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#Tip of the day for journalists: Radio journalism pointers from a Wannabe Hack

September 28th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Top tips for journalists

Image by M. Keefe on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

On the Wannabe Hacks website Jenni Graham offers some advice for other student journalists thinking about gaining experience in radio journalism, based on her own experiences. Her pointers include tips on getting involved with student radio stations as well as making contacts and gaining experience in the industry.

See the full post here.

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link.

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Independent: UTV could sell television business to focus on radio

March 21st, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Journalism

UTV Media, which owns the Channel 3 television licence in Northern Ireland as well as national radio station TalkSport, could be interested in selling its television arm to focus on radio and online.

The Independent quotes UTV director Scott Taunton as saying: “If that was something they [a buyer, presumably ITV] were interested in, we’d have a conversation. Less than a quarter of profits come from TV now. We’re essentially a radio business.”

UTV’s end-of-year results, published yesterday, revealed the group makes 70 per cent of its profits from radio.

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#Tip of the day from – how to write scripts for radio news

The Media Helping Media site has published a copy of a useful guide for those starting out in radio, which the post says was produced for the Media Resources and Training Centre at the University of Jaffna in Sri Lanka, outlining key issues for journalists to consider when writing news scripts.

The advice includes a look at the pros and cons of writing a script before or after carrying out interviews, as well as construction a powerful introduction and close to the script.

Read the full post here.

Tipster: Rachel McAthy

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link – we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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Reporters Without Borders urges Iraq authorities to reopen radio station

Press freedom group Reporters Without Borders has urged authorities in Iraq to reconsider the closure of radio station Al-Sada, reportedly the only independent broadcaster in the Al-Qadisiya province.

At the weekend RSF reported that the station was closed down because of music “contrary to local morality”, but that the local branch of the Iraqi journalists’ union had warned that the decision “violated freedom of the press as guaranteed by the constitution”.

Its representative stressed that such a move was unprecedented in Iraqi justice and warned of the dangers that it might present for the media industry.

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Five tips from a radio journalist who reports solely from an iPhone and iPad

September 28th, 2011 | 3 Comments | Posted by in Handy tools and technology, Mobile

For the past 18 months Neal Augenstein, a reporter with Washington DC’s all news radio station WTOP, has carried out all his field reporting from his iPhone and iPad.

Like many radio reporters Augenstein is also shooting and editing video, taking photos and tweeting from the scene of news stories he covers. All the audio, video, audio, photos and scripts he produces are created and edited on his two devices.

A year and a half in, we spoke to him to find out how he is finding the experience. He said he finds the iPhone more valuable than the iPad and tends to produce his live and pre-recorded audio reports on his phone, but writes scripts on his tablet.

Asked how it has changed his job, Augenstein told

It’s certainly made things a lot easier for me in terms of being able to put my laptop away and all the heavy equipment such as the cables, microphones, recorders, all the cameras that I was using.

There are some challenges to that, for instance, how do you put an iPhone on a podium for a news conference?

Another hurdle he has had to overcome is how to cope with the iPhone being susceptible to wind noise.

So what are his tips on apps and techniques for this form of reporting?

1. 1st Video – Augenstein uses this video recording and editing app for both his video and audio work. It allows multitrack editing and sharing but those familiar with PC or Mac audio and video editing will need to learn a few new swipes and pinches. Here is’s guide on how to shoot and edit video using this app.

2. Ustream – He uses Ustream for livestreaming video, often in breaking news situations. Other app options for free livestreaming include Bambuser and Qik.

3. Skype is used by Augenstein for live reporting, rather than a phone line. He says he finds Skype “a robust way to communicate for a live report”.

One of our goals is the elimination of cell phone-quality recordings from our broadcasts.

Another recommendation from Augenstein was to take the audio from a live video stream, although you cannot have a two-way interview, between the reporter and studio presenter (although you could perhaps do this if you had two phones, one to livestream from and one to listen to the presenter, or if you have a radio to hear the station output, providing there was no delay in transmission).

4. Camera Plus – The WTOP reporter uses this app, also available for Android and BlackBerry, to tweak and edit photos.

5. Spend wisely. Augenstein uses the iPhone’s built in microphone.

There are ways you can plug in other microphones but my goal is trying to minimise the amount of accessories that I need.

As for setting up shots, Augenstein has got a Gorilla iPhone tripod, but opts for handheld shooting for video.

