My Reporting: What did I learn from the Audio Postcard?

I did post this audio postcard here earlier this week. It is an interview with a local chef and how he feels about his food. He was very excited to talk to me and in terms of an interview, he did well. But, if I could do it over, there are some things I would change about this.

In the editing room, there are some obvious things I’d like to change. At the very beginning after the introduction of my interviewee, there’s an awkward pause in my interview tracks. There’s still ambient sound going on, but as a listener, it feels as if I’d just been taken completely out of the interview. I bring it back a little bit, but the beginning is a very bad time to have a mistake like that. In terms of editing, that’s a mistake I’d fix. If that pause weren’t there, I think it’d make the entire thing better.

In terms of recording the interview, there are a few things I could’ve done differently. First thing I’d do is lower the mic intake volume. You can definitely hear that soft “pfft” sound throughout the interview. That’s an easy fix and a lesson I’ve learned while doing audio interviews. I think I’ve also learned how to become a better interviewer during this stretch in audio. Working with a high powered microphone that catches a lot of sound, I’ve learned to speak without speaking and allow the interviewee to run the interview themselves. With making the right facial expressions, the person can read me and they can continue talking about what they believe is interesting. It makes for a great interview.

I’ve really enjoyed my experience in audio reporting. I’ve already learned how to be a better reporter and how to ask the right questions. Audio is a key piece in reporting. It must be taken seriously. It has the potential to make or break an entire story. From what I’ve learned, audio can put people places. If you let people know that they are listening to an interview, the magic of audio is lost. The listener must not know they are listening to an interview and that is the point to audio interviews. I’m very glad I had the chance to learn the basic ways of audio interviews. I’m excited to take what I’ve learned out into the field with me.

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