Monday, October 31, 2016

Tips & Examples of Audio-Narrated Slideshow Presentations

Creating a strong photojournalism project requires careful planning and consideration. A well-composed photograph can have a strong impact by itself, but it can really come to life when you add thoughtful narration to it for your production.

As you start work on your audio-narrated photojournalism assignment, you should review some of the best practices and advice from these sources:


7 Photojournalism Tips by Reuters Photographer Damir Sagolj from Thomson Reuters Foundation on Vimeo.

For more image inspirations, visit these galleries and resources to see examples of the strong photojournalism:
Finally, there are some ethical considerations worth reviewing. In photojournalism, the "reality" can be altered by the framing and/or context (or lack thereof). Here are some good articles to review that focus on the ethics of photojournalism:

Visual Journalism Case Studies

The National Press Photographers Association (NPAA) recently published a four-part series that shows the results of a study exploring how people view, value and interpret journalistic photography. 
VISUAL JOURNALISM RESOURCES:
VISUAL JOURNALISM EXAMPLES:

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Audio Assignment - Create an edited audio news report or podcast

One of the basic multimedia skills that Web editors/producers use is audio editing. As you strengthen your technical skills for audio editing, you can use this knowledge to produce your own audio news segments, podcasts and even narrated slide shows. The same skills are also transferable to video editing (which shares a similar "timeline-based" interface).

NEW AUDIO ASSIGNMENT -- DUE  Thurs., Nov. 3

Write and produce an audio news or podcast production. Duration should be approximately one and two minutes in length. You may complete this production alone or with up to one other person on your team.

Tell a news or feature story with a production that includes a narration and/or integration of audio interview segments from at least two sources.

THIS PRODUCTION IS NOT A SIMPLE READING OF YOUR SCRIPT/WORDS.

You should include music or other production elements to bring the story to life. Some examples of existing productions are at the end of this post.

Use Audacity or another editing program to edit and "mixdown" this production into a single audio file that will be posted on your genre-specific blog.You can use a file-hosting service (such as SoundCloud) to create an embeddable version of your audio production when completed.

Please note that SoundCloud supports uploading of audio files in these formats: AIFF, WAVE (WAV), FLAC, ALAC, OGG, MP2, MP3, AAC, AMR, and WMA files.

TROUBLESHOOTING:

SUPPORT HELP FOR IMPORTING AUDIO FILES INTO AUDACITY

If you have recorded an audio file and wish to import it into Audacity, then first check to see what file format you have saved your audio recording in. (Note: Many cell phones and apps use different file formats -- so there is no guarantee that your file will work without it first being converted into a compatible format.)
If your file type for importing audio is not supported or working, you may need to install the free FFmpeg encoder.
SUPPORT HELP FOR EXPORTING AUDIO FILES INTO MP3

Some students prefer to export their files into an .mp3 file, which is a popular digital music format that is compatible with various portable media devices. Please note that .mp3 compatibility is not built in by default within Audacity. It requires that you download the external LAME MP3 encoder, which you can download for free.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

WEEKS 9, 10 & 11 SUMMARY & OVERVIEW


SUMMARY:

For these weeks, we will:
  • Review and discuss "best practices" in audio reporting
  • Train and participate in workshops for digital audio editing
HOMEWORK:
  • Complete work on the third reporting assignment  - draft due Oct. 25/graded version due Oct. 27
  • Begin work on the new audio assignment - due Nov. 3
  • Here are the chapters that we have covered and/or will cover (up to this point in the semester):
    • 2: Selecting and Reporting the News
    • 5: Libel, Privacy and Newsgathering Issues
    • 6: Ethics
    • 7: Basic News Leads
    • 8: Alternative Leads
    • 9: The Body of a News Story
    • 10: Quotations and Attributions
    • 11: Interviewing
    • 12: Writing for Radio and TV News
    • 17: Feature Writing 

Writing Assignment #3 - Traditional News Story (Wildcard Assignment)

Your new website needs even more content!

After reviewing the first attempts at "traditional reporting," it has come to my attention that many students still need to practice this important form of journalism. In particular, students should sharpen their writing skills to create content that is newsworthy and neutral in voice and tone. 

Thus, the third assignment is another written reporting piece in a "traditional news" style. What should you write about? You decide the topic -- but choose wisely! Make sure that the topic aligns with the theme or "beat" of the semester blog project.

