Reading Response #7: Audio

This week, read Briggs Chapter 7 and Seven Easy Steps To Good Sound (a.k.a. “Seven Easy Steps to Getting Sound that Doesn’t Suck”).

Since I used to be a radio reporter, it pains me to say it: but audio content tends not to go viral the way that videos, photos, and even text-based content can. Why do you think that is? What is audio good for, anyway? (Try not to hurt my feelings.)

Comment on this post by 9 a.m., March 29th.


15 thoughts on “Reading Response #7: Audio

  1. I personally am shocked that audio doesn’t go viral in journalism. Like Courtney said above, we’re all humans and crave something to catch our interest instantly. I feel that visuals have that affect on us because it doesn’t require much effort besides using one of our 5 main senses: our eyes. But with audio, it requires two, which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but when you aren’t in a location where sound isn’t allowed or don’t have a pair of headphones, that audio is not going to be allowed, which will cause us to skim and skip over. I feel that because we live such fast paced lifestyles, audio is more of a hassle than a luxury. So text and visuals are more fitting and have more potential to become viral.


  2. I think that is because when things go viral and content is shared it is all being shared through devices with screens that draws the attention and makes you restless and eager to find something interesting to look at. If the eyes have nothing interesting to look at, it’s easy to click away and find something else, because the screen is always the center of your attention.

    Audio is good for several things, two that really comes to mind. Audio is great way to get news when you are busy or on the road. It is great when your eyes have to focus on something else, like the road or if you’re busy doing homework or painting your house. Another, and far more important reason is if there is a national emergency, tragedy or something like that. Audio can use radio waves to deliver news; it’s not dependent on Internet or electricity. So audio is great to use as a way to give public service announcements during crisis situations. Other then these two there are of course other reasons, like Høgh points out, the presence, the emotions and atmosphere audio can deliver is unique.


  3. Living in a world where technology is beginning to thrive more and more, we begin to be more use to recieving information given to us as quick as possible. If I want to hear what’s going on in society or what’s going on today, I don’t want to listen to audio journalism. I don’t want to listen to audio pieces, i’d rather watch what’s going on when watching the news, where I could see and hear what’s going on in the matter of 5 mins. Audio journalism doesn’t really catch my attention. In my opinion, it’s all about the visuals it’s all about what you’re seeing. In my opinion this generation is a little bit lazy due to the technology. We can go on our laptops, our televisions, and our phones and we can visually see and hear what’s going on. So why would we want to take the time out of our day to listen to an audio piece? I feel like the only time and audio piece is relevant is if we’re driving to work and we need to listen to the radio. Other than that, if people want to listen to news, they’re going to go on their laptops, television, or just look at their phones. A simple audio is just dull. Our generation want the audio, the images, and the videos to absorb all the information that we need to continue to stay interested. In regards to Benjamin Franklin he even said himself “Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see”


  4. Ever since websites like youtube came out, it has become difficult for audio content to remain mainstream. By mainstream, I’m referring to popular or relevant (no feelings intended to hurt!) Before videos came out, people had to use their imagination when hearing audio content (radio). It was left up to the audience to perceive what the setting looked like. With just audio, the speaker would set the mood for the listeners. Now with videos, many people can see visuals along with audio. For example, the news would be reported by word and it was their job to describe the scene as much as possible. With technology like video cameras, it has made it possible for people to now have something to look at along with the audio. It leaves little imagination for people because they can view what the audio is projecting. In Journalism Next, Jim Stovall, professor at University of Tennessee made his own point as to why he prefers audio, “Video cameras are too confining; they do not give me a picture of the whole field or even a significant portion of it. If I am listening to it, however, I can ‘see’ everything, and the experience is much more enjoyable and fulfilling” (Briggs, 172). Some people would prefer audio or video because it gives the mind more freedom to create the illusion and allows creativity. Audio would be more beneficial for podcast, radio stations or talk stations because the importance of those programs would be the information, visual would not be needed to make its point.


