What are the practical benefits of using audio over video?

Riazat Butt, Fi Glover, Martin Kelner, Jason Solomons and Matt Wells discuss the relationship between podcasts and traditional radio at The Guardian

By Laura E Cox

According to Paul Bradshaw, audio journalism is especially good at the following:

  • Actuality – the feeling of being there
  • Debate – the opportunity to interject, the tone of voice, another level
  • Emotion – the tone of the voice communicating more than words alone

Could this be achieved through video journalism just as succinctly, if not more so?

From my experimentation I have compiled my own list of why audio journalism beats video journalism:

  1. Impact: the user can listen to what is being said without risk of being distracted by moving image
  2. Versatility: the listener has the opportunity to multi-task without missing anything or slowing themselves down
  3. Less intrusive: holding a dictaphone below a subject’s chin is less likely to cause offense than a camera directed at their face, allowing them to forget about the recording and subconsciously relax
  4. Intimacy: the journalist is able to get much closer to the subject if they are not concerning themselves with making sure they frame their face perfectly. Similarly, the journalist will not be distracted by such technical issues

Next question: can online audio ever truly compete with radio? Radio has the benefit of immediate access, simplicity and regularity: Users need only press a button and their tuned station comes on. Perhaps they will even have set an alarm so that it will come on for them.

Can the benefits and innovation of online audio drag users away from their comfort zones? There is an interesting debate on radio v online audio journalism on the Guardian website.

What do you think? Do you download podcasts? Can they ever replace radio?


About Laura

Small fish in a big pond, trying to accept life on life's terms 'You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore' - Christopher Columbus
This entry was posted in Finding audio, Types of audio journalism and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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