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Radio Exercise

Please listen to these two pieces of radio journalism (A Very Lucky Wind and The Bippolo Seed) and and answer the following questions:

a- What are the structural elements in the story (narrator/interviewees/background sound/music)
b- What element makes the story move forward?
c- How does the reporter integrate his sources to the story?
d- What are the differences between these pure audio stories and the ones we watched last week by Barbara Davidson from the LA Times?


  1. Patrick Duprey wrote:

    A. Unlike the RadioLab’s “A Very Lucky Wind,” the NPR piece doesn’t incorporate background sound or music. Instead, after a brief lead-in by the radio host, the narrator uses her own voice to lead in to interviews. It’s these two elements that really tell the story. In the RadioLab piece, there is a plethora of sound effects in addition to the narrators and interviewees, which help highlight the uniqueness of their way of telling a story but also provide a neat context to the script through imagery.

    B. In the NPR piece, the interviews really make the story move forward. The narrator provides a lead-in to each source, but it’s the interviewees who really add the history, relevance and context that drives the story. In the RadioLab piece, the narrators really drive the piece. Yes, they add relevant sources who provide some context to their script, but their voices and the sound effects really make the story. The sources are important, but I don’t think as much so as in the NPR piece, for the NPR story could not exist without the interviews. The narrators are much more dominant, and when sources are added in, their audio clips seem shorter than in the NPR piece and are there seemingly only to reinforce what the narrators say or add some description. The RadioLab narrators offer more paraphrasing and sound effects, in addition to vivid description to instill clear imagery in the minds of listeners, to move the story forward.

    C. The source lead-ins are much more formal in the NPR piece than in the RadioLab piece. In the NPR piece, I feel as though they use traditional journalism techniques, introducing their sources before the quotes with a brief lead-in to their quote that sets the stage for what they’re about to say. Both the NPR and the RadioLab stories work chronologically, but in the RadioLab piece, sources are integrated much more informally. The sources usually introduce themselves (i.e., “Hi, I’m Laura Buxton.”) and their position that makes them relevant in the story, and sources are really only used to reinforce what the narrators say or add description to contribute to the imagery. The RadioLab piece is much more open, as the narrators make it clear what they’re asking of their sources. In terms of source appearance, both stories use their first appearing interviewee to begin and end the story (the two Laura Buxtons in the RadioLab story and Dr. Charles Cohen in the NPR piece), though the RadioLab piece, because of its time length, spends much more time with each interviewee in this progression.

    D. Obviously these audio stories both incorporate narrator(s) to supplement the interviewees, whereas the “Ballad of Mateo” audio slideshow merely consisted of interview content with Matthew Stoneman, the subject. The Barbara Davidson slideshow incorporates a lot more natural sound, too, as you can hear not only his music but the reactions of listeners in the background at various points in the story. And then, of course, the slideshow is able to use its photographs to create a visual element to complement the story. Furthermore, the pure audio stories work in a consistent flow, moving from source to source and adding narration to drive the story forward. When Davidson wants to move her story to another element, the screen goes black for a second or two to punctuate the narrative, and there’s no audio to add a pause and introduce a new part of the story.

    Saturday, September 24, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Permalink
  2. Norah Sweeney wrote:

    1. What are the structural elements in the story (narrator/interviewees/background sound/music)?
    Like many other NPR stories, “The Bippolo Seed” makes no use of background sound or music. The story is laid out in the traditional format, in which the reporter introduces an idea or poses a question, and the interviewee provides clarification, context and background information in a somewhat formal manner.
    The Radio Lab story about the two Laura Buxtons, on the other hand, blends the structural elements of talk and news radio programs. The newscasters from Radio Lab, in addition, heavily employ background sound and music – seemingly in order to help the listener conjure the appropriate story-related images in his or her head.

    2. What element makes the story move forward?
    Quotes from the interviewees, among whom a dentist and secret Seuss fanatic and a children’s book publisher were included, drove the “Bippolo Seed” story forward. The anecdotes and explanations from Charles Cohen the dentist/Seuss fan and the publisher formulate the story’s plot, which ends with Cohen writing a book on the long-lost early Dr. Seuss books. Alternatively, the Radio Lab story moves forward, by large, with the commentary of the two newscasters. For example, they banter back and forth while introducing the story, and then, also through conversation, transition into the discussion of finding meaning in life’s happenings.

    3. How does the reporter integrate his/her sources into the story?
    In the NPR story, the reporter lets her interviewees do the majority of the talking – she essentially integrates herself into the story by creating a smooth transition into the next piece of information or quote, and providing a small introduction. From the Radio Lab story, the listener gets an entirely conversational vibe, even between the two journalists and their interview subjects.

    4. What are the differences between these pure audio stories and the ones we watched last week by Barbara Davidson from the LA Times?
    The presence of another medium in Barbara Davidson’s stories for the Los Angeles Times, namely the photographs, completely alters what’s necessary for appropriate audio. In “The Ballad of Mateo,” it was appropriate to include only Mateo’s voice, and to not introduce any of his quotes. The photos of Mateo playing his guitar, singing in restaurants, selling CDs and driving around Los Angeles provide the necessary context. Background information on the two Laura Buxtons and the lost Dr. Seuss books was necessary to include, therefore, in the straight audio stories.

    Saturday, September 24, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Permalink
  3. Evelyne Santiago wrote:

    a) The NPR and RadioLab stories had two completely different structures. NPR followed a very traditional structure that contained a continuous pattern of lead-in/interview throughout the entire piece. The RadioLab piece was more whimsical and out there, the hosts not only played off of each other but the various sound effects that the story had and that they found to incorporate into the story.

    b) In the NPR piece, the story moved with the responses of the source. The narrator made simple lead-ins but the story traveled with the facts, history, etc. that the interviewee had to offer. On the other hand the RadioLab piece moved because of the reporters. Their questions and banters led them from one portion of their segment onto the next. Though at times the sound effects proved too much, they did help the story travel and transitioned the listener from one place to the next. One moment you were meeting the Laura’s– hearing their voices and wondering what they look like — the second, you hear the coins dropping.

    c) During the RadioLab piece, the sources were all characters in a story. They were introduced as part of this adventure that the reporters were on. The format of NPR’s followed a very structured lead-in/source plan that made it seem more like they were being interviewed.

    d) When I was listening to RadioLab, I found myself wondering what the Laura’s looked like. I had images going in my head. What Barbara Davidson did was take that duty away. Her images just beautifully worked with each other and guided us through the story. In a way they made me feel more connected to the individuals. I think that RadioLab’s piece would have worked well with a slideshow as well. It definitely would have worked and made us connect even further.

