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What Makes A Good News Story: Fundementals of Audio Recording

November 1, 2011 2 comments

Developing a news story or interview that is appealing to the listener can be difficult unless you know what you’re doing. I’m  here to offer a view suggestions that can help you become better at organizing, creating and distributing a news story or interview with the use of an audio recorder. I’ll share with you the knowledge I’ve acquired from the “Telling Stories with Sounds” course I took just recently.

Key Points That I Learned

  • Planning the right story: When choosing a story you’ll want to keep in mind that places, people and things are all very important. Discovering stories with strong audio potential can help your story immensely, meaning, find somewhere with plenty of opportunities for sound. Anywhere that has a public event would work well. You want to capture as much voices, music and other noises as possible.
  • Research your subject: Before doing a story on a place, person or thing, you should take the time to do some research on the subject so you have some information that can help you with your story. You want to know as much as you can about what you’re working on so there are no surprises or setbacks.
  • Properly prepare for an interview: Talk to the person that you will be interviewing in advance. Make sure that the person is fully on board and ready for the interview and that they’re also someone who will make a good interview, meaning they’re interesting and have something important to say that will help your story. Have a script ready of what you want to talk about. Discuss when and where the interview will take place, what kind of questions will be asked and also share a little bit about each other, like why you want to interview the person, so you feel comfortable with each other and there’s no awkward tension. You should also remember to not only interview the main subject, but ask other people questions as well, such as family, friends, co-workers, etc. The more perspectives and opinions you can get will enhance the overall depth and quality of your story.
  • Pack the right gear, and enough of it: Bring what is necessary. Bring more than what you think you’ll need. Different jobs call for different types of equipment, so make sure you have the right stuff. Microphones, recorders, cables, headphones, batteries, recording media and a bag to carry it all in. Always double-check you have what you need, and then pack some more. You don’t want to be recording a crucial story only to find out that your battery is dead.
  • Recording in the field: Make sure your subject answers questions thoroughly, that they’re descriptive, and try to only ask open-ended questions so there are no short, dull answers. You want to be aware of your surroundings as well. Refrain from recording in places with unnecessary noises and distractions.  Make sure you and your subject are speaking clear and that the microphone is positioned right.
  • In the studio: Gather all the work you’ve done and finish the final product. Put together your pieces in order, edit sounds and voices, and add any other parts that are needed to complete your story or interview.

The main thing to remember in making a good news story is to plan your work and work your plan. It always pays off to be prepared so that everything can run as smoothly as possible. If you want more help in making a good news story, review the Basics of Audio Reporting for further information.