Digital Journalism

COM466 – University of Washington

Week 3 – Wednesday

Picking The Medium That Best Tells The Story: Audio

  • Housekeeping
  • Audio Stories
  • Group Project
  • Lab: RSS Reader, Audacity, Zamzar, YouSendIt


  • Blogs – remember to turn snap preview off (appearance -> extras) and make text clickable. Please, no paste of a URL. [Demo making a link again.]

Audio Stories

  • Common themes
  • Effective audio story
  • Differences between video and audio
  • Work flow:
    copy file; rough transcript; create clips

Group project

  • Brainstorm approach, stories (post in notes)


Lab Assignment:

  • Take your sound file … and “clip” 2-3 good quotes. Make each its own file. Name them like this: scott_clip_1, scott_clip_2, etc.
  • Export from Audacity to WAV
  • Covert to MP3 with Zamzar
  • Put the three MP3s into one folder; zip it (compress)
  • Use YouSendIt to send me a link to the zipped file (if you don’t know how to zip, then attach all three to the YouSendIt form)
  • Deadline: Noon Friday

FOR MONDAY (all due 8 am)

  • Prepare a 2-3 minute audio story using both voice and ambient sound. Think about the visual elements of your story (because Monday we are going to think about photos). Convert to MP3 and send link to me via YouSendIt (use YouSendIt by 8 am – not in-my-hands by 8 am).
  • Read Mindy McAdams on how to shoot good digital photos
  • In a blog post, identify three examples of excellent use of a single photo in storytelling as well as three examples of excellent photo slideshows/multiple photos to tell a story (whether or not there is sound associated with the show). This is not a “gallery” but a “story.” Tweet at least three of these examples with good copy, URL-shortened, #com466


Blogging Assignment for today – find three “good” audio stories & explain why

  1. Adam
    Profile/Obit (NPR)
    and America-Cuba (NPR)
    and Portuguese water dog,
  2. Andrew
    Extreme Scene
    and Giant Pool of Money (NPR)
    and Rape on Tribal Lands Uninvestigated (NPR)
  3. Gwen
    L.A. Public Schoolteachers Protest Budget Cuts (NPR)
    and Factory, Inflation Data Show Continued Weakness (NPR)
    and Obama Delivers Economic Progress Report (NPR)
  4. Jeff
    The Only Good Bedbug is a Toasty One (NPR, no link)
  5. Michelle
    CNN on Twitter
  6. YouthRadio LA (NPR) and
    Travel (The Independent) and Band Interview (NPR)
  7. ReishaNo Bacon In Baconnaise? (video) – Iraq TroopsCourt stops deportation
  8. RyanFunding Debate Stalls Air Traffic Control Upgrade (NPR) and US relaxes restrictions on Cuba (BBC) and Goldman Sachs (NPR)
  9. Sarah
    “A high-profile mission for Navy SEALS” (NBC, no link)
    and “Crisis in Haiti” (NBC, no link) and Pakistan (CBS, no link)
  10. Scott
    Profile Musician (NPR)
    and Genocide in Africa
    and Profile
  11. Tara – not three audio stories but “good news stories”
    Pirates (text & video)
    and Diabetic Brain Damage Risk (CBS video)
    and Inflammatory Breast Cancer (YouTube video, must be 18 to watch)


Hitmen’s bloody reign all about logic, trafficker says

Hitmen’s bloody reign all about logic, trafficker says


Filed under: Class Notes

One Response

  1. kegill says:

    Themes : what makes a good audio story

    * Pacing important – multiple sources help this
    * Quote don’t paraphrase
    * Engaging on emotional/humanistic level
    * Stories need to lend themselves to audio (music is very appropriate)
    * Varied voice, not monotone
    * Well-thought out structure (flow)
    * Interesting interviewee
    * Quotes that paint a picture
    * Natural sound can evoke feeling of being in place – consider explaining the sound

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