tues) The editing was very tight. It's interesting to compare it with the rather ramshackle version on pods and blogs. It does show I think, the difference editing can make to the feel of a piece.