    Sunday, September 25, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Permalink
  4. Nicole Black wrote:

    A) Structural elements in “The Bippolo Seed” are very basic in comparison to the story about the Laura Buxtons. It does not incorporate background sound or sound effects, and the use of interview to drive the narrative is minimal, leaving most of the story development up to the narrator. The resulting story is more news-y and less entertaining than the story about the Laura Buxtons.

    B)The narrator and the interviews are mainly what drive “The Bippolo Seed” forward. The narrator provides context for the sound bites from the interviewees, and they, in turn, fill in the gaps and provide further detail to the story. In the story about the Laura Buxtons, the plot is driven not only by narrator and interviewees, but also by music and sound effects.

    C)The reporter integrates her sources into the story by setting them up, introducing them and providing context for what they are going to talk about. The reporter serves as a sort of glue to connect the interviews to each other, driving the story forward as the interviewees provide details. In the Laura Buxtons story, the narrator fills in many of the details himself, and uses the sound clips more as a source of entertainment than to actually drive the story forward, although, on occasion, the clips do provide important plot-driving information.

    d)The obvious difference is that the Barbara Davidson story uses images as well as audio to drive the plot, while the other stories only require audio. While it may have been interesting to have visuals to go along with the Laura Buxtons story, the sound was entertaining enough by itself to keep the audience interested. Also, “The Ballad of Mateo” was purely driven by Mateo, without a narrator to introduce him or set up the context for his quotes… the context here was provided by the photographs.

    Sunday, September 25, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Permalink
  5. Ginny Van de Wall wrote:

    A. “The Bippolo Seed” follows a more traditional radio format. The use of narration and interview are intertwined together to follow the structure of a news story. Even though the piece is fun and lighthearted, the reporting style is still formatted like that of hard news.

    “A Very Lucky Wind” however, follows a completely different structure. The use of narration, interviews, background sound, and music is all incorporated. Even the way the sound bites from the interviews are intermingled with narration follows a non-tradtional radio format. In “A Very Lucky Wind,” the narrator is trying to pretend as if the girls being interviewed are there in the studio with him. He is coaxing them to answer the questions that the story presents.

    B. In the NPR story, the interviews are what really add to the story and make it move forward. However, without the narration, the story could not stand on its own. Both narration and interview complement each other very well in this story. While the narration does a perfect job setting up the quotes and bringing them to context, it really is the story the interviewees are relaying that keeps everything interesting. The history of the Dr. Suess stories are told by the interviewees as well as the story on how they came to be republished.

    For the Radio Lab story, however, the exact opposite holds true. The narrator is really the one moving the plot forward. The story would have no coherence if the narrator was not there to create the scene and coax each interviewee in to what they were going to say next. The main difference between the two stories is that “A Very Lucky Wind” relies heavily on background noise, short sound clips, and a fun host to move the story along while “The Bippolo Seed” depends on the longer sound clips of interviewees to sort of tell the story.

    C. The sources in the NPR story are used to actually explain their own story. Long sound bites are integrated with narration set up. For the Radio Lab story, however, the integration between reporter and source is completely different. Instead of creating a professional vibe like the NPR story did, the Radio Lab story is very conversational. The way the reporter and the sources’ sound bites are constantly moving back and forth at a fast speed creates a more friendly and fun feel to the piece.

    D. There is a huge difference between plain audio and audio accompanied with images. I personally believe images make a story come more alive because you are able to see the subject that is speaking. In Barbara Davidson’s “The Ballad of Mateo,” there was no need to add a narrator. Mateo’s story was able to stand alone. I do not believe this works as well for pure audio stories however. With audio slideshows there are pictures that accompany what the person is talking about. The images are almost able to act as a narrator. For pure audio pieces, there needs to be someone that can put quotes into context for it listeners.

    Sunday, September 25, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Permalink
  6. Samantha Schles wrote:

    A. “A Very Lucky Wind” incorporates all the elements of an audio story: nat sound, sound effects, music, narration and interviews. The NPR piece, however, using only narration and interviews.

    B. “A Very Luck Wind” is a more active piece than “The Bippolo Seed.” The Radiolab story plays around with narrative structure (it’s a form of frame story)and uses sound effects to keep the audience’s attention. It builds upon its layers to propel the story forward. “The Bippolo Seed” relied upon the interviews and facts to move the narrative. It’s very straight-forward. It “reads” more like a pyramid story with the narrator supplementing information alongside quotes.

    C. Like I wrote earlier, for “The Bippolo Seed” the reporter added information to the quotes, but mostly let the interviewees speak for themselves. It wasn’t narrator heavy like “A Very Lucky Wind” was. The RadioLab piece was more conversational. For example, the introduction was quite obviously framed and looped and cut into a more relaxed conversation instead of an interview. It was more interested in the story of what happened as opposed to the girls interviewed. “The Bippolo Seed” seemed to be more interested in the people who did the discovering of the Dr. Seuss stories and focused on their journeys.

    D. The main difference is the presence of photographs. But, I feel like the sound effects in the RadioLab piece acted as their pictures. It helped to contextualize the action and made it more easy to visualize the people involved in the story. Difference-wise, however, pictures change everything. If it was pure audio, the audience would visual exactly what Mateo was saying, not be looking at a supplemental picture that didn’t necessarily go along with the audio.

