Practice Radio Interview

Act: Look what I drew its Sponge Bob

Host Intro – With many at home, young people are struggling to find ways to keep busy. This is George Sanchez and he will be telling us about his journey leaning how to animate.

Track: I know that animation is a passion for you. What is a way that you are continuing to advance your animations and trying to incorporate sound?

Act: This is how I get my animations audio.

Track: From where?

Act: I search up what the sound I am trying to find on YouTube and wherever I find it I press record and (sound of storm)

Track: How do ideas come about for you and where do you gain your inspiration from?

Act: Inspiration mainly comes from videos I watch on YouTube of animators just doing what they do.

Track: This is Francely Flores from Baruch College and I hope that you also find an activity to dedicate your time to during quarantine.

Radio practice script and audio

Host intro: Under normal circumstances, welcoming a new addition to the family is both an exciting and joyful time for the entire family.  This is especially true for first-time parents.  However, due to a recent surge in Covid-19 cases in the state of Georgia and a new executive order by the governor, new parents here, like most other places, are unfortunately having to hold off on the many “firsts” they would typically be able to enjoy with their newborns.  One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the usual mix of emotions a first-time parent goes through before returning to work.  Here is Esther Song with the story.

AMBI1:  landscapers mowing the lawn (ideally, it would have been baby cooing or crying, OR natural leasing office sounds. But the baby fell asleep just before the interview, and my friend got swamped with work on Monday so she recorded this at home on her day off on Tuesday.) 

TRACK: I am talking with Grace Sharma. Grace is a first-time mom who had her four-and-a-half-month-old daughter, Braelynn, just before the statewide shelter-in-place mandate went into effect on April 2nd.  Braelynn, a chubby, brown-haired, hazel-eyed baby is her mom’s mini-me.  She has just fallen asleep in her mom’s arms.  Grace’s voice is full of pride as she talks about how well her daughter eats and sleeps.  Today is Grace’s day off. Other days she works as a leasing consultant at a residential complex nearby.  She is really enjoying being a new mom, but she does admit there have been additional challenges and adjustments due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

ACT:  It can be kinda isolating experiencing motherhood for the first time as much as you love your little baby.  You are, you know, stuck inside a lot, and have a lot of nights where you are up by yourself, umm, and like with this pandemic, it has been more so because I haven’t been able to leave the house really, just been stuck inside a lot…  There are so many things I want to do with her that I feel like is not safe for me to do right now so that has definitely been more frustrating.  

TRACK:  Grace says although she is happy to be back at work, it wasn’t initially easy being away from her daughter all day.  She is thankful to have the help of her mom who has been babysitting Braelynn since she returned to work.  She does feel anxious at times, but overall, she feels it was a fairly smooth process for her and the baby and is happy to have a change of scenery.  

ACT:  Getting out of the house was nice just because I was stuck inside the house like nonstop at the very beginning of having her, and then when it would have been about OK to start bringing her out to stores and taking her to public places, that’s when it got really bad with pandemic, and umm, so having the opportunity leave the house for more than like five minutes going to the grocery store that was, like, nice, just being able to get out of the house.  But being away from her has been hard, and I wish I could take her to work, honestly, because I am so attached to her now and it’s definitely, it’s not an easy adjustment for anyone.

TRACK:  Like any new parent, Grace was looking forward to many of the “firsts” with her daughter, such as her first trip to the park, her first meeting with family and friends, her first professional photo shoot at a studio, and especially, taking her to Target, Grace’s all-time favorite store, for the first time.  However, she is holding off on those moments for now until the situation feels safe enough for her and her daughter.

ACT:  So I’m definitely most looking forward to just, like, bringing Braelynnn to do, like, simple things, even just going grocery shopping or going to Target which I love to do probably a little too much (laughs), umm, and I think it’d be so fun to, like, look at baby clothes and have like her right there with me.  Umm, yeah, and I would also like to do like a baby photo shoot with her since I haven’t been able to do anything like that yet, and umm, doing like normal things in life (because) we’ve been stuck at home so much and it’d be nice to just be able to like go places freely and not question myself so much whether I’m being safe or not so I’m really looking forward to that. 

TRACK:  Becoming a new parent is never easy.  But for first-time mom, Grace Sharma, the additional challenges and adjustments brought on by the pandemic has not taken away the joy and excitement of having a baby.  She is still finding ways to enjoy being a new mom during these unusual times.  She looks forward to all of this being over soon so she can enjoy it just a little bit more.  For Baruch College, this is Esther Song in Atlanta, Georgia.

Radio Practice Exercise Script

Host intro: with the increased coronavirus cases every single day schools across the country have decided to teach from online. Steven Hall spoke to one of these students trying to adapt to this new environment.

