I just recently took a NewsU course called “Writing for the Ear“. I learned the basics of how reporters refine their speech when trying to pitch an idea to their company, or to the public. The course gives great tips on how to research a topic in order to have great leads. Also, the course teaches how to explore the topic even further to brainstorm possible outlines to the broadcast or printed story.
Interviews are important, and recording the interview may be very beneficial for you to do especially if you would like to leave the interview available for others to hear online. Writing for the ear gives some great advice on what kind of questions to ask and what kind of natural background noise is acceptable.
Although reporting is what takes up most of a reporter’s time, revising is crucial in order to tell a good story. There are many ways that a reporter can approach a piece in an effort to revise it. One technique that I took from the course was the art of mouth editing. This is to ensure the sentence or two sounds good to the ear.
I want to add that I am not particularly fond of the NewsU courses because I prefer to learn visually. Either shadowing someone who is performing the editing, or personally taking a stab at it myself is the best way for me to learn. Textbook learning is not effective for me, so unless you can truly learn best by reading about how to improve your writing skills instead of trial and error, I would say to get out there and do it yourself. Learn by making mistakes and figuring out your own style.
I would like to learn about interviewing more. We are taught that the only way someone is to improve their interviewing skills is to practice, and practice is what a reporter gets. This is truly how we can refine our work to write for the ear.