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The final for our online journalism class was another soundslide project. The goal of the assignment was to expand on the programs Soundslides, Photoshop and Audacity. We again had to work with multi-media, using photography and audio to expand the storytelling platforms.

I did my project on electronic dance music. I chose this assignment because I know a few D.J.s, producers, and composers. I love their work, their music really has a huge impact on me. I have such a respect for their artistry and through this project I really just wanted to showcase their talent and share the music with others. The angel I ended up taking with all the different interviews was to introduce the genre of music,  explain why they do it, and what the music is to them.

I liked doing this project on my own, simply because it gave me creative rein over each aspect. But working with my partner on the last one was just fine! I’m pretty flexible : )

All the photography was either taken by myself at all the different shows I have been to, or by the interviewees. I took my photos over the span of this semester just for my own personal albums, I never intended, when taking the pictures that I would use them for a school project.

The audio was a little more difficult. I didn’t have time to actually collect the audio myself for each person….luckily the project was done on people who have all the audio capability needed to get it all done….but because the interviews were done on different recorders, there were some sound issues.

If I could change anything, I would have wanted to be there in person for each interview to get better responses, to come up with follow up questions to really get the good details. Also, I would have spent more time on it because I know I could have done a better job if I wasn’t always so busy. The project, the people and the music deserved better than what I did, but too late now! : (

But I loved putting together this piece because I absolutely love the music. But had you asked me a year ago about the music, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you anything. Electronic dance music is relatively new to me, I am a recent fan. But the atmosphere at the different shows has really become one of my most favorite things! ELECTRONIC DANCE MUSIC FAN FOR LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So check out my project! The music in it was produced and composed by Jake Feldman (Audius) in collboration with Chuck Williams (Cognition) ENJOY!!

The first Soundslide assignment that I looked at was done by Egla and Jamie. I really liked their project topic because one of my favorite things to photograph in Laramie is the snow. Laramie is freezing and I can definitely understand how it could be a difficult transition for some people to make, especially students from warm regions. I know I have been tempted to wear a ski mask walking on campus to protect my face from wind burn (haha, got to love it though!) This is a unique story and I would never have thought of it.


The only advice I could give would have been to maybe open up the project with the sound of the wind rather than use it as a transition because wind is such a hard ambient sound to collect without getting some sound glitches. And when used as a transition it sort of distracted me. Also, they had just a few editing issues with the audio, but overall….they did a great job!


I enjoyed the pictures but I think some of them could have followed a few of the photography rules a little closer and they would have been more aesthetically appealing and complementing to the overall project.


The second project I looked at was done by Dyann and Brook. I always like to look at Dyann’s work because she has a knack for this field. I think the project was great; the ambient noise was my favorite part. They did a really good job editing it all together. And, honestly…I have no advice to give, they did a great job! –Pictures were also strong, just adding to the project as a whole.


The third project was done by Adrienne Morency & Courtney Wilhelm. I liked the topic they chose, the interviewee was well spoken and really had a voice that added to the piece. The pictures were great, really went with the story.

My only advice would be, to have made clearer cuts in your editing, and made the music at the very beginning a little bit longer, because after all it was a music piece and I would have liked to have heard a little bit more before they jumped into the interview.

Go ahead and check out the rest of the classes work, they all did a great job!

Here is the final project: University of Wyoming MARCHING BAND

This project was assigned to the class; it was a collaborative project where we had to interview a few people on a topic of our choice. The story piece needed to be informative and/or entertaining. The project was assigned to get us practicing audio editing, interview skills, photography skills, team work, communication, and to learn about the computer program Soundslides, all while combining the multiple facets as we most likely will in the work force.


We chose to incorporate both entertainment and informative aspects of our story. Our story was on the University of Wyoming Marching Band. We wanted to capture what marching band teaches members, what members take away from the experience; we wanted to gear it towards the idea that it could be used on the University website in order to attract new band members.