AMBI: joining Google Meet sound effect, and Gabriella typing on the computer.

TRACK: I am here with Gabriella Gutierrez she’s an incoming senior from Sachem North High School in Suffolk County, NY.

ACT Gaby: I had to do my work online through Google Classroom and I would get work every day and the teachers would text me the lesson. They weren’t really showing me on video so I had to practice and teach myself.

TRACK: She also had to miss sports during this pandemic and has been doing what she can to get ready for a season if school officials allow it.

ACT Gaby: I love sports and I like doing something else other than school work because I get to focus on something else. That isn’t school and I just really miss doing sports.

TRACK: Her days mainly consist of working and staying at home, she misses her friends.

ACT Gaby: I’ve been working, I’ve been working out. I’ve been going to the stores with my parents just grocery shopping, I go to my job, I work at Crazy Crepe where I’m a team member so I do a little bit of everything. I’m a cashier and I also cook. I don’t want to miss out on my senior stuff. I’ve been facetiming my friends almost every single day, calling them, trying to keep in contact as much as I can.

TRACK: As of recording, Sachem schools haven’t released a plan for the fall semester. For Baruch College, I’m Steven Hall


Radio Practice Exercise Script

Host Intro – With the recent pandemic known as COVID-19 spreading across the nation, schools have been closed down for the foreseeable future. While remote learning has remained a valuable tool for students to continue their studies, many young kids and adolescents remain indifferent to online classes and zoom sessions.

AMBI1: (Keyboard typing)

TRACK: Crystal Lin a high school student at Townsend Harris High School gives her take on this current situation.

ACT: It’s a little boring during quarantine cause all you do is stay at home but other than that it’s pretty good.

TRACK: Do you prefer going to school as opposed to online learning?

ACT: I like online learning because you could teach yourself at your own pace and you don’t have to keep up with the rest of the class. But going to school is also fun because you get to meet your friends and teachers.

TRACK: Alright well, good luck on your studies and hopefully schools open back up soon. For Baruch College, this is Wen Lin in New York City, Queens.

Class Agenda: Wednesday, July 29

Intro to Video Journalism

With video, we build on the compositional techniques of photography and the structural, storytelling aspects of audio with one obvious additional element: Motion.

How does video storytelling for the web and mobile differ from TV and film?

  • Need to be CLOSER to your subject. Web videos are smaller and more compressed.
  • 20 percent of online viewers bail on a video within 10 seconds. So you don’t have a lot of time to grab your viewers and make sure they stick around.

How important is audio?

  • Good audio is of paramount importance. If you have low-quality video and good audio, the video will still be watchable. If you have gorgeous visuals but terrible audio, it will not.

When is narration necessary?

Sometimes, you can let the subjects of your video tell the story all on their own — as long as you edit with care, presenting what they’ve told you in a way that makes narrative sense. One benefit of non-narrated videos is that they can feel more organic. There’s no disembodied voice stepping in to tell the story, which keeps the focus on the characters in the story.

But sometimes, for clarity’s sake or for stylistic reasons, narration is necessary, or text.

Narrated videos

Text-Narrated videos

These are more and more popular thanks to social media distribution because they automatically start playing as you scroll through your feed and they can be watched without sound.

Non-Narrated videos


Shooting Your Video

There are two main components to any video: your interviews and your B-roll. The rules of composition we learned for photography (thirds, colors, patterns, symmetry, etc.) all apply here, but you also need to keep an eye out for motion. Tracking shots involve following the action with your camera, while static shots involve keeping your camera still, but that doesn’t mean there’s no motion involved; you might just be letting the action go in and out of the frame.

What is B-roll? And what difference does it make?

A big difference.

Things to keep in mind while you’re shooting B-roll:

  1. Shoot more than you think you’ll need.
  2. Get a variety of shots. Close-up, medium, wide, detail shots, static shots, tracking shots.
  3. Use a tripod whenever possible. If you don’t have one or you’re shooting in a mobile, chaotic situation, be resourceful about stabilizing your shots.
  4. Think about your interviews and let them inform your B-roll shooting decisions. Look for shots that illustrate what the person is talking about.
  5. Hold your shot longer than you think you need to. A good rule of thumb is to hold it for at least 10 seconds (AFTER it’s already steady).

Things to keep in mind when you’re shooting your interviews:

  1. Frame the shot with your subject on one of the thirds, angled so that they’re looking slightly INTO the frame. Have them look at you, not at the camera, so be mindful of where you are sitting. It’s a bit intense when someone looks directly into the camera.

