First and foremost: Invest in an audio recorder, preferably a high-definition one. Audio and visuals will almost always enhance your story, so learning these skills should be something of a priority, especially if you’re experienced only in print reporting.There are some basic editing programs that every journalist should know about, including Audacity (which is free to download) and Soundslides (which was created by the journalist Joe Weiss and costs $39.95, or $69.95 for Soundslides Plus).
Audacity is mainly an audio editing program, and it’s quite easy to maneuver once you play around with it for a while. Soundslides combines photos and audio, both of which have to be extracted from files on your computer. It’s also quite easy to use once you get the hang of it.Some quick tips when using a voice recorder:
- Aim for the chin.
- Don’t let your subject take over the interview.
- Stay quiet when the subject is speaking.
- Try to find a quiet place with not much ambient sound.
- Check your audio before you leave the office or house.
- Take extra batteries.
- Avoid the ahs and ums.
And, last but not least: Don’t stick your microphone into the headset outlet!
— Solange Reyner