Skilful interviewing

David Frost interviews then President Richard Nixon in 1977.
David Frost interviews then President Richard Nixon in 1977.

An interview is a conversation with a source who has important information.

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Podcasts & audio stories


Australians are among the world’s most enthusiastic makers, streamers, and downloaders of audio content, according to this feature in the SMH.

The best audio stories are scripted, and if they contain an interview, the questions are researched and written out beforehand.

Immerse, script, and record – an example by Nick Bennett:

This simple story script contains intro, outro, scene-setting narration, and questions for people involved in the story, which is about a sculpture exhibition in the Blue Mountains. Watch the video first:

INTRO: Nick Bennett on the rainforest floor just below Scenic World in the Jamieson Valley, Katoomba. I’ve descended the world’s steepest incline – about 200 meters – in search of art treasure.

Exhibition Manager, Lizzy Marshall, good morning.

  1. What’s so grand about this location?
  2. What inspired an exhibition in the rainforest?
  3. What pieces really stand out to you?
  4. What materials have the sculptors used?

Like Bondi’s Sculptures by the Sea, I’m surrounded by sculptures in the Inland Sea.

  1. Are there any local artisans involved? (Terrance Plowright, Miles Davis…)
  2. What plans do you have for its future?
  3. How many visitors do you expect to have through?

OUTRO: Scenic World’s Rainforest Sculpture exhibition is on until March 11. I’m Nick Bennett – out & about for the Big Blue Breakfast on 900 2LT.

Useful resources:

Important to know! On copyright (especially relating to using copyrighted music in your podcasts and audio stories). Read Fair Dealing  and Using Copyrighted Music and Media in your podcast.

Links for CC-licensed music and sound effects.

Beyond your phone: Recommended podcasting equipment list.

NPR Training – Storytelling tips and best practices. – The best site on the planet relating to audio and podcasting work.

Some listening recommendations.

Podcasting by commercial radio: iHeart, ACast, and PodcastOne.

Homework task for next week:

  1. Plan an interview: who will you interview, and why? How would you go about it?
  2. Find a podcasting app or site that suits you (e.g. Podcast Addict (Android), Apple Podcasts, Spotify, ABC Podcasts, This American Life) and listen to something – we’ll ask you about it next week.

Intro to MoPho

Basketball, late Monday afternoon. Photo copyright Verity Chambers
Basketball, late Monday afternoon. Photo copyright Verity Chambers

In his video, iPhone photographer Emil Pakarklis explains seven really simple techniques you can use to make your mobile photography good. As with DSLR and larger format photography, the key ingredients are light, composition, and perspective or point of view.

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Great Instagram accounts to follow

After the party. iPhone photo copyright Verity Chambers
After the party. iPhone photo copyright Verity Chambers

As with any creative pursuit, it’s hard to become a great practitioner unless you look at other people’s work. By far the best way to learn to write well is to read a lot (and then write a lot). It’s exactly the same with singing, dancing, painting and … photography.

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