Audio Storytelling & Audio Profile Project

A few announcements first…

  1. The due date for the audio profile assignment is now after spring break — Fri. March 23.
  2. There is a Quiz 2 on audio next week, unless you are traveling for university-related events and then the Quiz 2 will be on this Friday.
  3. AAron Ontiveroz will be here next Monday (March 5). 
  4. We will do a Google Maps component to our Information Graphics unit.
  5. Please take the very short 5-minute or less survey for Dan Petty’s lecture on Google Maps and Tools. Go ahead, do it right now. I’ll wait.

Journalism oftentimes gives a voice to the voiceless. With audio journalism, you can hear the emotion, hear the ambient sounds, and hear the expressions of your sources. Now, we can do audio journalism online and not just on the radio. Before we learn about the logistics of audio, it is important to first understand what makes excellent audio storytelling.

Note that for the upcoming audio assignment, you will interview someone for 5 minutes and then edit the audio to 2 minutes. This assignment is designed to introduce you to:

  1. The planning and forethought that go into audio stories
  2. The technical and editing skills that go into audio stories
  3. The storytelling and narrative skills that go into audio stories

Story Corps

Story Corps is one example of powerful audio storytelling from everyday people. Let’s watch the introduction video on this page.

Let’s listen to some stories that you could use for inspiration.

William Lynn Weaver

Amy Sherald and Elise Pepple

Check out other stories as well.

National Public Radio

NPR provides the best audio journalism in the United States. Here’s an example of their reporting. Notice the journalist’s narration, the sources’ quotes, and the audio of specific examples relevant to the story.

First though, let’s read the print story. Then, we’ll listen to the audio story. We’ll compare the stories and discuss the differences as well as the similarities.

What feels different about the audio vs. text versions?

What do you like and dislike about the different versions?

What are the audio version’s strengths and weaknesses? What are the text version’s strengths and weaknesses?


Podcasts are also increasingly important for journalists and communicators to grow an audience and a brand. Let’s read a primer about podcasting and journalism.

You can also find advice about journalism itself on podcasts.

Advertisers and public relations professionals have also noticed that podcasts provide an opportunity for trusted podcast hosts to pitch products and services.

Let’s take a look at Pew Research Center data on Audio and Podcasting.

Do you have a favorite podcast?

If you’ve never listened to a podcast, here are some to search: NPR Podcast Directory, Wyoming Public Radio Podcasts, and iTunes.

My personal favorites are:

Audio Profile Project

Please download the instructions for Blog Post 4 – Audio Profile (Raw and Edited) and we’ll review what you’ll be accomplishing with audio!

Also, let’s listen to a student example of a raw interview and then the edited interview (Nicholas Robinson interviewing Jordan Blazovich).

Here’s one more example of a raw interview and the final interview (Acadia Munari interviewing Jeremy Vincent).


About The Author

I'm a faculty member in Communication & Journalism at the University of Wyoming. At UW, I have taught online journalism, advanced new media, introduction to mass media, politics and media, and alternative media. At Ohio State, where I got my PhD, I taught research methods, news reporting and writing, visual communication, and persuasion. My reserach focuses on political communication, emerging media platforms, and entertainment media. In my spare time, I love to play with my daughters, hang out with my family, cook, hike, jog, read, and blog.