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Chapter 9 Writing the Advanced Audio Story

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Kristin Smith

on 30 December 2016

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Transcript of Chapter 9 Writing the Advanced Audio Story

Chapter 9 - Writing the Advanced Audio Story
Using the Voices of Sources
Sound Bite
A short video clip of someone talking and is a staple of television

Actuality
The corresponding type of clip that typically runs 10 to 30 seconds in length.
The equivalent of a direct quotation in a print or online story.
Finding Actualities
Good actualities can improve audio news stories in several ways
They add variety
They add emotional impact
They add credibility

Actualities generally arise from routine newsgathering procedures.

Many are recorded at news conferences, speeches, panel discussions, presentations, and from conducting interviews.
Recording Actualities
Use a digital recorder, microphone, etc

The reporter needs to remember that many audio news stories are heard in cars, where the sound of the report competes against traffic, road noise, sirens, wind and storm noise, etc.

A cardioid microphone picks up sound from in front and a little off to the sides but essentially ignores all other sounds.

When conducting interviews, a reporter should keep the microphone close to both himself or herself and to the interviewee - (Typically 6 to 12 inches works best)
Recording Actualities Cont.
Phone interviews take much less planning and expense
They allow reporters to talk with experts and other great sources around the globe.

The biggest challenge in getting good actualities via the telephone is the quality of the phone lines themselves.

Coupler
A device that accepts a telephone line input

Hybrid
Lets the reporter adjust the volume between the incoming and outgoing audio; without that capability, the interviewer’s questions will likely be much louder than the interviewee’s responses.

Editing Audio
The simplest way to organize material for capture is for the reporter to play back the interview and take notes on the times at which good segments begin and end.

Log
Rough transcript of the entire interview
Adding Actualities to a Story
Typically, the first actuality follows a lead-in which should complement each other.

An actuality that contains specifics is usually introduced by a lead-in that provides a general overview or offers background.

Stories that begin with actualities are known as cold opens.
Writing the Wraparound
Actualities are most commonly found in audio news stories known as wraparounds ( or wraps)

A wraparound begins with narration (either live or recorded), blends in at least one actuality and then returns to narration to finish.

A wraparound includes: An actuality of 10 to 20 seconds, two or three lines of lead-in to establish what the story is about, and a one-line write-out or tag to give additional facts and provide a sense of closure.
Using Natural Sound
Natural Sound (also called background sound, ambient sound or nat sound)

Helps create a mood or sense of place

Natural sound can be anything related to a story, crowd noises, emergency vehicle sounds, thunder, wind and other weather noises, etc)

Natural sound is a great way to bring the listener into the story.

Usually plays a supporting role in audio news stories

Documentaries
Creating Podcasts
Often require more time to research and prepare than news writers can spare, so documentaries tend to be features, rather that news stories.

Be on the lookout for story ideas

Try to find a focus before heading out

Look for a character or characters to build the story around

Make sure the story has narrative flow

Remember the importance of description

Don’t go too long without a change of pace

Use natural sound for transitions

Try to offer surprises

Interview sources in their natural environment

“Simply put, podcasting is distributing audio files in a radio-show format over the internet,” said technology expert Russell Morgan.

A podcast is not a form of news story so much as a technique for delivering an audio story.

Any audio program can be packaged as a podcast, and indeed that’s what a lot of podcasts are.

Podcast Model by Step
1) Intro theme music
2) Welcome and introduction of guest(s)
3) Q-A with guest(s)
4) Final comments
5) Outro Music
Full transcript