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:
- Impact: the user can listen to what is being said without risk of being distracted by moving image
- Versatility: the listener has the opportunity to multi-task without missing anything or slowing themselves down
- 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
- 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?