NPR Training
Storytelling tips and best practices

Learn the basics

This website exists to help you hone your craft, learn new storytelling techniques, and better understand a new platform.

New to the world of audio?

Start familiarizing yourself with writing and voice here and here. Are you “cutting a 2-way” or mixing a “deadroll”? Teach yourself production jargon with this post. You can see here how to structure a radio script. Are you a new audio editor? Here is a handy checklist of questions you can ask your reporters. And if you’re headed into the field, read the fundamentals of field reporting first.

Want to become comfortable on social media?

Check out these guides to getting started on Twitter and Snapchat. Need help finding sources on social media? This post will give you the right language and this exercise will help you put it into practice on Twitter. If you need help on an engagement project, this guide on 6 Ways To Use Social Callouts is a good place to start. If it inspires you to try an audio callout, don’t miss these handy tips.

Not sure how to best create stories for the web?

The best place to begin is with your headlines. Well-written headlines are not only critical to reaching people on the Internet, but they’re also a terrific brainstorming tool. It helps to come up with a headline writing workflow that can focus your story ideas at the beginning of the process. When it comes time to create a story for the web, there are some basic practices you’ll want to keep in mind. And of course, it’s a good idea to use metrics to help inform your digital work.

Want to become a better visual journalist?

If you’re new to photography, start with the basic elements and language. That will create an important foundation as you learn more tips, such as how to make better images with your iPhone. Many of your stories will likely call for portraits — take a look at these tips to make them more than just “headshots.”