Going into this class, I knew that I wouldn’t find the different forms of multimedia as interesting as I do print journalism, but if I had to choose a favorite, it’d have to be audio. Audio is much like print, at least in the way you piece it all together. You have your source soundbites (known as quotes in the print/digital world) and narration (which is pretty much all the writing in between quotes). The thing that makes all the difference is the use of ambient and natural sound in audio pieces.
This, I think, is the one big thing that turns me away from a career in audio, other than the fact that I can’t stand the sound of my own voice in my projects (but hey, who doesn’t hate the sound of their own voice?). In recording all of the audio for my two projects, I had the most difficult time trying to find sounds to fill the role of ambient and nat sound. It’s a lot more challenging than you might originally think.
In print, you also don’t have to rely on equipment doing their part. Yes, there is the possibility of a computer not working correctly, or an interview not being recorded properly (or at all). However, a well-trained print journalist always has a backup plan. Plus, if something goes wrong with technology, the audience doesn’t see that in the final product. In audio (and video), that’s not the case.
In many of my zoom recordings, I had to cut out many vital pieces to the story just because I accidentally moved the microphone or laughed or made some other uncomfortable noise while I was doing an interview. In print, I wouldn’t have to worry about that. I could still use the material because the audience will never hear my recorded interview. Those are my notes. Unfortunately, audio doesn’t work that way.
I’m not saying that I will never find myself doing audio again. Who knows where my journalism career will take me. Maybe some day I’ll find a great job where I work with audio for a living, and I’ll be able to look back at this class, the class where I learned it all first.