    Monday, September 26, 2011 at 12:05 am | Permalink
  7. Lindsey Ahern wrote:

    a- In “A Very Lucky Wind”, background music and sound effects are used. There’s a lot of conversation between the narrators. In the NPR piece, there’s no background music or sound effects. It’s just a narrator telling the story with some interviews to break up the narrator’s talking.
    b- The RadioLab piece moves forward with all of the background music and sound effects. I also feel like the conversation between the narrator’s help. It doesn’t really need the interviewees to move along. In the NPR piece, the interviewees are what move the story along. The narrator plays a part by introducing them, but they really tell the story.
    c- The RadioLab piece is more conversational and they told the story of the people they were interviewing in an interesting way to make us interested in the interviewees because I feel otherwise, I might not have been as interested. In the NPR piece, the narrator let the interviewees tell the story more.
    d- These pieces are told without pictures, so it’s up to the narrator to paint a good picture for all of the listeners. If we had pictures for the RadioLab piece, we might realize that both the Laura Buxton’s don’t really look as much alike as they portrayed to us.

    Monday, September 26, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Permalink
  8. Whitney Faber wrote:

    A. In “The Bippolo Seed,” the narrator tells a lot of the story and then weaves little bits of interview sound bites through her questions and narration. In “A Very Lucky Wind,” there is a lot of narration and story telling, and the hosts of the show enter and tell bits of story as they sort of explore the topic amongst themselves. In the more direct news story, the listener gets more of a sense that the story was planned. But the more narrative piece has the hosts exploring the topic and using different sound effects and techniques to set a more playful tone. The show includes different interviews and background sounds mixed with music and effects.

    B. For the “Bippolo Seed” story, the information moves forward as the interest of the story moves forward. The narration of the story moves it. With “A Very Lucky Wind,” the story moves forward with effects and the interest of the two hosts’ exploration of the subject. With both stories, I felt that the narrative in the stories was propelling the radio show forward.

    C. In both stories, the sources are mixed in with the narration. The “hosts” often ask questions and then play the source’s answer or start to tell a story and mix in the dialogue from the source as interjections to the story. Much like a print story, there is a mix of the journalist telling informing the listener and then using sources to enhance or prove the information.

    D. The pure audio adds more effects to keep the listener interested. There is a mix of different sources and narration along with sound effects and music. Because the audio slideshow has the advantage of also having photos to keep the audience interested, the audio can be a little simpler, a little plainer. In the piece by Barbara Davidson, only one person talked, something that would not keep the interest of the listener for the pure audio.

    Monday, September 26, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Permalink
  9. Danielle Torres wrote:

    A) “A Very Lucky Wind” had a very casual structure. There was a lot of editing to make it seem as if the two narrators were speaking to their interviewees live. They also incorporated a lot of sound effects to tell the story which made it a little more tricky to follow. Perhaps the fast pace was supposed to emulate the less than perfect chaos that occurs in an in person interview. “The Bippolo Seed” had a straight up newsy style. There weren’t any background sounds and the narrator served to provide a brief intro and context to the interviewee sound bytes, just like in a print story.

    B) The stories moved forward as a result of the narrators directing the story. In the case of “A Very Lucky Wind” the narrators seemed to interject kind of suddenly with some sort of fact or seemingly unrelated rhetorical questions. In “The Bippolo Seed” the narrator simply follows a print format sandwiching voiceovers between quotes.
    C) In “A Very Lucky Wind” the narrators briefly mention new interviewees, but the interviewees mainly introduced themselves. In “The Bippolo Seed” the reporter introduced the interviewees and paraphrased some sound bytes. Then the quote followed.

    D) The audio stories depended more on the presence of narrators while Barbara Davidson’s slideshow allowed some of the photos to help transition and usher in new subjects. With the slideshows, Davidson didn’t have to work as hard in creating the visual aspect of the atmosphere. The pure audio pieces depended on constant narration and detailed descriptions. Although, “The Bippolo Seed” was a straight radio newscast rather and didn’t require as much attention to building an atmosphere. “A Very Lucky Wind” was more of an entertainment piece for talk radio.

    Monday, September 26, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Permalink
  10. Thad Komorowski wrote:

    A. “The Bippolo Seed”‘s more traditional format worked better for me than “A Very Lucky Wind”. “Wind”‘s mixing of music, interview bites, etcetera, too ‘creative’ for my tastes, and affects the impact of the story.

    B. NPR in general survives on a mixture of the words of the reporter and those of the story participants, so this story is no difference. With Radio Lab, the narrator is the driving force of the story, and it seems likely the interviewees might not have as much to say if they weren’t coerced into doing so.

    C. NPR = professional/traditional, Radio Lab = creative/non-traditional. That seems to be reoccurring through all of these comments. NPR’s job is to deliver undistorted news and unfiltered opinions, whereas Radio Lab is more focused on making an entertaining piece than anything else.

    D. Barbara Davidson’s needed the photos, because it helped enhance a highly visual stories. The linked newscasts don’t lend themselves so easily to visuals because the information contained therein is more than substantial on their own.

    Monday, September 26, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Permalink
  11. Sabina Cao wrote:

    A. Both stories have a narrative throughout the piece that connects the different interviews together. However, ‘A Very Lucky Wind’ incorporates a lot more personality, background music and sounds than ‘A Bippolo Seed.’ The latter story features the NPR host intermittent with pertinent relatively long sound bites, while the former bounced around with the sound bites.

    B. ‘A Very Lucky Wind’ is moved forward by the narrators. The hosts tell the story, using the interviews as supporting details. ‘The Bippolo Seed,’ on the other hand, utilizes the interviews to provide the major content in the story and move it forward.

    C. Both audio stories use lead-ins for their interviews, but the NPR story was much more formal. The hosts of ‘A Very Lucky Wind’ seemed to have a conversation with their interviewees, which was not as effective as the Bippolo story.

    D. These pure audio stories do not necessarily need photos or visuals to tell it. The level of detail described in the audio stories matched the imagery of the Barbara Davidson photo story. Both played up imagery, but just in different forms.

