How to ensure audio being recorded is of good quality
When recording interviews in public, it is important to get good audio quality. There are a number of steps that can be taken to help ensure the quality of the recorded audio is as good as it can be.
The first thing to consider is the proximity of the recording device to the person speaking, if it is too far away it can be too quiet and if too close the audio can sound muffled.
Another aspect to consider, especially in public, is background noise. This is most commonly wind or other people talking, in order to minimise this in the recording it is a good idea to stand with either, your or the interviewee’s back to the noise. The body helps to block out some of the sound getting to the recording device.
Gain is also something that should be considered, again a good balanced level is important, too high can cause peaking and too low can result in the audio not being audible. In order to check if the audio being recorded is of good quality it is good practise to use headphones so you can hear the quality of the audio being recorded as you record it. This then allows for any changes to be made during the interview rather than having to edit the audio later.
The last thing to consider, while seeming relatively obvious, is battery life and storage capacity on the SD card. If the SD card is full you cannot record any of your audio, and if the battery isn’t charged could run out during a recording.
Adobe Audition Steps
The first step is to add the files to the program.
This is done through clicking File – Import – Highlighting the files and clicking open.
Once the files had been added I clicked the Multitrack button underneath the toolbar. After this it will generate a new multitrack screen, I then clicked Ok to use the default settings.
I then clicked and dragged the files shown on the left and dragged them into tracks.
I then dragged the files into the same track and placed them in a line one after another.
Then I played the track by pressing the space bar and listened to the audio, I noticed it was quiet so clicked and dragged the yellow bar on the audio files up to increase the audio to +15db so it can louder.
After ensuring I could hear the audio I then clipped the silence off the begging and end of the first clip. I did this by moving the red vertical line over to the end of the silence and pressed Ctrl + K to create a cut. I then deleted the silence and moved the files back together so there was no spaced between them.
On the third clip I realised some of the audio was much louder than the rest. I lowered the volume of that section to +6.8db but creating 4 key frames by clicking the yellow line on the clip and lowering two of the frames to the +6.8db level while leaving the first and last key frame I created at the same level creating the dip in audio for that section.
By using key frames it is also possible to create a fade in effect, this is done by creating a key frame at the beginning and lowering it to the bottom of the file.
It is also possible to have audio transition from one to another by dragging one clip into another.
When the file was finished I exported it by clicking File – Export – Multitrack mix down – entire session. I then renamed the file and selected the location. I exported this as a .wav file.
Interview preparation – Group Work
What information are you looking to gather from this interview?
People’s opinions on Jeremy Corbyn.
List the questions/questions you will be asking?
How do you view Jeremy Corbyn as a politician?
Are they open-ended or closed questions? Why?
Open-ended because it means that the interviewee can give a detailed answer, and opens up conversation and allows for a broad answer.
Explain how you made sure you used neutral questions?
The question is balanced as there in no emotive language is used.
Provide a written summary that introduces the topic you are covering. This is to be read to interviewees that have no prior knowledge of your interview’s subject matter (to bring them up to speed).
Jeremy Corbyn has recently been elected as the leader of the Labour Party. He has been in the news a lot recently regarding his views and ideals towards issues such as the migrant crisis “How do you view Corbyn as a Politician?”
Vox Pop Interviews answering the question – “How do you view Jeremy Corbyn as a Politician?”
“Best thing to happen to British politics in like forever. When everyone else wanted to raise taxes for the poor and lower them for the rich and everything like that, he was fighting against the Apartheid and bringing about nice things”
“I feel he is very different to other politicians that are currently that currently surround him, whether he will survive as a Politician is down the media and that is not a good thing.”
“He’s useless. That’s it.”
“I think he’s a bit of a d**k head to be honest, like when he first joined, he went to the Pub straightaway.”
“I like him as a Politician because as far as I’m aware, he seems to have stuck to his political opinions and his standpoints – he’s stopped them. Lots of Politicians have changed their tactics depending on the current mood of the country. I don’t know, I could be wrong, he seems to have kept the same thing going; same opinions, same views. One of the things I like about him is that he appeals to the things that I care about. Things like Palistein, he’s a big supporter of that cause. He has the courage to stand up and speak about his views. He’s got my respect for that. As far as I’m aware he’s got an honest mind and if people don’t like it, that’s fine because that’s why we have democracy and stuff.”
