Behind the scenes of the new Jefferson County podcast + how to tune in

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jefferson county podcast
Jefferson County’s new podcast brings information to residents in a fresh way. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

In 2021, Jefferson County created its first-ever podcast to help shed light on the inner workings of local government, provide essential information on county services and much more. Here’s everything you need to know about Jefferson County Alabama: Podcast for the People that shows you the “meat behind the tweets.”

How the Jefferson County podcast started

jefferson county podcast
The making of the next episode of Jefferson County’s new podcast. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

Unlike a 20-something talking about his latest Bitcoin investment, Helen Hays, Director of Public Information for Jefferson County, decided to start a podcast that would support and inform residents of the Magic City. Her goal was to make it something that residents could relate to while also learning about the inner workings of Jefferson County. 

“The podcast has served the county in some unexpected ways. During our recent garbage service transition, for example, we were able to interview the service provider, and the head of the Environmental Services Department to explain in more detail how the contract was bid, and how the new vendor will provide service. It’s a more in depth look into the process.”

Helen Hays, Director of Public Information, Jefferson County

Find the Jefferson County podcast, Jefferson County Alabama: Podcast for the People, on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Behind the scenes of the podcast

jefferson county online permits
The first episode of the podcast discussed Jefferson County’s new online permits. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

Each episode of Jefferson County Alabama, Podcast for the People focuses on a specific aspect of Jefferson County’s operations and opportunities. For example, the first episode, which published in January of this year, discussed the county’s new online permitting services. 

The podcast has also partnered with organizations to discuss important public information like the CHIPS program with Children’s of Alabama. Check out a few of the topics the podcast has covered:

  • COVID-19 vaccines
  • Garbage service transition
  • High school internship program
  • New online permitting platform
  • Severe weather preparedness

Some of the most popular episodes so far have covered topics like the garbage transition, COVID-19 vaccine and COVID-19’s one-year anniversary. Most episodes are between 15-30 minutes, which is perfect for listening while commuting to and from work. Depending on the length of the interview, it can take two-three hours for each episode to be made.

Turn up the volume and tune in

covid testing
The podcast helps people hear in-depth discussions about issues like COVID-19 and vaccines. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

The overall goal of the podcast is to help Jefferson County residents better understand how the county government works. The Jefferson County podcast interviews county officials and explains how local government works like the bid process for new service management (see the garbage transition episode).

“One of the first interviews I did was with our County Manager, Tony Petelos, about how the County Manager form of government works. It’s important to have that information out there in depth for citizens, and the podcast is an easy and convenient way for residents to listen.”

Helen Hays, Director of Public Information, Jefferson County

The tagline for the podcast is “the meat between the tweets,” and I think that sums it up pretty well. Jefferson County Alabama: Podcast for the People aims to provide a more in-depth explanation of county services and announcements that isn’t as accessible on other platforms.

Find the Jefferson County podcast, Jefferson County Alabama: Podcast for the People, on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Keep up with Jefferson County on other platforms, including their website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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