    Monday, September 26, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Permalink
  12. TJ Gunther wrote:

    A. The NPR story is much simpler than the Radio Lab piece. NPR is structured very similarly to a traditional news piece, with the narrator providing context and building the quotes into a true narrative about lost Dr. Seuss stories and the man who’s been finding them. There isn’t any music or sound effects, just voices telling stories. Radio Lab is a much longer story that explores a lot of stuff all relating to chance. Where NPR is pretty straight forward and factual, Radio Lab is more open ended, asking questions and leaving the listener to think what they want to about chance. They use two narrators to tell the story, and it sounds much more like a conversation, instead of a news bulletin. They use a lot of sound effects and other things to keep the listener engaged. NPR relies on the quality of their reporting and story telling to keep the listener interested.

    B. NPR uses the reporter to drive the story forward and connect the dots that are quotes. It’s like a written news piece that lays out the facts of a story, as each interviewee explains their point of view of the story. Radio Lab also uses the narrators to drive the story, but they hook the listener with a fascinating story. Instead of starting with a lead that describes chance, they begin with an anecdotal story about two girls eerily similar. That story drives the listener forward. He or she wants to learn more about the girls, and it isn’t until the end that it is explained how many things aren’t similar between the two girls and thus proves the point. The piece is built around a story that drives it, but the facts and information is about chance and how chance works.

    C. NPR just jumps to a source after setting up the quote. It doesn’t sound conversational in any way. It’s just a voice that we assume was taken from another conversation that we aren’t hearing. The reporter has gathered the information and now presents it, instead of allowing the listener into the interviewing process by which the stories and information was gained. Radio Lab talks directly to their sources. The audience hears how they communicate back and forth and hear exactly what was said. It sounds more natural than the All Things Considered method that collects sound bites.

    D. The audio slideshows don’t need any voice over to present the setting. Instead the audio uses natural sound to fill the listener in as to where the speaker is and what he does. The pictures introduce who he is and his voice goes along with the images. Instead of a conversation, the slideshow is one man telling his story of how he found a life in Latin music. The audience hears the music and his singing, and there is no need to use sound effects when the actual sounds can be recorded and work better. As a complete package, the slideshow feels like it speaks directly to the subject, where the pure audio stories jump around and use different sources and voices. The slideshow is just one voice.

    Monday, September 26, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Permalink
  13. Kayla McCormack wrote:

    A. The two stories had very different structures. “A Very Lucky Wind” had many more elements such as multiple interviews, two hosts, natural sound, and various sound effects and music. The NPR story was much more subtle, using only the voice of the host/narrator and the interview.

    B. “A Very Active Wind” is a much more dynamic piece than the NPR story. “A Very Lucky Wind” uses the anecdote of the 2 Lauras to transition into a discussion about chance. The NPR broadcast mainly uses the narrator to move the story along.

    C. In the NPR story the narrator is a big part of the story, she is vital in moving the story along and understanding what the source is saying. In “A Very Lucky Wind” there was less formality between the sources and the interviewers, and between the interviewers themselves. Everything was more relaxed in “A Very Lucky Wind.”

    D. The lack of images in these radio broadcasts makes the sources and interviewers word choice and tone very important. The words are acting as both the information and imagery. It is harder to make someone interested in just listening to talk radio, so the narrators needed to be sure everything they said added to the story’s quality and visual imagery since there were no pictures to go with the audio like the presentation from the LA Times.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 11:27 am | Permalink
  14. Kayla McCormack wrote:

    A. “A Very Lucky wind had more elements in it. There were multiple sources and hosts, sound effects and music. In the NPR story there was only the narrator and the source.

    B. “A Very Lucky Wind” uses the anecdote of the two Lauras to transition the story into a discussion on chance. The NPR broadcast relied mainly on the narrator to move the story.

    C. “A Very Lucky Wind” has a more relaxed format. The interactions between the two narrators and the sources is informal and conversational. In the NPR Story the structure is much more formal. The information that the narrator provides is very important to the story.

    D. These radio broadcasts lack images and and as such it is important to ensure that the information coming from both the sources and narrators is interesting and relevant because the words must create the imagery and establish the information.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 11:32 am | Permalink
  15. Isabel J Braverman wrote:

    1. The RadioLab piece uses all of these elements. It’s a chaotic story, yet I think it works (mostly because I’m younger and it appeals to the younger set who have the wherewithal to listen to a lot of things at the same time). They employ the use of sound effects frequently and the hosts use a theatrical voice to narrate the story, many times speaking at the same time. Most of the speaking is by the narrators and the sources have short clips. This is different from the NPR piece, which has an almost 50/50 balance of reporter and source commentary. The NPR piece does not use any background music or sound effects, just straight talking (in the typical NPR voice no less). It’s spoken as a news story is written- lead, nut graf, introduction of sources followed by a quote, and a kicker. In my opinion, it makes for a less interesting story than the RadioLab piece. This is because when you hear a lot of noises your brain is forced to pay more attention, so it can understand what is going on and process it, like in the RadioLab story. When you hear just one voice (especially with the NPR slow-talking “serious” voice) your mind tends to wander… at least it does for me.

    2. The Radiolab story has suspense in it, in the form of music and pauses in between talking… you want to know what is going to happen next. It also tells a story and then quickly summarizes it before moving on. The NPR piece has a nice steady flow, with the reporters voice interspersed with different sources.

    3. RadioLab uses sources to almost finish their sentence, instead of having them say a whole thought. The bits that they use are more conversational instead of the traditional use of sources. It captures the sources’ personalities with their laughter or saying witty things instead of just straight facts. The sources are used to capture the feeling of the story. In the NPR piece, sources are used to add more in-depth information to the story. They are integrated to correspond with the the preceding anecdote that the reporter is telling. Both stories use sources that are experts in their fields.

    4.The difference is that they made the stories more entertaining through sound since the visual aspect is non-existent. The visual story can go for a longer stretch using just music, but an audio story cannot do that because it makes the listener detach from the story and wonder what is going on. Strictly audio stories need to have more than one source so that the listener gets a variety of voices. The visual slide show used only one or two voices.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Permalink
  16. Christine Loman wrote:

    A.”A Very Lucky Wind” has strong narration that plays with itself and the interviewees. It also uses a lot of sound effects, I’m pretty sure they weren’t nat sound, but they served that purpose and various snippets of music to create mood.

