Contribute to Kootenay Morning

Kootenay Morning is always looking for thoughtful story contributions from the community. Our mandate is to tell Kootenay stories, so we appreciate any effort that comes our way. 

If you have an idea for an audio piece you’d like to produce or even just a tip, get in touch with Kootenay Morning at km(at)kootenaycoopradio(dot)com to discuss your story idea. If your idea is accepted, you might also want to check out our Resources for Programmers page for tips on how to produce it.

Audio Story Guidelines

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.

Dealing with Controversy

If a story is potentially controversial, please let us know when you pitch the idea and tell us if you can think of any reason why we would not want to air the segment before beginning production on the piece.

What makes a story controversial? It could be that it is coming from a politically active/activist source that pits local factions, organizations, or individuals against each other. We don’t shy away from controversy, but we need to ensure that we are providing a balanced perspective. To make that happen, consider the following:

• If your idea is accepted, you must make every effort to reach out to both sides of any controversial issue.

• As the producer 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 coax 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. Example: “Your opponents in this matter would say… (their side), what is your response?”

 

Production

Recording your interview and any narration can be done on a computer, iPhone, 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 an 8-12 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 a 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 these clips on the same device you used for the interview, 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 edit 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!