No-Fear Guide to Multimedia
This page accompanies a half-day training session for
- No-Fear Handout (PDF, 424 KB)
This is the same printed handout distributed at the workshop. Right-click or
Control-click to download it. Feel free to share it.
Part 1: Audio
- Super-Fast Guide
to Audio Editing (PDF, 236 KB)
Includes instructions for how to download and install Audacity, a
free audio-editing program that works on Windows and Mac. You can print
this. You may share it with others in your newsroom too.
- Editing Audio with Audacity, Part 2 (PDF, 193 KB)
Skills for your later audio projects -- including multitrack editing;
fade-in and fade-out; noise reduction. This is more advanced than what we
covered in the workshop session, but you can easily add these skills to your
- BBC: Advanced Radio Tips
Don't let the word "radio" deter you -- these simple lessons (written
for school kids) are for everyone who works with audio, whether or not
you ever go "on air." It's one page that will help you gather and edit
better audio. Another
BBC page teaches us a lot about handling the microphone,
including when to use a condom (I'm not kidding).
- Audio resources page
Here are links to my recommended tutorials and guides to interviewing for audio
(and radio) presentation, how to edit, tips, best practices, etc. This
is a page that I update several times a year.
- Tutorial: An MP3 audio player for any Web page
Play audio directly on the page, whether it's on your blog or on your newspaper's
Web site. The player is free. All you have to do is copy and paste, and
upload your MP3 file.
Inspiration: Watch and listen to this
Soundslides from the Chicago Tribune. It might give you new ideas about
Inspiration: Download the weekly podcast from This
American Life for great
examples of audio storytelling.
Part 2: Soundslides
Download the fully functional demo version free: Soundslides
Works on either Windows or Mac. You can learn to use this program
and even publish audio slideshows without paying for it, but you should appreciate
that Joe Weiss quit his day job at the Raleigh News & Observer to support
and enhance this software full-time. If you start using it regularly, Joe
deserves to get paid.
Now available: Plus version. You won't need this to start with. It
has extra features that advanced users clamored for.
Here is all that you need to make an audio slideshow:
- The Soundslides software.
- One edited, final MP3 file.
- Your photos, already cropped and toned, saved in the JPG file format.
Copy them into a folder before you begin, and make sure the JPGs for this slideshow are the only JPGs in that folder.
How-To for Soundslides (NEW)
This illustrated tutorial shows you how to use Photoshop to resize,
caption and save your photos before you import them into Soundslides.
blog post links to four recent examples that demonstrate
the versatility of Soundslides. If you think video is better than a slideshow,
check these out and then tell me what you really think.
Read Tom Priddy's tutorial (PDF,
1.2 MB) for a great overview of how a professional photojournalist works
with Soundslides in his everyday job (used with Tom's permission).
well-illustrated online tutorial that explains how to get started
with Soundslides (from PopPhoto.com; they also have a good interview with
video tutorial that introduces you to Soundslides (by Richard Koci
Hernandez of the San Jose Mercury News).
Part 3: Video
- Make Internet TV
This free site can teach you everything you need to know, in small, easy-to-digest
- Using a point-and-shoot camera for your first videos: See a simple example. See the Mexican Wrestling video (awesome).
- Red Hot Rails
Click the Videos link at the top of this package from the San Jose
(Calif.) Mercury News to see how innovation has infused the daily work
at one newspaper. My favorite of the four: "Take a ride on the Alameda
- The Skater
From The Star, in Toronto, this QuickTime video about an Olympic hopeful
is worth the wait for the download.
- News Videographer
Angela Grant is a news videographer at the San Antonio (Texas) Express-News,
and this her blog, where she offers us links to and critiques of
online news video from many sources. It's a painless way to learn a little
bit every day. Just take your daily dose of Angela's wit and wisdom!
Cyndy Green spent 28 years as a TV news videographer. Now she teaches skills
on accessible, low-cost equipment to high school students in Stockton,
Calif. She shares numerous helpful tips and tricks for beginners in this
Do not start with a more complicated editing program, such as Final Cut
Pro. It's not necessary until you've learned what you're doing.
Where I Like to Buy Gear
- Amazon for audio
recorders, headphones, point-and-shoot cameras
- B & H for
microphones, video equipment, professional gear
Friend for cheap microphones, boom poles, miscellaneous gear
at low prices (and guitars too)
- eBay for anything
and everything (used gear is okay!!)
We like this site for camera reviews (and detailed specs): DPReview.com
- Digital audio recorder
- $70 Olympus WS-300M
- $200 Zoom H2 *
- $400 Edirol R-09
- Hand-held microphone
- $10-$15 Nady
- $100 and up -- Electro-Voice, etc. *
- Microphone cable (about $10, example)
- Over-the-ear headphones ($40 and up; example: Sony MDR-V300)
- Digital camera with image stabilization ($220 and up; Canon, Lumix and Olympus
models recommended at the low end)
to audio gear
This is a page I update often to provide links to specific equipment through
Amazon.com. Make sure you check around to get the best price. I'm not promising
you that Amazon always has the best deal. This is just an easy way for me to
show you the gear.
My blog: Teaching Online Journalism