    B.I think the narration is key to moving the story forward but that nat sound, or in the case the sound effects, also help to develop the pacing of the story.

    C. While the interviews were definitely a big part of the story, at times they felt over shadowed by the personality/hype of the narration.

    D. With pure audio stories there is no need to include or exclude parts of the story because of the photos you have.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Permalink
  17. Ashley May wrote:

    a. A Very Lucky Wind has many sound effects, narration, narrative interjections, back and forth storytelling. The podcast also has several stories in one play. The Bippolo Seed has no sound effects, goes from the narrator to a source to the narrator again and then to another source.

    b. A Very Lucky Wind moves forward with the push of the narrator and sound effects. The Bippolo Seed moves forward with a one-subject story line and the narrator’s transitions between sources.

    c. A Very Lucky Wind goes back and forth between the two sources pretty equally in the beginning. When the story moves to the teacher’s classroom, the narrators carry the story. The Bippolo Seed features the primary source up front and at the end, with supporting sources in between.

    d. Many more sound effects are incorporated, description through voice rather than image, and heavy narration.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Permalink
  18. Carly Sitzer wrote:

    A. Unlike “The Bippolo Seed,” which was very formal and traditional, “A Very Lucky Wind” incorporated many things into the broadcast. The broadcasters used many different sounds, voices and sound effects to affectively tell their story and keep in interesting. However, I found the style of “The Bippolo Seed” easier to follow because of it’s lack of distractions and noises.

    B. For the story on NPR, it moved forward with the sound bytes taken from the interviews, much like how a written story would flow. The narration serves merely as a tool of clarity, but it lets the interviews speak for themselves (literally and figuratively). On the other hand, the Radio Lab story has the narrators telling the story, using actual quotes from the sources minimally and when it necessary.

    C. In “A Very Lucky Wind,” the sources were introduced when their “characters” (so to speak) were needed to tell his/her part of the story. They were used basically just to give quotes and say what they needed to, when appropriate and necessary. In “The Bippolo Seed” they were introduced, but other than that the narrator allowed them to use their own voice to say what they had to say.

    D. One major difference between these and the piece from the LA Times is the number of people telling the story. In the LA Times piece, it was clear that there was only one person talking so there was no need for any narrator to introduce anyone. Of course, the other major difference is the use of pictures. The visuals provide significant context that could not have been achieved without them.

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Permalink
  19. Today in class we watched this podcast about two little girls from England, both named Laura Buxton, who found each other by way of balloon. I won’t go into too much detail because you can simply listen, but the rest of the broadcast went on to talk about fate and whether it may determine our lives or if people just spin stories that way.

    I am here more to comment on the radio and editing side of it. First, I loved all of the sound effects they used, I thought it brought a lot to the story and makes hearing almost visual in a sense.

    I also loved how the narrators told the story. He would introduce one of the girls and ask her questions but then restate her answers, almost guiding us through this tale and setting up a visual image. It was great to listen to.

    However, I didn’t love that it took them so long to reach the point of their broadcast. Many examples and slapstick comedy devices could have been scaled back, since 20 minutes is rather long to make a point about disproving your original point.

    Overall, the natural sound and all of the different people’s accents brought life to the story.

    The Bippolo Seed on the other hand, is kind of boring compared to A Very Lucky Wind.

    It sounds like an AM radio talk show. It has no music or visual devices, the radio host sets up no imagery for the listener. The interviews are nicely set up and led into, but it is kind of boring.

    If they described the magazines or stories rather than the collectors would be more interesting. I didn’t want to hear from professors or experts, hearing what the collectors thought of the story would be better.

    An interesting story but it was just covered very mundanely and it was dry.

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink
  20. A. The narrator guides us through the entire story, with natural sound and some clearly unnatural music and side effects helping him along the way, making the journey very movie-like. He brings us through several different segments, starting with an anecdote about statistics/randomness (the Lauras) and then bringing in professionals to help explain probability.

    B. The element that makes the story move forward is the narrator’s constant questioning about the facts presented to him. The audience is forced to follow his train of thought and pursue the answer with him. (E.g., “But how LIKELY was it that the balloon would land there? I asked Professor Blah-blah…”)

    C. Related to my previous statement, the reporter integrates his sources to the story by posing questions to the audience and then retrieving answers from his sources.

    D. “Ballad of Mateo” by Barbara Davidson is an audio slideshow, which is the most obvious difference between these pieces. Apart from the lack of a slideshow in RadioLab, however, there are differences within the approaches to audio. Davidson includes audible reactions from listeners in her piece, and her narration moves much more fluidly and professionally than “A Very Lucky Wind.” (However, she was aided by visuals, which took away the difficulty of setting the scene to the listeners.) Furthermore, Davidson’s piece is more of a lecture, while NPR’s is a journey that the audience and the narrator embark on together.

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Permalink
  21. Kelsey O'Connor wrote:

    A. In “A Very Lucky Wind,” the story was really being told by the narrators, it was a very interactive and fun piece and had an interesting frame. I liked how it sucked you into the story of the Laura Buxtons right away, then kind of stepped back and addressed the theme of ‘chance.’ I thought it was clever how they later brought you back to the Lauras and told you how they mislead you and compared that to how you can get sucked up by ‘miracles.’ So in terms of storytelling and framing, I really liked it. There was also a strong use of sound effects — which went a little overboard when they had the grass talk — and background noise and really gave you a sense of where the narrators themselves were. This was very different from “The Bippolo Seed” where the narrator really stepped out and let the sources tell the story. There was almost no background noise or sound effects. It was very flat compared to “A Very Lucky Wind.”

    B. The narrators in “A Very Lucky Wind” drove the direction of the story and let it flow almost like a conversation, though it clearly had a planned frame. “The Bippolo Tree” was led by voiceovers from the narrator who set it up almost like a standard inverted pyramid story. It was very ‘lead-in quote, lead-in quote-y.’

