Sound Reporting: The NPR Guide to Audio Journalism and Production

University of Chicago Press
Free sample

Perhaps you’ve always wondered how public radio gets that smooth, well-crafted sound. Maybe you’re thinking about starting a podcast, and want some tips from the pros. Or maybe storytelling has always been a passion of yours, and you want to learn to do it more effectively. Whatever the case—whether you’re an avid NPR listener or you aspire to create your own audio, or both—Sound Reporting: The NPR Guide to Audio Journalism and Production will give you a rare tour of the world of a professional broadcaster.
Jonathan Kern, who has trained NPR’s on-air staff for years, is a gifted guide, able to narrate a day in the life of a host and lay out the nuts and bolts of production with equal wit and warmth. Along the way, he explains the importance of writing the way you speak, reveals how NPR books guests ranging from world leaders to neighborhood newsmakers, and gives sage advice on everything from proposing stories to editors to maintaining balance and objectivity. Best of all—because NPR wouldn’t be NPR without its array of distinctive voices—lively examples from popular shows and colorful anecdotes from favorite personalities animate each chapter.
As public radio’s audience of millions can attest, NPR’s unique guiding principles and technical expertise combine to connect with listeners like no other medium can. With today’s technologies allowing more people to turn their home computers into broadcast studios, Sound Reporting couldn’t have arrived at a better moment to reveal the secrets behind the story of NPR’s success.
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About the author

Jonathan Kern is the executive producer for training at NPR. He has worked in almost every position in radio news, including executive producer of All Things Considered.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Jul 9, 2012
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Pages
380
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ISBN
9780226111759
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Journalism
Technology & Engineering / General
Technology & Engineering / Radio
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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At the turn of the twentieth century, ambitious publishers like Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolph Hearst, and Robert McCormick produced the most spectacular newspapers Americans had ever read. Alongside current events and classified ads, publishers began running comic strips, sports sections, women’s pages, and Sunday magazines. Newspapers’ lavish illustrations, colorful dialogue, and sensational stories seemed to reproduce city life on the page.

Yet as Julia Guarneri reveals, newspapers did not simply report on cities; they also helped to build them. Metropolitan sections and civic campaigns crafted cohesive identities for sprawling metropolises. Real estate sections boosted the suburbs, expanding metropolitan areas while maintaining cities’ roles as economic and information hubs. Advice columns and advertisements helped assimilate migrants and immigrants to a class-conscious, consumerist, and cosmopolitan urban culture.

Newsprint Metropolis offers a tour of American newspapers in their most creative and vital decades. It traces newspapers’ evolution into highly commercial, mass-produced media, and assesses what was gained and lost as national syndicates began providing more of Americans’ news. Case studies of Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and Milwaukee illuminate the intertwined histories of newspapers and the cities they served. In an era when the American press is under attack, Newsprint Metropolis reminds us how papers once hosted public conversations and nurtured collective identities in cities across America.

In July 1997, twenty-five of America's most influential journalists sat down to try and discover what had happened to their profession in the years between Watergate and Whitewater. What they knew was that the public no longer trusted the press as it once had. They were keenly aware of the pressures that advertisers and new technologies were putting on newsrooms around the country. But, more than anything, they were aware that readers, listeners, and viewers — the people who use the news — were turning away from it in droves.

There were many reasons for the public's growing lack of trust. On television, there were the ads that looked like news shows and programs that presented gossip and press releases as if they were news. There were the "docudramas," television movies that were an uneasy blend of fact and fiction and which purported to show viewers how events had "really" happened. At newspapers and magazines, celebrity was replacing news, newsroom budgets were being slashed, and editors were pushing journalists for more "edge" and "attitude" in place of reporting. And, on the radio, powerful talk personalities led their listeners from sensation to sensation, from fact to fantasy, while deriding traditional journalism. Fact was blending with fiction, news with entertainment, journalism with rumor.

Calling themselves the Committee of Concerned Journalists, the twenty-five determined to find how the news had found itself in this state. Drawn from the committee's years of intensive research, dozens of surveys of readers, listeners, viewers, editors, and journalists, and more than one hundred intensive interviews with journalists and editors, The Elements of Journalism is the first book ever to spell out — both for those who create and those who consume the news — the principles and responsibilities of journalism. Written by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, two of the nation's preeminent press critics, this is one of the most provocative books about the role of information in society in more than a generation and one of the most important ever written about news. By offering in turn each of the principles that should govern reporting, Kovach and Rosenstiel show how some of the most common conceptions about the press, such as neutrality, fairness, and balance, are actually modern misconceptions. They also spell out how the news should be gathered, written, and reported even as they demonstrate why the First Amendment is on the brink of becoming a commercial right rather than something any American citizen can enjoy.

The Elements of Journalism is already igniting a national dialogue on issues vital to us all. This book will be the starting point for discussions by journalists and members of the public about the nature of journalism and the access that we all enjoy to information for years to come.
Forty years after Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson, and Gay Talese launched the New Journalism movement, Robert S. Boynton sits down with nineteen practitioners of what he calls the New New Journalism to discuss their methods, writings and careers.

The New New Journalists are first and foremost brilliant reporters who immerse themselves completely in their subjects. Jon Krakauer accompanies a mountaineering expedition to Everest. Ted Conover works for nearly a year as a prison guard. Susan Orlean follows orchid fanciers to reveal an obsessive subculture few knew existed. Adrian Nicole LeBlanc spends nearly a decade reporting on a family in the South Bronx. And like their muckraking early twentieth-century precursors, they are drawn to the most pressing issues of the day: Alex Kotlowitz, Leon Dash, and William Finnegan to race and class; Ron Rosenbaum to the problem of evil; Michael Lewis to boom-and-bust economies; Richard Ben Cramer to the nitty gritty of politics. How do they do it? In these interviews, they reveal the techniques and inspirations behind their acclaimed works, from their felt-tip pens, tape recorders, long car rides, and assumed identities; to their intimate understanding of the way a truly great story unfolds.

Interviews with:
Gay Talese
Jane Kramer
Calvin Trillin
Richard Ben Cramer
Ted Conover
Alex Kotlowitz
Richard Preston
William Langewiesche
Eric Schlosser
Leon Dash
William Finnegan
Jonathan Harr
Jon Krakauer
Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
Michael Lewis
Susan Orlean
Ron Rosenbaum
Lawrence Weschler
Lawrence Wright
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