My partner is a member of the band and although it would have never been a topic I would have chosen off hand, I was glad I got to do it. I love to learn about things I wouldn’t necessarily be exposed to thus far in life if it wasn’t for this class. Over all I loved the project, it was great to get a chance to collaborate with a person I don’t know.


I enjoyed Soundslides, it’s a really easy tool to create multi-media projects and will definitely be beneficial to my future. The only problems we ran into, were as usual…technological miscommunications…(sometimes I feel so conflicted, I have a serious love/hate relationship with technology!!!)

Story Pitches

For this assignment we will be including all creative devices from past assignments to do a sound slide. But first we need to pitch three-story ideas. Here are mine  : )

Animal Shelter:

•      Idea: The animal shelter here in Laramie is always packed with animals. I have adopted from there twice. I want to do a story that encourages people to adopt, volunteer, donate but also teaches the responsibilities of a pet owner.
•     Importance:
  The story is important because here in Laramie, college students often neglect their pets. They adopt them with good intentions but don’t fully understand the responsibilities/fees that come with owning a pet, and a lot of the pets are the ones who feel the full brunt of the consequences. Also, there are people out there who should try adopting a pet, it could be one of the best things they ever do. They can save a life and find a source of love and companionship that often comes with owning a pet. It is also interesting because pets are a cute subject and pictures would be easy to get.

•    Sources: Laramie Animal Control

                     Animal Shelter 

                     Vet Clinic          

Drunk Driving:
Idea: For this piece I would want to highlight the excessive amount of tickets given out each year for the crime, the consequences of the crime, and really try to prevent people from driving while drunk.

•   Importance: Wyoming has a ridiculously high level of drunken driving accidents and tickets each year. I have lost a lot of friends to this, and at the early age of 21 I feel like the number is MUCH too high. I think a piece done on this subject would be really emotional and invoke a lot a reflection. With this story I would hope to get the attention of anyone, because just one less drunk driver on the road could save a lot of lives.
•       Sources:
MADD (mothers against drunk driving) 

                       Draw The Line 

                      Laramie Police Department

Denver D.J. Scene:

•   Idea: Denver, CO has a huge following for electronic music. The scene has blown up in the past few years and I am fortunate enough to know a few D.J.s that have residency at some of the hottest clubs in the city. I also have friends who work to produce their own beats, and a few that have had songs reach the top of prestigious charts, one chart being beatport.

•   Importance: This piece would have more of an entertainment angle vs. the other informative and motivational pitches I made earlier. This story would be very visually aesthetic with pictures from shows (fun light shows and big crowds) and production studios. I think it would also be fun to interview some of the D.J.s I know because they all have really interesting stories and insights on where the industry came from and is going.

•   Sources:     D.J. Audius (House D.J./ production artist/ beatport artist)

                         D.J. Cognition (resident D.J. at club Beta)

                         Music Journalist for livemusicblog.com, Derek Barylski of Denver, CO

Audio Profile Critique

As a follow up assignment we were asked to critique 3 audio profiles done by other students in the class. To compare, check out my final project.

The first one I looked at was done by Dyann Diercks who interviewed fellow student Brooke Eades. I liked the angle of the story, it was interesting and it kept my attention. The interviewee sounded enthused about the subject and that is key to a good story. The only thing I noticed was that there were a few spots the editing wasn’t sharp enough and it made sections unclear. I would suggest that she allow more silent transition time to ensure a smooth shift from one piece to the next. There was no background noise to distract from the story so she did a really good job there. Ambient noise could have been included but it wasn’t necessary. So, in all, other than an editing cut problem in one area, I think she did a great job on the assignment! The only advice I can give to her is to magnify the audio to as big as possible in order to make clear cuts!


The Second audio profile I listened to was done by Faryn Babbitt who interviewed Jamie Crew. I enjoyed the interview but I thought it was a bit scattered. Had she chosen to focus on just her job search, or the internships, or just a single internship I think it would have been more interesting. There was a tiny portion of background noise in one clip. She could have used the effects tool to remove as much distracting noise as possible and I think the tool would have removed most or all of the background noise. Also I think she could have taken out some of the “um’s” and filler words because it distracts from the interview it’s self. Other than that, she did a good job!


