Audio Slideshows

A few tips and links we’ll talk about in class today.

Colin Mulvany, a multimedia producer at The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, advises visual variety, consistent audio, and good pacing. The drama is low key in this slideshow from The Seattle Times, but the visual variety makes it a compelling audio slideshow.

Rethink your audio. You have to cut down the length, yes, but you have other options. That nat sound you worked so hard to get may have a new place in the audio slideshow, since you’ll have photographs and captions to put the sound in context. Check out this slideshow by Brandon Ball, a student at the University of Tennessee. The nat sound helps tell the story in a new way. Here’s another example from The Los Angeles Times.

It’s crucial to always keep in mind the relationship between what we hear and what we see. Do be creative about how you illustrate your audio, but be careful of inappropriate matches between the photos and the  sound. Don’t show images of fun when your subject is speaking about something sad. Don’t use natural sound out of context — when the photos are showing something different.

Avoid these common mistakes.

More do’s and don’ts from multimedia whiz Mindy McAdams.

Wise words from Joe Weiss, the creator of Soundslides:

“The most important thing is not your photojournalism. The most important thing is not your audio journalism. The most important thing, overall, above anything else, amen, to the end of it, is the story and
how well you communicate that to the human being who’s on the other side of that computer.” Read the full interview here. And ask yourself: How well am I communicating my story?


About Lisa Phillips

I am an assistant professor of journalism at SUNY New Paltz and the author of Unrequited: Women and Romantic Obsession (HarperCollins, 2015) and Public Radio: Behind the Voices.
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