Sound is vital to online and broadcast journalism. In radio and podcasts, sound is the only way to impart meaning and convey emotion. Online and in TV, sound can complement words and visuals in powerful ways, often enhancing an already well-told story.

Sound can bring a story to life in many ways:

  • Interviews capture the voices of the people we cover and form the centerpiece of many audio narratives.
  • Ambient (or atmospheric) sound helps the listener understand the mood and “feel” by establishing a sense of location.
  • Natural sound marks an action in a story. These “sound effects” punctuate narratives and focus listeners’ attention.
  • Voiceovers tell the story and weave the elements together.

Taken from Telling Stories with Sound, a self-directed course by Andrew DeVigal and Casey Frechette at Poynter NewsU.

Take the full course

Have you missed a Coffee Break Course? Here's our complete lineup. Or follow along at #coffeebreakcourse.