Digital Journalism

COM466 – University of Washington

Andrew’s Awesome Audio!

Andrew’s Audio Story and Assessment.
(mp3 after the jump)

Audio Assessment (part a)

Kyle (wearing orange hat) wishes he was a snow angel.

Kyle (wearing orange hat) wishes he was a snow angel.

I doubted my subject for the audio story after reading that we would be given extra credit for news relevance. But even with the opportunity to redo the assignment, I stuck with my initial subject, my friend Kyle. I don’t know if Kyle has ever done anything news worthy. But the way I see it, not everything has to be hard-hitting news to be a story. This subject would challenge me to find a story not painfully obvious. Plus, Kyle was pretty excited to get an interview.

This is a bug that Kyle found at work. He brought it home to show me. I dont eat at his work anymore.

This is a bug that Kyle found at work. He brought it home to show me. I don’t eat at his work anymore.

I didn’t have an initial idea of what I wanted to talk to Kyle about. I figured that I would just talk about snowboarding or art/design–things we are both interested in. But thanks to This American Life, I was motivated to take a different approach. Kyle always tells me stories of “events” that arise at work. I find them immensely entertaining. Once while enjoying one of Kyle’s stories, it occurred to me that Kyle must be learning a ton about social interaction and different personality types (as a result of having to deal with “interesting” customers). So I decided to explore some of Kyle’s customer service experiences, and see how they had affected him. If anything, it would make for a funny story.

The only challenges I encountered by this phase of the project was acquiring an audio recorder. I tried to check one out of the COM department, but had not submitted a request early enough. So instead, I used my Mac’s Garage Band. High-tech.

Audio Assessment (part b)

I felt that it is clear what my story is about. At the beginning of the story, I identify the subject and the event. I think that the progression of the story is natural and logical. We stick with one topic, which was something that I was mindful of. I didn’t want to go off on tangents or address to large of a topic. I feel that the voice over, interview and natural sound bites compliment each other to give the audience a solid understanding of the topic. However, I think that some of the interview segments are too long. I also would like to have collected more natural noise to help the audience experience the environment. I did not explicitly identify the interviewee or the narrator, but I feel that our voices differ sufficiently and that the language alludes to a transition of speaker. I feel that audio is an appropriate medium for the story, but I believe that visual elements (perhaps of a busy kitchen) would enhance the story.

Though I was limited to using my Mac’s internal microphone and Garage Band, I feel that the audio I collected was of decent quality. The sound was not too soft, nor did it have pops and hisses from being to close to the sound source. The natural sound I collected is appropriate (alarm bell, kitchen noises), but rather cliche. Next time I will be more creative in the types of natural sound bites I seek out. During the interview and narration, there are some background noise that does not contribute to the story. I would have liked to edit these out, but was limited by the software we were using. Also, I would have liked to do more with audio dynamics (fade in/out), but could not figure out how to apply this effect to isolated audio tracks.

Audio Story: File Size, 4.8MB; Time, 5:16; Download


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