Storytelling with audio
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Storytelling with Audio. Multimedia Storytelling Fall 2013. Importance of audio journalism. Presence Emotions Atmosphere Depth. How news organizations use audio. Reporter overviews Podcasts Audio slideshows Breaking news/mobile reporting. Audio journalism inspiration.

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Storytelling with Audio

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Storytelling with audio

Storytelling with Audio

Multimedia Storytelling

Fall 2013


Importance of audio journalism

Importance of audio journalism

  • Presence

  • Emotions

  • Atmosphere

  • Depth


How news organizations use audio

How news organizations use audio

  • Reporter overviews

  • Podcasts

  • Audio slideshows

  • Breaking news/mobile reporting


Audio journalism inspiration

Audio journalism inspiration

  • Backstory – NY Times (reporter overviews)

  • The Unger Report – NPR (podcasts)

  • This American Life – NPR (podcasts)

  • One in 8 Million – NY Times (audio slideshows)

  • BBC - (breaking news)


Types of audio

Types of audio

  • Narrative

  • Interview

  • Natural sound

  • Dead air


Preparing for audio interviews

Preparing for audio interviews

  • Make a list of background sounds you might be able to gather for intro, transitions

  • Have a detailed interview planned

  • Make sure your equipment is charged

  • Clear off your audio recorder


Recording audio interviews

Recording audio interviews

  • Choose a location

  • Record natural sound

  • Prepare your subject

  • Watch what you say

  • Don’t interrupt

  • Pause between Q & A’s

  • Record dead air


Recording voice overs

Recording voice-overs

  • “When you’re writing for the ear, you are not only a journalist—you’re also a performer.” -Jonathan Kern, NPR

  • Write a script

  • Warm up

  • Find operative words

  • Adjust the following based on your operative words:

    • Volume

    • Pitch

    • Rhythm

    • Tempo

  • Keep it conversational


Choosing audio clips for audio slideshows

Choosing audio clips (for audio slideshows)

  • Listen to all of your recordings before selecting your clips (context)

  • Find natural sound to open the slideshow

  • Listen for a good quote to transition from background noise to the subject

  • Listen for details that might serve as good transitions

  • Include memorable quotes/colorful phrases

  • Listen for a good “kicker” quote to round out the story


Editing audio clips basic

Editing audio clips (basic)

  • Cut out verbal stalling

  • Cut out words that don’t add to the story: like, kind of, you know, etc.

  • Cut out reiterations

  • Cut out coughing, long pauses

  • DO NOT take out words that change the meaning of what was stated

  • Add fades

  • Add cross-fades


So why an audio slideshow

So… why an audio slideshow?

  • “The thinking person’s video”

  • Still images (alone) leave the mind unguided

  • Video centers the viewer’s eye from beginning to end

  • Audio slideshow leave room for contemplation, thought


Audio slideshow do s

Audio slideshow do’s

  • 8-10 images/minute

  • Create a relationship between images & audio

  • Edit the audio in a way that creates a narrative thread with a beginning, middle and end

  • Consider captions under images

  • Include natural sound

  • Include a picture of the person narrating

  • Record a minute of sound in the room where you’re recording


Audio slideshow don ts

Audio slideshow don’ts

  • Use too many images

  • Use too few images

  • Include awkward transitions

  • Allow background sound to drown out narration

  • Use music or images you don’t have the right to use (Intellectual Property)

  • Go over 5 minutes


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