As a radio station our video does tend to be rather rudimentary. Getting a steady shot is important but our web videos are generally not produced, voicetracked packages. What we’re trying to do is work on the synergy between the on air product and the website and the social. If the radio report has sound bites of a person speaking, the website and the video is supposed to complement rather than duplicate what is in the report.

He has looked into the services provided by two companies, Tieline and Comrex, which allow you to broadcast live from a phone. Both options require relatively expensive kit to allow the audio to input via a channel on the radio mixing desk.

I have found, unfortunately, to this point that getting a good connection is difficult. Wifi is always a better-sounding connection than 3G or 4G and in breaking news situations you often don’t have optimal situations.

Since he locked away his cables, cameras and microphones in February 2010, Augenstein has seen his report turn around time decrease.

What used to take 30 minutes to create a fully-produced report I can now do in 10 minutes.

The sound quality is probably is only 92 per cent as good as broadcast-quality equipment, that’s the number I’ve been estimating, but as it can be tweaked and goes through processing at the radio station, people really can’t tell the difference.

And the most beneficial part of his 18-month iPhone and iPad trial?

It’s a chance to re-think the newsgathering process, which to me is the most exciting part about it.

  • Sign up to attend’s one-day training course in using a mobile for reporting, which is being held in London on 4 November 2011.
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#Tip of the day from – how to break into radio industry

September 13th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Top tips for journalists

Those interested in working in broadcast, particularly radio, should check out the BBC’s College of Production website’s latest podcast edition which is focused on how to get into radio. The podcast features Paul Robinson, who has been managing director of Talk Radio and managing editor of Radio 1, Ruth Gardiner, head of the General Factual department at BBC Audio and Music and Greg James, Radio 1 DJ, who offer their advice for how to break into the industry and some of the lessons they have learned.

Tipster: Rachel McAthy

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link – we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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#Tip of the day from – key elements to podcasting

August 3rd, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists

In a useful post on The Next Web, Brad McCarty offers up tips on what he sees as the five key elements to podcasting, for anyone looking to venture into the world of online audio. The post, which can be found here, includes tips on planning, file types and choosing a recording device.

Tipster: Rachel McAthy

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at email us using this link – we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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BBC creates public Reith Lectures archive online

June 27th, 2011 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting

The BBC is to make hundreds of hours of recordings of its Reith Lectures available in a new online archive.

The archive will include 240 recordings made over the past 60 years and a transcript of every lecture since 1948, when the series began. The lectures were named after Lord Reith, the BBC’s first director general, who created them as a “stimulus to thought and contribution to knowledge”.

Notable lecturers over the years have included philosopher Bertrand Russell, who gave the inaugural Reith Lecture in 1948, Dame Margery Perham, fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford, who became the first female lecturer in 1961, and Robert Gardiner in 1965, executive secretary of the United Nation’s European Commission for Africa, who became the first black Reith Lecturer in 1965.

Other famous speakers include American atomic energy scientist and Manhattan project chief J Robert Oppenheimer, and Israeli pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim.

This year’s Reith Lecturers will be Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and former director-general of MI5 Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller.

While trying to assemble the archive, the BBC discovered that some of the audio recordings from the first 30 years of the lectures are missing, and the broadcaster has appealed to members of the public to send in any recordings they have.

Andrew Caspari, BBC head of Speech Radio and Classical Music Interactive, said: “This is a unique collection of stunning intellectual significance. Making our great programmes of the past available permanently is a vital role for Radio 4′s digital offer.”

Aung San Suu Kyi’s lectures will be broadcast on Radio 4 at 9am on June 28 and July 5. Eliza Manningham-Buller’s Reith Lectures will be broadcast at 9am on September 6, 13, and 20.

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Media release: RAJAR introducing new digital technology

June 6th, 2011 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Broadcasting, Editors' pick

RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research) today announced it is to introduce new digital technology to its audience measurement tools, including a new online radio listening diary and a digital personal interviewing aid.

According to a release this new digital collection of data is to be rolled out from July, “in response to the wider availability and everyday use of online”.

The move will enable RAJAR to offer improved demographic representation, with the complementary benefit of the online diary adding wider appeal to people who may be less responsive to the existing format. It will also enhance the capture of listening data across all platforms be it analogue, internet, DTV or DAB. The online survey will mirror the paper survey in content, allowing all data to be integrated for reporting.

See the full release here.

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#Tip of the day from – podcasting equipment

This detailed podcasting equipment post on Hivelogic is a great guide on radio kit for journalists working with audio. Tipster: Rachel McAthy.

To submit a tip to, use this link – we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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