In a move to help diversify podcasting’s ranks, Neon Hum Media and Sony Music Entertainment have created a free training program for aspiring podcast editors from underrepresented groups. At the conclusion of the course, one student will be offered a staff editor position at Neon Hum.

“Neon Hum wants to give aspiring editors from underrepresented groups the training they need to be able to work in the audio industry,” said Senior Editor Catherine Saint Louis, who will lead the eight-week course. She will also draw on the expertise of other industry veterans including Emanuele Berry of This American Life, Annie Avilés of Vice Audio, Phyllis Fletcher of APM Podcasts, and Nick White of Lost Notes, among others. Neon Hum founder and CEO Jonathan Hirsch will co-teach a session too. 

“There is an urgent need in the podcast industry for editors who know how to structure podcasts and help make good podcasts great,” said Saint Louis. “This isn’t an ivory tower exercise. The idea is to encourage talented storytellers to choose audio editing, to help shape podcasts, to choose how to tell important stories.” 

Eight applicants will be selected to participate. The hope is to attract Black, Latino, and Native American storytellers, other people of color, and the LGTBQ community. Even as Neon Hum will offer a job to one participant, the company says its program is designed to develop students into top candidates for other employers to also consider hiring in editor roles following course graduation. 

Funding for the bootcamp is made possible by Sony Music Entertainment, Neon Hum Media’s joint venture partner. “The social justice taskforce at Sony Music Entertainment helped make this program possible, and we’re thrilled to be working with them,” said Saint Louis. Last December Los Angeles-based Neon Hum brought Sony Music Entertainment onboard as an investor in the company. 

The application portal will remain open until January 20 at 11pm PST. Final participants will be announced February 25. The bootcamp will run from mid-March to mid-May with twice-a-week classes. Get more information about the program and apply HERE.