Kootenay Morning is always looking for thoughtful story contributions from the community. Our mandate is to bring Kootenay stories to the listener, and we really appreciate any effort that comes our way to achieve that goal. These guidelines are for people interested in producing audio stories for the program.
Get in touch with Kootenay Morning at km [at] kootenaycoopradio [dot] com for more information or to check in about your story idea. Other resources for radio making are available through KCR - visit our Programmer Resources page!
Audio segments for Kootenay Morning should be between 8-12 minutes in length (longer or shorter are acceptable for deserving stories).
Pick a story to tell and get an idea of the basic story elements. As always: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How will never fail you when it comes to how to approach a story.
There is likely a feature character in the story, someone who can tell the story in interview clips based on questions you will create. Pre-interview them and get an idea of the 5-W's above. Develop your questions out of that pre-interview process.
You can also find other information about the story from your own research. Searching online, in libraries, or by asking other people associated with the story will help round out the facts or the texture of the story.
Keep in mind: if the story is controversial, ie: it comes from a politically active/activist source, or pits two factions, organizations or individuals from the community against each other, you must proceed carefully to create a balanced contribution.
• If potentially controversial, please ask us via email in advance if there would be some reason why we would not want to air the segment before beginning production on the piece.
• If accepted, you will want to make every effort to reach out to both sides of any controversial issue.
• As questioner/moderator of the piece, make your questions neutral and let your interview subjects make their cases. Pre-interviews let you know what to ask about to get the story out.
• Ask neutral questions that bring out that case, and when an aspect of the story, on either side is un-represented, your role is to introduce it in a question or in the narration that accompanies the interview. Eg: "Your opponents in this matter would say... (their side), what is your response?"
Recording your interview and any narration can be done on a computer, tape or digital recorder. We have loaner recorders at KCR to assist in this part of the process. It is not uncommon to do a 20-30 minute interview to produce a 10-15 minute segment. Ask as many questions as you can think of and that interview time permits.
Listen back to your interview and select the best quotes/clips. Conversely, if both parties in the interview can be heard clearly (digital recorder placement technique) you can make the interview audio the majority of the finished story segment.
Finally, whether you are using selected clips from the interview, or large passages of the interview as conversation, you will need to write an opening, closing and transition scripts from clips or passages to tell your story. Keep these as direct and brief as possible, let your subjects tell as much of the story as possible. Use your narrations to bridge any gaps and bring clips into context.
You can record those narration pieces on your recording medium from the interview, ie: computer/tape/digital recorder or come into KCR and get training on the use of our two production studios.
Use an audio editing software program like Audacity - free/open-source software available for all computer platforms, to assemble your segment pieces into a finished story. Use background music sparingly, if at all, and always have any speaking easily heard above any music.
If all that seems like too much but you can contribute an interview with someone interesting from your community and can send it to us with notes to help us finish the story, we'll gladly accept that too!
Hopefully, you will see the great value we all get when we hear, know and celebrate our own stories. We volunteers in community radio are a last-bastion for keeping that aspect of community spirit alive.
We hope you will join us in this effort. Your community will be richer if you do.
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