Final Radio Journal Prompt

Draw on the Priestman reading and at least one other reading from the quarter to design a community radio station here at UWB.

a) What principles do you see as  most important for a community radio station that can foster an informed and engaged citizenry?

b) Choose one aspect of what you would like to see a community radio station do at UWB and flesh that out. What would it be like? Who would participate? How could it reflect one or more of the principles you described above?

Post is due by midnight on Sunday

Radio Journal Prompt #8

This prompt asks you to think about your own story in light of the Howley and Meadows, Forde, Ewart, & Foxwell readings.

Please write a response that describes

a) What do these readings suggest the relationship is between social movements and community vs. mainstream media?

and b) How you can think about your own story in this framework – i.e., What political work can your story do? What social issues does the story speak to? What social movements might have interest in these issues? What organizations or groups of people are important to those movements?

Don’t forget to cite the reading and include a references section.

Due by midnight, Tuesday May 28th (long weekend!).

Radio Journal Writing Prompt #7

This writing prompt asks you to examine examples of micro radio stations and compare them to the readings on advertising, micro radio and media justice from week 7 & 8.

1. Choose at least two different stations to focus on from the list of examples below

2. Listen to the live radio streams and/or archived programming

3. Look at the station websites and how they present themselves

Q: How do these stations differ from other radio stations in organizational form and program content? How can we use our knowledge of commercialism and audience (Smulyan), micro radio and activism (Sakolsky), and media justice (Cyril) to understand how micro radio fits into the media environment? Is broadcasting without a license an appropriate form of civil disobedience?

Examples of unlicensed FM stations:

Berkeley Liberation Radio, CA:

Green Light Radio, CO:

Radio CPR, DC:

Radio Valencia, CA:

Listing of Micro Radio Stations (some current, some shut down by the FCC, some claim ‘internet only’ status…)

One recent casualty is Free Radio Olympia (busted by the FCC is 2012 and has yet to be resurrected?):

One that is still up on the FM dial but no longer streaming due to copyright issues is Freak Radio Santa Cruz:

Radio Journal Prompt #6

The writing prompt for this week asks you to reflect on how history can inform our present understanding of an issue. Please refer to the Smulyan and Scharito & Yell readings. You will be asked to apply the concepts from Scharito & Yell to Smulyan’s historical research.

Q: How did our cultural expectations about radio change over time? What exactly happened (based on the historical record)? Who were the major participants/groups involved, what kinds of actions did they take, and how have those actions shaped programming and content decisions? What did these events mean for how the media industry has developed? What kind of system would you like to see?

Due by midnight on Sunday, May 12th.

Narrative roles for character sound in radio news features

Character Sounds (sometimes called ‘AMBI’) are sounds that tell a story. Often this is done by weaving together the sound of tasks or activities that people are doing in front of the journalist. Since they tell the listener something important about what is happening (like a door opening, or a church bell ringing) the sounds themselves can become “characters” in the story. When character sounds are backgrounded under a voice track, they can become Ambiance: sound that is used both to smooth out multi-tracking transitions (i.e., “room tone”), but also to establish a “sound space” or mood, or to identify chapters changes within the larger story. The backbone of radio journalism is voice-over narration with choice interview clips, but using other kinds of sound can add life to a standard voice-only news story. If you have ever heard a radio story and you have a vivid picture in your head of a place, an event, or a mood, they probably used character sounds and ambiance to do it. Here are few of the most common narrative devices that Character Sounds and ambiance are used for in radio news features.

On location: Where does the story happen?

–Events: Go to an event and use sound to help us understand what that event was like

Wedding: Married at Last, KUOW, Liz Jones

Funeral: WPR Feature – Pentacles Now Adorn Wiccan Veterans’ Markers, Brian Bull, WPR

–Site visits: Go to locations where work happens

School classroom: Kids Find Path To College With Rainier Scholars, Ann Dornfeld, KUOW

Temporary post office: Compass Post Office Provides Mailing Address For 3,500 Homeless In Seattle, Amy Radil, KUOW

Church: Despite Census findings, rural poverty entrenched in Minnesota, Tom Robertson, MPR

From place to place: Telling the journalists story

Walking around town: Where Coal Divides, Community Remains, Ashley Ahearn, KUOW

Typical cases: Profiling participants lives

Going to the food bank: Unemployed Workers Brace For End Of Federal Support, Carolyn Adolph, KUOW

Sounds of a people: Cultural representations

Navajo pow-wow dancers: Free Press in Indian Country, Brian Bull, MPR

There are certainly more ways to use sound, but these are a few of the most commons ones. Have you heard other narrative devices in sound? Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of the post with additions.

Also, check out these great examples from past students in BISMCS 343!

