North Salem resident working with town officials to launch a North Salem community podcast


North Salem resident Antwaine Debnam is working with town leaders to launch a new community podcast. (Image courtesy of Antwaine Debnam)

Listen up, North Salem.

Plans are coming together to launch a North Salem community podcast that will share information about the town and spotlight residents with interesting stories to tell. Antwaine Debnam, a North Salem resident who proposed the initial idea to town government, is working closely with town council members Martin Aronchick and Peter Kamenstein to bring the concept to life.

“Antwaine was very familiar with podcasting and was a big proponent of using podcasting or other social media to make sure that people understand what we’re doing,” Aronchick told The North Salem Post.

The podcast, which is still in development, will cover information that affects the everyday lives of residents – think things like a notification when there has been a rash of car break-ins, reminding residents when the start of apple picking season may snarl traffic in town, or fire protection measures to take during the holidays – and also introduce listeners to the variety of interesting people who call North Salem home.

“I live in Bridleside and every day I walk with my toddler around the complex and chat with people,” Debnam said. “I go to cars and coffee at Hayfields on Sundays. I meet artists, retired engineers, doctors who commute to New York City every day. Being a social butterfly, I want others to know about them, too.”

At this early stage of planning, Debnam said all ideas for content and format are on the table. “The best way to start is to throw everything at the wall and see what sticks,” he said, adding that from there the group will drill down to identify what listeners are enjoying the most.

The use of podcasting to tell the stories of local communities has been gaining in popularity in cities and towns across the country. A February 2020 article from WGLT, an NPR affiliate in Illinois, said that municipal podcasts have taken off as local governments strive to keep up with all the ways residents now consume information. In “Small Town Podcast,” mayors and elected officials of small towns across the state of Georgia engage in conversations with host Matt Seale.

No matter what form North Salem’s podcast ultimately takes, Debnam hopes it serves to increase community awareness, communication and engagement.

“We want everybody to get involved,” Debnam stressed. “This is the community’s podcast; it’s meant to light up the town.”

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