Reporting on opioid crisis in Tompkins County, hate speech at Cornell, Uber opening in Ithaca

I’ve been doing a bunch of reporting lately for NPR member station WSKG and am including some of my recent clips here.

Why Are So Many New York Counties Suing Big Pharma Over The Opioid Crisis?
Ride Hailing’s In Ithaca Now. So, We Rode With An Uber Driver
Cornell Black Students’ Group Demands Hate Speech Policy, Permanently Banning Psi Upsilon Frat House

Tompkins County To Consider Joining Opioid Lawsuits

Black Students United silently protested at the University Assembly meeting on Tuesday. CREDIT: LAURA ROSBROW-TELEM

Black Students United silently protested at the University Assembly meeting on Tuesday. CREDIT: LAURA ROSBROW-TELEM

It’s been quite a learning process doing more radio. A few things I’ve learned:

  • The importance of capturing “scenes,” not just interviews. This is very different from print. So, taping live events, such as public court sessions, protests, a night out with an Uber driver, etc, are key. It also makes you understand why broadcasting sound bytes, for better or for worse, are so crucial to the medium.
  • This is technical, but I figure important for anyone here interested in radio reporting: Even if someone is speaking into a mic, it’s always better to put your mic close to them, rather than hooked up to an audio system or close to a speaker. A space’s sound system can often be bad and I’ve sadly had to not use really good tape because I made the rookie mistake of mic’ing a speaker rather than up close to a person.
  • Always record more “ambient” sound than you need. What I mean by “ambient” is background sound of whatever events or interviews you’re doing. It saves a lot of time in the editing process if you have extra ambient sound. I had no idea how much radio reporting needs ambient, even if you’re narrating something that’s unrelated to you being at a certain place. My editorial supervisor for The New Normal, Jonathan Miller, wisely suggested always getting one minute of “room sound” before or after an interview. This is super good advice.

Also, for folks subscribed to my website, I’m a lot more active in posting updates to my Twitter and Facebook profiles. So, if you feel like following me there, go for it! Thanks as always for your support and thoughts.

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