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J463/563 Top Audio Storytelling

School of Journalism and Communication
University of Oregon
Winter term 2017-8

Instructor Professor Damian Radcliffe <>
Office 201 Allen Hall
Office hours 1pm-2pm Monday, 3pm-4pm on Wednesday. Other times by appointment.
Telephone 541-346-7643 (voicemail). SMS/Text 541-972-5531 from 9am-9pm. You can also email or DM.
Materials Please bring lots of enthusiasm, headphones and your mobile phone to class.
Credits 4
Timing 10.00am – 11.50am Tuesday and Thursday, 304 Allen Hall

Course Background
Podcasting and audio is enjoying a global renaissance. Driven by new digital technologies, it’s never been so
easy to create, distribute and consume high quality audio content.

New players, legacy media operators and non-media brands, are all moving into this space, creating content
across a wide variety of genres. This offers exciting opportunities for graduates – from a variety of backgrounds /
specialisms, including Journalism, Advertising and PR - with strong audio, storytelling and critical thinking skills.

The course aims to provide a strong foundation – in terms of skills and knowledge - which will enable students to
benefit from some of these emerging opportunities.

Learning outcomes
Through lessons, group and individual assignments, by the end of this term you will be able to:

1. Understand and describe the current audio and podcasting market (players, drivers for growth etc.)
2. Critically evaluate a wide range of audio content.
3. Generate your own audio content and ideas.
4. Confidently pitch your ideas to peers and industry professionals.
5. Create your own content using a number of industry standard tools.

Learning methods will include:

 Class lectures and guest speakers
 Listening to – and critically evaluating – audio content
 In-class assignments and tasks (listening, pitching etc.)
 Out of class assignments (content creation, content review and online learning modules)
 Quizzes

Estimated student workload
The course features two classes a week (Tuesday and Thursday) as well as a range of home assignments.

Assignments to be completed outside of class will include: listening to audio and podcasts (lots of it!) reading,
identification of questions for guest speakers, preparation of in-class presentation materials and creative audio-
making assignments.

In a typical week, non-class work may include:

 A listening task (usually two podcasts)
 Online learning modules / Reading
 Preparing for class and/or work on your core (graded) assignments

Some of this work will run concurrent with other tasks, so you will need to manage your time accordingly to
balance competing workloads from this class and others.

Listening tasks
This will typically involve listening to a podcast, or radio program, in your own time. Some weeks there will be a
short quiz to test that you’ve listened to this content, as well as a class discussion about the audio.
Class discussions will typically focus on: format, content, style, likes/dislikes and lessons learned/takeaways.

Before hearing from guest speakers, students will also be encouraged to listen to content related to our guest’s
areas of expertise/experience. This will provide useful context and enable students to ask informed questions.

This is an audio class, so you can expect to do a fair amount of listening – and critiquing – of audio!
Listening homework will be assigned each week; and discussed in class the following week.

Undergraduate Courses
Under the UO quarter system, each undergraduate credit reflects approximately thirty hours of student
engagement. Therefore, this 4-credit course is akin to approximately 120 hours total of student time.

With 40 hours of class time (10 weeks at 4 hours per week), listening, readings and creative audio assignments
will account for another c. 80 hours of your time this term.

Graduate Courses
Graduate students are expected to perform work of higher quality and quantity, typically with forty hours of
student engagement for each student credit hour. Therefore, a 4-credit graduate course would typically engage
students approximately 160 hours.

For graduate students, with 40 hours of class time (10 weeks at 4 hours per week), readings and assignments
will account for another c.120 hours of your time this term.

An important note on technical proficiency
J463 is not a specialist technical class, in that we won’t spend much of the class covering how to edit audio and
how to use different audio software. This is due to a combination of factors, including time, the focus of the
course (which is on storytelling techniques) and the widely varying audio and editing skill levels – and comfort
with different software - that students will bring to the class.

But, having strong technical skills will – of course - enable you to produce higher quality / more ambitious work.
And bad audio will negatively impact your grade.

Students are therefore encouraged to expand their technical skills, but not to be too ambitious. I’ll show you
how you can produce great audio storytelling without any bells and whistles; just a great script and a good voice
recording. That said, you’re welcome to go full-on RadioLab if you want!

