An Idiot’s Guide to Audio Journalism

Tasked with exploring the world of online audio journalism filled four Journalism students with a large amount of nervousness.

My knowledge and that of my three fellow bloggers was rather limited. We knew for certain that online audio covered two main types:

  1. Podcasts
  2. Audio Slideshows

Starting off with podcasts we hit the streets to find out if people knew what podcasts were and whether they were listening to them…

Obviously our first thought was ooh, what is a podcase? But after that realised that as we had rather a mixed bunch of results and that a good place to start would be to explain what podcasts and audio slideshows are:

Podcasts are: piece of audio (often an MP3 file) which can be listened to online or downloaded to your computer/portable device/CD.

What’s so great about them? You can choose to listen to podcasts whenever you want. If you’re out on a Friday night but an avid fan of BBC Radio 4’s Friday Night Comedy radio show you can either download or listen to it online via the website. You can fit in listening to the content you want to hear in your own time, whether relaxing at home or crammed on a commuter train a podcast can be there with you.

What kind of stuff might I find podcasts about? As well as broadcast radio shows there are also podcasts out there on everything you could imagine from serious news and interviews to reports from specific events, how-to guides and poetry. Whatever floats your boat they’ll be a podcast that is like music to your ears.

I’m a newbie, where to start? The BBC is a great place for podcast virgins to get some inspiration www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts. After hearing a couple of them I’ve found them informative and funny as well – perhaps I’m half way to becoming a podcase, which, just so you know I’ve now defined.

Podcase (noun): One who is rather enamoured by listening to podcasts.

Audio slideshows are:  As the cryptic name suggests this is a slideshow which combines photographs or pictures (static not rolling film) with audio.

What’s so great about them? Both the audio and photos can be used to enhance each other and tell a wider story than they could individually. Photos give the viewer an immediate sense of place, and audio can be cut in from news reports, music, or explain information around what is being shown on screen.

What kind of stuff might I find audio slideshows about? Can be used in any situation where a story needs to be told. Many focus on news, but others cover particular events like an overview of an art exhibition or perhaps a travel montage.

I’m a newbie, where to start? I was really sceptical about the value of the audio slideshow as a medium but, once again from the BBC, this piece : www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-11544807 about the Chilean miners made me realise its potential as a powerful medium for journalists to tell hard hitting stories in a visually stimulating way.

by Ianthe Butt

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1 Comment

Filed under Audio Slideshows, Podcasts

One response to “An Idiot’s Guide to Audio Journalism

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention An Idiot’s Guide to Audio Journalism « Audio Journalism -- Topsy.com

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