    C. The sources in “A Very Lucky Wind” were almost there to tell the story along with the reporters. I thought the sources were really well integrated into the story. In “The Bippolo Tree,” the sources were introduced by the narrator every time and did most of the story telling.

    D. The difference between the two radio shows and Barbara Davidson’s audio slideshow was the fact that the reporter was completely removed from the story, which I think worked really well. In this slideshow, the photos were there to set the scene and add description, so sound effects were not so necessary, but the music went really well in the background.

    Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink
  22. A. There are many differences between the structural elements of ‘A Very Lucky Wind’ and ‘The Bippolo Seed.’ The RadioLab segment is, in my opinion, much more driven by the voices of the narrators than the interviewees, and their use of cinematic background music and natural sound adds a fun, surprising element to a relatively lighthearted story. ‘The Bippolo Seed’ does not use any music or natural sound, and the narrator’s voice is mainly used to lead into quotes by the interviewees; in this way, ‘The Bippolo Seed’ sounds much more like an actual news story than a radio program or show.

    B. In ‘The Bippolo Seed,’ it is the sources that make the story move forward. With little intervention from the narrator beyond leading into quotes, it is the sources who tell the entire story and offer their perspectives. In ‘A Very Lucky Wind,’ the narrator’s use of sound effects—such as the sound of the wind blowing—immerses the listener in the story.

    C. In the RadioLab piece, sources are integrated between the narrators’ bantering. Especially in the beginning of the piece, the narrators use snippets of quotes to fill in their own cinematic version of the story. ‘The Bippolo Seed’ was much more formal in their integration of quotes. Sources were introduced in a typical, journalistic news style, with the narrator properly introducing each quote before it was said. The difference between the pieces’ source integration ultimately influenced my overall opinion of each piece: While I viewed the NPR story as a news story, I took the RadioLab piece to be semi-humorous because of the way in which sources were introduced. In my opinion, the bantering between the narrators in this piece distracted from the stories of the sources.

    D. Obviously, using images to physically depict what is being said in an audio interview is a huge benefit that comes with creating a slideshow. Listeners can focus less on imagining the sources and instead immerse themselves in their stories. In other words, using photos in an audio slideshow takes out some of the work in understanding a story. The audio slideshow by Barbara Davidson also used authentic music to better portray the story. The strictly audio stories—like ‘A Very Lucky Wind’ and ‘The Bippolo Seed’—do not use photos, which forces the reader to construct images based on the audio interviews. Using strictly audio means that, in many cases, the interviewer must be even better at capturing descriptive quotes that paint a picture for listeners.

    Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink
  23. Megan Blarr wrote:

    A. First off, the narrators in “A Very Lucky Wind” act more like characters as they tend to add humor and make the story seem much less formal. The background sounds and music, while sometimes “cheesy,” fit the story well, and make it sound like a narrative. “The Bippolo Seed” on the other hand sounds more like a formal news piece, using inverted pyramid and a reporter to tell the story of Dr. Seuss’ lost works. There is no background sound, music or sound effects, which makes it seem less like a story and more like news.

    B. Personally, I think the sound effects and narrative style of “A Very Lucky Wind” make that story move forward, as opposed to having no sound or true narration in “The Bippolo Seed,” which moved forward with inverted pyramid.

    C. Both introduce the characters in their own way; however, “A Very Lucky Wind” uses anecdotes and description to share more about the sources. “The Bippolo See” introduces sources more like a traditional hard news article would introduce a quote.

    Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Permalink
  24. Mary Apesos wrote:

    A-Structurally, the Bippolo Seed by NPR is more “clean cut” than A Very Lucky Wind by Radio Lab, but both are still very organized. There is one narrator in Bippolo Seed, who passes off the spotlight to the people she interviewed. By doing this, it is similar to the written inverted pyramid style. In the Radio Lab segment, there are two narrators and loads of sound bites (speaking, sound effects and music) that surround the story and fill in all the space.

    B-The NPR story relies on clips from human sources to move the story along. The narrator leads up to those audio clips, and the sources continue the story and give it plot. The Radio Lab story is lead by the narrators and the editors of the clip itself. The narrators have a lot of input; they ask questions, answer themselves and have witty banter throughout the piece. Also, sound clips of music and sound effects are filling in where they are not. The interviews are just pieces of information that the narrators use to fuel their opinions.

    C-The narrator in the NPR story integrated her sources by leading up to them. She would essentially introduce a quote and then let the audio quote flow for a few sentences. The Radio Lab narrators integrate the sources by adding them in long segments as well, but they would also break them up and use them in smaller segments or repeat them.

    D-Barbara Davidson keeps her own voice out of the stories. She let Mateo sing and speak alone in order to display himself and let the audience analyze what he is saying on their own. The pictures add to the story. There are no captions, nothing to read, just pictures and audio. That set up itself is very different from the radio stories and the result is that it is just as powerful, maybe even more powerful.

    Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Permalink
  25. Laura Murray wrote:

    A. “The Bippolo Seed” presents a very straightforward story. The narrator moves the story along while using interviews to provide details and credibility. The structure reminded me of a written news article. NPR did not include natural sound or music. On the other hand, “A Very Luck Wind” uses a lot of natural sound and music. The natural sound helps illustrate the action, such as a coin hitting the ground or a balloon being drained of helium. The music also underscored what was being said. For example, when the story talked about the girl’s first encounter the music was happy and upbeat, but towards the end when the narrators discuss fate and miracles the music turns somewhat mystical and eerie. A narrator told the story and the interviews were used to basically solidify what he was discussing.

    B. In the NPR piece, the narrator and the interviews are the only two elements that move the story forward. The interviewees especially move the story forward because they add credibility and specific niceties since they lived the experience of the story. On the other hand, the RadioLab narrators were the crucial element to the “A Very Lucky Wind” story because they took the listener on a journey. The interviewees did contribute significant points, but it was the narrators’ descriptions of their encounters with different people and experiments that moved the story along.