Minimum requirements: 500 words

Sources: For our reporting assignments, there are rules and guidelines on who you can/should interview. For this assignment, you are required to interview at least two human sources. Citing other publications is not considered a source. Also, please avoid anonymous sources and do not use friends, roommates or family for your interview subjects.

For your story, please remember the following:
  • Pay close attention to the opening of your piece. What type of lede will draw the reader further into the story? For a more traditional "news"-style piece, make sure to communicate the key newsworthy details in the first sentence or two to establish relevancy.
  • Add context and perspective to your story by interviewing at least two original human sources. How will you weave the best quotes into your story?
  • DUE: Tuesday, Oct. 25 (Printed copy for peer editing)
  • FINAL VERSION: Thursday, Oct. 27 (Posted on team blog)
Criteria to be used in the grading will include the following:

  • Was the story relevant to the team blog topic?
  • Did the story include two separate interviewed sources?
  • Did the interview subjects add a credible, informed perspective to the story?
  • Was the source selection appropriate given the topic selected?
  • Was the writing quality and grammar acceptable?
  • Is there news value to the story topic selected?
  • Was the writing clear and concise and plagiarism-free?
  • Was there a summary news lead?
  • Was there a logical order to the information presented?

Monday, October 10, 2016

Audacity Tutorial


A very common program used for audio editing is Audacity. This is a free "open-source" program that can be used on either PC or MAC platforms.

Unless you are familiar with and/or prefer another audio editing program, it is recommended that you use Audacity to complete this week's audio reporting assignment.

Students will get basic training on how to record and edit in Audacity in COM 210. However, I've recorded a very basic refresher tutorial that shows how to record, import audio, conduct basic edits and export in Audacity. Take a look if you need a reminder on how to use Audacity!


For a more comprehensive lesson on how to use Audacity, please visit this fantastic tutorial (provided courtesy of kdmcBerkeley):
Here are some supplemental links and tutorials:
TROUBLESHOOTING:

SUPPORT HELP FOR IMPORTING AUDIO FILES INTO AUDACITY

If you have recorded an audio file and wish to import it into Audacity, then first check to see what file format you have saved your audio recording in. (Note: Many cell phones and apps use different file formats -- so there is no guarantee that your file will work without it first being converted into a compatible format.)


If your file type for importing audio is not supported or working, you may need to install the free FFmpeg encoder.

Digital Audio Editing - Sample Sounds Files for Practice Editing

For practice, you can download some sample .mp3 files (right-click and save):


Alternatives to Audacity


In addition to Audacity, there are several free or low-cost audio editing programs available for computers and mobile devices. One of the more popular options is Adobe Audition, which is part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite. However, there are several alternative audio editing programs that you can also use to complete this production.

For example, many Mac users already have GarageBand installed on their computers.

Other programs of note include:

Audio Recording Equipment & Smartphone App Options

AUDIO RECORDING OPTIONS

If you are interested in recording audio only, you have several options.

Direct-to-Computer Microphone

Many computers have a mic jack that allows you to directly connect a microphone into the computer for recording via Adobe Audition, Audacity and other programs.  Simply plug in your microphone and start recording direct within the editing program.

However, you might also choose to record audio externally and then "import" it into the audio editing programs.

Smartphone Recording Apps

Some students may choose to do this via use of a smartphone or camcorder. You simply transfer the recorded audio from your smartphone into the audio editing program.

Here are some options for iOS (iPhone) and Android devices. Some of these apps are free while others charge a small fee. Before you buy any app (if you choose to do so), please make sure that the app supports exporting your recorded audio files from the app into your preferred audio editing program!

Audio Reporting Case Studies

In preparation for your own original audio report for this class, you might want to listen to some examples from professionals and even previous students for inspiration.