I encourage you to use the editing tool you’re most familiar with. That could be various Adobe programs,
Audacity, Garage Band, ProTools or others. The functionality of each of these tools is different, but the general
principles of audio editing are the same. It is these principles that we will focus on.

In class, we will cover do’s and don’ts of good audio. You will also be encouraged to take equipment home and
experiment with it, to ensure that you master the kit. This will enable you to develop your technical skills.

For students who need it, in this syllabus – and on Canvas - you will also find extensive links to additional
resources and recommendations for reading related to audio editing, mic technique etc. as well as online
modules which you can undertake in your own time. You will find them really useful.

You will be assigned tasks during the term where you will be paired with other students, this will enable you to
learn from one another, developing and honing your technical and creative skills in the process.

Online learning modules
Organizations such as Poynter have produced a wide range of online learning materials, many of which are
relevant to this class.

Students will be encouraged to complete a number of these optional modules, in their own time, to further
deepen their understanding of the subjects being explored in class. These modules are not especially time-
consuming, but they will be invaluable for students with more limited audio experience.

How this class works
Attendance of classes, and completion of assignments - on time - is essential. Miss the first and/or second class
of the term, and you will be asked to withdraw.

Non-attendance and/or failure to complete work on time, will result in an F for that task.

Please notify me, in writing and with as much prior notice as possible, if you must miss a class or if work will be
delivered late.

If you miss a class and you haven’t notified me beforehand, then I expect you to get in contact with me as soon
as possible, to explain your absence and to agree the best way to catch-up on what you missed.

You should treat attendance in class like you would a job – you wouldn’t miss a shift without telling your
supervisor. Please treat this class – and your classmates – with the same level of respect.

Office Hours
1pm-2pm Monday, 3pm-4pm on Wednesday. Other times by appointment.

Do use those times to drop by to talk to me about assignments, ideas for improving the class, feedback on the
things you like, or anything else you want to discuss.

Outside of my regular office hours, I’m always happy to schedule additional meetings with students. Email me,
or pop by my office, so that we can arrange a time to talk.

Classes will include a mixture of informal lectures (mostly we showcasing audio case studies, which we will
discuss), in-class creative assignments, discussions with industry professionals, sharing lessons and learning from
your own listening and reading, collective feedback on assignments, reflections on previous talks etc.

We are a small – but full – class of 18 students, which is a perfect size for meaningful, valuable, discussion with
your peers. Our classroom is an active learning space. It is an arena for the exchange of ideas and knowledge.

You should treat it like a newsroom and a production office. This means that you need to be comfortable
pitching ideas, receiving – and giving – feedback, and treating everyone in the room with due respect.

It also means doing your prep. For example, researching guest speakers in advance of us talking to them. These
people are giving up their valuable time to talk to us, we want to make it worth their while.

There are no wrong answers and bad ideas, only answers and ideas which could be developed better. It’s our job
to work together to enable everyone to deliver the best possible outputs from the course.

Your active participation is vital. And this is reflected in the grade structure for the term.

These will require original research, analysis, reporting and writing. This may involve additional reading,
conversations/interviews, and information-gathering that takes place off campus and a different days and times.

Like all media professionals, you’ll find some tasks easier – and more enjoyable – than others. This will ebb and
flow throughout the term. That’s normal! Sometimes, ideas and concepts might take some getting used to.
Other times, they won’t. Plan your time, energies and resources accordingly.

Grading/Weighting (subject to revision/changes)

Activity Points % of total grade
1. Class attendance 50 5%
2. Class participation including your journal/blog 150 15%
3. Quizzes 150 15%
4. One Minute opinion piece 100 10%
5. Historical / Contemporary news piece 100 10%
6. Soundscape / Sound collection (in pairs) 100 10%
7. Field reporting exercise (in pairs) 100 10%
8. A Day in the Life 150 15%
9. End of term reflection (essay or audio) 100 10%
TOTAL 1,000 100%

Major Assignments
You will be given more detailed assignment notes ahead of each task. But, broadly speaking, this term you will
produce six pieces of graded work (two are work delivered – and graded in pairs); alongside in-class quizzes. This
includes five pieces of audio, and one essay/audio reflection. One creative assignment can be redone.

