The Art of Sound

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Students soak in the sounds of AU

Construction is still under way at AU’s main campus in Tenleytown. While summer classes and day camps work hard inside, groundskeepers work hard outside to build a new academic building and maintain the floral campus feel of the school.

Outside you’ll hear the chirps of birds and being overpowered by constant construction that seems to always bombard the campus atmosphere. The smell of cut grass and summer flowers welcome prospective students, although many must fight through the grumbles of construction vehicles to see the beauty of the campus.

Herds of high school students parade down the heart of campus in matching florescent t-shirts and ID badges. Meanwhile, summer graduate students are silent, listening to the sounds of AU for a lesson in audio.

Above is the “article” I produced as part of Deborah Bolling’s audio workshop. We all interpret situations differently because of the varying ways we pick up sights and sounds. It’s important from a journalistic standpoint to weed out the banter and present the most important sound that represents the truth of a situation.

Your ears are your most important, reliable organs, said Bolling. If the video is bad, people are sometimes forgiving. But if the audio quality is poor, people will move on to another source, she said.

It’s important when producing a slideshow audio presentation to have a focal point. Instead of trying to cover all the aspects of an issue, center on one situation, one person, or one event, and flesh it out with photos.

The most important value to have as a journalist, she says, is the ability to stand up for what you believe. She’s taken many hits from major networks because of her editorial decisions. But it’s important to put your role before yourself, she says.

“If you want to be a journalist, you gotta report the truth. You go into it because you’re a working, breathing, walking historian,” she said. It’s important to be fair in what you show (the whole story, not the most exciting part), and never leave anybody out.

“Just cuz people have the gig don’t mean they’re fly,” she said, laughing.

Bolling describes the conflict that can occur because of our different interpretations. One station might feel a certain aspect is most important, while another focuses on something else. In this scenario, she defends her decision to include the food selection of individuals in a package. The message was ironic and relatable to her viewers, she said.

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