  5. As I began to read the chapter, I had the TV as background (sorry), but that actually helped make the author’s point. What Briggs said about the “intimacy” of radio may sound strange, but it struck me as true. When we are engaged in visual media, the object of our attention, the “source,” is clearly there for us. We’re using more than one sense, but, consciously or not, we are aware of being drawn to something specific: a magazine, this screen or that, etc. But when we engage in purely auditive media, there’s this “inside-our-heads” quality to how we can be doing other things while listening. So I would say audio can bring and make listeners feel close to a story. I also realized that, when sound is everything I have to go by (when I don’t put all my eggs in the visual basket), I find myself paying much more attention to all the nuances of voice: modulation, tone, pitch, rhythm, and volume. Then clearly, a well produced audio piece, can make for a very rich way of telling a story.

    I don’t think I can point to a specific reason why audio tends not to go viral, but I’d say it has to do with the intimacy or “personalness” of audio. Videos and photos are “out there” and can be passed around like that (I hope I’m making sense). Similarly, there is more of a communal experience to video/photos: several people watch something together and reactions and comments fly. I don’t think it’s the same for audio because it (I got the impression) tends to be engaged individually, and, again, the “inside-my-head” quality makes us experience and share it in a different way.


  6. I wasn’t surprised to find that audio journalism isn’t the most popular method of reporting. Even though there are times when audio journalism is preferred because the audience cannot have a visual distraction (such as while driving or while working), in this digital world more and more people want as much as they can get. Therefore, most people prefer to see images, watch videos, etc. instead of simply listening. The Briggs reading talked about how audio journalism can work well in some cases, such as NPR and for recording interviews. However, the trend in the journalism field is to be more visual and engaging, which audio journalism cannot provide.


  7. In a world of unending distractions, the only way to maintain a news consumer’s attention is by being engaging. The more dynamic and sensorily stimulating the medium, the more likely a reader, viewer, or listener, is to purse it. For this reason, videos have been particularly successful in journalism as they arouse some of the most learning-based senses: sight and hearing. It is far easier to remain engaged in listening to an interview if there is an accompanying visual component. I find that I am only truly able to focus on radio news when I am driving, and my vision, is concentrated on simple, stagnant imagery. That being said, audio is the best means of providing an interview, as Briggs and several of my classmates mentioned. While there is the potential of the interview being “lifeless,” compelling speakers and subjects dispel this and afford listeners an understanding of the context and tone of quotes that print simply cannot.


  8. I think the question of audio posts not really going viral is very interesting. For me from what I’ve seen on tumblr, I’ve seen a few audio posts that have gotten tons of notes but they are usually songs from popular artists or mash-ups. So I think the reason why audio isn’t really going viral is because its not visual. So much of what we see in the internet these days is visual, it appeals to our visual senses. Its a lot easier to see a funny picture or a funny video and have that go viral.

    But I feel like because audio isn’t visual it doesn’t make it exciting because there is nothing to really bring someone in to see what it is. You can’t see anything and I feel like one of the big components of something going viral is the fact that it needs to instantly grab your attention and I feel like thats something visuals can only do.

    I do think audio serves a purpose in our world though. I still very much enjoy listening to the radio, particularly sports radio and about a year ago I got into podcasts. I think that they both serve a great purpose in terms of providing in depth analysis for readers on things they care about. Whether it be a sports team or issues going on in society or discussing significance events and metaphors in a favorite book or TV show/movie, I think that audio posts are still very much important.

    Also Professor, here are the links for social media challenges #2,#3, and #4. I had done them on time but I never posted them on here


    Blog Commenting:

    Twitter List:


  9. Speaking from personal observations and experience, I believe that audio journalism isn’t as viral as photo or text based posts because, just like myself, people like visuals more! When you’re scrolling and trying to obtain as much news as you can, sometimes one photo or short micro-blog will do the trick and you don’t have to dwell on it. Whereas, an audio-based post, you would have to click on it and really sit down and absorb the material. When I listen to anything audio-based, whether it’s the radio or even YouTube, I really don’t like distractions and it’s not something I gravitate towards unless it’s a really interesting story. I would much rather just quickly skim a text. That’s not to say that audio journalism is not necessary – it certainly is, but for the right new-story, not for everything. Texts and photos however are very applicable.