1. One Minute opinion piece (Due Week 4)
Students will produce a 60 second “op-ed” on a topic of your choosing. This will be a clean piece of audio – just
you and your voice. No effects, no music. You can be five seconds over or under, but no more. (You’ll be docked
a grade for every five seconds over/under outside of this.) The aim of this piece is to focus on your scripting and
vocal delivery (keep it natural!). You’ll submit a copy of your script along with your audio.

2. Historical / Contemporary news piece (Due Week 5)
Students will produce a 75-90 second audio report covering an historical or contemporary news event of their
choosing. The account can be contemporaneous or reflective, with plenty of scope for different styles to be
deployed, depending on your subject, technical skills and preferred approach. You must include 1-2 sound clips
as part of your submission. This builds on your scripting and vocal delivery skills (shown in the One Minute
opinion piece) and starts to incorporate sound/interview clips into your work.

3. Soundscape / Sound collection (in pairs) (Due Week 6)
Working with your partner, you will tell a 90-120 second story which prominently features sound in your story.
You should look to include 3-5 different sounds from a variety of different sources to drive your narrative and
create a sense of place. You can use voice-overs, interviews, or tell a story solely through sound.

4. Field reporting exercise (in pairs) (Due Week 8)
We will go off-site to a venue somewhere (probably the JSMA on campus) where you will produce a 90-120
second report which focuses heavily on your descriptive abilities. You will work in pairs on this assignment;
swapping roles from the Soundscape assignment (specifically with regards to leading on editing).

5. A Day in the Life (Due Week 9)
Eugene and Springfield have a population of over 200,000 people. These inhabitants cover a multitude of ages,
backgrounds and jobs. Each student will pitch – and produce – a 2-3 minute vignette telling the story of a
person, or place, within the area. These will then be designed to tell the story of the city over a 24-hour period.

6. End of reflection: “My biggest takeaways” (Due Week 11)
In lieu of an exam, you’ll be asked to write 800-1,000 words – or submit a 3-4 minute audio essay telling me
what you’ve learned during the term. Write it, as if you were producing a piece for a website, or a user guide.
Don’t flatter me, focus instead on key themes and lessons based on the tasks, assignments and content that you
have listened to and produced. If you want to tell this story, illustratively, in audio form – as an audio essay of 3-
4 minutes including examples – then you can.

Other assessment criteria

7. Attendance is compulsory and reflected in the grading structure for the term.
8. You’re expected to be active in class
This means commenting on content we have listened to, asking questions of me and our guest speakers, giving
feedback on ideas pitched by other students and developing your skills at pitching ideas too.

9. Quizzes
There will be a three quizzes / time in-class assignments to test your critical thinking skills as we go along.

10. Personal Blog / Journal
Each week you will write a short reflection on what you have learned that week. To do this, you will need to set
up a blog on WordPress, Tumblr, Medium or another publishing platform of your choosing.

Entries will be submitted by 11.59PM on Wednesday each week (starting Week 2-9) via Canvas (you just need to
provide the URL. Reflections should be 300-500 words (grads 500-800), touching on takeaways from
conversations in class, lessons from the assignments you have done and the listening homework that week.

This semi-private journal is primarily for your benefit. It will help you to keep track of your learning throughout
the term, and will really help you with your final assignment. I’ll also be able to use it to see – as we go along –
what you’re picking up, where you might need more help/time, and I may ask you to reiterate some of the
observations featured in your journal in our class discussions.

Grading criteria
Your work will be judged in the same way as any Editor would review the content submitted to them. I will be
looking for good writing, strong imagery, interesting stories, clarity of message and good use of sound formats.

Broadly speaking for written and audio assignments:
 A is reserved for professional quality work where all the elements successfully come together.
 B is excellent work that nears professional quality with a few flaws.
 C is average. Your work fulfills the requirements of the assignment.
 D is sub-standard work with multiple flaws that prevent it from being average quality.
 F is unacceptable quality with fatal flaws in either audio or writing. Also non-delivery.

This means that a piece of audio should be of broadcast quality to score an “A.”

How will technical competence be graded?
In the same way that a writing class would expect you to use good grammar, punctuation, use of sources,
formats and styles etc. this class also requires you to develop – and deploy - some technical skills. These
elements have to be well executed for top marks. You can’t be graded just on a good idea, but also on execution
(same as a great idea for a photograph, can’t garner top marks if the actual picture is not taken well IMHO).

