Youth Media Project
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 22:33

Today in KRTS Youth Media, students wrote out preliminary host introductions for their radio stories. The host intro can be tricky -- it has to encapsulate the entire story but not give too much away. It should pique the interest of the listener and be informative and engaging, all at the same time. But this exercise will help students envision what their stories are about, even if they don't have all the components put together perfectly.



It's crunch time this week. Students are catching up on their interviews and scheduling new ones. We found the time to snap a photo of Coach Jenkins (above), the inventor of "Disneyland," an original form of punishment mainly intended for athletes. Our student, freshman Brizzy Mendoza, is investigating "Disneyland" -- a physical obstacle course -- for her final project.

Thursday, 12 March 2015 22:54

Time management and editing skills - two essentials in producing thorough, timely radio broadcasts! Workshop 10 brought new deadlines to this season of Youth Media. Our student producers will be out in the field conducting interviews for their final pieces over their upcoming spring break. When they return, they will begin logging tape, transcribing, writing their scripts and isolating their audio.


In addition to deadlines, this week we focused on the basics of editing in Reaper (our awesome, free editing software): zooming, dragging, splitting, volume, and fades. We also discussed keeping our audio tracks organized by type: narration, interview clips, ambient sound, and music! Organization pays when you've got that many moving parts in one audio project. We look forward to listening to some good tape when school resumes.

Thursday, 05 March 2015 00:56

Today, we had a special guest in the classroom: Tom Michael, the Founder and General Manager of Marfa Public Radio! Tom joined the students of KRTS Youth Media to introduce himself and give some background information on the radio station.

Here in rural west Texas, the radio has seemed like a lifeline in difficult times, including the Rock House Fire of 2011. And in a place so isolated, it's comforting to tune into 93.5 FM during long commutes and desert drives.

TM the GM

Coach Jenkins

Next, it was time for an informal pitch session. Acting as news director, Tom listened to each and every student's pitch and suggested angles to take. Coach Jenkins (pictured above), took some time to explain "Disneyland," the physical obstacle course he invented as a form of punishment for athletes (our student Brizzy is investigating Disneyland for her project).

To conclude class, we took a trip to the computer lab and showed the students how to upload an audio clip from an SD card reader to the computer. We also opened our brand-new, just-installed audio editing software, Reaper, and showed them what a waveform looks like. Next week, we'll give a few demonstrations on basic editing. First, the students will have to get some tape.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015 00:00

To write a good radio story, you have to do your research. That's what students focused on for the eighth youth media workshop this week. We met in the computer lab, where our student reporters searched for articles related to their topics and read up on some important issues. They've chosen some fascinating topics to explore.

Computer lab.

Joell is exploring how rural gentrification has shaped the town of Marfa in recent years. Brizzy is investigating a popular form of punishment at Marfa High School -- a physical obstacle course nicknamed "Disneyland." Chris is looking into the accessibility of rural healthcare in west Texas.

In taking the time to investigate what's already been written on these topics, the students will be able to rework their preliminary interview questions. We sent them home with a concrete plan to reach out to sources and schedule interviews for next week.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015 21:16

For today's class, the students got a refresher on interviewing techniques using the Zoom mics. Three interns from Marfa Public Radio -- Ian Lewis, Ryan Lentini, and Anna Rose Macarthur -- acted as interview subjects. After choosing a topic from a long list of themes (below), students came up with three questions related to a particular theme.

Themes included childhood, the place you call home, embarrassing moments, adventures (a significant trip you took), career aspirations, defining moments, your first kiss, superpowers, superstitions, a time when something went wrong, a time when you felt unlike yourself (or when you pretended to be someone else), a time when you got lost, a time when you lied, and a time when you broke the rules.

Anna Rose


Afterward, the KRTS interns gave feedback on interviewing technique. Students said one of the most challenging parts was to listen and think of follow-up questions at the same time, but they also said the whole process grew easier as they practiced with different interviewees.

After some practice with the mics, students discussed their ongoing story pitches, and KRTS mentors provided suggestions and constructive criticism. The students are now exploring the logistics of their pitches (Who are the potential interviewees? What are some preliminary questions to ask? How can I contact these people?).

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