Edited audio interview 2: Conduct & produce a good interview

NOTE: READ Kern, Chapter 13, BEFORE you edit your interview! Also REVIEW Kern, pp. 219–223. These pages will help you think in a professional manner when you are making editing decisions.

Conduct an in-depth interview with a UF international student. Details about your interview subject and the topic can be found here:

Pitch (document) for interview 2

DO NOT conduct the interview until AFTER your pitch has been explicitly approved by your instructor.

After you have posted the interview link here, you will also SEND THE LINK via email to your interview subject. We want your subject to hear your edited interview and make comments.


Edit the interview (using any audio editing software) to a length of (minimum) 90 to (maximum) 120 seconds.

Note: Getting the length right will affect your grade. If you want to edit a longer piece, like the examples in the Blog Post 2 assignment, you may choose to do so — but all the same requirements (below) apply. If you choose the longer format, the minimum length is 4 minutes 0 seconds, and the maximum length is 6 minutes, 0 seconds.

PLEASE NOTE that any other length is not acceptable.

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

Save the file as a mono 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 the student’s name in the title!

Write a short, accurate, interesting 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 the student.

Any reference to an assignment or class is NOT going to make your title interesting.

Other SOUNDCLOUD requirements:

  1. Write an interesting and brief description of the content of your interview — without giving away any key story points. In other words, don’t spoil the story by saying too much about it. Also, please use ONLY your student’s FIRST NAME in the description (again, so this will not Google for their name).
  2. Include in the description the full date of your interview and where it took place (Gainesville, Florida, is acceptable).
  3. Add several appropriate TAGS to the piece. No more than 10 tags, because more than 10 tags is like spam.
  4. Set the use rights for your interview. In this case you probably want All Rights Reserved to protect both your work and your interview person.

How to turn in your assignment for a grade:

Upload to your SoundCloud account. Write and add all the stuff specified above. 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:


Note: The contents of that file are similar to your assignment but NOT EXACTLY the same.

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.
  5. 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. MAKE SURE the student says what he or she is studying AND the name of the university. MAKE SURE THESE ARE CLEAR. Ask your student to say it all again, slowly, if the first (or second, or 10th) time is not easy to understand. Foreign accents can be hard to understand, but when someone speaks slowly and in a relaxed way, it’s usually okay.
  6. DO NOT START WITH the ID. Start with something that is interesting enough to make a total stranger feel like listening to more of your story.
  7. The length of the edited mono MP3 file is explained ABOVE, under “Overview.” The length is part of these requirements.
  8. SEND THE SOUNDCLOUD LINK to your interview subject. Your instructor MUST receive a verified comment from your interview subject within ONE WEEK of the assignment deadline. The verified comment can appear on your SoundCloud page with the interview, or the international student can send the comments directly to me at my UF email address.

DEADLINE: Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 8 p.m. (Your reply posted here must be submitted before 20:00:00 East Coast time 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 that you have the classroom at your disposal. So a very clever thing to do would be to all meet there between 2 and 5 p.m. on Tuesday and listen to one another’s interviews. You have until 8 at night to make some additional edits.


About Mindy McAdams
I teach courses about digital journalism at the University of Florida. I love to travel. I ride a Vespa. You can find me on Twitter (@macloo).

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