In this course students will learn to produce rigorously reported, sound-rich audio documentaries. It fulfills the second semester Advanced Reporting requirement. Students will develop advanced interviewing skills, an ethical grounding for working within communities, a sophisticated understanding of narrative tension and structure, and confidence in their abilities to to tell stories with sound. This course will awaken students to the possibilities of this form, and grow their abilities to listen as producers as they analyze and critique historical and contemporary professional audio documentaries representing a range of styles and journalistic approaches. In this course students will consider: Why do some stories “grab” us? What is “good tape”? What are the special strengths of long-form audio journalism, that set it apart from print and video? What are the creative and ethical challenges of telling compelling audio stories? How can the imperative to tell a good story be brought into alignment with the values of truth, fairness and responsibility to the communities we serve as journalists?
Throughout this course, students will be asked to carefully consider questions of diversity and representation and to think critically about the dynamics of power and privilege at play during the production, distribution and reception of audio stories. There will be a particular emphasis on listening together, providing feedback on work in progress in large and small groups, and developing the confidence and professional vocabulary required to give and receive constructive criticism. In this class, students will be expected to take creative risks and experiment with sound and form as they create audio stories rooted in journalistic research, advanced reporting and ethics. They will learn to recognize and critically analyze different narrative structures and styles, all while developing their own skills, style and voice.
This course fulfills the prerequisites for the following advanced, team-based audio production classes in third semester: JOUR 73452 Audio News Magazine: Audiofiles and JOUR 76009 Narrative Podcast Workshop.