The third audio profile I listened to was done by Brad Estes who interviewed James Burges. I think I liked reading the blog more that listening to the audio clip. The blog made me laugh and intrigued me more than the audio story. I thought it would have been better had he cut out his questions, done the interview in a quite place because there is a lot of background noise and that some of the editing could have been cleaner. The only advice I have for Brad would to point the creative presence you get from reading his blog into the profile project.

I learned a lot from this assignment, I learned that you can’t expect your subject to bring the excitement to the piece, you have to find ways to pull it out of them by asking a lot of questions. A 2 minute or 5 minutes piece isn’t always enough to do this so I think a pre-interview is very necessary rather than just jumping into the project and hoping to get some useful material. I liked the project and I’m excited to work more with the audio editing process.

Here is the final product from the audio profile assignment.

SO! After a lot of hard work chopping and moving around the audio, I came up with this final product for the audio profile assignment.  As I mention in the previous blog, we were assigned an interview/audio editing project where we had to interview a fellow classmate. I interviewed Egla Negussie, a 22 year old student from Ethiopia, studying journalism with an emphasis in P.R.  I chose to direct my audio interview on the differences from Ethiopia and Wyoming. I thought it was an interesting angle for the story rather than have the piece solely focus on her education.  My favorite part about the whole assignment was getting to know about Egla. The ethnographic aspect of journalism is one of the most interesting parts of the field to me. I enjoy learning all about people. The interview process also helped me out a lot, and I am glad this class has given me the opportunity to learn outside of the class room with hands on activities.  

The audio editing process of this interview was done with audacity; it is a pretty easy program to navigate. The only part of this project I did not enjoy was brought on by the sometimes-unavoidable technological errors that I always seem to run into. Other than that it was a solid project, but I hope to see an assignment in the future that gives us a chance to do a longer piece, with a longer interview.

If I would have done anything different it would have been to get my recorder closer to the interviewee so that the audio would have been louder because at times she would fade in and out with her answers.  I would have also messed with the effects a bit more to make some of the transitions smoother.  But here is the profile, check it out : )

Audio Profile by AudreyVenus

I interviewed Egla Negussie, a fellow class mate, who is majoring in journalism with an emphasis in public relations, the same as me. The interview itself was interesting. I like using an audio recorder because if you miss anything, all you had to do is rewind and the information is there. Audio interviews also really give you a better sense of who that person is, hearing someone’s voice can help listeners connect on a different level that isn’t there in writing. I thought the biggest obstacles while interviewing was to not get any background noise, even though we conducted our interviews in a quite study room, the recorder still seemed to pick up things we could not hear.

I learned that you really need to be prepared for the interview; you need to be able to think of follow up questions while they are answering the previous one. Another thing I learned from being the interviewee was that I need to work on my communication skills. Anxiety is something that does not fit in the journalism world and I need to get over my fear of public speaking. I found it really interesting how nervous I got when the table was turned from interviewer to interviewee. I feel much more comfortable asking the questions than answering them.

Also something I have learned from this project and from my internship is that research is key. If you walk into an interview unprepared then you wont get an interesting piece, you need to have a focus and scope prepared so that you know the direction you want to take the piece.

My biggest likes about the assignment was conducting the interview and working with audacity. I love learning about people and different cultures, the ethnographic aspect of journalism is something I am really passionate about. Also I really enjoy working with computer programs. I feel like, in this day and age, that computer knowledge will really give me a keg up in the industry.

The only thing I wish I could have done different was to be less nervous the moment the audio recorder turned on (I need to take speech classes). Also I would like to have gone more in depth with the interview process. Egla is an interesting girl to me, we are similar in our educational direction, but at the same time we come from polar opposite backgrounds, yet we are brought together through the University of Wyoming. I would like to learn more about her, where she is from, and the cultural differences she has experienced during her educational transition from Ethiopia to the United States.

Here are the unedited versions of the interview:
EGLA by AudreyVenus
EGLA2 by AudreyVenus

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