How to prepare yourself for your first radio story (with Resources)

Getting Radio Active

Ever wondered why they call it "sound bite"?

Ever wondered why they call it “sound bite”?

There are various reasons people get annoyed by me, but the one I am most proud of: I ask too many questions.

I can’t help it, I’m  curious. I want to know how things work, why people do what they do the way they do it. Or sometimes just: what they do!

Do you know how radio news production works? 

I don’t. But I’m working on it. Tomorrow, I will start a week of nosing around a local radio station. I want  to get an idea of what happens there and see if I can figure out how to do it, too.

Here is a fabulous resource I remembered in preparation of your start of audio and radio production:

Journalism 2.0 by Mark Briggs.

As I explained in a post only four years ago… “Journalism 2.0 is a book for ‘old’ journos who want to get their foot in the door of the digital world, but also for youngsters (like me), who are growing up in the digital age and want to use these tools on their way into the professional world.”

You’d think in our fast-paced media world, a book from four years ago would be out of date, but(!) low and behold. It’s still a hell of a book. I’m especially curious about chapter 7 here:

Digital Audio and Podcasting

Mark Briggs doesn’t only give you a run over the most important file types, recorder types and microphone possibilities, he also shows you how to set up your own podcast. Pretty clever.

Here is one little snippet on natural sounds I really found interesting:

“Gathering natural sound is not the same as background noise. Interviews should be done in a setting that allows the voices to be recorded without interruption. Separate from the interview session, however, it’s always a good idea to search for those sounds that will help describe the setting. Are there power tools being used? Is it a noisy office with lots of chatter and phones ringing? Is it an outside setting where you can hear the bugs and the birds?”

Take a look around the book for other chapters such as photography or basic video editing.

If you are considering producing an audio piece for the first time, you might also want to check out “What Makes for a Good Audio Story?“, a post I wrote a while back. And if you need a laugh or feel insecure about yourself, listen to my first ever audio story on Seattle Coffee Shops (blast from the past).

Summary of Resources:

Got a good resource to share?
Please let us know in the comments!

  1. I also found this great website that gives you many ideas and tools for radio production: http://transom.org/. It’s worth checking out!

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