2022 – Spring

Intermediate Audio Reportage

Course Number: JOUR-GA 1182.001

Day & Time: Tue | 2:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Location: 20 Cooper Square, Room 653

Instructor: Ellen Horne

PRE-REQs: Students will have produced at least one audio feature before starting this class.

Students in this class will learn how to produce longform narrative audio stories, similar to those you hear on shows like This American Life, Radiolab and Planet Money. Building on your news reporting skills, you will to learn how to turn richly reported facts and ideas into compelling stories – using many of the same elements as great fiction, like narrative tension, rich characters and complex plots.

The class will help students build new kinds of reporting skills, specifically tuned for narrative, such as: identifying good “characters;” interviewing for plot, emotion and character (not just facts); creating scenes; developing a narrative arc; building narrative tension; etc. We will also develop an understanding of how to build and manage source relationships in reporting situations that typically last longer and get more personal than news reporting – and how to tell their stories with respect and nuance.

The course will also expose students to the wide range of narrative audio styles, such as non-narrated audio stories (e.g., Radio Diaries), tightly scripted narratives (e.g., This American Life, Reveal) and more loosely scripted storytelling (e.g., Radiolab, Reply All). As students listen to and discuss these various styles, they will also explore which styles best fit their own preferences and skills.