You should tailor your approach to making stories based on your technical skills and confidence. Yes, push
yourself, but don’t try and produce something so ambitious that it is unlistenable. Areas to focus on are:

1) Using microphones; 2) Background noise/atmosphere 3) Sound editing

Shows like RadioLab use lots of layers (background music, actuality etc.) to tell stories. But great audio
storytelling doesn’t always need this. Try the BBC’s From Our Own Correspondent or Great Lives are examples of
shows which are (usually) just voice. Closer to home, try the NPR hourly news summary or the Stuff You Missed
in History Class podcast. Each of these is technically “simple” but effective in terms of format and storytelling.

Grading criteria is consistent with any reporting assignment/class, but with an added audio dimension.

Category A B C D F

Strong lead: Vivid, telling Provides essential Essential Not a direct lead Factual error(s).
Informative detail. information. information but and/or
hard lacking clarity, important Sounds error(s).
(summary) conciseness context and
news lead or and/or detail. information
compelling missing.

Essential Who, what, 5 Ws covered but Essential Essential Does not tell a
information where, when and story not information information story.
covered. why (and the how organized clearly provided but missing and/or
if appropriate) with most disorganized. disorganized.
Story / answered. important
Analysis information at the
logically top.

Appropriate Strong use of Appropriate use Quotes and Quotes or Quotes and
use of quotes, quotes and/or of quotes and attribution attribution attribution
actuality and actuality, with attribution, provided. missing. missing.
attribution. best high in story. including
Attribution actuality.
provided when

Clear and Clear and concise Basically clear and Thorough editing Writing style is Unintelligible.
concise writing (for the concise. needed to meet inappropriate for
writing. ear or an essay). standards. a news story.
Appropriate Appropriate style
style. deployed.

Factually Mechanically 1-2 minor errors. 1 major error such 2 major errors Fatal flaws:
accurate. sound, no errors. Style inconsistent. as a poor sound and multiple Factual errors,
Correct edit, or more than minor issues. misspelling of
grammar, two minor errors. proper names,
spelling and multiple
punctuation. grammar,
spelling errors.

Appropriate Uses the Solid, but with Listenable. But Hard to listen to Unlistenable.
use of sound best/effective some scope for not ground- e.g. off mic,
and sound format to tell a improvement in breaking. echo, atmos too
formats. story. tech/format. loud etc.

Course Schedule
This schedule is a draft and is subject to change, depending on student interests, inclement weather and other
unplanned – and currently unknown - factors. You will be made aware of any major changes if/when they arise.

Part I: Purpose and Context

Week 1 (9th and 11th January 2017)

Tues.  Introduction: Overview of the course, your listening habits, getting to know each other.

 Walk through major audio projects for term.

 “I was where you are now, 2 years ago” (Part One)
Guest speaker: Samantha Matsumoto, OPB (TBD).

Thurs.  Presentation and Discussion: key moments in the evolution of radio/audio/podcasting.

 “I was where you are now, 2 years ago” (Part Two)
Guest speaker, Kira Hoffelmeyer, UO alum, Engagement Editor, Park Record, Utah, former KSL
Newsradio Talk Show Producer (Salt Lake City), and inaugural Snowden intern at KLCC

Homewor 1. Listening task (1): New York Times, The Daily (27th December 2017 episode)
(c. 3
hours) Listen and from your mobile device: Via Apple Podcasts | Via RadioPublic | Via Stitcher

Guest: Derek Black, who had been poised to lead the white nationalist movement but then
left, betraying his father, a former grand master of the Ku Klux Klan. (Duration 36:35)


2. Listening task (2): Slate, Slow Burn: A Podcast About Watergate
Episode “True Believers”” from 01/02/2017. iTunes, Stitchr. (Duration 34:57)
gate_podcast_slow_burn.html - show notes and embed.

new-podcast-about-watergate.html > see also:

3. Set up your Personal Blog / Journal for the class and complete your first entry.
Use WordPress, Tumblr, Medium or another publishing platform of your choosing.

Reflections – from homework and class in Week 1 to be submitted by 11.59PM on
Wednesday each week (starting Week 2-9) via Canvas (just provide the URL.)

