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Project | 4-6 Weeks

ON OUR MINDS SEASON 5: Podcast and Audio Storytelling


OVERVIEW

On Our Minds Season 5

Student Reporting Labs’ award-winning podcast, On Our Minds, explores the teenage experience – made by teens for teens!

Season 5 will explore the theme: “Who Inspires You?” Student reporters will create audio stories and interviews that highlight people they look up to, including friends, families, teams, schools, communities, or people in the public sphere.

Opportunities for students:

  • Apply to be one of our new podcast hosts. Deadline to apply: Dec 1 (APPLICATION COMING SOON)
  • Produce an audio story or interview. Deadline to pitch an idea: Jan 10 (PITCH FORM COMING SOON)
  • Submit original music to our theme song contest. Deadline to submit: Feb 14 (SUBMISSION FORM COMING SOON)
  • Submit a “Dear On Our Minds” voicemail message (rolling submissions; submission form coming soon)

DEADLINES FOR PRODUCING AN AUDIO STORY

Students can produce an audio story about a role model during the fall or spring semesters. Episodes will be released in May 2025.

  1. Let us know you want to produce an audio story and pitch us your idea by filling out an OOM5 STUDENT PRODUCER FORM between anytime between Sept 3–Jan 17 (the earlier the better)
  2. Meet with SRL producers to get feedback on story ideas and mentoring on audio production
  3. ROUGH CUTS AND SCRIPTS due between Oct 1–Feb 14 (SRL producers will help students set an exact deadline)
  4. FINAL CUTS AND SCRIPTS due between Oct 1–March 14 (SRL producers will help students set an exact deadline)

WARMING UP

Listen to a few episodes of On Our Minds with a friend or classmate. Discuss what you heard:

  • What were the components of the episodes?
  • What types of storytelling and reporting did you hear?
  • What captured your attention?
  • What details stand out to you?

GETTING STARTED

  • FILL OUT ON OUR MINDS 5 STUDENT PRODUCER FORM (COMING SOON) TO LET US KNOW YOU WANT TO PRODUCE A STORY.
  • CHOOSE YOUR STORY FORMAT:
    • INTERVIEW - record a conversation with someone who is a role model to you. Ask them questions about their life–how have they navigated the challenges they faced growing up? What are the most important things they’ve learned? Ask them to share stories and tell them what they’ve meant to you. (10 min max)
    • PERSONAL STORY - record yourself telling a story with a strong beginning, middle, and end about someone you consider an inspiration. Use details to describe specific moments in your life, why you look up to this person, and what you are learning from them. (3 min max)

MAKE SURE YOU AND YOUR SUBJECTS AGREE TO AND UNDERSTAND THIS PROJECT. Read this blurb below to anyone interviewed in your audio story. Also, make sure you and everyone under 18 signs an SRL RELEASE FORM.

READ TO YOUR SUBJECT:

Before we begin, I want you to know that your story will be edited and may be included in a series by PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs. This podcast will be available to the public. That’s why it’s so important for you to only share what you’re comfortable with everybody knowing about you. If I ask you any questions during the interview that make you feel uncomfortable, you don’t need to answer them. And if you want to stop at any time, just let me know. Also for this story, would you like to be identified by first name only or remain anonymous?

Do you have any questions or concerns before we start? (If anyone has concerns or questions, please reach out to SRL for advice.) I also want to share with you a list of helpful, mental health resources: studentreportinglabs.org/mentalhealthresources/

START PLANNING AND PRE-PRODUCTION

If you’re telling your own story, make notes or write out your script. If you are interviewing others, finalize your interview questions and schedule your interviews.

STORYTELLING TIPS!

Try to tell the STORY (not just opinions) of the person featured. The best stories are ones that bring to life: a person and their emotions, scenes and actions, challenges and conflicts. Stories show some kind of CHALLENGE and CHANGE: something happens and a person is changed. And what makes the story interesting? Specific details.

PRODUCTION STEPS

  • RECORD. Start recording yourself or your interviews with others (refer to How to Record a Podcast One-Pager and How to Record a Podcast Level-Up for tips). Remember you will be editing your story so it’s OK if you mess up, start and stop, or talk about things you later decide not to use.
    • If you have a mic, use it! :)
    • Ask your SRL Youth Media Producer to be present for your interview if you’d like extra support.
  • TRANSCRIBE your interview or audio diary. You can use sites like Otter.ai to help generate a transcript then. Then HIGHLIGHT the best soundbites.
  • SCRIPT. Start a document (preferably a shared Google doc) and arrange the best soundbites into the order you want for your story.
  • EDIT your audio story using any audio or video software or app. Please do not add music.
  • SUBMIT your script AND rough cut to SRL. Use this SUBMISSION FORM (COMING SOON) and choose project: On Our Minds.
  • Get feedback from SRL, ask clarifying questions, REVISE AND EDIT a final cut.
  • CELEBRATE! Your story helps shed light on the important topic of youth mental health. It might educate listeners, help people feel less alone, or encourage a young person to reach out for help.

HOW TO SUBMIT TO PBS NEWSHOUR STUDENT REPORTING LABS

COMING AUGUST 2024

Community

A group of people who live in the same area (such as a city, town, or neighborhood). It can also be a group of people who have the same interests, religion, race, etc.

Source: Merriam Webster

Human Interest

People are interested in other people. Everyone has something to celebrate and something to complain about. We like unusual stories of people who accomplish amazing feats or handle a life crisis because we can identify with them.

Story Angle

In news, it’s a story’s point or theme. It's the lens through which the producer or writer filters the information they have gathered and focuses it to make it meaningful to viewers or readers.

Source: ThoughCo.

Podcast

A digital audio or video file or recording, usually part of a themed series.

Podcast Segment

An audio story within a podcast episode

Audio Scene

A recording of something going on (versus an interview).

Note: Think b-roll but for audio.

Script

A document with transcribed (written-out) soundbites and voiceover narration. A VIDEO script is a two-column document with the audio (soundbites and voice over) in the right-hand column and a description of what the audience sees (visuals) in the left-hand column.

Pitch

A description of what your story might be and WHY it’s important. An outline of your story idea and the steps to achieve your goal. A summary of what you hope to accomplish in your story

Transcription

A word-for-word document of what was said in a conversation or interview

Story Arc

An example of using a little person to tell a big story. For example, you want to tell a story about pollution in your community’s water system. That is a big issue. Your video will use the story of a person (character) to illustrate the effects of bad water quality.

Hook

An attempt to grab the reader or viewer’s attention with interesting information that will keep them reading or watching.

Speaking and Listening - Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

Empowered Learner

Students leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving, and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, informed by the learning sciences. (ISTE)

Demonstrate writing processes used in journalism and broadcasting media.

Creative Communicator

Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals. (ISTE)

Plan and deliver a media production (e.g., broadcast, video, web, mobile).

Demonstrate technical support skills for audio, video and film productions.

Topics

Journalism

Representation

Podcasting

Identity

Active Prompts

Levels

Beginner

Intermediate

Materials

Computers

Mobile Phone

Internet

Estimated Time

4-6 Weeks