    C. In the NPR piece, the flow of sources is similar to a written news article. The narrator introduces the source and gives a brief background on what the source will explain in further detail. The RadioLab story introduces the source, but in a more conversational and informal way. They might tell them to state their name, ask them a question or provide more clarification. The entire story is presented as a conversation rather than a routine news story.

    D. The Barbara Davidson piece was extremely different from the pure audio stories. Davidson used images to show the only source in his environment and give the reader a clear visual picture of his story. Also, Davidson did not use narration, but she did incorporate natural sound and Matthew Stoneman’s music.

    Friday, February 17, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink
  26. a- “A Very Lucky Wind” is a mixture of narrative story w/ characters and dialogue, and exposition where the radio hosts are reflecting on the concepts of chance and luck. It’s like the stories, such as that of the two Lauras, are woven in to fit the overall story and focus on the role chance plays in our lives. The ‘characters’ in these stories were very involved, like you could picture them in the room with the reporters, as the Lauras interjected where they were excited about certain details. The sounds effects were kind of cartoonish in a way, but I think it worked perfectly for this piece; they captured the mood when necessary and kind of reflected how life can be cartoonish, like the suspenseful sound effects where I believe it was describing the yard when the balloon was found.
    “The Bippolo Seed” was more of a news story, but presented as more of a feature than a piece of hard news. There no music. It was not so narrative, and more like a traditional interview. The reporter introduced the speech of the sources, kind of like in a print article but in spoken-word form and more conversational in tone.

    b- In “A Very Lucky Wind,” the story moves forward more so in the manner that a book would move forward, with a sort of sense of suspense and getting the listener involved and intrigued so they want to learn more about either the narrative (ex: the story of the two Lauras) or topic being discussed (ex: chance).
    “The Bippolo Seed” more appeals to the listeners’ curiosity, not so much their feelings/emotions of excitement like in “A Very Lucky Wind,” and I think it makes sense that “The Bippolo Seed” is so much shorter, because you can only maintain someone’s curiosity alone for so long.

    c- In “A Very Lucky Wind,” the sources are integrated more like characters that are brought in when appropriate to the point of conversation going on in the story. So they are less like straight interviewees and more like members ing a conversation who share their anecdotes when appropriate.
    d- The pure audio stories sort of painted a picture in your head, as they were more descriptive and had multiple characters, as well as sounds to set the scene in “A Very Lucky Wind.”
    Barbara Davidson’s piece more used the images and Matthew’s voice to support each other (even contrasting each other like in the beginning where it shows bright pictures of musicians being happy as Matthew talks about being chained up in prison). His music was actually used to break up his narration, kind of like how the quotes broke up the narration in the straight audio stories. The pictures don’t look like they are in chronological order; they look like they are mostly at the present, and the audio is telling the story of how he got from a more difficult time in his life to the time being described at the present.

    Saturday, February 18, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Permalink
  27. Monica wrote:

    a – NPR’s piece is much more simple than RadioLab’s piece. There’s no background sound or music. It depends on the story to hold the audience’s attention. RadioLab’s “A Very Lucky Wind” is fun, but there were a couple times when the sound effects were just way too cheesy. I understand that that’s they’re style, but some those effects really took away some of the legitimacy of the overall story for me. That being said, most of the sound effects were fine and only enhanced the story. I just wish they weren’t so heavy-handed with them.

    b – For RadioLab, the narrators really pushed the story along whereas NPR’s piece relied on the interviews to tell the story. If these were both fictional stories, I’d say the RadioLab host was the protagonist/main character in A Very Lucky Wind. In The Bippolo Seed, the main character is Dr. Charles Cohen. I don’t know if it’s a bad thing that RadioLab’s story is more about the narrators than the people being interviewed. The hosts are interesting and funny, and the overall story was entertaining. The RadioLab story definitely has more imagery and brings the story to life. I kind-of see NPR’s story as straight news and RadioLab’s as a feature-y narrative story.

    c – In the NPR piece, they lead their sources in in a similar way that you would in a typical news story – lead-in paragraph followed by their quotes. In the RadioLab piece it’s presented much more informally and in a more narrative style.

    d – The radio shows were more compelling than the slideshow for me. Davidson’s piece was just all one voice and some natural sound, whereas the radio shows had multiple voices and perspectives that told a more compelling and fleshed out story. Usually I find audio slideshows very compelling, but I found this one to be less engaging.

    Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink
  28. Sydney N wrote:

    A. “The Bippolo Seed” does not include background or sound music. It has a traditional style of the narrator speaking and then the interviewees. I love the lines of the book being read and inserted into the story, it added another dimension because you can hear the passion and love for Dr. Seuss’ work.
    “A Very Luck Wind” was jam-packed with sound effects, background music. The interviewees appeared in an nontraditional fashion by chiming in at random. It made the story interesting and unpredictable.

    B. The narrator’s script and the sources interviews propel the story in “The Bippolo Seed.” I personally preferred this audio piece in comparison to “A Very Lucky Wind.” The story nicely flows and is directed by either the narrator or the source. “A Very Lucky Wind” uses the sound elements and the comical components of their script to move the story forward. I often felt lost and had no sense of direction while listening to this piece. I didn’t know where the reporter was taking us. In the end a destination was reached but the sound elements and narrators struggled with getting me there.

    C. The narrator in “The Bippolo Seed” integrates her sources by mentioning their name and position and then the next voice is usually the source. In “A Very Lucky Wind” the reporter structures it as a dialogue or almost a fill in the blank scenario, especially in the introduction. A lot of times the narrator will mention a change of location and then the source will introduce him or herself.

    D. The Barbara Davidson piece differs from the purely audio pieces in a few ways. Primarily, the inclusion of images in Davidson’s piece allows for a different story to be told. The pictures speak in place of narration. Because the purely audio pieces are purely audio there is a need for the narrator to direct the story. Also, while the sound effects in “A Very Lucky Wind” are comical the natural sound of the guitar and clapping in Davidson’s story makes a greater connection with the viewer.

