from training.npr.org: https://training.npr.org/2020/03/25/its-not-a-chinese-virus-or-a-hindu-mob-ways-to-avoid-pernicious-shorthands/
Writing & Voice
“Chinese virus.” “Hindu mobs.” Using geography, ethnicity and religion as modifiers is questionable at best and dangerous at worst.
A spot must tell a complete story — no matter how complex or involved — in under a minute. It’s not easy to write, but we have guidance.
It’s the time of year when few local and regional news outlets (including public radio) are spared consumer-oriented, holiday-centric journalism. Here’s how to do it as best as it can be done.
You’re probably using these ubiquitous journalistic crutches without even knowing it.
Smile, remember to breathe and be prepared to improvise when you’re a reporter on a two-way.
Print and audio journalism exist in the same world — but the terrain is different. Let this serve as your map.
The Morning Edition host came to NPR from newspapers. His advice on audio: Forget everything you know. But don’t!
The three-act structure is the most basic organization a story can have. The number three has a sort of magic to it. It feels unsettled, so it propels things forward. Beginning, middle, end. This, that and the other thing.
To build a strong vocal presence for audio storytelling, you should practice a daily warm-up routine that involves body, breath and voice.
No one is available to read behind you and it’s nearly time to hit “publish.” What do you do? Call on the copy editor within.
A good radio hooks your audience. Here are five examples of great intros — and why they work.
We all know the classic “5 W” questions journalists ask: Who, what, where, when, why (and bonus, “how”). But you should also consider the six additional questions listed below, which complement those fundamentals. They are informed by journalism but focused on storytelling. Your answers to these questions may change in the process of reporting. That
The lead is the introduction — the first sentences — that should pique your readers’ interest and curiosity.
Short writing may not seem like a natural goal for journalism on the web. It’s easy to assume there’s infinite space to fill up, and if we’ve done all the reporting and have tons of material, well, why not? But just because there’s a lot of online real estate available doesn’t mean every story is
At this hyper-competitive moment in audio, it’s essential to grab listeners at the very beginning of a story. But how do you do it? Check out these explanations of different narrative strategies.
For many radio reporters — even some of the most experienced ones — the prospect of talking on-air with a host can be daunting. How can you clearly deliver your reporting when you don’t have total control over the questions and you can’t read from a script?
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.
Joe Richman created Radio Diaries in 1996. He began giving tape recorders to “ordinary” people and working with them to tell stories about their own lives. Joe also produces audio histories. A distinguishing feature of his work is the lack of an authoritative, reportorial voice; Joe is a master of the non-narrated audio story. His work has
If you’ve ever covered something like a school board meeting and thought, “There’s no way I can make this interesting,” let Linda Lutton prove you wrong. This post is based on a Third Coast Festival presentation she gave at the 2015 PRPD conference about how to infuse documentary-style radio into everyday reporting (even when you think you don’t have
This post was first published on the website Storybench. For scenes to succeed in any medium, they have to engage your senses. You smell the diesel fumes, feel the breeze on your cheeks, hear the anger in the collective voice of a crowd of protesters. These appeals to the senses are important, but often secondary
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.
Korva Coleman has been an NPR newscast anchor for 25 years. She originally compiled these recommendations for PRNDI’s 2015 conference in Salt Lake City. They are intended for any public radio newscaster, in big markets and small. 1. Prepare yourself before you get to work What news do you listen to? What websites and newspapers do
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. Many of them pertain to how the reporter/narrator gets into and out of tape. The most common way we write into tape goes something like
This information was gathered and written up by Sara Sarasohn, Managing Director for NPR One, in the spring of 2015. At the bottom of this page, you can watch our webinar for member stations. We are just at the beginning of understanding how to use the metrics in NPR One to learn about effective radio techniques.
For this correspondent, learning to write for radio required a special style of script-writing.
Say it’s 9:00am and you just got an assignment. It has to be on All Things Considered by 4:00pm. You may have to throw your dreams of perfection out the window, but you can still produce a satisfying story, if you use strategies like the ones described below. These tips are adapted from former NPR
We all make mistakes — this checklist will help you make fewer of them.
Robert Garcia is Executive Producer of NPR’s Newscast Unit. Here, he shares examples of stand-out news spots, and why they work. Deceptively simple A very simple Memorial Day remembrance story. Seemingly. Craig Windham masterfully weaves in the music and atmospherics from the Arlington Cemetery ceremony with clips from the President’s speech and beautiful, crisp
The two elements of a story are tape and copy. There should be a nearly equal balance between the two, at least in terms of their importance to the story. One can think of tape as the photographs, although that’s not a perfect analogy. Perhaps the analogy of two dancers executing a complicated tango; both
There are some elements that every broadcast radio script should have.
If you are new to radio, this post should help demystify the process. This guidance comes from Jonathan Kern, author of “Sound Reporting: The NPR Guide to Audio Journalism and Production.” It has been lightly edited. First, you need a story. That may seem obvious, but often people begin by proposing an idea – the
Jonathan Kern was a longtime NPR editor (among other things) and author of “Sound Reporting: The NPR Guide to Audio Journalism and Production.” What he describes as “long” are long pieces for news magazines — roughly, 6 minutes or more — but this guidance is helpful if you’re crafting an even longer story. The basics
Intros are the most important feature of your story — here’s how to write one.
I think the goal is for all of us doing radio to make is sound effortless. To keep our essence in our reads and make the listener think we’re “just talking,” while knowing that the journey to that “just talking” place takes a lot. A lot of thought. A lot of practice. And a lot of time.
Why is it so hard to write how we talk? Here are some essentials tips to capture the human voice in your radio writing.
When it comes to writing for radio, where does Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep find inspiration? In great lyrics. The structure of a great song parallels a beautifully written radio story. That was the subject of a talk Steve gave to the staff of Morning Edition. He played examples of songs that get right to the
Every story has its own style of adventure. Here are different ways to take listeners on a journey.