Radio students who have completed the radio production courses listed above should have a basic understanding of the radio production process. The goal of the intermediate training is to give students a deeper understanding of each of the three phases of production–pre-production, production and post-production. Pre-production is the planning phase when you decide what kind of story your going to tell and what you plan to do with it. Production is when you gather your main elements by conducting audio interviews and gathering ambient sound. Post-production is when you put your elements together, ideally in a manner that reflects the plan you constructed during pre-production. Post-production may require additional research so that you can write and record the reporter’s copy.
Each phase of production is important. When pre-production is overlooked or ignored, you are less likely to get what you need to tell an effective story in the production phase. What’s more, you’ll run into real trouble during post-production when you try to put together your story without the elements that you need or too many elements to choose from. In the first instance, you may need to go back into production before you can finish the story. In the second, you may spend a lot more time editing than you hoped.
Intermediate lessons are typically conducted one-on-one as students gain the confidence to work on their own. Training in recording and editing must take place in the lab, but radio production students who are ready to begin working on their own stories can use the Pre-Production for a News Feature or Investigative Report tutorial to help them work through their projects. Additionally, the following worksheets and resources, which are also used during intermediate radio production training, are available to anyone who might find them useful:
News Wrap or News Feature Pre-Production Worksheet – A short checklist of things to consider before producing a brief and relatively uncomplicated news report.
Pre-Production for a News Feature or Investigative Report – There are many things to consider before producing an in-depth audio segment. This step-by-step guide will help you to produce a plan that will make production smoother and post-production less challenging.
Pre-Production for a News Feature or Investigative Report Worksheet – This is a condensed version of the above lesson. It’s a useful guide even to relatively experience radio producers.
Pitch Me a Story Exercise – Useful for the producer who hopes to work as a freelance contributor. This lesson will help you to successfully present story ideas to a news editor or program producer.
Pitch Example – A typical story idea that, were it not out-dated, could be presented to a news editor or program producer.
Zoom H2 Manual – The Zoom H2 is the audio recorder used by the Grassroots Media Project. Download the manual and learn everything there is to know about this tool.
Audio Recording Checklist – Things to consider before gathering interviews and ambient sound, including tips on microphone placement and practical interviewing skills.
Audacity Tutorials – Instructions for the basic audio editing software used in the Empower DC media lab.
Tips from Free Speech Radio News – Advice to radio producers on choosing actuality and structuring your story.