picking the right media for a story
Here are the types of stories or aspects of stories that lend themselves to audio:
Emotions - audio is good for stories that are particularly emotional. The human voice especially evokes emotion.
Creating a mood - audio will set the tone on a story.
Reflection - audio is good for a story you want someone to reflect on, think about and ponder by listening, rather than watching a video as things go by.
Sense of a person - hearing someone's voice gives you a sense of who they are and creates an emotional attachment to them.
- Golden Homeless Voice - Columbus Dispatch. This is a video clip, but it's the man's voice that makes the story. See also the Dispatch's follow-up story and Lost Remote's posts on how the video went viral on YouTube and the response of the Columbus Dispatch)
Central place in a story - audio can take you to a place - in your head. Thus ambient sound such as common, easily recognizable sounds can take someone to a place.
- Why is BART so noisy? - Oakland North
If you compare the kinds of stories that lend themselves to audio with those that are good for photos, you'll see a lot of similarities. That's one reason why photo slideshows with audio can be very effective - the two types of media complement each other. Examples:
- One Thing at a Time - Shamus Ian Fatzinger - Fairfax Times
Readings and Resources
- Transformation to Digital Journalism - Audio and Podcasts - a section on audio and podcasts in another KDMC guide