Small audio bites that are very moving

Students: It was great to meet you all today!

Here is a treat for you: Some very fine (very brief) audio interviews, paired up with very fine photo portraits:

What they saved when the wildfires took their homes

Tulsa World (daily newspaper, Oklahoma), Aug. 26, 2012.

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Edited audio interview 1: Demonstrate interviewing skills

This is an edited version of the interview you conducted during class, with a classmate, in the first class meeting. DO NOT use any other interview for this assignment.

Note: You must set up your own individual SoundCloud account, if you have not done so already. Make sure you have completed a profile at SoundCloud and uploaded a profile picture at SoundCloud.

Overview:

Edit the file (using any audio editing software, but likely Audacity) to a length of (minimum) 60 to (maximum) 90 seconds. Note: Getting the length right will affect your grade.

If you are new to editing, you should download this PDF: Super-Fast Guide to Audio Editing (6 pages, 290 KB).

Save the file as an MP3 and then upload it to SoundCloud. Note: Listen to the full MP3 before uploading to make sure the sound quality is good. Double-check the length before uploading.

TITLE on the SoundCloud page:

DO NOT put your classmate’s name in the title! Write a short, accurate title on the SoundCloud page (there is a box at the top of the page for the title), but do not include the person’s name. We don’t want these to show up in Google when someone does a name search on your classmate.

How to turn in your assignment for a grade:

Upload to your SoundCloud account. Make sure you click the SAVE button at the bottom of the page.

After you publish your file on SoundCloud, open the publicly accessible page for that file alone, copy the complete URL of that page, and paste it in a REPLY to this post, here, on this blog. If you paste a complete URL on a line by itself, it will automatically become a working link. That is what I want.

This is an example of a correct LINK to an individual sound file:

http://soundcloud.com/jaymar/winter-energy-use

Note: The contents of that file are NOT similar to your assignment.

Requirements for the edited file:

  1. Your edited interview must NOT include your own voice. No intro. No questions. Nothing.
  2. It must be interesting and also coherent (not rambling, not disjointed).
  3. It must make sense as a stand-alone audio piece.
  4. It must include a complete ID of the subject (in the subject’s own voice). This means the interview subject must say something like “I am” or “My name is,” followed by his or her first and last name, AND something that identifies him or her, which in this case is probably something about his or her current student status. But don’t let your person say only “I’m in the professional master’s program.” That’s not enough. Where? At least name the university.
  5. The length of the edited MP3 file must be between 60 and 90 seconds.

DEADLINE: Tuesday, Sept. 4, at 9 a.m. (Your reply posted here must be submitted before 09:00:00 in order to receive credit. I will have to approve your comment before it appears, so don’t panic if it says “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”)

Blog post 1: Analyze a “beyond radio” story

Go to the NPR website (http://www.npr.org/) and find a story there that interests you.

Requirements for the NPR story:

  1. The URL for the story page must begin with http://www.npr.org/
  2. It must have a “Listen to the Story” audio player at the top.
  3. It must have a transcript (linked at right side of the player).
  4. IMPORTANT: The audio story must be longer than 4 minutes (any length longer than 4 minutes).
  5. The date on the story must be within 90 days of the date of your blog post.

Requirements for your blog post:

  1. The length must be (minimum) 300 to (maximum) 500 words.
  2. Referring specifically to the assigned reading (Kern, Chapter 18), discuss the “beyond radio” aspects of this story on the website. Be sure to compare the transcript to the Web story text and comment on that. Be sure to listen carefully to the entire audio story. (Note: A smart person would read the chapter BEFORE selecting the story to analyze.)
  3. Include the headline of the NPR story in your text, and make the headline itself a link to the page where the full story appears. Example: Meet Peter Lassally, Late Night ‘Host Whisperer’
  4. Envision your audience for this blog post as a potential future employer.
  5. In addition to discussing the “beyond radio” aspects that appear on, or linked to, this story, you should ALSO suggest any other “beyond radio” items you think would be good additions to this story.
  6. Be interesting. Be intelligent.
  7. Write an appropriate and interesting headline for your blog post.
  8. After you publish your blog post ON YOUR OWN BLOG, copy the URL of your post page and paste it in a REPLY to this post, here, on this blog. If you paste a complete URL on a line by itself, it will automatically become a working link. That is what I want.

This is an example of a correct LINK to an individual blog post:

http://mindymcadams.com/tojou/2011/skills-for-journalists-the-basics/

Note: The contents of that post are NOT similar to your assignment.

DEADLINE: Tuesday, Sept. 4, at 9 a.m. (Your reply posted here must be submitted before 09:00:00 in order to receive credit. I will have to approve your comment before it appears, so don’t panic if it says “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”)

Note: If you say your selected story does not have “beyond radio” aspects, then you selected a pretty bad example. Use your head. Find a story that enables you to discuss the chapter.

About students’ WordPress blogs

All of the students in the professional master’s program set up individual self-hosted WordPress blogs in the bootcamp class this summer. Your blog represents you and should be professional in tone and appearance at all times. Some of your blogs do not meet this standard yet, so I expect you to take time NOW and clean them up.

In particular, it’s important that a first-time visitor to your blog is able to find (1) your contact info, and (2) your “About” or bio page, from EVERY page in your blog site.

You would be smart to explore the two journalist blogs linked above. How do working journalists, experienced and employed, present themselves? How do you measure up to them?

Please complete the following steps before our first class meeting, on Aug. 28:

  1. Create and/or clean up your Contact page; make sure the Contact link is easy to find from every page in your blog.
  2. Create and/or edit your About or Bio page; make sure that page is easy to find from every page in your blog. (Note: This is a different page from your resume.)
  3. Make sure the SoundCloud plugin is up-to-date and functional in your WordPress blog. You will be using this plugin several times in Toolkit 1 — starting in Week 2 of this semester.
  4. If your blog post pages are messed up (I mean that the design has been blown up or corrupted somehow — this is the case on SEVERAL of your blogs!), FIX THAT NOW.

I’m going to check these Tuesday morning before we meet, so don’t be surprised if I show your blog during class and make comments about it.