2.  If you’re working with a translator, be mindful that the subject will want to look at them, so make sure they are positioned in the ideal place to draw the person’s gaze.
3.  Prioritize good audio.
4.  Make sure their face is lit, but not too harshly.
5. Think about composing the shot in a way that allows for some negative space where the Lower Third will eventually go.

Obviously, you will be a bit limited in the types of video stories you are able to do at the moment. So here are some suggestions:

  • ​Aim to find stories you can report at home or close to home. Interview people you are already in close contact with. There are also a ton of internet/social media stories right now because so much human interaction and creativity is unfolding virtually, so consider finding ways to report on this visually via screen recording tools.
  •  Ask your sources to record video on their phones and send it to you. Make sure they orient their phones horizontally. This can include interviews you conduct over the phone or B-roll/video diaries done in the moment while your source is handing out free lunches at an NYC public school, teaching their child from home while struggling to work full-time from home, working a hospital shift, etc.
  • Use the Screen Recording feature on your phones to record video from your phone screen, or select “New Screen Recording” in Quicktime to record video off your laptop screen. Use KeepVid to grab videos off of YouTube, if relevant to your story. (Make sure to attribute any videos you grab this way and make sure you only use short clips to stay on the right side of Fair Use.)
  • Go out and film only if it’s filming you can do outside by going for a solitary walk or bike ride and from a distance of greater than six feet. Don’t use your wired lav mics to interview people in these situations. Under the circumstances, it’s okay if the audio isn’t perfect. Ask the person to speak up.




Audio Editing Workshop

Audacity shortcuts to know:

Play/pause: Space bar
Split track: Command I
Zoom in: Command 1
Zoom out: Command 3

In the tool bar, this is the selection tool that allows you to click and highlight and delete sections of track or select a spot where you want to split it:

And this is the tool that allows you to move sections of track:

And this is the one that lets you adjust the volume, basically the same way the pen tool works in Premiere for anyone who may be familiar with that program:

You’ll need to export the finished sound file before you can upload it anywhere.

In Audacity, it’s File –> Export Audio –> select “WAV” from dropdown menu and give the file a name and location, then hit “Save” and “OK.”

I recommend uploading to Soundcloud rather than hosting it on the blog. It’s free to create an account. Please post the link on the class blog by the end of the day.

Example Script

Host intro: With CUNY schools transitioning to online learning this week amid the coronavirus outbreak, professors across New York City are getting creative. Emily Johnson spoke to one CUNY adjunct about what it’s like trying to teach during a pandemic.

AMBI: Nat sounds of tea kettle boiling (FADE DOWN AS TRACK BEGINS)

TRACK: I’m here with Anna Ficek in her Brooklyn apartment, watching her make tea while she works from home. She’s a PhD student at the CUNY Grad Center and when she’s not working on her dissertation she teaches art history at Baruch College and Borough of Manhattan Community College, or BMCC.

ACT: ANNA: When I found out that everything was getting shut down and especially CUNY I felt extremely sad. Because CUNY is such a big part of my lie, such a great community that it was hard to feel that kind of dissipating.

TRACK: She says teaching from home has been a real challenge because of the way she runs her classes.

ACT: ANNA: It’s been very difficult to adapt to teaching remotely just because I really value the discussion I have with my students.

TRACK: Still, she’s trying to see this as an opportunity.

ACT: ANNA: What I’m hoping to get out of this is more time to really focus on what’s important both in terms of teaching and my own dissertation and my own research and trying to figure out creative problem solving ways to deal with these new issues that are going to come around like libraries being closed and inaccessibility to archives and how myself as an academic and as a researcher can get around that. So challenges, but also good challenges!

TRACK: CUNY schools will continue with distance learning for at least the remainder of the spring semester. For Baruch College, I’m Emily Johnson.



Upcoming due dates:

Monday, August 3: Radio scripts due. Individual script edit meetings and video pitches due. Sign up for a time slot here.

Wednesday, August 5: Radio stories due.


Radio Pitch

I will interview my friend Jessica Loraine. She is a Psychologist and I would like to learn more about what have been her personal and professional challenges during the pandemic? And how are her clients feeling being advised over zoom and sometimes only by phone calls?


Radio Pitch

  1. I was thinking to create a story about Millennials Using Tiktok due to boredom because of Covid-19. It seems millennials started using tiktok as a joke however it has become a new social media platform for us. I want to ask questions like why millennials like tiktok, how do you like tiktok compared to other social media platforms, and etc. (I would use popular sounds from the app)
  2. Or, I was thinking to interview my friend who owns several orthodontic practices and ask how business is doing during the pandemic and etc. (sounds could be drills for teeth)