Beginning the Summer as an Intern for a Public Radio Station

After last Summer, I am excited to return to Wisconsin Public Radio and work with the Online Content team. I believe it is where my interest lies, both in academics and career wise. I am looking forward to exploring what it means to be a “digital journalist” as opposed to a “traditional journalist.” I look forward to gaining more knowledge about the technical aspects of radio and online. Last Summer, I had the opportunity to attend events with the development team learning about fund raising and building relationships with donors, but I also shadowed the audio engineers, even recording a few sessions of my own.

Wisconsin Public Radio original show Central Time, Co-hosted by Veronica Rueckert and Rob Ferrett, on the Ideas Network

This Summer I am looking forward to doing a bit more shadowing and maybe gathering some hands on experience. I have learned there is a lot more behind the scenes of public broadcasting, all thanks to Wisconsin Public Radio and the Emma Bowen Foundation for minority interest in the media!

Exploring Drupal,, and the Staff Intranet

Online News Producer Erik Lorenzsonn edits and publishes web content, as well as monitor social media interactions.

In recent weeks, I have familiarized myself with Drupal, a free and open-source content-management framework. Drupal, similar to Word Press for Clash Digitel Journal, allows Wisconsin Public Radio to choose themes, select modules, and produce web friendly content for their online fan base. In teaching sessions facilitated by David Hyland, Director of Online Content I learned the differences between shows, articles, and segments. While the audience sees only the content, there are various categories use to separate or organize the types of content published online. While I have not used the instrument to post content I have created, I have explored the instrument posting archived articles from Wisconsin Public Radio‘s old news website to their new website, I have also worked on the organization’s intranet which provides many useful tutorials for staff ranging from producers, hosts, audio engineers, and more. Overall, I feel comfortable with Drupal. Operating Drupal feels very familiar and natural. In the future, I hope to get into a project using Drupal that requires me to develop both my skills in journalism and coding.

Experiencing a Wisconsin Life Editing Session

In the first two weeks, Technical Director/ Producer Joe Hardtke invited me to shadow him while he meticulously edited a Wisconsin Life segment about Wiccans. Interesting enough, Hardtke incorporated many elements from the original interview to generate this alluring effect. The production of this segment was more than just a regular interview, but the audio was composed of voice, natural sound, music, and echoes. Every pause, breath, awkward speech patterns are edited using Pro Tools for clarity to feel natural, to make listeners feel like the subject is conversing with them. Hardtke even incorporated the ambient sounds of nature from interviews throughout the pieces to make the audience feel like they’re walking beside the subject.

An example of panning audio using Pro Tools.
An example of panning or audio distribution using Pro Tools.

In other shadowing opportunities, I was taught about sounds effects such as reverberation (produces the echo) and compression of sound, but in this session I was really fascinated by panning. Panning allows the sounds such as foot steps to travel from one speaker or earpieces (for headphone users) to another. I recognized this effect from listening to a lot of music, especially those with heavy bass. All of these editing decisions helped make the piece captivating.

Other activities in the last two weeks have included reviewing Broadcast and Media Innovation’s draft diversity and inclusion action plan and providing Human Resources Director Carla Anderson feedback and suggestions on how to connect with multicultural students at the university. In the future, I look forward to many more learning opportunities ranging from online news content to more sound engineering shadowing opportunities, maybe learning how to operate a sound board! In the upcoming week, I will preparing for the annual Emma Bowen Foundation Conference in New York City where I will meet other scholars/interns from across the country and have the chance to network with media professionals or Emma Bowen alums.

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