This is a thing I’ve rarely had time to do. There are though good reasons for doing this. Let’s say you’re publishing a human origins podcast. (And if you are, please send me the link!) The nature of the field means each new fossil discovery can and sometimes does alter the entire understanding of the discipline. Now imagine you have a magnificent episode outlining the current theory of human evolution. Neat, linear, lovely and then some clown digs up a fossil. The entire theory has to be tossed out or rearranged to fit in this new find. What do you do???
You have options. You can do an episode bringing in the new information, you could delete the previous episode (a bit extreme but arguably a way forward), you could add an addendum to the start of the episode and update the show notes to point listeners to a newer version or you could upload a new version in the old time slot. This last option would require an explanation, to my way of thinking, to explain what you’ve done and why.
So new info would be good reason to re-edit an old episode. What else?
A new mic, studio, setup where you go from a gravelly voiced host in the middle of a windy field to professionally voiced host with honey dripping from your voice and you’re so embarrassed with your old episodes you re-record the entire show. I wouldn’t do that as I think the evolution of our voices and our shows go hand in hand. But you could.
Another reason which has “1984” overtones would be to remove an individual or a comment or section of an interview because the portions removed reflected an attitude from a previous time and/or understanding of history. This would take some serious thought and reflection. I can see times when I could do this, hypothetically, at any rate.
But should I/You? I cannot make that decision for you, that’s one for you alone or you and any co-host. I wouldn’t rush to this but I would, perhaps, pull the episode until I’d made a decision. Either way I don’t think this is likely to occur too often in your podcasting life, if ever so it’s probably just a hypothetical process but one worth running through as a thought experiment.
- Why are you re-editing?
- Are you improving your show?
- Be very careful when you edit out the past!