Here are some examples of strong audio-only reporting pieces by professional journalists:
"This American Life" recently aired multiple audio segments detailing the story of Dr. Benjamin Gilmer and the dark secrets he uncovered as he assumed new duties in a small, rural town.
BBC Radio correspondent Kevin Connolly filed an impressive audio report on a British Libyan who was "willing to die" for his country's freedom. Listen to the following brief audio report and notice the power and impact of the interviewing techniques that are used to bring out powerful quotes and comments. Also notice that this particular interview has very few noticeable edits, yet the interview itself remains impactful.
In previous semesters, many COMJOUR 333 students have created their own small audio reporting segments. Some examples are below:

Sunday, October 9, 2016

WEEKS 7 & 8 SUMMARY & OVERVIEW

SUMMARY:

For these weeks, we will:
  • Discuss and review examples of the third reporting assignment 
  • Review and practice "summary ledes"
  • Review the "inverted pyramid" format
  • Learn tips and tricks in organizing the information in your traditional news story
HOMEWORK:
  • Begin work on the third reporting assignment  - draft due Oct. 20/graded version due Oct. 25
  • Begin work on the new audio assignment - due Nov. 1
  • Here are the chapters that we have covered and/or will cover (up to this point in the semester):
    • 2: Selecting and Reporting the News
    • 5: Libel, Privacy and Newsgathering Issues
    • 6: Ethics
    • 7: Basic News Leads
    • 8: Alternative Leads
    • 9: The Body of a News Story
    • 10: Quotations and Attributions
    • 11: Interviewing
    • 12: Writing for Radio and TV News
    • 17: Feature Writing 

Royalty-free and Free Images for your Blog

Looking for royalty-free and/or free images to add to your campaign site? Here are some sites worth checking out:

Interviewing Basics

A critical part of being a good journalist is also being a good interviewer.

Check out the presentation below to get tips and tricks on "best practices" for conducting an interview that gets the most information from your subject. You can use some of these tips to help bring out stronger quotes and better information for your reporting assignments in this class.



Experience-Driven Programs for Student Learning

Today in class, WSU Clinical Assistant Professor Ryan Risenmay discussed the many experience-driven program offered at the Murrow College, including the Scholars Programs, Solar Decathalon, Backpack Journalism and Global Expeditions.

See his full presentation here.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

What is Newsworthy?: Traditional Journalism Basics

Do you need a refresher on "traditional journalism" reporting? For this style of writing, you should aim to be neutral in your voice and tone. You should also aim to report on something that meets the criteria of newsworthiness (as defined in the presentation below).

This presentation was already given in class near the end of the semester, but it may be timely to review it again as you prepare for your third writing assignment. Here is an audio-narrated version of the "What is Newsworthy?" lecture for your revew:

About Summary Ledes


Examples of Summary Ledes


For your news story, you should use a summary lede. Here are some examples of strong summary news ledes.

British Police Arrest Nine on Terror Charge (from the Washington Post) - Use of "active" voice in the lede. 

F.D.A. Widens Safety Reviews on New Drugs (from New York Times) - use of active voice in lede; contextualizes relevance of news development (the "so what" factor)

The Five W's: Which Should Lead?

The same news story can be written numerous ways. The following are examples of different summary lead strategies for the same news story:

Emphasizing who:

Dave Benyl and Jim Conway are experts when it comes to broken cars, and they warn motorists to steer clear of highway construction zones.

Emphasizing what:

Until the $20 million construction project to improve Chandler Boulevard is completed, auto repair experts are advising motorists to find an alternative route.

Emphasizing where:

Chandler Boulevard from Kyrene Road to Dobson Road is not the place these days for motorists trying to avoid damage to their cars.

Emphasizing when:

The $20 million construction project to improve Chandler Boulevard will not be completed until June, and until then auto repair experts are advising motorists to steer clear.

Emphasizing why:

Because of all the nails, screws and bad bumps, auto repair experts are advising motorists to steer clear of Chandler Boulevard.

Emphasizing how:

The best way to avoid the bumps, screws and nails on Chandler Boulevard during the six-month construction project is to find an alternative route, auto repair experts say.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Second Writing Assignment - Due Oct. 4 (final)


Your new website needs MORE content! 

The second round of content for your site should be another traditional written reporting piece in a "feature" style.

For your story, please remember the following:
* Pay close attention to the opening of your piece. What type of feature lead will draw the reader further into the story?
* Add context and perspective to your story by interviewing at least two original human sources. How will you weave the best quotes into your story?
* Length should be about 7-10 paragraphs (e.g. 500 words)

* DUE: Thursday, Sept. 29 (peer review draft due)
* FINAL VERSION DUE: Tuesday, Oct. 4