NPR Training
Storytelling tips and best practices

Visual

How to hire an editorial illustrator

An example of editorial illustration by NPR’s LA Johnson. Originally published with this story.  Chris Kindred interned with the NPR Training Team and is an illustrator for hire. The internet is a very visual place. It goes without saying that if you want your story to stand out, it needs a strong photo or illustration of some kind. But Continue Reading >

These are NPR’s photo caption guidelines

Captions are journalism, too. They should be fact-checked and typo-checked. They should be complete sentences that present the who, what, where, when and (sometimes) why without necessarily stating the obvious (i.e., he sits, she waves, they clap). Captions give photos context, telling viewers what’s going on in a photo so they don’t have to guess Continue Reading >

A handy guide to making awesome photos

Kainaz Amaria is the former Supervising Editor for NPR Visuals. Follow her on Twitter @kainazamaria Visual storytelling is really vital to reach a wider audience. It’s how more and more people are communicating. This post will guide you through the most important elements of it. PHOTOGRAPHY IS A LANGUAGE What do I mean by this? There Continue Reading >

A guide to making better images with your iPhone

When using your smartphone (or even some fancier point-and-shoot cameras), here are a couple quick notes to keep in mind from the start: If you’re using your phone, using the in-device native camera is a great option! Don’t use Instagram/Hipstamatic or other programs that add filters — it’s far better to have the flexibility to Continue Reading >

How to ‘interview’ a big pile of data

When confronted with a big pile of data, these tips will help you find sense in the numbers, find story ideas, and ask further questions. Like interviewing people, these techniques won’t necessarily uncover a smoking gun. In fact, such analysis rarely leads to great insights. That’s precisely why learning how to quickly ask some basic Continue Reading >

How to make photos and radio at the same time

To do a good photo essay – while you’re also doing a radio piece – requires lateral thinking on the fly. In addition to thinking through questions and sound posts, you also need to figure out the visual building blocks you’ll need for your essay. Make sure to carve out time to shoot and maybe Continue Reading >

Open copyright: How to find images, music and audio

Have you heard of openly copyrighted materials and wondered if they are something you can use? This post provides a basic introduction to what open copyright is, and what photography, music and other audio resources are available to you. The organization Creative Commons (CC) offers copyright licenses with simple, easy-to-understand rights. Media with Creative Commons copyrights Continue Reading >

So you wanna tell a visual story … where do you begin?

So you wanna tell a “visual story.” Should you take a photo? Curate a photo gallery? Make a GIF? Edit a video? Illustrate it? Animate it? Put a map on it? It’s hard to know when to what! Pro-Tip #1: Know the difference between a story with visuals on it — and a visual story In a Continue Reading >

5 tips for making better images

 1. Drop the mic! Often times your best tape is also happening at the best visual moment. Luckily, your story will benefit if you’ve captured that moment in audio or images, but if you’re juggling your mic and your camera you might miss the moment completely. So, first things first, put down your microphone and focus Continue Reading >

Tips for making storytelling portraits (it’s not just a headshot)

Here’s the situation. You’re out in the field reporting a killer story and you’re meeting interesting people that aren’t necessarily in the public eye. You’re thinking about how your radio story could be presented online, and realize that it’ll help to give readers a view of who these folks are. So what do you do? Pull Continue Reading >

How to find great pictures for your stories

When it comes to stories on the web, strong photos can really help your story resonate with your audience. Just like putting together a radio story or written narrative, there can be a lot of things to consider to help make your visuals sing, so here’s a quick reference guide on when to consider visual Continue Reading >