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Audio is considered the invisible medium, but what journalists forget is that “sounds allow listeners to see with the best lens of all, the mind,” said best-selling author Jim Stovall.

Without text or visual images, audio can produce a rich experience.

Karin Hogh, a podcasting expert based in Denmark, said that “audio journalism has characteristics that can’t be matched by other forms of media,” which are:

  • presence
  • emotions
  • atmosphere

“Using these assets, you can communicate your ‘personal’ perception of the events and add many facets and also take advantage of audio as a background medium,” said Hogh.

Audio journalism is a quick and simple way to distribute information via podcasts, which feature one type of “show” with new episodes available either sporadically or at planned intervals. The use of podcasts help build loyal listeners.

All journalists really need in order to create full-featured sound segments are:

  • a microphone
  • a recorder
  • a free software

Brief audio reports can also be created through the use of a mobile phone. This allows news journalists to quickly and easily cover news breaking scenes.

To get started in creating podcasts, one must record interviews. It is important to:

  • write a script
  • warm up
  • choose your location
  • gather natural sound
  • prepare your subject(s)
  • watch what you say
  • mark the best spots
  • always, always, always keep it conversational!

Keep in mind that “the goal is to record with the highest quality possible and then edit the files before compressing the files to publish and distribute it online,” said Mark Briggs.

When editing, look for audio-editing programs that are:

  • easy to use
  • have the capability to export files in MP3 format

All audio clips should be in MP3 format because virtually any computer can play an MP3. Briggs suggests using programs such as Audacity and JetAudio.

Try to experiment with different techniques to bring even more life into your audio. Some techniques include:

  • fading: a gradual increase or decrease in level of the audio
  • cross-fading: a mix of fades with one track level increasing while another decreases
  • establishing music: use of song clips to set tone
  • segueing: smoothly transitioning from one track to another
  • transitioning: connecting different tracks in a way that is smooth and natural

Visit PodCastAwards to listen to some award-winning podcasts.

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