“Well he’s different for a start. I don’t think that he has enough backing in terms of young people and trying to get them engaged. As a Politician, I’d like to see him do something for the Labour Party, being the President of the Union here, it’s important that he does speak out to younger people and that he does speak for Trade Unionism, especially against all the cuts the Tori’s are making. I admit I didn’t vote for him but it’ll be interesting to see where he comes. He has a more left wing approach, which at the end of the day, is getting more people engaged. I mean membership has gone up, which is a good thing so maybe he is the one to lead us to a 2020 victory.”
“I feel that he is radical and stubborn in a good way and that he’s sticking to what he’s promised. I feel that Labour needs a shake up because to me it’s drifted more and more right wing, where I was always told that Labour was left wing but I didn’t see it, so right now it needs to be shaken up.”
Interview questions relating to England’s Rugby loss to Wales on Saturday 26/09/2015
Answers from Vox Pop style interview
5 useful quotes from interviews
“We just have to try our best to win against the Australians”
“It’s boring and a brutal sport”
“If we lose it just shows we’re crap at sport”
“It’s like gambling if you go for the win you could lose it all”
“I would never play it myself”
England’s Rugby match Saturday proved to be a very difficult time for fans, losing to Wales 28-25. This puts England at risk of not qualifying for the world cup, if they lose their next match against Australia, making England the first host country to not qualify. The English team sustained 4 injuries during the game. Many have blamed the loss on Captain Chris Robshaw’s decision to kick from the corner rather than going for a try to secure a draw, “it’s like gambling” one member of the public said “if you go for the win you could lose it all” when asked to comment on Robshaw’s decision.
Research in journalism is mainly used to check for a bias and to collect information for an article. The main responsibility of a journalist is to hold power to account and this cannot be done with the necessary information.
There are two forms of sources which can be further broken into two more categories. These being secondary and primary which can be further broken down into official and unofficial. An example of an official secondary source would be a press statement, an official example would be twitter or facebook from members of the public.
Primary sources are those which are directed by the author of the article. This is usually through interviews. This is original information and includes trying to personally experience the story, personally checking facts first hand, contacting those involved with the story and to conduct interviews.
The benefit of an official source is it factually information and if verified and correct. However this is just PR and can be biased and withhold information.
It is important to identify the questions you want to ask before going into an interview, you need to know the answers you want to get in order to acquire relevant information you want for your article. Doing an interview will add both a human element as well as giving the article a form of validity.
There are two main types of questions, open and closed. Open questions leave it open to broaden the topic of conversation such as – how are you? Close questions are looking for a specific fact/answer such as – how often does this happen to you?
A vox pop is when a journalist interviews 3 or more people on the same topic asking the same questions to get a public opinion.
Analysis on interview
While I am pleased with the overall outcome of my interview I believe that my technique could use some practise. In my interview there were a lot of opportunities to gather more information by asking further questions to clarify the opinion of the person being interviewed, and a lot of information I could have tied into my questions to follow on to get further opinions based on answers given. For example after being told they thought it was a “brutal sport” I could have led into asking their opinions relating to the injuries sustained during the game, which I did mention but didn’t ask for a comment on. In order to improve this I will try and take this into account with future interviews and, instead of commenting on what the person has said, use this as an opportunity to lead into another question or ask for them to elaborate on a point. For the most part I believe this will come with practice, and therefore will continue conducting practice interviews with peers.
I believe that I used eye contact well when asking questions in order to make the interviewee feel they were being asked a direct question and is good interview etiquette. I listened well and took notes on what they were saying, asking if they would remind repeating certain points I wasn’t clear on. While in future I believe this won’t be an issue due to the use of voice recorders I think it would have been better to avoid having to ask for clarification if possible as it may come across to some that I was not listening intently enough.
In terms of my article while I used found a lot more quotes from the open questions I did not use them as I don’t think they were relevant enough to include in a short 100 word article as it did not tie into any of the factual information put across in the flash article. Therefore I found the closed questions much more valuable based on how I got specific opinions relating to a section of my article I already knew I would be including. In this respect I think I picked my questions well, as I had a base outline of what facts I wished to get across in my article and aimed for my questions to replicate this. While open questions are good in a more personality based interview, when the story is factual based a more focused answer provided through a closed question was of more value to me.