Reflections should be 300-500 words (grads 500-800), touching on takeaways from
conversations in class, lessons from the assignments you have done and the listening
homework that week.

4. (Grads) Reading: Tow Center report (Dec 2015): Guide to Podcasting, Vanessa Quirk:

5. (Grads) Listening task (3): Origins of Podcasting – the first ten years. Part One: and Part Two: (60 mins in total)

6. Optional (all): Online learning: Writing for the Ear, Part 1: Introduction to audio stories

Week 2 (16th and 18th January)

Tues.  Presentation and Discussion: The Building Blocks of Audio Storytelling

 In-class exercise – Passion.

 Assignment of Week 2 listening homework (as selected by two of you).

Thurs.  Student feedback on homework reading + listening (Week 1).

 Presentation and Discussion: The Audio Market in 2018.

 “I was where you are now, 2 years ago” (Part Three)
Guest speaker, Franziska Monahan, UO alum, Currently @NPR Story Lab, Research
Fellow @UNESCO Crossings Institute. Formerly @KLCCEugeneOR, KWVA, @UOSOJC.

Homework 1. Journal entry (by Weds 11.59PM, Week 3) on learning from Week 2.
Undergrads: 300-500 words. Grads 500-800 words.
hours) 2. Listening task: To be confirmed selected by two of you, for Wednesday next week.

3. Reading: Transom articles on Podcasting Basics, Part 1: Voice Recording Gear, Part 2:
Software, Part 3: Audio Levels and Processing

4. Review the KLCC website and listen to some of their on-demand content (for next Tues).

5. Optional: Online learning: Writing for the Ear, Part 2: Picking and pitching stories

Week 3 (23rd and 25th January)
Tues.  Student feedback on homework listening (Week 2).

 Assignment of One Minute opinion piece. (Due Tuesday Week 4, 11.59PM.)

 Assignment of 75-90 second Historical / Contemporary news task.
(Due Tuesday Week 5, 11.59PM)

 Prep for KLCC visit on Thursday.

 Assignment of Week 3 listening homework (as selected by two of you).

Thurs.  Visit to KLCC, the primary NPR member station in the Eugene/Springfield area, 10.30 –
11.30am. Meet with: Terry Gildea, Program Director.

KLCC is at 136 W 8th Ave, Eugene OR 97401. It is 1.2 miles from Allen Hall if you want to
walk. Or it’s three blocks (0.3m) from Eugene Station if you take the EmX.
Please don’t be late!

NB: You will have enough time to get there from an 8am class, and to get to any 12pm
class you may have.

Homework 1. Journal entry (by Weds 11.59PM, Week 4) on learning from Week 3.
Undergrads: 300-500 words. Grads 500-800 words.
(2.5 hours +
creative 2. Listening task: To be confirmed selected by two of you, for Wednesday next week
3. Work on your One Minute opinion piece. (Due Tuesday Week 4, 11.59PM.)

4. Optional: Online learning: Writing for the Ear, Part 3: Writing the story

Part II: Developing your technical skills and critical thinking

Week 4 (30th January and 1st February)
Tues. No class. In your own time:

 Complete online modules on sound editing by Sung Park.

Zoom H4n Orientation

Editing Audio in Premiere Videos 1-11 deal with using Premiere for Audio. These are new
tutorials that are used for Gateway to Media, but highly relevant to you (and you won’t
have seen them before!)

 Online learning: Poynter, NewsU Telling Stories with Sound (1 hour):

Thurs.  Quiz 1, Tackling Big Issues: Euthanasia (Better Off Dead)
o Discussion about Quiz audio.

 Student feedback on homework listening (Weeks 2 and 3)

 Assignment of Week 4 listening homework (as selected by two of you).

 Assign pairs for Soundscape and Field Reporting assignments
(Due Tuesday Week 6, and Tuesday Week 8, 11.59PM).

Homework 1. Journal entry (by Weds 11.59PM, Week 5) on learning from Week 4.
Undergrads: 300-500 words. Grads 500-800 words.
hours) 2. Listening task: To be confirmed selected by two of you, for Wednesday next week.

