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I understood that my week at Next Generation Radio would be challenging. I would learn a lot, really quickly, and would be pushed to be produce the highest quality story everyday. Now, as I approach the end of this project, I know that this experience has been something that has completely changed the way I view journalism.

My goal is to eventually be able to understand how to best tell a story in every format – from audio, to web, to social media, to photography. Each format possesses a new challenge, and no two formats function the same way.

Through Next Generation Radio I have learned how to tell better stories. By working with individuals who dominate their field. I have been challenged to always keep the focus of my story in mind, and to find new and creative ways to share that focus on each platform.

Coming from a print background, there were new challenges in audio story telling that I did not forsee. For example, the interviewing process. I learned by trial that capturing all components of the audio interview are crucial. The interview entailed paying attention to the story and capturing the audio that would best help tell that story, which I struggled with. Another challenge was the non narrative format and paying attention to that while interviewing.

Fortunately for me, my mentor and I needed to conduct a follow up interview the next day. I saw it as my chance at a slight redemption. Quickly learning from my mistakes from the previous day, I followed my subject at every move. I focused on capturing complete sentences from my interview. My second day stood out as a moment of reassurance that I could adapt and I did know what I was doing.

As far as editing audio and putting together a narrative story, that was a whole other beast. However, I learned to view the audio component of the project as another form to best share a story rather than a challenge I did not understand. I gained a deeper respect for the power of voice, and the power of hearing your interviewee’s story directly.

When it came time to write the web article, I struggled. During this process I continued to remind myself that at least I could write a web piece. Once again, I was challenged to better tell the story. Having been so close to my audio story, I had difficulty reframing the story to best function in a web format, being careful to not simply restate what the non narrative story said.

Looking back now, I can honestly say that every component in both the non narrative audio format and web format is necessary. While they both tell the same story, they both are designed to impact the reader in different ways.

While I was challenged every step of the way one aspect remained consistent – focusing on how to best tell the story. Going into this program I knew I would learn a lot, I didn’t think I would learn this much. I’m excited to bring all that I’ve learned back home with me and adapt these lessons into my reporting.