Audio 2: An in-depth edited 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 Audio 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 a comment on the SoundCloud page. Read more of this post

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Blog post 3: Analyze an audio-only interview

There are 9 edited interviews here: http://transom.org/?p=35965 

Choose ONE of those interviews, and do two things before you start writing the blog post:

  • Read everything on the story page (some of the reporters had an interesting experience in finding their interview subject).
  • Listen attentively to the complete interview without stopping the audio. Most of the interviews are 6–8 minutes long.  I strongly recommend using headphones. If you use headphones, you will probably pay more attention.

After that, analyze the story you heard in the interview, and write a blog post containing your analysis.

The idea is that we learn how to tell good stories by listening to good stories. Read more of this post

Pitch (document) for Audio 2

Your “Audio 2″ will be an interview with an international student at UF.

The interview must NOT be conducted until AFTER you have made your pitch, orally, in class, on Sept. 10.

COME TO CLASS (Sept. 10) PREPARED TO MAKE YOUR PITCH.

You cannot conduct the interview until after your pitch has been approved.

The pitch assignment includes both a printed document and a presentation by you in class. “Presentation” is a little exaggerated. What it really is, is a pitch — to the instructor and your fellow students. (Covered in Kern, Chapter 12. READ IT.) If your pitch fails, you will have to re-do it within 24 hours. If your pitch fails miserably, you will have to find a different interview subject AND write a new pitch.

IMPORTANT: Before you identify your intended interview subject, COMPLETE the Blog Post 3 assignment. It will help you think about STORIES. Read more of this post

Audio 1: Edited audio interview

This will be 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.

Please read about grading criteria for audio assignments in this course. Those criteria apply to all audio assignments.

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. Read more of this post

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.

Overview:

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:

http://soundcloud.com/macloo/a-historian-finds-a

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.
  4. IT MUST BE A STORY.
  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.

Pitch (document) for interview 2

Your “audio interview 2” will be an interview with an international student at UF. The interview must NOT be conducted until AFTER you have made your pitch, orally, in class, on Sept. 11.

COME TO CLASS (Sept. 11) PREPARED TO MAKE YOUR PITCH.

You cannot conduct the interview until after your pitch has been approved.

The pitch assignment includes both a printed document and a presentation by you in class. “Presentation” is a little exaggerated. What it really is, is a pitch — to the instructor and your fellow students. (Covered in Kern, Chapter 12. READ IT.) If your pitch fails, you will have to re-do it within 24 hours. If your pitch fails miserably, you will have to find a different interview subject AND write a new pitch.

IMPORTANT: Before you identify your intended interview subject, COMPLETE the Blog Post 2 assignment. It will help you think about STORIES.

Choosing your interview subject (rules and requirements):

  1. The student must be enrolled full-time at UF now, in fall 2012, and living in Gainesville.
  2. The student must NOT be enrolled in the College of Journalism and Communications.
  3. The student must be in the U.S. on a current and valid student visa. Therefore, the student CANNOT be a permanent resident (Green Card holder) or a citizen of the United States.
  4. The student must have grown up in a foreign country or countries. Ideally, the student came to the U.S. specifically to attend UF. Note: U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States are NOT foreign countries.
  5. DO NOT select a student who went to grade school, middle school or high school in the U.S.
  6. It is okay if the student is from an English-speaking country — but those students might not be the most interesting ones to interview.
  7. The student must not be your friend or your relative, including by marriage.
  8. The person can be either a graduate or an undergraduate student.

The story (requirements):

The story you produce from this interview (or interviews) must concern some aspect(s) of this international student’s experience in the United States. It does not need to be school-related. It’s pretty open.

It’s a story you will need to discover by talking with your subject! (BEFORE the interview!)

What listeners should hear in your story is something new, something they did not know before. Listeners should have a feeling or a realization about the people from other countries who come here and live among us. Something warm and happy, or horrifying, or shocking, or sweet and wonderful. You’ll have to explore, by asking open questions.

So this is not about hard news or facts. This assignment calls on you to find a story in a person, and get that person to tell you about it.

Some people don’t have any stories. Make sure you find an international student who has at least one good story to tell.

The pitch document:

This must be printed before class and handed in during class.

The pitch itself (one paragraph of text) must be able to convince an editor that this person has an interesting story.

Your pitch document must include:

  1. The international student’s full name,
  2. Age,
  3. Home country,
  4. Type of visa he/she holds for U.S. study,
  5. College at UF,
  6. Major,
  7. Current degree program (e.g. bachelor’s, master’s, etc.),
  8. ufl.edu e-mail address, and
  9. Cell phone number.
  10. The story idea. Be specific.

Being a real journalist:

You need to find your interview subject, have some conversations, gain his or her trust, and explain very clearly that even though you will be conducting this interview for a class assignment, the edited audio file will be on a website where anyone can find it and listen to it.

It is essential that you not downplay or gloss over this fact. As a journalist, you MUST be able to get someone to talk to you with the full knowledge that he or she is doing so in a very pubic and exposed way. This person should be comfortable with you and willing to let you record and use his or her personal material.

The pitch you give in class:

Read all of the assigned pages in Kern for this week and use that information (especially the part in Chapter 12) to pitch your story. You will NOT be reading to us. You will be briefly and convincingly trying to convey why this story is worth hearing. You should be able to do it in 5 minutes or less.

DEADLINE: Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 1:55 p.m. (in class).