Lessons from the Radio
This is a collection of lessons I took from my one week in Public Radio. Feel free to use them as a reminder for yourself or to get started.
Getting quotes and sound bites:
Getting there by bike is ultimately more fun (especially when it rains, but that’s just me)
- Test the level of your mike (pitching is bad, but worse is if your sound is too weak)
- Check your batteries and have replacements! Seriously. Do it! Just DO IT!
- Take three minutes before recording anything and think about your story line / concept. Once you have something in mind, you will roughly know what kind of quotes you are looking for.
- A good journalist does not collect more sound bites than he needs.
Creating the story:
- Always write the text for the host first (it does make things easier)
- CREATE AN IMAGE…just by words and sound. It’s essential for listeners to understand the story.
- Get the sound bites right first, then build your text around it.
- Don’t ever run to the studio. It’s better to be late than to die in front of the mic.
- If you are in a hurry, don’t take the elevator, it might get stuck.
- Make sure to put enough pressure into your voice and articulate well.
- Try to reduce smacking noises.
- Don’t just read from colon to colon. Read lively, as if you explain something to your grandmother.
- Make sure you use breaks to breathe.
Anouncements (Meldung): 3-4 lines, the lead sentence is the most important
Aufsager (recitation): 2 sentences for the host + 40 seconds for you
Pieces: 4-5 sentences for the host, 2:30 for you, usually 4-5 sound bites.
“Nachrichtenminute”: about 40 seconds. 20 seconds of text + 20 seconds sound bite.
In due time, I’ll post the audios I produced, too 🙂