Storytelling With a Local Twist And a Ton of Aloha

Have you ever been so late to a party it feels like the carriages have turned back into pumpkins, the horses back to mice and the dresses back to rags? I’m not comparing myself to Cinderella, especially since my size 11-wide feet would never fit in any glass slipper, but that’s how I felt when I first asked the PBS Hawai‘i Communications team about podcasts.

Thankfully, no one laughed, although I did hear someone snort. Instead, they welcomed me to the podcast party and encouraged me to stay awhile.

I decided to do my own research and the numbers blew me away. As of August 2021, there were more than 2,000,000 podcasts in the world and more than 48 million episodes. In the United States, 75% of the country is familiar with the term “podcasting” and 55% of the population or 155 million people have listened to a podcast, including 104 million who listen to podcasts every month.

Where have I been? Clearly, I wasn’t one of them and I’m guessing, or at least hoping, neither were some of you. I knew the world was spinning faster than ever before and COVID-19 added to the madness, but when did the podcast format become so popular?

Turns out, podcasting, previously known as “audio-blogging” dates back to the 1980s. It wasn’t until the introduction of portable digital audio playback devices in 2004 that podcasting really caught on.

On Friday, May 14, 2021, I asked our team, “How do we start a podcast?” Fast forward to August 11, 2021, when less than three months later PBS Hawai‘i entered the podcast world with the first episode of What School You Went? This new weekly podcast explores the traditions and stories that make up the modern-day culture of Hawai‘i. A special guest joins us each week to lend insight and share personal stories about a topic.

“What school you went?” is one of those questions that shouts Hawai‘i. You will laugh, learn and reminisce with us and you may even shed a tear. It’s storytelling with a local twist and a ton of aloha. As the podcast trend continues to grow, PBS Hawai‘i will grow with it. One thing is clear: people love to listen to each other talk, and according to my wife, I love to talk. Now if I can just find those glass slippahs!

What School You Went? can be found on pbshawaii.org, as well as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music and most major podcast distributors.

With respect and aloha,


Ron Mizutani and the PBS Hawaiʻi family