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Audio Journalism

Description

Audio storytelling has the power to speak to the imagination. Audio journalism applies those same skills to telling stories that matter -- locally, nationally and globally.

At the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, students learn from award-winning audio journalists and producers, a full complement of professional audio journalism skills prized in both public radio and podcasting: conceptualizing audio stories, reporting and writing for the ear, narrating effectively, and mastering long-form audio story-telling, story editing, audio editing, sound design, story pitching, the business of podcasting, and law and ethics related to audio journalism. Berkeley J-School audio grads are now working as reporters, producers and editors in top podcasts and national and local public radio.

Among the many things that set UC Berkeley’s audio journalism program apart are the school’s long-standing focus on social justice, and the ability to learn from the J-School’s Investigative Reporting Program, led by former New York Times investigative reporter David Barstow, winner of four Pulitzer Prizes. The J-School also offers classes in reporting on the environment, public health, and science, any of which students can learn to turn into effective audio stories for public radio and podcasts.

Audio students use professional audio equipment, provided by the J-School, and record in the Madeleine H. Russell Radio Lab in North Gate Hall, and in other J-School studios. Intro to Radio students produce an award-winning news-magazine show, North Gate Radio, on campus radio station KALX.

Students are also encouraged to pitch their stories to public radio and professional podcasts. Instructors help them hone their pitches, and work with editors in the Bay Area and beyond to find homes for professional-quality student work.

Led by Mary Kay Magistad, an award-winning former China and East Asia correspondent for both NPR and PRI/BBC’s The World, the J-School course instructors include Peabody award-winning producer Ben Manilla, Snap Judgment senior producer and managing editor Anna Sussman, a Third Coast Audio Festival gold award winner for best audio documentary, and John Fecile, whose audio storytelling and sound design has been featured on Love+Radio, 99% Invisible, WBEZ and Snap Judgment, where he’s now a reporter and producer.

Courses

  J212 Advanced Audio

The goal of this class is to produce captivating, narrative, long-form audio stories. Students will learn the fundamentals of creative audio, including: finding, mapping and planning narrative stories; successfully pitching major radio programs and podcasts; interview skills; editing and script writing for style. This class will leave students with a strong foundation for entering the emerging field of creative audio broadcast and podcast.

  J212 Advanced Audio II: Longform Storytelling

The goal of this class is to produce captivating, narrative, long-form audio stories. Students will learn the fundamentals of creative audio, including: finding, mapping and planning narrative stories; successfully pitching major radio programs and podcasts; interview skills; editing and script writing for style. This class will leave students with a strong foundation for entering the emerging field of creative audio broadcast and podcast.

  J219 MINI: Sound Design in Documentary Storytelling 9/2-9/30 *click here for class dates

This is a 5 week mini class: 9/2; 9/9; 9/16; 9/23; 9/30

This is an instructional course for students to learn how to mix and sound design documentary
projects in film and audio. The class will also go over how to use sound design to enhance your
storytelling, and how to approach documentary-making with sound design in mind. In addition to lessons, there will be small projects to help students apply skills learned in class.

  J219 MINI: The well reported podcast 10/7 – 11/4 *click here for class dates

This is a 5 week MINI class: 10/7; 10/14; 10/21; 10/28, 11/4
The goal of this mini course is to give students a strong introduction to the podcasting industry and podcast production.
Students will be introduced to the fundamentals of creating, developing, pitching and producing creative and compelling audio with a focus on what’s in demand by major podcasting shops and platforms.
Students should leave with a practical understanding of the industry and good preparation for exploring job opportunities in the podcasting space.

  J219 MINI: This Audio Life 11/11-12/9 *click here for class dates

This is a 5 week MINI class: 11/11; 11/18; 11/25; 12/2; 12/9.

 

Audio is an integral aspect of today’s media. Podcasting in particular is exploding in influence. In addition to radio and podcasting, solid audio is vital to effective video story-telling. Under the audio umbrella there are multiple career paths, all of whom play a part in well-crafted journalism.

This five week mini spotlights the many varied opportunities for J-school students. The aim of the course is to have students interact with practitioners, many of whom would be J-School grads. Professionals share with students the challenges and rewards of their profession. Video and audio examples illustrate best and worst practices. Field trips are a possibility.

  J275 Intro to Audio

Intro to Audio teaches students the skills needed to tell stories in sound.  You'll learn how to write for the ear; how to use words economically and powerfully; how to conduct an effective interview; how to gather quality sound in the field; how to deliver a spoken script professionally; how to assemble and mix audio stories; how to edit and work with editors; and how to have fun with sound!

Students produce their own hands-on weekly radio show broadcast on KALX (90.7 FM) and add real-life pieces to their CV.  Many stories from this award-winning radio series have been re-broadcast on stations and podcasts across the country.

  J275 Intro to Audio

Learn how to report and tell stories for the ear, with rich sounds, scenes, voices, and writing that pull listeners in and keep them listening. This class teaches the basics of audio journalism: how to choose, plan and report your story; do effective audio interviews; gather great sound and scenes; write for the ear; what audio equipment to use in different circumstances; how to edit and mix audio; and how to use audio effectively within any journalistic story.  Students taking this class with J200 can report the same story for both classes, providing they record in the field while reporting their J200 stories. Students will work toward placing their stories on J-School podcasts, and possibly on local public radio stations. Course Material fee is $40. The fee is charged to the student account the fifth week of classes. Fees are used to maintain equipment used in the course.

  J275 Intro to Audio

J275:  Intro to Audio: Learn how to report and tell stories for the ear, with rich sounds, scenes, voices, and writing that pull listeners in and keep them listening. This class teaches the basics of audio journalism: how to choose, plan and report your story, do effective audio interviews, gather great sound and scenes, write for the ear, familiarize yourself with what audio equipment to use in different circumstances, edit and mix audio, and learn how to produce a live radio show in the KALX campus station’s studio.  Students will also pitch to San Francisco public radio station KALW.

  J276 – Audio on Assignment

Audio on Assignment (Advanced Audio I Reporting)

Course Description

Assigned stories are part of life as a professional journalist.  This course teaches students how to be creative, resourceful and rigorous in pursuing a wide range of stories, of the sort students could be expected to do as public radio journalists.  Students in this class will report early and often, building on their existing audio journalism skills and honing their ability tell mid-length (5-12 minute) audio journalism stories well.  Guest-speakers will include award-winning audio journalists and editors, who will share tips for making audio stories memorable and impactful.

Learning Objectives

Students who successfully complete this course should be able to function as professional public radio reporters.  Close editing and substantive feedback will help students improve their ability to conceptualize and pitch audio stories, and report, structure, write, narrate, edit and mix those stories.  First Year students who complete this course will have a varied portfolio of audio work to share with potential employers for internships.  They will also be well-positioned to do their MA final project in audio.  Second Year students who complete this course will similarly be able to share a varied portfolio of audio work with potential employers in public radio and podcasting.

NB: Prerequisite for this class: J275: Intro to Audio. Those with other previous audio journalism experience can see instructor for a waiver to this prerequisite. 

Instructors

John Fecile

Lecturer

Ben Manilla

Lecturer

Kara Platoni

Lecturer

Anna Sussman

Lecturer

AUDIO JOURNALISM

Student Work

North Gate Radio is a weekly radio show produced by the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley. Listen to shows from the 2016-17 school year.

J-SCHOOL ADMISSIONS

Apply Today

Application deadline: December 2nd at 8:59 pm PST
Application available September.

FOR UNDERGRADUATES

Summer Minor Program

FOR MID-CAREER JOURNALISTS

Workshops & Custom Training Programs