Posted on April 3, 2012
Audio slideshows by journalism students
Sometimes it’s a challenge to find appropriate examples to show to students. Of course we professors love to show them work by top multimedia journalists — but that can be intimidating. Seeing good work by other students can inspire undergraduates to step up and do better.
All of these audio slideshows were produced by students. The links were submitted to a Facebook group (Social Journalism Educators) by educators. All gave their permission for me to post the links here.
Slideshows by various J102 students, Drake University (Des Moines, Iowa), nicely displayed in a WordPress blog — all are Soundslides. Most of these have well-edited audio, interviews with multiple people, and good natural sound. I found a lot of the interview audio to be too quiet, though. I should be able to hear your audio without putting on headphones. Submitted by Chris Snider.
These four slideshows come from students at DePaul University (Chicago): Something to SMILE About; Street Musicians of Chicago; Chicago: On the Record; Experimental Station Links Residents to Nutritious Food. All are Soundslides. I saw a lot of vertical photos in these slideshows — this is something all students do too much, in my experience. A vertical looks skinny and small in a slideshow, so horizontal images (landscape view, as opposed to portrait) are preferred. Submitted by Mike Reilley.
Service with a Smile: Taylor Young shows a lot of variety in the photos, including a lot of close-ups — which is great. You can tell the photographer spent time with her subject. There’s no nat sound, though, and the audio quality is a bit thin, as if the recording device wasn’t a very good one. This slideshow has been produced as a video and uploaded to YouTube. Submitted by Herbert Lowe, who teaches at Marquette University (Milwaukee). He also recommended this series (open each story to find the slideshow): How Service Agencies Work, from Inside and Out. They are also slideshows in video format.
Seattle Art Community Displaced by City Construction Project is a video (exported from Soundslides) with narration (part of a project called 619 Arts Building). I think it’s good to discuss with students whether they think it’s more interesting to listen to interviews or to narration. Let them think about it and decide for themselves. Of course it’s easier just to write a script and do your own voiceover — so a lot of students will do that if you let them! Submitted by Kathy Gill, who teaches at the University of Washington (Seattle). She also recommended Living Proof Diabetes Can Be Managed (video at the bottom of the page) and Preserving Music As Art: A Conversation With Theorbist John Lenti.
Growing Up with Black Forest Bakery (excellent detail shots! And captions! Yes! Captions!) and Dancing to Provide (I love this interview!) were submitted by Mark E. Johnson, who teaches at the University of Georgia (Athens, Ga.).
Ancient Musqueam language revived through hip hop won a Canadian Online Publishing multimedia award; it was submitted by Alfred Hermida, University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada). He also recommended On the Streets with the DJ Trike and Jonathan Igharas. I noticed that a lot of these traditional Soundslides have a headline written by the student(s) that is not very informative or search-engine friendly.
On 7th Street, an Unusual Veranda (a slideshow in Vimeo, so without captions) and The Forgotten Navajo: No longer a home (slideshow in the Flash video player), were both submitted by Yvonne Latty, director of the Reporting New York and Reporting the Nation graduate concentrations at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute.
The Magic Castle (Vimeo) should have been titled “The Mecca for Magicians,” in my opinion. Produced by a student at USC (Los Angeles), it was picked up by KPCC public radio. Submitted by Andrew Lih, who teaches at USC Annenberg.
How to Make a Tie-Dye Cupcake Cake (Soundslides) is narration only, no interview and no nat sound. Submitted by Kelly Fincham, who teaches at Hofstra University (Hempstead, N.Y.).
Architecture’s All-Nighters (Soundslides) was submitted by Gavin Adamson, Ryerson University (Toronto, Canada).
Update (April 6): Our students at Padjadjaran University (Bandung, Indonesia) made a Soundslides about a big demonstration against a proposed hike in national fuel prices: Demonstrasi Menolak Rencana Kenaikan BBM. Very nice photo variety and great nat sound. No interview, though (what a pity).
I’m often asked if I think the Soundslides software is still important — or should we still be teaching it? My answer: I don’t teach software. I teach journalism.
I still like Soundslides (a lot) because it’s easy to teach AND easy to learn. It allows the learner to concentrate on the story. I like it for other reasons too, but that’s the main one. It’s a good bridge to video shooting and editing. I like to require a caption for every photo so that students get into the habit of collecting names, ages, and other identifying information for all the people in their stories.