Plus: 3. Reading: “How To Start A Great Podcast: Top Tips”
news report. 4. Optional: Online learning: Writing for the Ear, Part 4: Revising the story

 Production: 75-90 second Historical / Contemporary news task.
(Due Tuesday Week 5, 11.59PM)

Week 5 (6th and 8th February)

Tues.  Quiz 2: Timed Group exercise (1 hour). Why are traditional print media companies such as
BuzzFeed, The New Yorker, The Economist and others moving into audio?
Research and produce a case study in 60 minutes. Share conclusions with the class.

 Soundscape pitches (2 ideas per pair)

Thurs.  Mid-term recap: what have you learned so far?

 Editing discussion/presentation: The good, the bad and the ugly

 Student feedback on homework listening (Week 4).

 Assignment of Week 5 listening homework (as selected by two of you).

Homework 1. Journal entry (by Weds 11.59PM, Week 6) on learning from Week 5.
Undergrads: 300-500 words. Grads 500-800 words.

2. Listening task: To be confirmed selected by two of you, for Wednesday next week.

3. Reading: “Pitching Story Ideas” - - also
listen to the three NPR pieces featured in this article. They total less than 15 mins.

4. Optional: Online learning: Writing for the Ear, Part 5: Voicing and special topics > handy
for the Quiz in Week 7!

5. Work on your Soundscape assignment.
(Due Tuesday Week 7, 11.59PM).

Week 6 (13th and 15th February):

Tues.  Editing discussion/presentation: The good, the bad and the ugly (Part Two)

 Guest Speaker: Ashley Alvarado, Director of Community Engagement at KPCC - Southern
California Public Radio.

 Hand-out: Day in A Life rubric.

Thurs.  “A Day In A Life” pitches. (2 ideas per student)

 Discussion: Day in A Life case studies.

 Presentation and Discussion: Audio formats – in class listening and discussion.

 Assignment of Week 6 listening homework (as selected by two of you).

Homework 1. Journal entry (by Weds 11.59PM, Week 7) on learning from Week 6.
Undergrads: 300-500 words. Grads 500-800 words.

2. Listening task: To be confirmed selected by two of you, for Wednesday next week.

3. Optional: Online learning: Complete the “Writing for the Ear” program. Email your course
completion certificate when done to

4. Student Prep: focus on the two major assignments you now have in play; “A Day in a Life”
and your Soundscape assignment.

Week 7 (20th and 22nd February)

Tues.  Guest speaker: Allison Frost, an executive producer of OPB’s Think Out Loud:

 Taste exercise

 Assignment of Week 7 listening homework (as selected by two of you, via Canvas).

Thurs.  Meet in class to prep for JSMA assignment.

 Field Reporting assignment: we will go off-site to the JSMA where – in the space of the
class - you will be produce a 90-120 second report from a mystery location.
(Due Thursday Week 8, 11.59PM).

***Bring headphones, memory card, batteries and recording equipment!***

Homework 1. Journal entry (by Weds 11.59PM, Week 8) on learning from Week 7.
Undergrads: 300-500 words. Grads 500-800 words.

2. Listening task: To be confirmed selected by two of you, for Wednesday next week.

3. Student Prep: focus on the two major assignments you now have in play; “A Day in a Life”
and your Field Reporting assignment. (Due Weeks 8 + end of Week 9)

4. Research/Listening task (1): OPB’s Think Out Loud:

5. Research/Listening task (2) Bill Siemering, author of NPR’s 1970 mission statement”
Current's podcast from Dec 17, 2015 about news and trends in public and nonprofit media:

Week 8 (27th February and 1st March)

Tues.  Reflections on Field Reporting assignment.

 Discussion on recent Audio listening homework.

 Research and discussion about the impact of audio in developing markets.

Thurs.  Guest Speaker: Bill Siemering, public media; home and abroad.

 Discussion about end of term assignment (essay/audio reflection)

 Assignment of Week 8 + 9 listening homework.

Homework 1. Journal entry (by Weds 11.59PM, Week 9) on learning from Week 8.
Undergrads: 300-500 words. Grads 500-800 words.

