From here on out, I vow to be a better listener. I can practically hear the laughter as I type these words. I think in many incidents, people do not actually hear all they are meant to. In audio journalism, sounds are apart of the story. Journalists use ambient noise, narration, transitions and good quotes to help personalize the story and appeal to their listeners’ emotions. I chose three audio stories to really listen to and this is what I heard:
This audio story is about an eighth grade boy, Joshua, who moved to New York City to live with his father. He is happy to experience living in the city and getting to know his father. His father was around while Joshua was growing up, but was never married or together with his mother.
Josh’s voice was intelligent and compassionate. I liked him right away. I felt a little sad as I listened to him speak. His voice was somber, yet hopeful. I could hear anxiety when he spoke of his mother’s intentions to move to New York. I liked how he sighed occasionally while speaking. The quotes in this piece are outstanding! Josh’s perspective on life is very mature. I heard him snap his fingers and slam a door, which I think added to the story. This story was a little short, but I really enjoyed it. My only other suggestion to the reader would be to include more “city” sounds or even some of Josh’s music, like Nirvana.
This segment is an unidentified man interviewing author Steven Johnson about his new book, entitled Where Good Ideas Come From. He writes of “eureka moments” or “moments of epiphany.” Johnson spoke of the Enlightenment Age and how the “lone genius” came from a coffeehouse and not a lab. He describes how good ideas don’t truly come from one person. That they happen in a “stacked platform”; giving the example of how the Internet came first, then the web and then Twitter was built upon that.
I intend to buy this book. I liked how the journalist played music referenced in the book. That was a nice touch and a good way to transition through the story. He was also a good narrator and had a perfectly soothing radio voice. A few times, while Johnson was speaking, the journalist would interject with an insignificant comment like, “that sounds about right,” or something equally mundane. I found that to be unnecessary and annoying.
This story is about a 90-year-old woman who came to New York in 1922 with her parents. They opened a dairy store and she has been making mozzarella cheese since she was 16-years-old. Her voice is endearing and I missed my grandma when I heard it. The journalist included great ambient sounds. I heard a woman speaking, traffic, sirens, bells, doors and customers can be heard. I felt like I was in the store. The quotes really emphasize the woman’s heritage and age. My only suggestion to the journalist would be to add a little narration. It was a little difficult to follow.
I learned that just because we think we are listening, does not necessarily mean we are hearing everything. This experience reminds me of listening to Paul Harvey with my daddy when I was a little girl. 🙂