This week’s Online Journalism session was all about audio: when to use it, how to use, how to use it effectively, why would someone listen to it and so on.
After starting with the worrying instruction – ‘now close your eyes’ – we listened to the Guardian’s Media Talk podcast on BBC 6 Music and then discussed what elements it was made up of, what was good about it and how we could apply similar ideas to our own podcasts.
The Media Talk podcast starts with an ident, a brief run down of topics and some samples of audio from 6 Music and news broadcasts on the topic. Host Matt Wells then introduces both guests Maggie Brown and Paul Robinson, with a casual greeting, and then sums up the story of debate. Each guests offers their thoughts and opinions, which provide a nice contrast of views, prompted at various points by Matt. Several smaller topics of debate follow and then the podcast is round-up with a ‘fluffy’, light-hearted story and a pointer to the website and blog for further content.
A good example I thought and a format I think will work well for Birmingham Recycled, if we can get some local people involved who can offer their thoughts of some topical environmental issues.
As a group, we summarised podcasts:
- Need colour and atmosphere
- Can be in the form of a debate/discussion
- Need compelling voices with something interesting to bring to the debate
- Unedited material can work
- Short and concise
- Editing is important – add music, idents, jingle, chunk into sections
So, armed with a little know-how in the audio world, we then set about recording a small snippet of audio in our Birmingham Recycled teams….the result will follow!
If anyone knows of any other good examples of podcasts, please point them out and share your thoughts on formats that work for you in whatever context you use them.