Audio Storytelling


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


Pros and Cons of using audio for storytelling


  1. You can hear emotions.
  2. You can hear words and meanings better.
  3. You can listen while doing other things. 
  4. Presence and Immediacy
  5. Low Literacy Requirements
  6. Cheap and easy to produce
  7. Fast Learning Curve
  8. Multi-Platform Distribution


  1. You can’t see visuals.
  2. You can’t rewind on the radio.
  3. You might miss out on picking up some important information because you have to just be listening carefully.
  4. If you try to skip you will probably miss important information.

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 DirectoryWyoming Public Radio Podcasts, and iTunes.

What are some of your personal favorites?


Audio Profile Project

Please download the instructions for Blog Post 4 Audio-Profile 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).

Blog Post 4 Audio-Profile (due October 17)

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