I did find however that the open questions did allow for a lot of lead on in terms of opening up conversation. This then allowed for me to focus in how they responded and use this to flow into a closed question. This allows for the interview to flow better and makes the interviewee feel more comfortable and allow them to answer questions more naturally as it flows more like a conversation. In this regard I think opening with an open question and following up with a closed questions is a good way to go about interviews I conduct in future. This allows to gauge the knowledge of the interviewee on the subject so I can pick or word the closed questions taking this into account.
I think I gave across a good sense of my questions and was clear in how I spoke and explained any possibly unknown information through the question. I also thought that my research helped to give me a good knowledge base on the article since I did not know anything about the story being looking into it. This allowed me to then give the interviewee any information they may not have, this is especially good for getting a base reaction to someone who may not be actively following the story before being impacted by personal bias.
I found I have a quite calm and friendly tone of voice when interviewing and this allowed for the person being interviewed to feel more relaxed and not worry. I think this is an important skill to perfect and one I will continue to try and develop, as someone who is interested in being interviewed and enjoys the company of the interviewer will supply more in depth responses to someone who they find talking to a chore.
Vox pops serve a very important purpose in the journalism industry. As a primary source of information it helps to humanise a story and often makes a story feel more reliable as it isn’t just facts and figures and official statements which can carry a bias in the way they are presented. This also ties into the issues of secondary sources such as press conferences being used as a PR tool where they word the facts in a way to support an agenda and can withhold information to give a certain portrayal. Having this source of primary information allows for people to feel more comfortably believing what has been said in the article. It also allows for a journalist to express the opinion of the general public (at least partially) which makes readers trust the article more.
While I do think the article is effective in terms of visual stimulation for the reader I have a few ideas on how the article could be improved visually. I feel the image on the first page would fit better with the article if either the background colour extended to the rest of the spread or the image was a .png file and the image was just a picture of Jeremy Gilley with no background possibly crossing over to the second page with the text going around the image. Also I believe some people will find the bright image slightly over bearing but believe the pose done in said picture helps to drive home the overall positive theme the article tries to get across.
I also think the text could be columned in a more organised fashion to make the text better spread out and easier for the reader to read, however I am overall pleased with the written layout as the drop cap really captivates the reader and gives the article a definitive start point and draws attention to the opening quote.
In terms of the headline I would probably take more inspiration in terms of layout from the source image double page spread I based the article off of (seen below). This would of drawn more attention to the headline which is relatively small in comparison to the rest of the spread overall.
While I do like the watermarked styled image of the peace one day logo I would of liked it more if the words “peace one day” had been able to be edited to fit in the small blank spaced square below the article in order to make better use of negative space.
I do like the images used as they both are quite bright colours which draw attention without being off putting. The two images also drawn from similar colours of blues and greens which are relative calm colours and suit the over all theme of the article. I also think the use of the peace one day logo helps draw attention through the use of it including the headline in the image helping to draw more attention and causing the reader to look at the article and ingrain the phrase making it more memorable.
Some feedback I have received has been to increase the size of the margins to make the layout more visually pleasing, upon taking this into consideration I am inclined to agree as it would be good use of negative space and allow the article to look overall more professional and make the spread look less busy.
While there are a lot of things I was not able to change due to time constraints I am pleased with the overall product and feel it achieves its goal of being a visually stimulating layout and is similar to the source image I based it off of.
(Source image my layout was based on)
From a written standpoint I believe I have captured well what I was trying to achieve with the piece. I initially wanted to write a feature piece in a more prose style but due to word limit decided it was more suited to a more factual based piece of media.
After proof reading and receiving feedback it was suggested to me to try to ‘trim the fat’ in order to make the piece more fluid over all. A lot of the article was still written in a prose style which did not suit the article’s over all goal, once I removed certain phrases and reworded parts the article felt much more like a factual yet still interesting article which gets the information across in a summarised fashion. However due to the word limit I feel like I had to leave a lot of the struggles Jeremy Gilley went through in order to achieve his goal taking him over 3 years. I wanted to get this across but feel like I didn’t manage this, instead however, I did manage to get across the issues with the system in bringing something forward to the UN and the issues had with making his dream a reality.
After my alterations I feel like the article was much more fluid to read and allowed the reader to get a good understanding of the facts. At one point I removed all bracketed information and included it in a more suitable way in terms of sentence structure allowed for a less segmented reading experience.