What began as a short-term project idea for SUNY Oswego communication studies faculty member Brian Moritz became a learning experience that expanded his interviewing skills and enhanced his teaching techniques in the classroom.

“I think it has helped me teach my skills classes (like JLM 319 and 312) because I'm doing interviews with people regularly, so it's a skill I'm using and getting better at, and that makes me a better teacher. I'm practicing what I preach,” Moritz said of “The Other 51,” a podcast where he interviews other writers about their craft and related topics.

Being a “Hamilton” enthusiast, the inspiration for the name of the podcast came from a line in the hit Broadway show. 

“This was at a time when ‘Hamilton’ was at its highest point, I got the name ‘The Other 51’ from a line in the show, which is 'Hamilton wrote the other 51' talking about the federalist papers,” said Moritz. 

Podcasting began as a short-term idea for Moritz until he found joy in making each episode. The focus of his podcast is on writing, talking to writers about their process, how they write and report. Given his knowledge and background in sports writing and reporting, Moritz wanted to branch out of his comfort zone and create something that interests a wide range of people. 

He recently released his 143rd episode, spanning five years of conversations. Guests have included world-renowned journalists, bestselling authors, fellow SUNY Oswego faculty members who are influential in their fields and many other interesting professionals.

“That's one thing that I wanted to do from the start; I didn't want to just talk to sportswriters about sports writing; certainly given my background I skew heavily towards sports journalists and sports media writing,” Moritz said. “I wanted to interview writers from all different genres because I think that when you write, no matter what kind of media or platform or what kind of writing you can do, you can learn from other people. If you are a journalist. you can learn from a screenwriter or a novelist and vice versa.” 

One of his favorite things about podcasting is that he doesn’t need anything fancy to create a good podcast; it does not even have to cost money. 

“One of the great things that I generally love about hosting a podcast is that you don’t need all this fancy rigamarole and gear,” Moritz said. “If you’ve got a microphone that came with your cell phone, that is all you need. You can find free places to host it and free places to promote it.” 

His most memorable episode released so far featured his childhood hero Bob Costas; Unintended Consequences Might Ensue with Bob Costas was episode 89. 

“I remember saying after that no matter what else happens with this podcast, I got to meet my childhood hero,” Moritz said. 

You can find all episodes of The Other 51 on any platform that offers podcasts such as Apple MusicSpotify, or on his website Sports Media Guy. New episodes are uploaded Thursday mornings. 

-- Written by journalism major Jonathan Morrow, Class of 2021