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Pandemic postpones podcast production

Traffic jam at night
Sara Schleede will face the traffic jams of I-35 for the American Bloodline road trip after the pandemic. Photo by Sara Schleede

While “American Bloodline” is put on hold, a new podcast about the internet emerges.

Even throughout all the chaos and uncertainty brought upon by the COVID-19 outbreak, The Drag is still reporting on and producing the many great podcasts we have in store for our listeners. However, there was one podcast whose production was halted by the pandemic.

Sara Schleede, a University of Texas senior, podcast director and host, had to postpone a 1,569-mile journey along I-35 just three months before she was supposed to embark. The journey was for The Drag’s road trip-themed podcast “American Bloodline,” a series that dives into the rich history of life along America’s famous highway.

“I started working on “American Bloodline” in July 2019, and I had been thinking about it every single day since,” Schleede said. “I didn’t want my hard work to go to waste, and I didn’t want these people’s stories I had collected to go untold.”

Fortunately, Schleede is able to continue her love for creating podcasts by spearheading The Drag’s newest short-form podcast project, “Request Pending.” The new podcast will explore niche internet communities, including their motives, their ethics and the effects they have on our society.

“Once social distancing recommendations were put in place, doing a podcast about the internet seemed like the best way to take advantage of the situation we were in and comfort our listeners,” Schleede said.

Although it was created because of COVID-19, “Request Pending” rarely discusses the pandemic.  

“The entire news cycle at that time was about coronavirus, so we wanted to make a podcast that was decidedly not about COVID and just about the places people go for comfort and entertainment,” Schleede said.

“Request Pending” releases its first episode on June 29, with subsequent episodes following every Monday afterwards and the season finale releasing Sept. 1. The podcast will be available on iTunes, Spotify, and The Drag’s website.

Kadija is an intern at The Drag and a junior studying Journalism, French and IRG at UT Austin. When she’s not learning a new language or being a social advocate, she loves traveling, cooking, watching films and spending time with family and friends.

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