Indeah Thomaier: 5th Avenue TheaterMP3 (4.3 MB)

Intro: The Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre hosts an annual High School Musical Theatre Awards Ceremony (sponsored by Wells Fargo), for over 90 high schools around Washington State.  Beginning in 2001, this awards ceremony has grown in size and scope, from a little more than 3,000 participating students to over 9,000 students from as far as Spokane, Chelan, Lynden, Sequim, and Vancouver.  Private schools, Public schools, Alternate Schools or Homeschooled—these students gather to receive recognition for their hard work and dedication.  What inspiration do these students possess to participate in such an event that brings all of them together to do this year after year?  Indeah Thomaier interviewed one high school in particular, Edmonds Heights K-12 (formerly known as Edmonds Homeschool Resource Center) an alternative homeschooling program for students, and asked the faculty, parents, and students about their views on how Musical Theatre has impacted their lives.

Patricia ElKoury: After-School Programs, Closing the Gap between ClassesMP3 (2.8 MB)

How engaged are your kids during the crucial after school hours? With so many parents working out of the home, many kids go home to an empty house. Maybe you’ve thought about sending them to do after-school activities, but feel like organized sports are a costly option. Let’s go to reporter Patricia El Koury to get the scoop on free after-school programs being offered in our area.

Adrianne Hashimoto: Making a DifferenceMP3 (5.3 MB)

The current state of our economy has forced budget cuts on many organizations in our community. These financial strains have in turn caused a rise in need for volunteers. While volunteer rates are beginning to rise, more help is still needed. Adrianne Hashimoto of UW Bothell Community Radio has the story.

Radio Journal Prompt #5

This prompt is asking you to a) apply the way that Schirato connects signs (like language) with power (i.e., identity, culture, ideology, hegemony) to b) two different stories about the topic that you are doing your interview segment on. We have talked about how you are engaging in the public dialog on the issue you are reporting on, and how you may be trying to shift that dialog through your story. This exercise asks you to think about yourself as a journalist among journalists on this topic, and articulate the work that your story does in defining what we understand as the truth on that issue.

1) Sample two stories on the topic you are reporting on. It is fine if these are ones you have collected already in the course of researching your story. You may also choose stories that rubbed you the wrong way for some reason, or inspired you to take on the story yourself. The only restriction is that they should be written/produced by people who consider themselves journalists. Be sure to include a link to the stories (if they are online) and a legible citation of some kind.

2) Analyze how the two stories present the topic using concepts from the Schirato reading.

3) Compare the way you are thinking about your interview segment to the other two example stories. How does your story differ? Be sure to employ the concepts presented by Scharito.

Now write your post with those pieces in mind:

Q: How does your interview segment contribute to the public dialog on this topic?

PS: Please be sure to site your example stories (with links) so we can look at them as well!

Interview Segments

Hi all,

A few words and some resources as you work on your interview stories that are due next Wed.

Examples for Formatting your Interview Segment:

You are asked to produce a 1-interview story with this assignment. So start setting up interviews with all of your potential sources now, and hopefully one of them will be able to meet in person for an interview in time for you to start producing this segment in time to submit it on deadline.

How you tell that story is up to you. With your Feature Story you will be required to use a narrative structure where you are the journalist telling us what is going on with this story (voice-over narration), and the interview excerpts (actualities) are used as material support for that structure. I would encourage you to use this format for your Interview segment as well, so that you get some practice with this format. There are lots of examples from Pacifica and NPR that you will be listening to before Monday anyway (for the Radio Journal posts), but there is also a great example from a student from this class in 2010.

Help: it’s a simple concept – Adrianne Hashimoto – This is a great example of a narrative-format radio story. Can you see how this is not presented as an interview? I love the ways to get involved at the end! Here is the intro script:

Help; it’s a simple concept. It’s also something we all need at times in our lives. How do we get it? Just ask. For animals, it is not that easy. Animals cannot tell us when they need more water or food, when they want affection or a when they need warm bed to sleep on. The animals at the Seattle Humane Society rely on volunteers to provide them with the necessities they need to improve their lives and find a new home. Adrianne Hashimoto went there for more on this story.

There are lots of other examples on the Interviews page of our course website here: Most of these are Q – A – Q – A format: the journalist edited the questions and answers together to make an interesting (and compressed) discussion that hits the high points and orders them in a logical manner. You will still need to ‘book-end’ your interview with some context or research-information, but the format follows an interview rather than a story narrative.

Did you find good examples from your listening to NPR and Pacifica over the weekend? Post the links to the stories as comments on this post and we can share good examples with each other!

Storytelling strategies:

The readings for next Wed will be VERY helpful as you edit your story, so do that reading early so you can employ those strategies. You may also benefit from the following video on storytelling from an NPR reporter here:

Finally, use each other as a resource as you are editing! Take the feedback from your Vox Pop and use that as you edit your Interview. And let me know if I can help coordinate time in the DML when you will be working on your projects.