    Monday, February 20, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink
  29. Kari Beal wrote:

    1. A main narrator tells both stories with interviewees contributing to the dynamics of the piece. Although both stories are soft news, NPR is known for their straightforward stories and this is present in “The Bippolo Seed” clip. “A Very Lucky Wind” on the other hand, has lots of background music and sound effects to enhance the story.
    2. “The Bippolo Seed” gets straight to the point when talking about the story and keeps the flow by going from story to story. “A Very Lucky Wind” foreshadows and uses sounds effects to captivate the listener. In my opinion sometimes it’s overdone, but it does make the story stand out.
    3. The interviewees from radio lab are very conversational. You can hear this right at the beginning when the reporter includes numerous “yes’ to emphasis the point. NPR uses its interviewees to effectively tell the story rather than make it entertaining and spontaneous.
    4. The pure audio stories let you vision the story with you own mind. Unlike the audioslideshows there is viewership creativity involved with pure audio pieces. It is similar to a short audio book segment with endless imaginable possibilities. With the Barbara Davison piece though I think some of the pictures brought the viewer right into the heart of the problems happening. The images gave the vivid clarity of exactly what these people were experiencing. The musician gave a nice emotional feel to the entire piece.

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Permalink
  30. Daisy Arriaga wrote:

    A. In “A Very Luck Wind” I didn’t like that each story didn’t flow until the ending. I did like the background noise for the first story about the balloon. The sound bed helped me believe think that I was there watching this story instead of just hearing it. What was over done was the coin story. The coin did not need to continue to be flipped more than once. I did like the explanation at the end of how it was edited. In the NPR Story there wasn’t any background sound and since they are talking about Dr. Seuss I feel that they could have done some low-tones.

    B. In the NPR piece, Lynn introduces each of the concepts in the story so it was easy to follow. In “A very lucky wind” stories were just thrown at me and not really related to eachother until the end. Which doesn’t work since you don’t know the purpose until the last 2 minutes of a 20 minute story.

    C. In the NPR piece, Lynn, as I have said, she introduces her sources and says how they relate. In “A very lucky wind” the main speaker tells the story and has his sources come in from time to time but it was kind of confusing.

    D. Pure audio stories can sometimes take the visual out of a story. In print there is always at least one photo so the reader can visualize some aspect of the story whereas in audio it is up to the listener to visualize. What I like about Davidson’s piece is that you can imagine it as if you were watching a movie even though it is just a slide show.

    Monday, February 27, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Permalink
  31. Brandon Doyle wrote:

    A. In “A Very Lucky Wind,” there is an abundance of sound effects and interviews. On the other hand, the NPR piece had no sound effects and the interviewer introduced each new concept and interviewee.

    B. In the NPR story, the interviews really move the story forward. With a brief introduction to each interviewee by the narrator, the interviews are what adds context and moves the story onward. In the RadioLab piece, it is the interviewers that move the story forward. The answers to interview questions by Laura Buxton(s) and the mathematicians are short and sweet, then the narrators move the piece forward and tie the elements together.

    C. In the RadioLab story, the narrators integrate their sources into the story themselves, then use the interviewees comments and quotes to reinforce what the narrator had already said in the introduction. In the NPR piece, the interviewer uses more traditional journalistic lead ins.

    D. The main difference between these two audio clips and Barbara Davidson’s work for the LA Times is that Davidson’s work was able to incorporate pictures to her presentation. These photos help keep with viewer engaged in the piece, while keeping a much more simple narration/interview. These two pieces by NPR and RadioLab do not have photos, and use audio elements to keep the listeners engaged in the story. For RadioLab, they use a plethora of sound effects to help paint a visual picture to its listener. The NPR piece uses great interviews to keep the listener engaged in the story.

    Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Permalink
  32. Molly Freeman wrote:

    A- “A Very Lucky Wind” uses a more complex structure by including two narrators, a handful of interviewees, nat sound, sound effects, and music. They are woven together more like a narrative story rather than a news story. The NPR story “The Bippolo Seed,” has a much more straight news structure with the intro to the narrator and the progression of interviewees. There is also a lack of music and nat sound which gives it a more straight news tone.

    b- In “A Very Lucky Wind” I think the narrators are a big part of the story moving along because they gradually lead into the story about the two Laura Buxtons and then lead the listener through the discussion of fate versus chance. In “The Bippolo Seed” the narrator also is the one to propel the story forward by leading into the story and providing transitions between the interviewees.

    c- The narrators in “A Very Luck Wind” integrate their sources in a way that sounds conversational, whereas the NPR story has more straight news intros to each of the quotes.

    d- The obvious difference is that Barbara Davidson’s stories include photos which gives the viewer another level on which to engage with the story. The pure audio stories, especially the RadioLab story, have to rely on other techniques to keep the listeners attention. RadioLab uses a lot of sound effects and a conversational tone and the NPR story uses the straight news structure. Davidson’s piece has more of a narrative structure that is led entirely by the interviewee and not at all by a narrator.

    Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Permalink
  33. Alex Ash wrote:

    1. “A Very Lucky Wind” included more sound effects and background noises, and a non-traditional interview style with people talking as they please. In the NPR interview, it focused mostly on straightforward interviewing of the sources, there was no background noises or sound effects, a much simpler method of telling the story.

    2. In the NPR piece the interviews move the story forward. She also introduces each new part of the story as the story goes along. The RadioLab piece the interviewers move the story forward and the narration is what gives the story context, the interview answers are short but the narrators eventually tie everything together.

    3. In the NPR piece the interviewer does a journalistic lead in, introducing the interviewees than including quotes. The RadioLab piece the narrators mostly tell the story with their sources inserted into the piece to add quick statements.

    4. The main difference are the lack of visuals on the NPR and RadioLab pieces. With the LA Times story, the pictures gave a face to who was telling the story, a location that the viewer can see and understand where they are, and give a different sensory experience to the viewer. It didn’t have to rely as much on sound effects or background music like the RadioLab piece.

    Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

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