NPR Training
Storytelling tips and best practices


You made good radio — now make good internet

This post was written as a companion guide to a session at the 2016 Audio Storytelling Workshop in Washington, D.C. You’re probably here because you’re about to embark on a new, exciting audio storytelling project. Whether it’s a radio series or podcast, you likely have hours of recording, writing and editing ahead of you. But Continue Reading >

What it looks like when a radio story shines on the internet

Greg Myre is the International editor for Follow him on Twitter at @gregmyre1 Radio stories and text or visual stories are very different. Different formats. Different audiences. Different techniques. That’s why a strong audio piece often does not translate into something that works well for the Internet. People don’t like to read radio scripts that are Continue Reading >

NPR’s Emily Harris made this checklist to organize her story process

Note: Emily Harris is an NPR International Correspondent in Jerusalem. With so many different ways to tell stories, Emily created this checklist of questions to keep things organized. She kindly gave us permission to share it here. Emily notes the list is a work in progress — often more aspirational than actual. She welcomes suggestions for Continue Reading >

How to make great headlines

Colin Dwyer and Stephanie Federico are digital editors at NPR. You can save and print a headline tip sheet here. How can you make great headlines? More than anything, you need an interesting story. Even the greatest headline writer in the world will fail with a boring or confusing story. That’s because the best headlines aren’t necessarily Continue Reading >

This headline process can make your stories better

The exercise of coming up with a headline can also be a great way to come up with the right story idea. Here are a few ideas to get you started. While you’re at it, read this post to learn the characteristics of a great headline. Start brainstorming headlines at the idea stage Headline writing is an Continue Reading >

9 types of local stories that people like to share

Note: This post was co-written in 2012 by Teresa Gorman, a former member of the NPR Training team. It was originally published in Nieman Lab.  When you come across a story about your town, city or state, what makes you want to share it? We conducted an experiment using local stories from NPR member stations on Facebook to find Continue Reading >

How a radio show can make great web content

Teresa Gorman is a former member of the NPR Training Team. Taking time to make show segments more web-friendly is not easy for many shows. To hear more about how one show does it, we turned to Jody Avirgan. At the time we spoke to Avirgan, he was a producer for WNYC’s midday talk show, Continue Reading >

Tips for creating shareable, local content

Teresa Gorman is a former member of the NPR Training Team.  Writing shareable local stories doesn’t have to be complicated. The Local Stories Project shows that the tactics to create shareable stories cross state lines (all the way from Alaska to D.C.). We asked some of the current station editors involved with the project to Continue Reading >

How to pitch a digital project at your station

Teresa Gorman is a former member of the NPR Training Team. Question: I have the idea for a blog for my station. How would one convince upper management that this project is worth the time and effort? What tips do you have for pitching digital projects? We hear versions of this question a lot. Since every Continue Reading >

Open copyright: How to find images, music and audio

Jane Gilvin is a Data & Search Strategist at NPR. 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 photograph, music and other audio resources are available to you. The organization Creative Commons (CC) offers copyright licenses with Continue Reading >

With the right packaging, serious stories can be shareable, too

Graphic by Russ Gossett/NPR Note: This piece was originally published on November 13, 2013, by Eric Athas and Teresa Gorman (Teresa is a former member of our training team). We’ve re-published it here with small updates.   We’ve heard this a lot lately: Fun stories, not serious stories, work on social media. But we’ve found otherwise. You Continue Reading >

8 things to keep in mind when writing for the web

When you’re writing a piece for the web, here are a few points to keep in mind: Get to the point quickly Think about the people who will read your blog posts. They’re looking at it on their desktop or mobile device. They’re coming from social media or search. They’re also scanning through a lot Continue Reading >