2014 - Fall

Methods and Practice: Radio Reporting

Course Number: JOUR-UA 202, section 002

Day & Time: Monday 1:00pm-4:40pm

Location: 20 Cooper Square,652

Instructor: Farai Chideya

The first step in producing radio is learning to listen to sound the way we attune ourselves to important conversations: carefully and critically. Both words and “nat sound” – birds chirping; the beep of garbage trucks backing up; gunfire – are necessary to tell complex audio stories.

This class will offer the chance to master short-form radio news production in public radio’s modes, and offer a contextual overview of other radio news forms (commerical newscasts; radio documentaries). The foundation of listening can be applied to production this way:


L — Listen for sound, tone, and bites

I  — Investigate the meaning, context, and veracity of your sound

S — Script powerfully in your chosen form. You’re seeking a full story.

T – Tape/locate additional elements (intros, voiceovers, music, sound effects).

E — Edit and re-edit your elements until you’ve got the right piece.

N — Next steps post-production include distribution and social media strategy.

To learn to LISTEN, you must listen. As such, you will be expected to become a regular consumer of audio news and features.


We will delve not only into terrestrial radio, but the business and production of audio for digital distribution. Audio is an important component of web-based storytelling, and under the right circumstances podcasts are financially viable as stand-alone series; parts of larger broadcasts; and parts of multimedia franchises. Some podcasts, of course, later become their own full-fledged shows.


You will be expected to use the school’s resources (Edirol recorders & Pro Tools) to work on your assignments outside of class, although we will use some class time for production.