delete
SUNY students building solar car

SUNY students building solar car

The State University of New York at New Paltz solar car team plans to race across the country this summer in the solar car challenge. In April, a group of students worked on the car frame on campus. Adviser Lee Cabe stopped by and then showed off his solar car workshop on the Hudson River. [audio:http://cdn.journalism.cuny.edu/blogs.dir/447/files/2012/05/SA_SolarFeatureV1.mp3|titles=SUNY New Paltz Solar Car]...
delete

On ‘24 Hours at the Golden Apple’

Overall Impressions The show didn’t feel an hour long. It moved seamlessly from one story to the next, thanks to techniques like musical interludes, host comments, reporter comments and great use of silence and pauses in conversation. You could feel the interviewees thinking; the reporters weren’t rushing them through what they had to say. The sequence of interviews also felt carefully considered. There was a short, humorous interview with a woman talking about time and past lives, followed by a longer, more serious piece about two teenage girls, followed by an easygoing chat with two cops. This sort of sequencing and pacing – music and host chatter in between – created a nice, steady flow.  I never felt overwhelmed by too many characters or stories. Ambient There aren’t too many different ambient sounds inside a diner – just plates clattering, background conversations, waitresses and the cash register – but the repetition of these sounds helped hold the concept of the show together. The shift from one sound to another between each story and, in some cases, behind the stories, provided some urgency and pushed the hour forward. Writing The writing was great because it didn’t get in the way of the stories. For example, Glass gives us the background on the construction worker from Mexico quickly and succinctly, allowing the interviewee to talk about other things. He tells us what people look like when it’s important and conveys something about them. He describes the kids wearing bicycle helmets and eating Mickey Mouse pancakes because it’s a great image. Katie Kay (sp?) is described as being dressed in “a nice outfit, matching scarf,” so while she admits that the conservative viewpoints of her childhood no longer apply, we still see her dressed conservatively. We see who she was and hear who she is now. The way Glass described the diner was simple but telling – the booths, the shape of the building and the food on display. Any depiction of the diner’s personality and character is left to the people interviewed. Reporting and Editing I remember a few very simple lines that expressed something significant without beating listeners over the head – a credit to the reporters who interviewed people, and to their decisions about what to keep in or cut. There was Donna the waitress saying “I’m tired of talking,” local woman Katie Kay (sp?) saying, “We have our gay people,” the drunk journalism major saying “Where the hell’s the waitress,” the teenage girls saying “We have no life so we come here and wait for people,” the bar owner saying he “took the etch a sketch and shook it,” and the repetition of Joe’s “And that’s...
delete

Listening exercise: Niagara Falls startup on NPR...

Geeks in Niagara Falls aren’t usually mentioned in the same breath as “startup,” but these geeks are worthy: they invented a way to convert plastic into oil. With their nasal voices and use of colloquials like “that’s what they pay the big bucks for,” the guys at JBI were compelling. The story used simple ambient sounds — mostly hissing machines — and everyday characters — executives — but there was a real sense of place to the piece. It felt like a small plant in a small town. The story was also surprising: an executive revealed that finding clients has been difficult because green energy has developed a stigma, and the host started the piece with a stunning stat: only seven percent of plastic is recycled each year. Here’s the story from Daniel Robison for...
delete
Reader: Unemployed but not benefitting

Reader: Unemployed but not benefitting

Unemployment benefits are being extended through 2012, but not every jobless American is cashing in. Kenny Spraton is 45 and homeless in New York City. He hasn’t had a job in seven years, and he doesn’t feel hopeful. Sean Flynn spoke with Kenny about his experience....
delete
Interview with storyteller Erin Barker

Interview with storyteller Erin Barker

Erin Barker is small and soft spoken, but on stage, she commands attention. Barker is a copy editor by day and storyteller by night.  She helped create Story Collider, a science-themed live storytelling series, and she’s a grand slam champion of storytelling series The Moth. Erin likes telling stories about her childhood because more people can relate to what she’s saying. Most of us can remember things like pizza, little sisters, swimming pools, dads, farting, divorce and step-siblings, but we can’t make these memories sound as funny and compelling as Erin does. Here, she talks about her story telling process. [audio:http://cdn.journalism.cuny.edu/blogs.dir/447/files/2012/03/Amandolare_ErinBarkerInt_022912.mp3|titles=Amandolare_ErinBarkerInt_022912]...