  10. I think the reason that sound doesn’t go viral the way pictures and text do is because people like to see in order to believe. We are always told that ‘actions speak louder than words’ and ‘pictures are worth a thousands words’. Although these phrases are cliché, they seem to hold some truth. Hearing something does not have the same effect as seeing it. Even if your sound quality is amazing (because of the tips suggested in Seven Easy Steps to Good Sound), most humans tend to be more visual. If you think about animals, dogs can hear frequencies that humans can’t even imagine. We have 5 senses but sight seems to be favored. Personally, I am likely to become more excited by seeing a picture of a beach than listening to a podcast describing the beach or using the sounds of the ocean. However, if audio had no purpose then videos would not be so popular. According to Briggs, sound is important to represent: Presence-in order to show credibility and bring readers into a story by bing on location; emotion-by using tone of voice and other components of dictation to enhance the overall message; and atmosphere-natural sound gives us an idea of what conditions are like in a setting.


  11. Like some of my classmates I am not surprised audio reporting does not go viral like videos, photos, and even text-based content can. Based on my own personal preference I definitely prefer videos and photos because they bring the topic to life. Although I think audio reporting is definitely useful under some circumstances. Forexample, in Brigg’s it says that audio reporting is useful in stories that “can be told better in audio forms, especially on subjects that do not lend themselves to visual storytelling.” I can see how some interviews could be held over audio as well if you use sound that doesn’t suck like mentioned in the article we had to read. If someone is able to create an atmosphere of confidence and relaxation with their voice then people may want to listen to their interview.
    Today, I feel like people are more visual and want to see the photos to get information as quickly and efficiently as possible. I think it’s kind of sad how audio reporting is often seen as ‘invisible’ according to Brigg’s. It’s also important to remember if audio reporting is done right then it can be as powerful as written articles or even TV and video (Briggs).


  12. In my opinion, I’m not sure why audio content tends not to go viral the way videos, photos, and text-based content can. I feel that audio content is just as good as the other content, however I feel that people just want something that is catchy to the eye, which audio content unfortunately doesn’t really seem to do. As a person who pays constant attention to news, on the sites where I get news rarely include audio content unless it has something to do with something that is crucial to a news story. I feel that pictures and videos get more attention more than radio or text-based content because we can take a lot from watching something with our own eyes. For instance, we all know the saying, “A picture paints a thousand words,” and I feel that this really applies to those who watch news because, overall, we want to be able to see something and interpret news in that matter rather than hearing it because we can’t interpret as much as we can as opposed to watching a video… if that makes sense. This may having nothing to do with audio content, but in my opinion I feel that it’s because we live in such a fast-pace world that we would rather see something and get the gist of what is happening through the picture or video than to take the time to listen to an audio recording. Audio recordings are very important, I’d say, but many people would rather see with their eyes than to take the time to listen to a recording.


  13. After reading chapter 7, I can understand what Briggs is trying to say about Audio stories. I do think NPR audio stories are interesting and i do follow them when i can, however, for me personally, I don’t listen to many other audio recorded things. I guess you could say it’s because i’m someone who needs a picture, a explanation, and a demonstration to really maintain and absorb information. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean i think audio is a bad form of journalism. I think it doesn’t go viral because many people are the same way as i am and to be quite frank, our generations have become more and more lazy, so searching for an audiobook and not having an image or a video or anything to follow along, it becomes dull and uninteresting to most. Even after reading the seven tips to sound good, I can appreciate it and understand how good quality audio can make for a more interesting story, but i think people generally like more visuals, mainly because our attentions span can’t only focus on that one thing being spoken about, therefore we would lose focus quickly.


  14. I suppose it really isn’t a surprise that audio journalism doesn’t ever go viral. We all are human and need something to catch our interest, instantly. I feel that we like visuals no matter what. I do like how Briggs refers to NPR for having audio stories for their web audience but other then them, there’s no one I can recall that are as successful. I do find myself time to time listening to NPR’s audio pieces because although it’s nice having the article to read, you have an even more interesting time listening to the article/interview from the speakers themselves. We also can listen to how the article should be read and the tone, etc. As for Adam’s 7 easy steps, it’s in the title-steps. It’s easier for us to simply snap a photo, or have someone video us. Although the steps are most important, our smart devices are pretty much built for us to do less work and not have to worry about much. But like I said, we are most interested when we can put a picture to a face or see people. I personally take in more information with the use of images and videos because it allows us to listen to something through a story and put an image in our mind to produce certain thoughts on what we’re being exposed to.


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