Journalists' Toolkit

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A training site for multimedia and online journalists

Audio Resources

By Mindy McAdams Updated 22 Jan 2011

Gathering Audio

How to record interviews and natural sound.

Understanding “room tone” or room ambience:

Audio Gear/Tools

Digital audio recorders.

Editing Audio

Audacity is a free, open-source audio editing program for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Screencast video tutorials:

Printable document tutorials:

See also: An online tutorial for starting to use Audacity: Many more short Audacity tutorials linked on the left side of this one!

File Conversions

Convert WMA to WAV with Switch (video, 3 min. 7 sec.): Switch Audio File Converter is a free utility program that works on Windows and Mac. This video shows you how to use it.

Have you had trouble with the “free” version of Switch asking you to pay for it? If so, read this explanation of how to restore it to being FREE.

Ethics in Audio Editing

Journalists need to keep it honest — and accurate.

Interviewing

The better you are at asking questions and listening well, the better your story will be.

Narration and Voiceovers (VO)

During editing, you might add your own voice to the interviews you have gathered.

Writing a Script for Audio

It’s never a good idea to speak off the cuff if you are narrating a story.

A Comprehensive Book

Sound Reporting: The NPR Guide to Audio Journalism and Production: This is head and shoulders above every journalism textbook I have read. Fantastic emphasis on storytelling, and hundreds of real-life professional examples and cases. It’s also highly readable and not at all dumbed down.