2. Listening task: To be confirmed selected by two of you, for Wednesday next week.

3. Student Prep: focus on the final creative assignment in play; “A Day in a Life.”
(Due end of Week 9 - Sunday)

Week 9 (6th and 8th March)

Tues.  Quiz 3: Timed listening and Critical Appreciation assignment (45 mins).
Non-media companies moving into audio/podcasts: e.g. Red Bull, Slack.
Why and how are they doing this? And are they any good?

 Guest speaker: Meerah Powell, Eugene Weekly’s current Calendar Editor and also writes
arts, news and produces EW’s What’s Happening podcast. (NB: SOJC alum)

Thurs.  Sign up for in-class office hours. Play me a rough-cut of your “A Day In Life” piece for
feedback, pre-submission for grading.

 Use the rest of class time to work on editing and/or your end of term assignment.

NB: we will meet in our classroom as normal for this work.

Homework 1. Complete and submit creative assignment in play; “A Day in a Life.”
(Due end of Week 9 – Sunday 11th March at 11.59PM

2. Essay: defining top audio storytelling. In lieu of a final exam, you’ll be asked to write 800-
1,000 words telling me what you’ve learned during the term; or you can submit this as an
audio assignment of no more than 4 minutes in length.

This should reference various tasks, assignments and content that you have listened to. In
short, an essay which says “this is what constitute top audio storytelling.”
Due March 21st 11:59PM

Part III: Final Projects and Close

Week 10 (13th and 15th March)

Tues.  Recap – what did we learn this term? Key takeaways.

 In class listening – your “A Day in Life” mini documentary.

Thurs.  Student work showcase – your greatest hits from the term.

 Feedback and lessons learned. Instructor and student takeaways. Next steps.

Tasks to be reallocated
Plus: (Time permitting, close listen to Planet Money)

Course policies
All journalism courses are covered by the university’s mandatory attendance policy:

“Academic departments may require students to attend the first and/or second meetings of designated classes.
… Students who do not attend the first two sessions of these classes may be directed by the academic
department to drop the course so that the seat may be given to another student. Students are responsible for
dropping the class; there is no automatic drop. The university refund schedule applies.”

As outlined above, this is mandatory for this class. I don’t expect to have to chase you up about any absences. Be
proactive. Treat me, and this class, as you would do a job.

The University of Oregon is working to create inclusive learning environments. For more information or
assistance, you are also encouraged to contact the Accessible Education Center, 346-1155; website:

Crisis Center
The University of Oregon Counseling Center provides students with confidential telephone crisis intervention
24/7. The number is 541-346-3227.

Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity is supported and valued at the University of Oregon. We respect the dignity and essential worth of all
individuals; reject bigotry, discrimination, violence, and intimidation; practice personal and academic integrity
and expect it of others; and promote a diversity of ideas, opinions, and backgrounds.

Open inquiry, freedom of expression, and respect for differences are fundamental to a comprehensive and
dynamic education. SOJC is committed to upholding these ideals by encouraging the exploration, engagement,
and expression of divergent perspectives and diverse identities.

Discrimination of any kind, disrespect for others, and inequity in educational opportunity are not acceptable.
Students, faculty, and staff are expected at all times to maintain the School of Journalism and Communication’s
high standards of ethical and compassionate conduct.

Please see me if you need help or have any questions.

Academic integrity
The University Student Conduct Code (available at defines academic misconduct.
Students are prohibited from committing or attempting to commit any act that constitutes academic
misconduct. By way of example, students should not give or receive (or attempt to give or receive) unauthorized
help on assignments or examinations without express permission from the instructor.

Students should properly acknowledge and document all sources of information (e.g. quotations, paraphrases,
ideas) and use only the sources and resources authorized by the instructor. If there is any question about
whether an act constitutes academic misconduct, it is the students’ obligation to clarify the question with the
instructor before committing or attempting to commit the act.

The U of O policy on academic dishonesty will be observed throughout this course. Plagiarizing and/or cheating
will result in an automatic failure of the course. To avoid this, you should read:

We will also talk about the importance of proper attribution of your sources and providing credit where it is due.
In the digital arena, this is more important than ever, as the lifting of quotes or the creation of false content,
nevermind plagiarism can all be easily identified. Careers can – and have been – destroyed as a result of
breaking these rules. Don’t be foolish and make the same mistakes!

Audio assignments should be submitted as downloadable files in Canvas in MP3 or MP4 format.

