Ira Glass on Storytelling

Take in a slice of Americana with critically acclaimed host Ira Glass on “This American Life.” Each week he picks a theme, then gives his writers and performers the freedom to weave real stories from real people around that theme in a manner they find most engaging. You’ll meet fascinating people with stories that range from heart-warming to bizarre. Glass and company try interesting things and take radio where it’s never gone before. It’s a show that defies description, but has become one of public radio’s most celebrated programs. Produced by Chicago Public Radio.

Ira Glass of “This American Life” talks about the building blocks of a great story.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Audio Journalism for 3/6

Audio (read Chapter 7 in Journalism Next)

Audio has characteristics that can’t be matched by other forms of media:

Presence – you can bring readers to the story.

Emotions – tone of voice, expressions, intonations and pauses enhance the message

Atmosphere – natural sound – the sound that’s happening around you as you report – helps pull the listener in close. Weather, anything that’s happening in that particular setting.

NPR sets the standard in audio journalism. – creates “driveway moments” and connects the listener to the story. Listen to this story about Julio Diaz – you have to listen to the very end!

Here’s an example of an audio interview that includes natural sound. Click on the audio link in this Mindy McAdams’ assignment.

To Record:

Location – choose a quiet location for the interview

Room Tone – grab several seconds of room tone, an empty room, if there is a refrigerator clicking, the editing program can identify and take it out.

Interview – do a pre-interview first, then ask specific questions to record, ask questions (that will be cut out) but make sure that when the subject is talking you keep quiet, no I see, really, hum, when you hold the mic, you add noise, use the stand if you can, not more than 5 minutes – you will be reducing to 2 minutes

Natural sound – is there anything that can go with the sound, skateboarder, chef kitchen sounds

To use a Zoom H2N:

Here’s a tutorial on using the recorder.

Edit in Audacity (or Garageband):

This is a free program that you can download from the Internet. It is very important that you set up the preferences correctly. They have to be set up BEFORE you open your file in Audacity.

There are multiple tutorials on Audacity under this site’s Helpful Links.

To practice with Audacity, I will email you two files, one of natural sound and one of the interview.

Next week’s assignment:

Audio Interview – Tell me a story about…

            When your subject had an embarrassing moment

Accomplishing a difficult task

The moment your subject realized what your passion is

How someone’s kindness/compassion impacted your subject for life

(I am open to other suggestions, but please check first)

Besides the story, make sure your subject identifies himself/herself and answers who, what, where, when, why and how of his story. You will have to prompt him/her with questions.

1. You will choose an SNC student, staff or faculty member for an audio interview. Choose someone who has a story to tell. (You may need a pre-interview to ensure that the story is interesting.) Please tell your subject that this interview will probably be posted on snceagleseye.com

2. Check out one of the H2n audio recorders or other recorders from Tanya to conduct your interview. I know you can do it with your iPhone, but I would like you to have the experience with a true audio recorder. You can only have it for two days, so others can use it too.

3. Record your interview in a quiet place. Make sure your subject states his or her full name and major if a student or subject matter if professor. Basically name and identification.

4. Either install Audacity on your laptop via the instructions, use the software in the DART lab to edit your interview or use GarageBand. It should not have any of your voice on the final audio file – only your subject. It should be between 60 to 120 seconds long – no more or less! Make sure you know the DART lab hours (they are posted on the door).

5. Once you are finished, upload the interview to the Eagle’s Eye SoundCloud account. SoundCloud  user name- eagleseye@sierranevada.edu  password: eagleseye

Congratulations! You have made your first audio interview!

Audio Assignment Due on 10-10-2012

Audio Interview – What’s your passion?

1. You will choose an SNC student, staff or faculty member for an audio interview. Choose someone who willingly shares his or her passion (you may need a pre-interview to ensure that your subject is passionate about a hobby,  sport,  major, dog, place, food, activity, etc.) Please tell your subject that this interview will probably be posted on snceagleseye.com

2. Check out one of the H2n audio recorders from Savannah or Tanya to conduct your interview. I know you can do it with your iPhone, but I would like you to have the experience with a true audio recorder. You can only have it for two days, so others can use it too.

3. Record your interview in a quiet place. Make sure your subject states his or her full name and major if a student or subject matter if professor. Basically name and identification.

4. Either install Audacity on your laptop via the instructions, or use the software in the DART lab to edit your interview. It should not have any of your voice on the final audio file – only your subject. It should be between 60 to 120 seconds long – no more or less! Make sure you know the DART lab hours (they are posted on the door).

5. Once you are finished, upload the interview to the Eagle’s Eye SoundCloud account. I will post on the SNC journalism blog the directions to do this and email you the username and password once it is finalized.

Congratulations! You have made your first audio interview!

Audio Recording & Editing

Hopefully, you brought your headphones to class and read Chapter 7 of Journalism Next.

We are ready to embark on audio recording and editing, using our brand-new H2n audio recorders and the free, software program Audacity.

Today, we will discuss:

Tips for audio interviewing:

I’ll share Gathering Audio   by Brian Storm of Mediastorm.com. He wrote this with Jim Seida of MSNBC.com. Several of you will remember Jim from his incredible presentation at the National College Journalism Conference in Seattle last year.

How to use the H2n

We’ll watch a video that carefully explains how to use the audio recorder. It gets a little lengthy, so we’ll cut it short. I have read the entire manual, played with the cool H2n and could fully explain it to you. But this way, there will be one more H2n in your hands as you watch the video and figure it out.

This How to Use the H2n is also here on the blog, just in case you forget how to work it.

Practice using the H2n

Then, students will pair up and go somewhere quiet and outside to conduct 5-minute interviews with each other. At the end of the interview, the interviewee will state, My name is _______ and I am a ________ at Sierra Nevada College.

Audacity

The next step is Audacity. You’ll take your interview and use it to learn how to edit in Audacity. You’ll find tutorials in the Helpful Links.