NPR Training
Storytelling tips and best practices

Packaging

You made good radio — now make good internet

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 before you get started — and to make the most of your time — you need to do a little

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

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 only slightly modified for web reading. But in some cases, when you have

A checklist to organize your story process

With so many different ways to tell stories, I created this checklist of questions to keep things organized. The list is a work in progress — often more aspirational than actual. Pitch time Is this a radio story, web story or both? (Consider content and turnaround time) What visuals would make this an exciting story

How to make great headlines

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 the ones that make people click — they’re the ones that promise great stories and then fulfill that promise. And

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

9 types of local stories that people like to share

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 the answer and came up with nine different categories: Place Explainers, Crowd Pleasers, Curiosity Stimulators, News Explainers, Major Breaking News, Feel-Good Smilers,

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,

Tips for creating shareable, local content

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 share their tips. Check out this Nieman Lab story for more information

How to pitch a digital project at your station

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 station is different, there is no absolute best way to pitch

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

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

We’ve heard this a lot lately: Fun stories, not serious stories, work on social media. But we’ve found otherwise. You can shape serious stories to make them shareable and more informative for the public. We’re not talking about watering down serious journalism — we’re talking about crafting stories for the digital audience. This happens every