Trial and Error

When I started up my personal blog in September, I called it Trial and Error. It seemed fitting, since I literally was trying out anything and everything to try to find out what area of journalism was going to tick all the boxes for me. And more importantly, what bit I was best at.

There have been tricky decisions along the way – not least which dictaphone to get. I bought on which claimed to effectively transcribe itself using ‘Dragon’ software. On closer inspection in transpired that it needed to be ‘trained’ to my voice and would only transcribe that one voice. Good for a ‘note-to-self’, not so good for an interview.

So I returned it and the search continued. Did I need large storage? USB connection? rechargeable battery? And which one would pick up sound most clearly?

It was a bit of a gamble and in the end my Dad made the decision for me. I opened it on Christmas day and had a play with it. I haven’t had a present that could be played with whilst the Turkey cooks in years. Mostly people give me money, clothes or make-up. So it was fun to have something besides Champagne to occupy me.

And here it is: The first recording on my first ever dictaphone. Hopefully one day I will look back as a successful journalist and ponder on how far I’ve come (hopefully!) And who knows what we’ll be using in 10 years time – perhaps they’ll be software that can accurately transcribe more than one voice!

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Visualising the Olympic dream

According to the BBC people are being given the opportunity to put their stamp on the Olympic Park by suggesting names for five new neighbourhoods that are being built after the 2012 Games.

Duncan Innes, who is in charge of real estate at the Olympic Park Legacy Company, introduces each neighbourhood in this audio slideshow and talks about its unique characteristics.

The slideshow successfully portrays how London will look for the Olympics and gives viewers and listeners a true sense of how London 2012 will effect our lives.

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Osbourne on the money?

Today’s budget speech by George Osborne will split opinion- have a look at this wordle to see how he tried to win over the Nation.

Wordle: Osbourne Speech

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Linkedin for online audio journalism

Do you want to share ideas with other people interested in audio journalism? Do you have an issue with an audio topic? Linkedin has the group for you

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What’s in a speech?

When you listen to a speech being given what are the key words or phrases that you pick out from it?

Try listening to this one by Hosni Mubarak from February 10 2011. What’s the message you take from it?

Then look at this visualisation of the speech which I have created using Many Eyes.

Mubarak speech Many Eyes

Taken out of context would you have guessed it was Mubarak’s speech?

Are the bare bones of speeches innately similar or are they immediately recognisable?

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Storing your favourite slideshows

I’ve just found this really useful tool on where you can store “clippings” of articles, videos and audio slideshows in an album of the things you like on the site.

I guess it’s a bit like book-marking sites (Delicious, for example) but more user-friendly as it visualises the book-mark, rather than just listing it.

My clippings on


Doing this basically means that you can always return to and easily find the audio slideshows that you like, but doesn’t take up memory on your hard drive as downloading from somewhere like YouTube would.

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Just been playing around on It’s a good website for streaming all sorts of podcasts, but can be just a little overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

It’s also an American site so lots of US news, but there’s plenty of different categories to chose from which can help give you inspiration if you don’t know what you want to listen to!

I quite liked the Disney kids ones, let me know what you listen to…

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