Tips from a start out multimedia journalist


We spoke to audio journalism fanatic Perry Santanachote who has been working as a multimedia journalist for two years in the US. She gives her essential equipment, Do’s and Don’ts and favourite podcasts and slideshows.

How long have you been working in multimedia?
I have been a multimedia journalist for two years.
What equipment do you have – what are your essentials?
For audio I use a Marantz PMD660 with a cardioid microphone and Sony MDR7509 headphones. I always carry a shotgun mic with a dead cat too, just in case the room is noisy or the wind’s blowing. I have a smaller Marantz 620 in my purse at all times. For photos I use a Canon EOS Rebel XTi. And I am addicted to my Sigma 18-50 mm MACRO lens.
A Flip cam is also always in my purse and has come in handy on several occasions.

What can audio journalism do that nothing else can?
Audio journalism encourages imagination like no other medium. In that sense, it’s actually the most visual form of storytelling. Ambient sound has the power to transport listeners and paint a vivid scene in a way that a photo alone can’t. And on the web, audio provides the narrative spine necessary for linear multimedia production.

Do you have any favourite audio journalists or pieces of work?
Do you listen to any podcasts – what are your favourites? 

  • On the Media
  • The Moth
  • Radio Diaries
  • World Vision Report
  • Public Radio Exchange
  • Transom
  • Third Coast International Audio Festival


Finally, what are your Do’s and Don’ts for producing audio journalism?
DO transcribe.
DO use short, neutral and open-ended questions.
DO always ask “how” and “why.”
DO know when to shut up and engage with your eyes.
DO wear headphones. Ear buds won’t do.
DON’T ever record in a gymnasium or a hallway.
DON’T forget to pack extra batteries.
DON’T waste time. Pre-interview and tell the interviewee exactly what you need.
DON’T produce a story if the character’s a bore. Ninety-nine percent of a good audio story is a good character.

Check out Perry’s website at


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Filed under Audio Slideshows, Equipment, Interviews, Podcasts

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