By Jordan Muller
I came into the Next Generation Radio program thinking that audio storytelling was no more than recording someone talking and posting the story recording on SoundCloud.
In the last week, I’ve learned that audio can be used not only to supplement stories, but to also be the platform with which to tell the story itself. My technical audio recording and editing abilities were poor, and even after a week working with audio editing software, I still have a lot to learn. But I am confident that I now have the skills necessary to produce decent audio stories on my own. That’s not something I could say before participating in Next Generation Radio.
Telling stories through audio is difficult, especially in a non-narrated format. If there’s a glitch in your audio, or if your subject doesn’t speak in a complete sentence, you can’t write or narrate around it. But through this project, I learned how to let my subject tell her story through her own voice. There’s something special about hearing a person tell their own story in a way you can’t do in writing.
My goal is to be a storyteller, and to leave college with as many storytelling skills as possible. Next Generation Radio gave me the opportunity to share a story in a way that I never had before. And in a time when traditional media organizations are launching audio storytelling projects, I’m confident I will be able to enter newsrooms in my career with a holistic view of how audio can used creatively and optimally. And, I’ll be able to produce it myself.