The only written assignments for this class will be done in-class (Quizzes) and in self-reflections submitted with
your audio file (in the comments section in Canvas).

Mobile phones should be turned off in class, unless we’re using them for a task.

If I find you’re using your phone for something else, I will pick you up on it. Laptops are allowed, but there will
be “lids down” moments throughout the course.

Writing Central
I encourage you take advantage of of the opportunities provided by Writing Central:

Writing coaches can help you to think through your blog entries/reflections, as well as your end of term
reflection, if you decide to submit this in written form.

If you want to know more about anything mentioned here, or anything which you think is missing, then please
do not hesitate to email me! (or pop by Allen Hall 201) at any time.

Instructor bio

Damian Radcliffe is the Carolyn S. Chambers Professor in Journalism at the University of Oregon, a fellow of the
Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, an honorary research fellow at Cardiff University’s
School of Journalism, Media and Culture Studies, and a fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of
Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).

He is an experienced digital analyst, consultant, journalist, and researcher who has worked in editorial, research,
teaching, and policy positions for the past two decades in the UK, Middle East, and USA. His experience
encompasses roles at the BBC, the NGO Volunteering Matters, Ofcom (the UK communications regulator), and
Qatar’s Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ictQATAR). He works across all media sectors
(commercial, public, government, regulatory, academic, and nonprofit/civil society) and platforms, from print
and digital to TV and radio broadcasting.

Damian is a regular contributor to the BBC Academy, CBS Interactive (ZDNet), Huffington Post, MediaShift, and
IJNet, where he writes about digital trends, social media, technology, the business of media, and the evolution
of journalism.

Radcliffe has written, spoken to, or provided consulting services for a wide range of industry and academic
organizations, including Abramis Academic Publishing, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, BBC Academy, BBC Media
Action, BBC Monitoring, BBC World Service, Carnegie UK Trust, Cass Business School, Centre for Research on
Communities and Culture, City University London, Cognizant, Columbia Journalism Review (CJR), The
Conversation, Digital Content Next, Eyewitness Media Hub, FJUM (forum journalism and media, Vienna), The
Guardian, The Huffington Post, IBC Content Everywhere, IJNET,, JustHere, Media Development
Investment Fund, MediaShift, Middle East Broadcast Network, NESTA, Nieman Lab, Northwestern University in
Qatar, nuviun, Online Journalism Blog, Qatar Today, Street Fight, TEDx Reset (Turkey), TheMediaBriefing, The
Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University, Routledge and Your Middle East.

He has chaired sessions, provided training and spoken, at events around the world including: in the USA (New
York, Portland, Philadelphia, Colorado Springs, Chicago and Washington D.C.), the UK (London, Edinburgh,
Oxford, Cardiff, Belfast, Bristol), Europe (Paris, Strasbourg, Vienna, Barcelona, Istanbul, Amsterdam, multiple
cities in Germany) and the Middle East (Doha and Dubai).

Find out more about him on his website. Follow him on Twitter @damianradcliffe

Key audio experience

 10+ years in radio for the BBC and UK commercial radio.
 UK’s youngest ever Program Controller for a full-time FM radio station.
 Led a multi-award winning radio-led partnership between BBC and a UK NGO.
o 70 staff (6 direct reports) and 300 volunteers, across 40 project locations.
o 33,285 broadcasts, worked with 3,672 partners to engage 165,190 citizens
 Member: World College Radio Day Advisory Board.

For more information, please contact Damian Radcliffe, 201 Allen Hall. Email:

Annex: further resources

Origins of Podcasting – the first ten years. Part One: and Part
Two: (60 mins in total)

Online Learning
o Writing for the Ear, Part 1: Introduction to audio stories
o Writing for the Ear, Part 2: Picking and pitching stories
o Writing for the Ear, Part 3: Writing the story
o Writing for the Ear, Part 4: Revising the story
o Writing for the Ear, Part 5: Voicing and special topics
o Telling Stories with Sound:

Technical Skills - Transom articles on Podcasting Basics:
o Voice Recording Gear:
o Software:,
o Levels and Processing:
o User guide to Anchor FM:

Inspiration and ideas (pick something from here for your listening homework if you get stuck!)
2. - listener recommended episodes (with great synopsis) hosted by NPR