Barbara McCann has been a journalist in radio, television and print since the late 1970s.
In this edition of “Podcasting for … (communities, journalism students, anyone interested)”, we talk about interviewing and writing for radio (and podcasts).
Along with reading, writing, recording and editing, Interviewing is one of the key skills for podcast and radio production. I write about them all in the book Podcasting for Communities.
I also wanted Barbara to share some tips on writing for radio. She told me about the first big lesson she learned.
“On my very first day back in Downtown Radio, the great Harry Castles handed me a press release and said “Write that up for me.” So, I spent about an hour writing five or six hundred words. This was for radio.” She laughed at the memory.
“Harry took it, God bless him, and sat down at the type writer – as it was then – and he wrote two lines. And I thought “Oh my Lord, he has told the whole story in a couple of lines.” And I learned from him, economy of words, especially for radio, is to have a couple of lines to get over the main story. It’s the main points. And that’s how I regard writing anything for radio or television. Just tell the story in one or two lines.”
As a final thought, Barbara added, “Also with no ‘big words’, as we call them. Your listener would be trying t work out what that big word means and miss the whole gist of the story.”
The book is for young, trainee, or student journalists not specialising in broadcast media. It is an introduction to “making content”, podcasting and broadcasting whether you want to understand production on a professional level or simply because you want to create podcasts for fun or add something useful to your CV.
It is a result of experience teaching radio production to journalism BA students in Dublin. Most, but not all these pages are the module and support notes. The book is part of the “Podcasting For …” project which includes podcasts and the podcastingfor.com blog.
Deciding on your purpose
The Production Team
Roles of the editor, producer, assistant producer, presenters, reporters, researchers
Turning the Prospects into the Running Order
Essential Skills: writing, reading and “marking up” a script, interviewing, planning the interview, doing an interview,
Recording in and out of the studio, equipment (studio, microphones, recorders), using a smartphone, using a digital recorder.
How to edit using a computer and audio editing software,
Programme making including structure, show notes, advertising, sponsors and other non-production credits
Podcast platforms, blog and social media, making the mp3 audio file, setting up your podcast host, registering with iTunes, Stitcher and TuneIn.
Digital Promotions, using Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Using more traditional methods of promoting.
Managing the online community Drawing up the guidelines
The first edition of “Podcasting for Communities” was published in September 2016. It forms the basis for this book but the name change is to make it clear that the expected audience and readership will be from community organisations. The “Podcasting For …” project includes the podcastingfor.com blog and podcast interviews with experienced radio and podcast professionals. Additional information related to this and other books in the “Podcasting For …” series is added regularly to the blog. You are encouraged to visit it and engage with the author and other readers. The book is mainly about producing audio content. It is also relevant to people producing programmes on local or community radio stations. Even if you are an individual who wants to learn and produce a solo podcast, or a couple or three friends who want to record a weekly discussion, the information here will be relevant and I hope useful to you. The emphasis is on producing audio podcasts – or as we usually call it … radio. If you are new to the concept of podcasts, or already have some radio production experience then this book is for you.
Producer - Broadcaster - Podcaster - Writer - exBBC Editor - exTEDx Organiser. Author "Podcasting for Journalism Students", "Podcasting for Community Organisations" and "Firsthand Guide to Bled Slovenia" - all available on Amazon.