Understanding story structure in 4 drawings

You can learn a lot from a few simple line drawings! NPR’s Robert Smith explains the structure of audio news stories — from basic to complex.

Six ways to run a listening session

Helping people listen critically to stories requires more than simply pushing “play.

Don’t ‘radiosplain’ and other ways to report on communities that aren’t your own

We can all get better at talking to communities that are not our own. It requires listening, humility and the willingness to investigate our own biases.

How Joe Richman makes ‘Radio Diaries’

Joe Richman gives tape recorders to “ordinary” people and works with them to tell stories about their own lives.

A checklist to organize your story process

With so many different ways to tell stories, you need this.

How NPR covered the Paris attacks

A look at NPR’s reporting on the November 2015 terror attacks on Paris.

How to inject ‘documentary flair’ into your story

Infuse documentary-style radio into everyday reporting (even when you think you don’t have the time or material).

Audio truth killers: an approach to collecting better sound

The technical production of sound influences the editorial message in a piece.

How to edit with your ears

If you haven’t listened to a story and all of its sonic elements, you haven’t edited it.

6 NPR stories that breathe life into neighborhood scenes

Transcend scene-setting clichés. Here is a sampling of ways NPR journalists have done just that.

The fundamentals of field reporting with NPR’s Howard Berkes

Wind. Hotel rooms. Riding a luge sled. Prepare yourself for recording in the field under all kinds of conditions.

Rock and roll mixing tricks for journalists

Journalists can employ techniques music engineers use to quality-check and deliver final mixes.

Don’t let a ‘media error’ ruin your day

Loss of your best-interview-ever recording due to a “media error” message from your recorder can be devastating.

Before the first question: How to prepare for an audio interview

Follow this checklist and increase your likelihood of interview success!

Where can I find tape of …? Sources for archival audio

Not everything is on YouTube or easily surfaced through Googling. An NPR researcher tells you where else to look.

A guide for gathering vox for NPR — and doing it quickly

This is a printable and shareable guide to vox-gathering for NPR.

Active sound: How to find it, record it and use it

Active sound makes an audio story sparkle. It is sound that isn’t stuck in the background. It’s up-front. It shows character and action. Here’s how to capture it.

NPR’s Korva Coleman: Newscasts without panic

The NPR anchor’s guidance works for any public radio newscaster, in big markets and small.

Pitching to NPR? Our bureau chiefs share their process

From pitch to production: Here’s a look at how NPR bureau chiefs take stories through the process.

Writing through sound: A toolbox for getting into and out of your tape

Note: If you’d like to watch the webinar version of this material, scroll to the bottom of the page. We make dozens of small decisions while writing an audio story.

15 principles of show booking

If a good radio show is like a good dinner party, the a booker is manager of the guest list.

‘Butt cut what?’ A glossary of audio production terms

This is the technical lingo you need to know as an audio producer (or someone who talks to audio producers).

What NPR One can teach us about radio intros

The listening app holds lessons — both positive and negative — for intro writers.

Vocabulary for an audio editor: 15 things to say … over and over …

Editors, try these questions and suggestions when working with your reporters.

How NPR’s Carrie Johnson found her radio voice

For this correspondent, learning to write for radio required a special style of script-writing.

On deadline? Follow these tips to get on the air fast

Among these tips: Have “booty call” sources: They are always available and they know what you need.

How to use sound to make a news spot pop

Robert Garcia, executive producer of NPR’s Newscast Unit, shares examples of stand-out news spots and why they work.

Understanding story structure with the ‘Three Little Pigs’

In laying out a piece, the reporter should look for a story structure that keeps the listener paying attention.

Campfire tales: The essentials of writing for radio

Good copy effortlessly leads the listener from one piece of tape to the next. Find out how to accomplish this feat of writing grace.

Exercise: Imagining your story

Plan a story before going out to report it.

Dissecting a good radio story

See an actual script, complete with margin comments, from NPR host Ailsa Chang.

What does a radio script look like?

Not every broadcast radio script looks the same! But there are elements every script should share. And here they are.

Radio 101: The life of a story from concept to air

If you are new to radio, this post should help demystify the process. The first step may be the hardest: finding the story.

How a long audio story is different from a short one

Longer pieces are not just stretched-out short pieces.

Radio intros

Radio intros: 7 engagement tips to keep listeners from hitting the skip button

Intros are the most important feature of your story — here’s how to write one.

A day in the life of ‘All Things Considered’

Back in 2012, ‘All Things Considered’ host Melissa Block and producer Melissa Gray made this story about their own show.

How NPR’s Sam Sanders is finding his voice

Is there a typical public radio voice — perhaps a “white” voice? Is there room for new and different ways of speaking?

‘Would you say it that way?’ Tips on writing for your voice

Why is it so hard to write how we talk? Here are some essentials tips to capture the human voice in your radio writing.

From pitch to story: These 32 questions can help editors guide reporters

This checklist of questions will make your reporter’s story better — and editing it easier.

Steve Inskeep: Three songs that will change how you write for radio

Let Ray Charles, Bruce Springsteen and Steve Earle be your guides.

‘Once upon a time’ and other devices for starting your story

Every story has its own style of adventure. Here are different ways to take listeners on a journey.

Colorado Public Radio: How to find the perfect audio moment

If you really want to describe something in a compelling way, you’ll need more than great sound — a surprising, defining moment.

Read this before you record ambience in the field

When it comes time to record ambience in the field, it’s important to capture different perspectives. Here are five approaches.